At St Margaret’s 1968 to 1972
Annabelle Brayley (nee Ford) is a bestselling author and former nurse living in south west Queensland. She has written six books and co-authored a seventh, retelling the stories of Australians who live and work in the outback. Her books include Nurses of the Outback, Outback Vets and Bush Doctors. In Our Vietnam Nurses, she is especially honoured to have shared the stories of some of the extraordinary Australians who nursed in Vietnam.
Upon graduating from St Margaret’s, Annabelle completed her nursing training in Charleville in south west Queensland. She married in 1980 and moved to live with her husband Ian on his family’s remote sheep station.
In the late 1990s, on behalf of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association Qld Inc, Annabelle coordinated a student teacher practice program placing students from QUT into schools across inland Queensland so they could safely experience rural/remote teaching.
Subsequently, still working from her geographically remote home office, she returned to paid employment with a Blue Care pilot program, placing respite carers with families in rural and remote Queensland who were caring (in isolation) for a loved one with dementia.
She and Ian later moved to Morven where she continued to work in rural and remote health before resigning to pursue other interests.
Although she didn’t plan to be an author, Annabelle says “I’ve always been a written storyteller. As a boarder at St Margaret’s, I wrote long letters home and to friends during holidays. Pure chance eventually led me to become a published one. I’m privileged to share other people’s stories and was profoundly moved to learn recently that one of my books had inspired a person in her fifth decade to change her pathway and undertake her nursing degree.’
In 2018, Annabelle was appointed as a non-GP, Rural Community Director to the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM). She is currently writing private memoirs for older Australians for the benefit of their families.