Evelyn Cowell Financial Assistance

1915 - 2005

Evelyn Cowell was born on 28 December 1915 at Stuart Town, NSW. She completed her general nursing training at Bathurst District Hospital and her midwifery training at Crown Street, Sydney. In 1942 Evelyn enlisted in the AIF ands was posted to the 103rd Australian General Hospital, Baulkham Hills in an orthopaedic unit.

Lieutenant Cowell saw active service in Papua New Guinea in mid 1943 with the Australian Army nursing service and spent ten months under canvas near Port Moresby nursing wounded and sick soldiers in atrocious conditions. Evelyn can thank sea sickness for delaying her deployment on the ill fated hospital ship, Centaur which was sunk in May 1943. 

Following her stint in PNG she joined the operating theatre at Concord Hospital and at the conclusion of WW2 she became a Captain, in charge of the theatres. In 1947 she became the first peacetime manager when the hospital was handed over to the Repatriation Commission. In 1952 Evelyn was seconded to the Hammersmith Hospital, London where she stayed for a year. She retired from Concord Hospital in 1981 after 37 years continuous service.

Evelyn was a founding member of the NSW OTA in 1957 and served as president in the 1960’s. She remained a proud and committed member rarely missing an annual conference. She became a Life member of the NSW OTA in 1974. Evelyn  was also a longstanding member of the Returned Nursing Sisters Sub-Branch of the RSL and was a regular attendee at the ANZAC Day march.

Her commitment to perioperative nursing as a manager and gifted teacher were recognized with MBE in 1971. Following Evelyn Cowell’s death in 2005 the NSW OTA Executive, in consultation with Evelyn’s family, decided that the Grant would be a fitting way to remember a remarkable life.


State/interstate conferences:
Funding is provided to assist with return economy airfare and conference registration fees. 
Closing dates
Completed application must reach the Honorary Secretary two (2) months prior to the conference.
International conferences:
Funding is provided to assist with return economy airfare and conference registration fees.
Closing dates
Completed application must reach the Honorary Secretary two (2) months prior to the conference.
Please note that grants are dependent on available funding and number of applications received and may take up to a month to process.

Eligibility Criteria

In order for a member of the NSW OTA to be eligible to receive the Evelyn Cowell Grant from the OTA you must fulfill the following criteria: 
  • be currently a full member of the NSW OTA  (Full members only are eligible for Grants)
  • be currently a member of the Australian Defence Force
  • have been a full financial member of the NSW OTA for at least two consecutive years
  • are a current member of the NSW OTA and have been a full member of another State perioperative group(s), both memberships totaling a minimum of two consecutive years.
  • a regular attendee at and / or active member of General / Zone or Special Interest group meetings. 
  • have not received a Conference / Seminar Grant from the OTA or ACORN within the two years preceding the current grant application 
  • agree to submit a written report of the conference which may be published.

Submission of Grant Application

  • only completed applications received by the closing date will be considered 
  • completed applications from Zones must first be submitted to the appropriate Zone Executive for endorsement.
  • Once endorsed, the application is forwarded to the Honorary Secretary for consideration at the first Executive meeting following the closing date.
  • Contact details of your Commanding Officer

Following Conference Attendance

  • Reports must be submitted to the Honorary Secretary within three months of the Conference / Seminar.
  • Failure to submit a report will result in the NSW OTA seeking the return of the education grant monies and refusing future education grant applications from the individual concerned.
  • Reports should be approximately 1000 words.
  • Reports should be submitted in a format and of a standard suitable for publishing in the ACORN journal or Suite Talk; however publication of the report will be at the discretion of the Editor.
  • An electronic version of the report in Word format should be provided together with a hard copy.


Complete Online Application    Download Application Form