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News & Media > Alumnae Awards > 2021 Alumnae Award Recipients > Evangelyn Carr (1951)

Evangelyn Carr (1951)

2021 Alumnae Award for Social Welfare and Impact
Evangelyn Carr (1951)
Evangelyn Carr (1951)

Evangelyn Carr (1951) was the Matron of the Tresillian Family Care Centres for over 20 years. During that time she was part of the team that initiated research leading to recognition of and assistance for women suffering from post-natal depression.

Evangelyn enrolled at MLC School into 2nd Form (Year 8) in 1948. She was a Senior Prefect and completed the Leaving Certificate, in 1951. She trained as a nurse at Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children and attained a number of higher nursing certificates.

Evangelyn began as a Tresillian nurse in 1960. In 1968 she became the Matron, taking over from another MLC School Old Girl, Kathleen Clifton (1925). Evangelyn has said that together they imbued Tresillian with the MLC School ethos of service and compassion for over 50 years.

One of Evangelyn’s proudest achievements was being part of the Tresillian research team on post-natal depression. In the 1960s there were few GPs and fewer psychiatrists in Sydney who would accept that post-natal depression existed. Evangelyn says her team decided to keep a record of what they observed. They then ran a three-day ‘phone-in’ to gather data on the condition’s frequency and impact, attracting calls from mothers, partners and grandparents from all over NSW. The data enabled the Tresillian team to gain grants and eventually establish small support groups both for mothers with post-natal depression and their partners. They also established a 24-hour live advice helpline. Today, Tresillian assists more than 50,000 new parents each year through their phone and online live-help service.

Evangelyn’s entire life has been characterised by a generous and solutions-based attitude. When the new Tresillian buildings were being constructed in Petersham, it was Evangelyn who sewed soft furnishings, in addition to her duties as Matron and Director of Nursing Education. She could be found fixing the old donkey boiler, washing nappies at 4am, or boiling puddings for the families who would come to Christmas day lunch, in between attending to her little charges and a multitude of meetings.

Evangelyn still attends meetings at Tresillian and Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children (now named The Children’s Hospital at Westmead) and is in charge of the weekly floral arrangements at St Stephen’s Uniting Church.

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