Theodora Sweetapple

People of Adelaide

Adelaide living suffrage anniversary theodora sweetapple

Theodora (Dora) Sweetapple (1872-1972) was the first woman to be employed by the City of Adelaide. On completion of her studies at the Adelaide Children's Hospital in 1893, she nursed the sick poor in Port Adelaide, before joining the City of Adelaide’s Health Office in 1899.

Appointed to the position of ‘City Trained Nurse’, Sweetapple was paid an annual salary of £85, to assist the Medical Officer of Health implement the provisions of the new Health Act of 1898 for the detection and control of infectious diseases in Adelaide, including typhoid fever and tuberculosis.

In addition to inspecting and supervising disinfection in homes, she gave talks on elementary hygiene to meetings of women in the city.

In 1907 she gained a qualification from the Royal Sanitary Institute, London, as inspector of nuisances. She was a founding member of the South Australian branch of the Australasian Trained Nurses' Association.

Celebrating 125 years of women's suffrage in South Australia.

Image: Adelaide Children's Hospital, State Library of South Australia, B 70494/2