Who is Rosemary Opala?

By Gwylym Owen

Rosemary Opala (née Fielding) (1923–2008) was an Australian artist, writer and nurse, and is regarded for her exploit as a Queensland environmentalist, historian, social commentator and community activist.

Opala’s instructor and artistic themes reflect her personal experiences and social outlook. Her bill is noted for focusing upon Queensland wildlife, nursing, womanhood, family enthusiasm and social history.

Opala focused much of her nursing career on Peel Island’s Lazaret (Leper colony or Leprosarium) caring for patients as soon as Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy). Through both her art and writing, Opala became a significant commentator upon the Lazaret’s history, its social stigma and the controversial treatment of its patients.

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