It is with great sadness that we advise of the passing of Judith Young, a long-term supporter of the health information management profession.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY PHYLLIS WATSON
Judith Young, or Judy, as we knew her, passed away on the 2 December, 2023 at the age of 96. At her Funeral on the 22 December, 2023, her niece spoke of her as ‘a rare and special soul, with an amazing capacity to take on a range of adventures during her lifetime’.
From 1952 – 1954, Judy lived in the UK, working in medical record offices and hitch-hiking around Europe with friends. During her time in London in 1952, Judy was one of seven Australians who attended the 1st International Congress on Medical Records. She also attended three more international congresses over the years. On her return to Australia in 1954, Judy, was employed as a Medical Record Clerk at Sydney Hospital. In 1955, she was one of 15 Medical Record Clerks selected to complete a 6 month’s course in medical record management at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH), Sydney. This was the first formal training course for medical record personnel in Australia.
Over the years, Judy was a valued member of the New South Wales Medical Record Librarian (now Health Information Management Association of Australia), which had been formed in 1949, and from 1956, Judy became involved with the developing national medical record association, working with other members to help it become the strong organisation we have today. Over the years, Judy also played a major role in the development of the education programme in New South Wales. She was a member of the selection panel for students wanting to enter the NSW Training School for Medical Record Librarians at RPAH, she was in fact on the selection committee when I applied to enter the course in 1962! Judy also supervised students, including myself, for practical experience at Sydney hospital over many years.
Judy was President of the Australian Federation of Medical Record Librarians (AFMRL) from 1970 -1972 and 1982 – 1985, she also held other positions within the Association for many years. In 1972, as President, Judy opened the 6th International Congress in Sydney, which was an outstanding success.
Over the years while working tirelessly for the Association, Judy, after working for many years at Sydney Hospital, moved to RPAH as Director of Training from 1968 – 1970. Then in 1971 she accepted the position as medical record consultant to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) and travelled throughout Australia advising hospitals on medical record systems and promoting the profession. During this time, Judy continued to work in a voluntary capacity within the Association, assisting with developing education programmes, particularly in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, until she retired in 1983. In August 1988, Judy became the third member of the national association to receive an ‘Award of Merit’ in recognition of her contribution to the profession on a state, national and international level.
After my graduation, I became involved with the Association with Judy as one of my mentors – we progressed from student, to colleague to friend. I spent some great times with her at her home in Chatswood and also on trips overseas to international congresses.
Judy was a special person, as well as her devotion to the profession, she had a strong love of the natural world, particularly of our native animals and birds. She also faithfully and generously supported environmental and humanitarian causes both in Australia and overseas. And as mentioned by her niece at her funeral, Judy ‘had a great capacity for acceptance, forgiveness and gratitude’. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Professor Phyllis J Watson AM
 JYoung, Eulogy for Judith Young