Reflecting on the past and the future during 80th birthday celebrations

 Yesterday we celebrated the 80th birthday of our hospital, welcoming the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of St John of God.

The event was a reminder of the rich history of the hospital, and the pioneering and enterprising spirit of the Sisters of Mercy.  It was also an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved in the three years since the transition to St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital. 

Chief Executive Officer, Ms Chris Hanna, says the hospital continues to offer a unique patient care experience to the Perth community. 

“Listening to Sister Flo O’Sullivan talk about the hospital, both as St Anne’s and Mercy Hospital, makes me proud to be working alongside our caregivers to continue to confirm our place as a boutique private hospital,” says Chris. 

“As with the Sisters, we continue to look at the many ways we can progress and provide the best quality health care to our patients. 

“It was a wonderful occasion, reminding us of the legacy the Sisters have left and the importance of continuing to provide first class care to our patients and a great workplace for our caregivers.” 

Sister Flo O’Sullivan took us back through the years.

“The hospital started out as 30 beds in Killowen House, with seven Sisters assigned the challenge to convert a beautiful private residence into a hospital,” said Sr Flo. 

“You can imagine the determination of the Sisters, especially when the Archbishop announced the hospital was to also provide care for mothers and babies – the Sisters were told it would be a nursing facility only. 

“One of the Sisters was trained in midwifery, and so began the long tradition of providing care to mums and babies. 

“Everyone received silver service, complete with embroidered linens.  With the beautiful views and gardens, it was like having a day off rather than coming to work.” 

Sr Flo said it was good to see new life brought to the hospital since the transition of ownership three years ago, while still maintaining links to the community. 

A heritage collection has been set up in the Conference Centre of the hospital, showcasing artefacts from the hospital’s history.

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