History Timeline

Over the years, St Vincent's milestones have included:


– The hospital opens in a converted terrace house on Victoria Parade.   Mother Berchmans Daly oversees hospital management as the foundation Rectress (1893 - 1920)


– A month long fundraising bazaar in the Royal Exhibition Building is a hugely successful event, clearing 10,000 pounds.   The opening crowd is reported to have rivaled that of the opening of Parliament House in the same building two years later


– St Vincent's first purpose built wing opens, described as a "grand, noble structure of four storeys, replete with every convenience that modern science can suggest"


– Founding of the St Vincent's Hospital Clinical School.   It is the first school to have a formal agreement with the University of Melbourne regarding the appointment of teaching staff.   Early alumni include future medical missionary Mary Glowrey (1910) and future Nobel prize winner John Eccles (1925)


– US specialist William Mayo visits St Vincent's to attend a demonstration by surgeon Hugh Devine


– The hospital's Toorak and South Yarra Auxiliary establishes The Little Green Shop to provide members of the staff, patients and their friends with "little necessities and luxuries whenever they are required..."


– A new main hospital block is opened on Victoria Parade.   To assist the design process Mother Rectress Gertrude Healy, and the principal architect, Arthur Stephenson, had toured Europe to study the latest advances that would bring the hospital to a "world standard".


– Caritas Christi Hospice is opened in Studley Park Road, Kew


– Another very successful fundraising appeal coordinated by Melbourne Football Club Secretary Percy Page raises 70,000 pounds in four months.   One feature is an art raffle the first prize being a model of the hospital containing 50 oz of pure gold!


– Swedish medical researcher Pehr Edman arrives to take up the post of John Holt Director of Biochemical Research


– Sr Francesca Healy establishes the Home Care Extension Service (now known as St Vincent's at Home)


– A crowd of some 3000 fills the Casualty courtyard to witness the official opening of the Aikenhead Nurses' Home and Daly (Casualty/Outpatients) Wing by Governor Sir Dallas Brooks


– Australia’s first ICU is opened and a specialist postgraduate course in intensive care nursing developed


– Professor Carl de Gruchy sets up Australia's first clinic for the care of alcoholics and the study of alcoholism


– Bernard O'Brien establishes the Microsurgery Research Unit.   The unit becomes "something of a mecca for overseas surgical fellows wanting to gain further training and the opportunity to undertake research on micro-surgical techniques"


– Sr Francesca Healy establishes Prague House in Kew to provide a home for men who had experienced homelessness (today also catering for women in facilities opened adjacent St George's Hospital in 2006)


– A secure ward is established to provide inpatient health services for Victorian prisoners


– A tunnel is opened to connect St Vincent's and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital beneath Victoria Parade


– The hospital is incorporated and executive control is transferred from the Sister Administrator to a Board of Directors and a lay Chief Executive Officer


– The Convent of the Sisters of Charity in Princes Street is imploded to make way for a major new hospital wing


– The $160 million Inpatient Services Building is opened.   The building represents a significant departure from tradition hospital design and embraces the latest in new medical technology


– St George’s Health Service (established 1912) becomes an integral part of St Vincent’s under an auspice arrangement with the Victorian Government


– The St Vincent's Clinical Education and Simulation Centre opens, providing a state of the art training facility for medical students and other health professionals


–  Official opening of a new purpose built Cancer Centre facility enabled by funds from government, corporate sponsors and members of the public


– St Vincent's surgeons perform Australia's first hand transplant in an extraordinary nine hour procedure


– A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between St Vincent's and the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) is officially launched by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jeannette Powell


– Briar Terrace becomes part of the hospital.   The service (established by the Sisters of Charity in 1997) supports around 140 men and women in the community who are experiencing social isolation


– St Vincent's Director of Orthopaedics, Professor Peter Choong utilises 3D printing technology in a world first to build a new heel bone for a Victorian man whose original bone had been taken over by cancer


– Opening of the BioFab Centre, Australia's first robotics and biomedical engineering centre embedded within a hospital



– In collaboration with the Bionics Institute, St Vincent's neurology team develops a world-first brain implant which is able to forecast an impending epileptic seizure.