Dr Barbara Orchard is an Old Scholar of Mitcham Primary and Wilderness Schools, is a medical graduate from Adelaide University and has a Master of Public Health degree from Sydney University.
She played cricket at Club, University, State and International level, is a former President of the South Australian Women’s Cricket Association, Trustee of the South Australian Women’s Memorial Playing Fields Trust, and Guide at the Australian War Memorial. She is one of only two women appointed Life Members of Adelaide University Sports Association since its establishment in 1896.
Dr Orchard has been interested in military history since she was a seven-year-old and has read widely on military matters. In recent years, her particular interests have been in the Medical and Social aspects of Australian Military history.
Since learning of the Bangka Island massacre and internment of 8th Division nurses shortly after the end of WWII, she has continually added to her knowledge of these events, helped immeasurably by former colleagues of the nurses who lost their lives.
She has acknowledged expertise on the subject and has been a resource for the Australian War Memorial, the ABC and a number of authors and journalists. Her work in developing the National Service Nurses’ Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra was publicly acknowledged at its opening.
She has lectured at the Australian War Memorial, the Military Historical Society, the Naval, Military and Air Force Club, at Legacy and elsewhere and has delivered Anzac Day addresses at a number of NSW country towns. She is a regular lecturer on Australian Military History at the University of the Third Age.
Dr Orchard lives in Canberra.