A hospital in a regional or rural community is a great source of pride. Whether large or small, a local hospital eliminates long journeys to other hospitals for treatment and binds members of the community to it in other ways, such as through employment and voluntary work.
The establishment of a hospital in Warrnambool in 1939 by the Sisters of St John of God did all of this and much more. It filled a great need in a strongly Catholic region, instilled in its caregivers the Sisters’ values of hospitality, respect, compassion, justice and excellence and is now the only private hospital between Adelaide and Geelong.
From humble beginnings in a renovated old home Glenrye in Botanic road, the first purpose-built hospital was swiftly erected and opened in 1940, despite the outbreak of World War Two and shortages of labour and finance. It served the community - with major extensions in 1962 - until it was completely replaced in 1994.
The hospital celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2014, which has been served by nearly one hundred Sisters of St John of God.