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Our Heritage

In 1889, five Sisters of Charity arrived in Melbourne with the dream of establishing a hospital. The dream was realised on 6 November 1893, with the opening of a small 'cottage hospital' in converted terraces on Victoria Parade.

The hospital originally held about 30 beds and in its first 14 months treated 2584 patients, 441 of these as inpatients. The Sisters of Charity were assisted in nursing duties by a small number of trained nurses and trainees. Honorary medical staff provided medical and surgical services.


The first Sister Superior in charge of the hospital was Mother Mary Berchmans Daly, after whom a hospital wing is named. She was noted for keen judgement in appointing medical and surgical staff and exceptional organisational and fundraising skills. Key achievements during her time at the helm were the building of the hospital’s first purpose-built wing and the establishment of the St Vincent’s Clinical School.