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

The Alumni Committee emails regular updates to members about upcoming events and items of interest.

Coming Event: High Tea at the Windsor

When: Friday 11 November 2022 at 2pm 

Where: Windsor Hotel, Spring St Melbourne

Cost: $100

Registration to attend this event will open early October. You will receive an invitation via email.  Keep the date free and consider inviting family and friends.

Application for Alumni membership is available at all events. The Committee looks forward to meeting you.

Watch this space for exciting centenary events in 2023 celebrating the inaugural meeting of St Vincent’s Hospital past nurses organised by Ida O’Dwyer. This meeting was the foundation of the now St Vincent’s Nurses Alumni.


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

When organising events with colleagues and/or celebratory reunions consider booking tables at the SVNA annual luncheon. Please email the St Vincent's Nurses Alumni Committee at for further information.

Alternatively, if you would like to include your stories on this website, or organise a reunion for your year group, contact Rebecca Martin, Events Manager on Tel: (03) 9231 3287.

The St Vincent’s Foundation staff are happy to assist past and present nurses when planning your reunion. Please contact the Foundation on 9231 3365 to discuss your plans.

Some details they can assist with are:

Venue: The board room on Level 11 of the main hospital building overlooking the museum is available to use and can seat up to 30 comfortably or larger numbers for buffet style gatherings.

Display: Archives can assist with memorabilia display from your era.

Catering: Catering can be arranged on site.


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 one and all visiting the St Vincent’s Nurses Alumni website, to my inaugural newsletter.

Since 1923 the St Vincent’s Nurses Alumni, formerly the St Vincent’s Graduate Nurses Association has a long and proud tradition of:

  • fostering and pursuing initiatives that pursue nursing leadership and excellence
  • promoting social connectedness.


The Alumni models the values of the Mary Aikenhead Ministries:

  • Love
  • Justice
  • Compassion
  • Hope
  • Preferential option for the poor.

Whilst acknowledging legacies of past generations, I am also proud and privileged to lead the Alumni to actively engage and motivate the next generation of St Vincent’s nurses to excel in the provision of person-centred care. Roles may be direct or indirect through nursing practice, research, and education to name a few.

On Friday 19 August 2022 after a two-year gap, the St Vincent’s Nurses Alumni held its annual luncheon at the Park Hyatt. It was a celebratory event with more than 250 participants. Whilst it is an important fundraising activity, I experienced such joy at witnessing past and present nurse employees sharing stories of their professional journeys.

The Alumni applauds the work of nurses currently grappling with the impacts of COVID-19 both personally and professionally. The Alumni also acknowledges the profession’s resilience in responding to the required new ways of working and sustaining them over time. The Alumni has, and will continue to undertake activities such as fundraising and volunteers on line to support St Vincent’s nurses. I thank Alumni members who sponsored, funded and provided practical support for nurses such as through the provision of care packs and Uber eats.

I look forward to staying in touch, and encourage those who have not yet joined to sign up and stay connected.

Clare Dyer
St Vincent’s Nurses Alumni

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