Timeline 1950 to 1975

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Key events - 1950 to 1975




Post-natal Domiciliary Nursing Service begins.

14 September

Opening of John Butler Department for Outpatients, named after a long-serving hospital manager.




Dr Lance Townsend is appointed as the University of Melbourne’s first Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

A Director of Anaesthesia is appointed.

Dr (later Dame) Kate Campbell establishes a link between retrolental fibroplasia (a blindness in premature babies) and oxygen levels in humidicribs.




Plans made to erect in stages, over ten years, a 600 bed hospital at an estimated cost of £3,000,000.



10 December

Professorial Unit in Obstetrics and Gynaecology opened by the Minister of Health.



7 May

Henry Pride Convalescent Wing at Kew opened by Lady Brooks, wife of the Governor.

6 September

Warrant of Queen Elizabeth II conferred on the hospital the title 'Royal'.



4 January

200,000th baby born in the hospital.

Midwifery Wing extended and renamed the Kumm-Stephens Wing (after sisters Mrs Karl Kumm and Mrs Lytton Stephens, longtime members of the Board of Management).



27 August

Rita Harris Wing for Outpatients opened by Premier of Victoria, Henry Bolte.




Work begins in the new cytology unit established by Hans Bettinger.




Brookes-Gillespie Home for Nurses opened by Premier of Victoria, Henry Bolte.




The Marshall Allan Library opens to support the hospital’s growing research culture.




An endocrine unit is established. Joining forces with the fertility and sterility clinic which started in 1944, this is the beginning of the reproductive biology research which would capture the limelight in the 1980s.



7 March

A new Professorial Unit is opened by Governor Sir Dallas Brooks.




Refresher courses introduced for trained nurses who had not been actively engaged in nursing for some years.

Construction of the new main hospital block commences.

The value of multilingual pamphlets is recognised, and they are written in German, French, Italian, Polish, Hungarian and Greek.

c. 1966



The Professorial Unit is able to report significant success in the induction of ovulation.




Central Sterile Supply Department set up.

Progressive occupation of the new block, named the 3AW Community Service Board block.

c. 1960s



The research culture blossoms with work on the prevention of rhesus immunization, the coming of the laparoscope and endoscope, and the ultrasound.



2 November

Private hospital beds are opened in Frances Perry House on the top three floors of the 3AW block.




The computerisation of medical records, facilitating epidemiological research as well as improving efficiency.

3 June

Family Planning Clinic opens, headed by Dr Gytha Betheras.



7 May

Official opening of the 3AW Community Service Block by Governor Major-General Sir Rohan Delacombe.




Introduction of neo-natal paediatric in-service nursing course.

27 April

Closure of Henry Pride Wing.


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