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08 March 2024

Ethel Rose Joyner was a remarkable woman whose passion for helping others left a lasting impact in Western Australia, especially in her advocacy for women and children. On International Women’s Day, we remember her contributions and the legacy she left behind.

Ethel was born in Pinjarra, Western Australia, in 1873 and moved to Perth with her husband in the early 1900s. Sadly, she experienced the loss of her daughter, Barbara, at an early age. But instead of letting grief consume her, Ethel channelled her energy into community work, becoming deeply involved with Silverchain.

She also created the 'Little Citizen’s League', a project to instil values of love, joy, and community service in children. From spearheading the ‘Keep Our City Clean’ campaign to establishing Perth’s first children’s library, Ethel left an enduring legacy.

Ethel was enthusiastic about helping children and a strong advocate for women’s and children’s rights. She founded and participated in various organisations dedicated to these causes, such as the Children’s Protection Society and the Women’s Service Guild, where she represented Western Australia at the Rome Conference of the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance in the 1920s. 

Ethel's impact extended to Silverchain where she played a crucial role in its development.

Serving on committees and as Vice President, her dedication was instrumental in expanding the community nursing in Perth and nurturing the development of the Cottage Homes in Highgate.

Ethel passed away in 1952, leaving a legacy of compassion and dedication to community care. Henry Grieg, then President of Silverchain District and Bush Nursing Association, eloquently summarised her contributions, highlighting her commitment to improving the lives of others.

“Mrs. Joyner worked mightily in the development of the Silverchain and District and Bush Nursing Association from its initial stages with one nurse to its present position with 14 nurses covering the whole of the metropolitan area. In later years, she devoted herself almost exclusively to the development of the Cottage Homes in Highgate. She had a flair for making the best use of space and material available and creating the happy family atmosphere characteristic of the homes,” Mr Greig said.

On this International Women's Day, we honour Ethel Rose Joyner for her tireless efforts in promoting women’s and children’s health and community nursing, embodying the values Silverchain nurses and care workers live by today. 

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