News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


NZ Red Cross nurses awarded highest international honour

17 May 2017

New Zealand Red Cross nurses awarded highest international honour

Three New Zealand nurses have been awarded the highest international nursing distinction, the Florence Nightingale Medal, for their work in war zones and during the Ebola outbreak.

Red Cross nurses Barbara Turnbull, of Dunedin, Gail Corbett, of Levin, and Guru Dev Singh, of Wellington, have been named as recipients of the medal for 2017.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) awards the Florence Nightingale Medal to honour exceptional courage and devotion to the victims of armed conflict or natural disaster.

All three nurses have spent several years working in the world’s most complex and critical humanitarian crises.

Barbara Turnbull of Dunedin, currently working in Afghanistan, has been a nurse for more than three decades and has been deployed to North Korea, Pakistan and Democratic Republic of Congo with Red Cross. Her international work has included everything from training local staff to treating people wounded by suicide bomb attacks.

Gail Corbett of Levin, has worked in Somalia, Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan, where she established teaching programmes and worked to improve patient care. She has been praised for her “incredibly gutsy and difficult” work in Gaza. Before working internationally for Red Cross, she specialised as a neonatal nurse.

Guru Dev Singh of Wellington, spent 18 months working in West Africa during the height of the 2014-2015 Ebola response. She has also worked in Gaza and Iraq with Red Cross. Before working overseas, she used her skills to help during New Zealand emergencies as a member of Red Cross’ emergency response team, and has also worked in rural Australia.

New Zealand Red Cross acting Secretary General Alice Montague says the three nurses are thoroughly deserving recipients of the Florence Nightingale Medal.

“Barbara, Guru and Gail have shown extraordinary courage through their work, inspiring all of us here at New Zealand Red Cross. We’re proud to help them recognise their humanitarian efforts by celebrating this award.”

Only 31 New Zealanders have been awarded the medal, which also recognises exemplary services and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health and nursing education, in its 104 year history.

The three will be officially presented with the Florence Nightingale Medal at an investiture ceremony later this year.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Wellington Rugby Zeroes: Sevens To Move To Hamilton

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester: “The Sevens has been a big part of recent Wellington history but it was time for the event to move on… Wellingtonians have been voting with their feet in the last few years and we’ve seen the result in dwindling crowd numbers and lower ticket sales.” More>>


Matafeo & Dravid: The Billy T And Fred Award Winners For 2017

At the final show of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival powered by Flick Electric Co. the Festival came to a close after 115 shows in Auckland and 68 shows in Wellington. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: What’s Fair? Tax and Fairness

This is an excellent and timely book, since apart from general statements about increasing or mostly reducing tax, there has been very little comment or debate as to whether we should pay tax at all and how much tax should each of us pay. More>>

Ockham Awards: Globally Lauded Novelist Wins NZ’s Biggest Fiction Prize

Internationally renowned Ngāruawāhia resident Catherine Chidgey has won New Zealand’s richest writing award, the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize, for her novel The Wish Child. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland