LAMBIE, Mary Isabel, C.B.E.
A new biography of Lambie, Mary Isabel appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Mary Isabel Lambie was born in Christchurch on 26 October 1889 and educated at the Christchurch Girls' High School. Her first training as a nurse was done at Christchurch Hospital, but in 1918 she became a school nurse with the Education Department. Transferring to the Health Department she trained in 1925 at Karitane Hospital, Dunedin, before being sent the following year by the Department to Toronto University for a course in public health nursing. After further training at St. Helen's Hospital, Wellington, she became a registered midwife. With this wide experience she was appointed Nurse Instructor and Supervisor of Public Health Nursing in 1928, and Director of the Division of Nursing in 1931, a post she held till her retirement in 1950. In 1937 she received a Rockefeller fellowship to study nursing in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and she has visited the Pacific Islands several times to advise and report. She has been a member of several boards and organisations associated with her specialisation, such as the Dietitians Board, the Occupational Therapy Board, Lepers Trust Board, and the South Pacific Health Board. She was the first vice-president of the International Council of Nurses, 1947–53, Chairman of WHO Expert Commission on Nursing, 1950, and a member of the International Florence Nightingale Foundation Council, 1947–53. Until recently she was also a member of the Board of Governors of Wellington Girls' College. She published an account of her professional life in My Story (1956). She was made a C.B.E. in 1950.