The Women’s, Australia’s first public women’s hospital, was established in Melbourne in August 1856. It is among the oldest and most distinguished of women's hospitals in the world today.
Founded as a place where underprivileged women could give birth and receive proper medical and nursing attention, the original title of the hospital was the 'Melbourne Lying-In Hospital and Infirmary for Diseases of Women and Children'. The history of the Women's is the history of women's health in Australia.
The 'Lying-in Hospital' was first located in the two storey house (on the left of this photograph) at 41 Albert St, Eastern Hill.Learn more
Recording our history
This online history of the Women’s makes available many of the records from our first 150 years. This project was made possible by a generous donation from the John T Reid Charitable Trusts.Learn more
Read about key events in the history of the Women's.Learn more
Mrs Frances Perry was instrumental in forming the Ladies’ Committee, that established the 'Lying-in Hospital'. Together with Drs Richard Tracy and John Maund, the Ladies' Committee founded what was to become the Women's.Learn more
Many dedicated volunteers, medical staff, nursing and midwifery staff, allied health staff, support staff, researchers and administrators have contributed to the growth and success of the Women's.Learn more
A vivid image of women’s health through the 19th and 20th centuries can be drawn from the hospital's patient records.Learn more
The Royal Women’s Hospital archives department manages the historical record and artefact collection dating from the hospital’s foundation in 1856 to the very recent past.Learn more