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The highest honour

A Queensland nurse has been awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal.

Australian Red Cross nurse and aid worker Noela Davies has received nursing’s highest international honour, the Florence Nightingale Medal.

Davies, a registered nurse and midwife, has worked for Red Cross in conflict zones around the world. The Queenslander, currently based in Mt Isa where she works for the Royal Flying Doctors, has been on missions to countries such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, and North Darfur in Sudan.

Awarded by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Davies was one of 39 nurses from 19 countries who received the medal this year.

The awards recognise exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster. The biennial awards also recognise exemplary service or a pioneering spirit in areas of public health or nursing education, and are also open to voluntary nursing aides who work with Red Cross or an affiliated institution.

“I was drawn to aid work in the early 1990s while I was on holiday with my family in Papua New Guinea, there I witnessed an immunisation program - that was my inspiration,” Davies said.

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