Vera: Linton War Surgeon is a life-size bronze statue of Dr Vera Scantlebury Brown OBE, the Golden Plains Shire-born medic who blazed a trail as a World War I doctor and then maternal and child health pioneer.
The 1.75 metre tall piece was created by local sculptor Lucy McEachern and placed with the elm trees of the Linton Avenue of Honour.
Vera was one of the first women to complete a medical degree in Victoria and wanted to use her skills to contribute to the war effort.
But women doctors were not accepted in the Australian Army at the time, so she paid her own way to London and for two years worked as a surgeon at Endell Street Military Hospital, treating injured soldiers sent over from France. Endell Street was known as the ‘suffragette hospital’ as it was created and operated by women doctors and nurses.
Back in Australia after the war, Vera became the first Director of the Victorian Infant Welfare Scheme, a ground-breaking role which saw her caring for the health and wellbeing of babies and mothers for decades to come. The scheme that she established is the maternal and child health system we know today.
In 1938, her contribution to infant and maternal health was officially recognised with an OBE.
Sculptor Lucy McEachern lives and works in Golden Plains and was thrilled to participate in the Victorian Women’s Public Art Program.
‘So many unrecognised women made significant and varied contributions to the advancement of the state of Victoria, so I see this as an emerging positive and ongoing step towards equity and inclusion in a previously male-dominated field,’ she said.
Artist: Lucy McEachern
Location: Avenue of Honour, Denison St, Linton
The Women's Public Art Program complements the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, which celebrates women's outstanding leadership and contributions to life in Victoria.
Follow along on social channels
Share in the stories of inspirational Victorian women via Women Victoria and DFFH’s social media channels.
Department of Families, Fairness and Housing