St Vincent's Nurses Alumni

Welcome to the St Vincent’s Nurses Alumni website.

The Alumni was originally established by Ida O’Dwyer in 1923. It continues to partner with St Vincent’s Hospital to retain a connectedness amongst past nurses, present nurse employees and adjunct members to:

  • pursue activities that foster nursing excellence including sponsoring scholarships to advance education and practice; facilitate mentoring relationships; and support nursing research
  • provide social opportunities to foster friendships and networks with a focus on support for past and present nurse employees experiencing disadvantage
  • promote recruitment opportunities to past, present and potential future nurse employees
  • contribute to the St Vincent’s Hospital archives
  • promote the philosophy and values of the Sisters of Charity and the mission of St Vincent’s Hospital
  • to raise funds to support Alumni projects and activities highlighted above.

With members from near and far, the Alumni offers friendship, professional networking and opportunities to contribute to advancing nursing leadership and practice at St Vincent’s.

Events and activities

Watch this space and your emails for further information. Please consider participating with family, friends and colleagues. These activities provide opportunities to connect and also enable the SVNA to support initiatives that foster nursing excellence.

Keep these dates free!

High Afternoon Tea will be held on Friday, 24 May 2024, at the Windsor Hotel, 111 Spring St, Melbourne, 3000. You will receive an invitation via email when bookings open.

The SVNA Annual Luncheon will be held at the Grand Hyatt on Friday, 11 October 2024.

The Alumni Committee will continue to provide advice via email to members about upcoming events and items of interest. You are encouraged to join the Alumni to receive these updates.

Attention to PTS Groups of August and October 1964 and October 1974. Please head to the reunion subsection for further information.

The St Vincent's Alumni Memorial Mass

The SVNA Memorial Mass was held on Saturday 23 March 2024 in the SVH Chapel. Father Paul Connell celebrated Mass for around 50 attendees.

Sister Maureen Walters RSC, former Director of Nursing and Sister Administrator of St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, provided assistance in preparing for this Memorial Mass, where we gathered to celebrate the lives of the deceased colleagues.


Pictured: Sister Maureen Walters and Father Paul Connell, who celebrated the Memorial Mass.


Pictured: Jeannette Westerman, Phyl Naughton and Daphne Yarram, September PTS 1955.

Mass was followed by afternoon tea on Level 11, Inpatient Services Building. Afternoon tea provided a forum to share and celebrate memories and stories of the past and the present.

A successful raffle ensued; and it is such activities that are so important to enable the Alumni to support initiatives that foster nursing leadership and excellence. Thank you to all.

In 2023/2024, the SVNA was advised of the passing of the following members. The SVNA extends its condolences to their loved ones.

Mrs Lynette Beyfus, née Keane

Mrs Patricia Borg 2022

Mrs Phyllis Breen 2020

Mrs Irene Broadhurst 2006

Margaret Mary Brown 2023

Mrs Roma Burke 2019

Mrs Ellen Caldwell 2013

Ms Kathy Clarke 2022

Ms Anne Marie Coghlan 2024

Ms Dianne Davidson Unknown

Mrs Wendy Davie, née Chisholm 2023

Mrs Kathleen Feehan, née McLaughin Unknown

Mrs Judith Feerey, née Cahir 2024

Mrs Leonie Gallagher Unknown

Mrs Maureen Hansen, née Thomas 2022

Mrs Barbara Haycroft 2020

Mrs Lenore Horton – Crundall, née Kersten 2021

Mrs Barbara Lonergan, née Whelan 2023

Mrs Joan Maher, née McMeel 2021

Mrs Elizabeth Maunder, née Costello 2023

Mrs Wilma McCoy 2022

Mrs Toni Pearce, née Delaney 2024

Mrs Frances Pilisi, née Reilly 2023

Mrs Margaret Quinn, née Dowling 2023

Mrs Maureen Santamaria, née Allen 2023

Mrs Margaret Sheehan, née Casanelia 2023

Ms Vere Skehan 2018

Ms Amanda Wallace 2024

Ms Dorothy Wise 2017


Reunions provide a precious opportunity to catch up with friends and former colleagues, to share stories and network.

When organising events, including celebratory reunions consider booking tables at the SVNA annual luncheon. Please email the St Vincent's Nurses Alumni Committee at for further information. 

A reunion of the PTS groups, August and October 1964 is currently in the planning phase. Please contact Ms Hilda Frazetto (nee Mandl) at or on 0437035277 for information or to register interest.

A reunion of the PTS group, October 1974, is also currently in the planning phase. Please contact Mary Hollingsworth at or on +61431369290 for information or to register interest.


The Alumni raises funds to pursue activities that foster nursing excellence and leadership including sponsoring scholarships to advance education, practice, and support nursing research. There is no registration fee for Alumni membership.

The Alumni relies entirely on fundraising and donations.

Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible. If you wish to make a financial contribution to support the Alumni’s work please complete the below form. It is important that you reference the donation to SVNA when you lodge the form.

Annually the Alumni is committed currently to providing:

  • $10,000 for Post Graduate scholarships
  • $2,000 for the Ida O’Dwyer Award.

Please consider supporting the Alumni in any way you can. With your support the Alumni can expand its work in advancing nursing leadership and practice.

President's Message

Welcome to the first message of 2024. The year is rapidly passing and I hope that you and loved ones have shared special times over the festive seasons.

I am pleased a new nursing award is commencing in 2024. This award will support a Victorian Indigenous undergraduate from a rural, remote, or regional area undertake their Bachelor’s nursing course at Australian Catholic University Melbourne.

The successful student will be allocated a grant of $2000 per year for three years.

The monies will assist the student to maintain community connections and meet some incidental costs associated with the course. This scholarship is deemed as complementary to other scholarships or awards a student may access.

The SVNA has raised sufficient funds to award one place for the three years. With your support of SVNA events and fundraising activities, this initiative will continue into the future.

I extend the Alumni’s thanks and appreciation to those who attended the Memorial Mass in March 2024. I also extend my thanks and appreciation for the financial contributions and commitments offered on this occasion through the raffle and donations.

Please see further information about planned events for 2024 under header: Events and Activities.

I encourage you to email the SVNA about your ideas and/or contributions you can make to SVNA’s work into the future. We are the sum of all parts!!

I look forward to catching up with you in 2024.

Best wishes

Nusia Krolikowski 

image_67232769 (1)Nusia

Sharing our memories

Fancy a trip down memory lane? We all have stories that we can remember and share. If you would like to add your story or memories to this page, email

An extract is below from the handbook given to all new arrivals at the historical Preliminary Training School.

A Nurse must be:
Obedient and loyal to all rules, as the foundation of her work;
Active, yet quiet;
Methodical, reliable, careful, clean and neat;
Observant, intelligent and economical;
Capable of self-control, persevering gentleness, tact, sympathy and common sense;
Careful to pay attention to professional etiquette, remembering what is due to those in authority;
Careful in manner and attention to Visitors or Patients’ friends, a duty Nurses in the pressure of their work are apt to overlook;
Careful to wear her uniform with spotless cleanliness, neatness, and simplicity; hair tidy, and general bearing that of military smartness;
Careful to be always guarded in her behaviour towards Doctors and Students.

Join the Alumni

Catch up with friends and former colleagues, share news, enjoy annual events and reunions, and keep up with what’s happening at the hospital. The St Vincent’s Nurses Alumni Committee invites you to become a member and help the Alumni achieve its goals.

Membership is open to:

  • nursing graduates
  • enrolled and registered nurse employees (current and past) from St Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne)
  • those invited by the St Vincent’s Nurses Alumni Committee to participate.


There is no joining fee.

To join, please email

Your name
Your email address
Mobile number
Year of graduation
Current or previous St Vincent’s employee
Any other information you wish to share