Dr Frances Donaldson

Doctor, frontline COVID-19 worker, prisoner advocate

2023 TAS Senior Australian of the Year

Dr Frances Donaldson began her lifelong commitment to health care as a young nurse in Hobart, rising to become Director of Nursing before switching to study medicine in her 40s.

She’s since spent four decades working to improve health care standards in Tasmania.

Dr Fran spent 12 years navigating Tasmania’s under-resourced prison health service, advocating for better health outcomes for prisoners and other disadvantaged Tasmanians.

Most recently she’s served at the frontline of Tasmania’s COVID-19 response and has been one of the lead doctors working in the COVID@homeplus service from the beginning. Working sometimes seven days a week, she’s consistently shared her knowledge as the stalwart of the team.

Before borders were reopened in December 2021 she volunteered to look after seasonal workers in hotel quarantine, requiring a significant on-call commitment.