"I uncovered the story of an Aboriginal midwife named May Yarrowick, who trained in 1905 at Crown Street Women's Hospital in Sydney and that fuelled my passion for delving into the history of Aboriginal nurses and midwives. In a year (2020) in which we should be celebrating International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, the paradox is that we are actually dealing with a global pandemic which has taken the lives of many people and many nurses. Nursing has been my life and I am proud of this profession; never more so than now.”
Dr Best has a long and distinguished career as a registered nurse, an academic and a historian of Aboriginal nurses and midwives. In 2012, she became the first Indigenous person to graduate from USQ with a Doctorate in Nursing. Her PhD research, titled Yatdjuligin: The Stories of Queensland Aboriginal Nurses 1950-2005, explored the journey of six Aboriginal registered nurses across six decades. Dr Best's work was acknowledged with a Churchill Fellowship in 2002 and an International Council of Nursing Fellowship in 09. She was also awarded the 2015 Tertiary Teaching and Learning Award from the Australian Educational Publishing Awards for her book Yatdjuligin: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nursing and Midwifery Care.