Cothleen Massey, also known as Kate or Kit, was born on 12 Sep 1867. She was the fifth of ten children born to John Charles Massey (1833-1889) and Mary Flynn who married on 11 Sep 1861. Her twin brother James lived in South Africa and was a veteran of the Boer War. They were born at 'Ellerslie' on the South Esk River. When Kate was about 11 years old the family lost the property and moved to Launceston. Kate commenced her nursing training at the Launceston General Hospital on 1 Apr 1889 and obtained her certificate with honours on 17 Jun 1891, winning the Hospital Badge. She became the Sister-in-Charge of the Male Ward in Aug 1892 and remained at the LGH until 1 Mar 1899. Matron Oakes wrote in her reminiscences, reproduced on page 72 of Launceston General Hospital: The first hundred years, 1863-1963, 'There were three very efficient Senior Sisters in my early days; Sister Kate Massey, whom I looked on as an ideal Sister, both in appearance, manner and nursing skill...'
Kate was then the Matron of the Zeehan and Dundas Hospital until Nov 1904. She was held in high regard and was presented with an illuminated address which described her as an 'ideal Matron'. In 1905 Kate moved to the Children's Hospital in Melbourne and later worked in the Bairnsdale Hospital, Victoria. She moved back to Launceston and bought shares in the private hospital 'Struan' in Cameron Street, where she worked with Dr CJ Pike. Kate became ill with tuberculosis and in 1920 moved to Corowa, NSW, to be cared for by her sister Minnie, who was a nurse, and brother-in-law Dr James Fox Barnard. Kate died on Christmas Day 1920 aged 53. She was buried in the Old Catholic Cemetery, Corowa.
Kate's brother John and cousins Edward and Norman Massey are also pictured in the Family Album.