Professor Odette Best

Odette Best is a woman of the Wakun clan of the Gorreng Gorreng, Boonthamurra, and Yugameh Nation.

She is Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Southern Queensland. After training as a general nurse at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Odette undertook clinical practice, then policy work and later moved into academia.

One of Odette’s main research areas is Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who completed recognised training in nursing and/or midwifery before 1950.

Odette’s publication listing can be found in her USQ Staff Profile and on Google Scholar

Find Odette’s book Yatdjuligin: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nursing and Midwifery Care on our featured book page.

Yatdjuligin introduces students to the fundamentals of health care of Indigenous Australians, encompassing the perspectives of both the client and the health practitioner. Written for all nurses and midwives, this book addresses the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and mainstream health services and introduces readers to practice and research in a variety of healthcare contexts. This new edition [2021] has been fully updated to reflect current research and documentation, with an emphasis on cultural safety.

An investigation into the hidden histories of Aboriginal nurses and midwives is the focus of a new research project led by University of Southern Queensland historian Professor Odette Best.

Uncovering Indigenous nurses’ untold stories

On Drive with Steve Austin, ABC Radio Brisbane

Women’s history beyond stereotypes

Public Record Office Victoria & Her Place Museum

Recorded for International Women’s Day 2021, speakers Madonna Grehan & Odette Best discuss the history of women working in nursing and midwifery in Australia, and how new interpretations can challenge stereotypical narratives of history.