A role model for nurses

Margaret Campbell Macindoe (Monteith)
20 June 1920 – 7 November 2006

Born and raised in the Sydney suburb of Burwood, Margaret Monteith commenced her general nurse training in 1938 at the nearby Western Suburbs Hospital (WSH) in Croydon. On completing her general training in 1942, she trained in Midwifery at King George V Hospital, Camperdown. Margaret then pursued a varied career in nursing, including a period working in the remote area of Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberly region of Western Australia with the Australian Inland Mission.

In 1952 Margaret was appointed the first Tutor Sister at WSH and in this position she displayed empathy, concern and care for both patients and nursing staff. She completed the Sister Tutor Diploma at the NSW College of Nursing in 1956 and was admitted as a Fellow of the College of Nursing in 1957.

In 1959 Margaret became the Matron of WSH, where her firm but kind and understanding nature contributed to an efficient and well-managed hospital. She was a role model for nursing staff who were committed to the provision of quality care. Her caring and friendliness was genuine and most welcome to the patients as she did her rounds each day.

Western Suburbs Hospital was a small hospital and ‘Monty’, as Margaret was referred to by her nurses, was a constant friendly presence in the nurses’ home where she lived along with all the trainee nurses.

In 1968, Margaret married Dr Norman Macindoe, a well-known ophthalmologist practising in Burwood. She resigned her position as Matron and completed her long and dedicated career in nursing.

However, Margaret’s love of nursing and WSH was a lifelong passion and she lent her enthusiasm, support and expertise to the Western Suburbs Hospital Graduate Nurses Association as its president for many years and then continued as a committee member until the time of her death. At the annual reunions, her infectious laugh was heard throughout the day as she greeted, reminisced and showed avid interest in the careers of ‘her nurses’.

Margaret Macindoe had a very active retirement and was strongly involved with her church and family-life, maintaining her strong friendships from her nursing days and her many travels to interesting destinations.

Her death on 7 November 2006 at 86 years signifies the end of an era for nurses who have had an association with Western Suburbs Hospital.

While Margaret will be sadly missed, her professional nursing example and vibrant nature will always remain a positive inspiration to those of us who knew her.

By Margaret Gane RN,

WSH Graduate Nurses’ Association