Culturally diverse Malayan milieu: experiences and perceptions of RAANC nurses 1955-1960

Margaret McLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The war exploits of Australian Army nurses have been represented in a number of literary sources, but there is a paucity of data about the nurses who served in the Malayan Emergency (1948-1960). Using descriptive interpretive historiography, with a central focus on oral testimony, this paper aims to highlight the culturally rich and diverse environment of Malaya in the 1950s. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four women from the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps to expose their experiences and perceptions of the Malayan environment and its people. The information provided by these nurses was subjected to manual thematic analysis resulting in the emergence of a number of themes. One prominent theme, Malaya's cultural diversity, was chosen for this paper because it contained an abundant source of new and rich data. To protect the identities of the informants pseudonyms were used in the presentation of the oral narratives. This approach led to revelations about how Australian women, with limited knowledge or exposure to other cultural groups, engaged in work and leisure time pursuits in Malaya's exotic cultural milieu.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


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