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Key events - 2000 to now




The Women with Individual Needs (WIN) clinic is established to provide tailored maternity care for women with disability and/or learning needs.

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks announces plans to rebuild the Royal Women’s Hospital.




The Women’s offers assisted reproductive techniques to HIV-positive men with HIV-negative female partners and to HIV-positive women from 2006.




Women’s and Children’s Health Care Network is disaggregated and the Royal Women’s Hospital is again established as an independent health service with its own Board of Directors.




Construction begins on the new $250 million Royal Women’s Hospital in Parkville..

October Professor Suzanne Garland, Professor Microbiology and Infectious Diseases is awarded the Royal Women’s Hospital Woodward Family Medal of Excellence.

25 October

Ms Dale Fisher is the first woman appointed to the position of Chief Executive in the hospital's 149-year history.




The Women’s Centre for Women’s Mental Health is launched, supported by Government funding and $2.5 million donation from the Pratt Foundation.




The Women’s celebrates 150 years of providing care for the women and babies of Victoria.

  The Combined Breast Service of the Royal Women’s and Royal Melbourne hospitals is established.
October Lee Sim Lim, former Gynaecology Unit Manager, is awarded the Royal Women’s Hospital Woodward Family Medal of Excellence.



26 May On National Sorry Day, Chief Executive Dale Fisher apologises on behalf of the hospital Board and staff to the Stolen Generations, Aboriginal women and their families for past practices and policies of the hospital. Read the apology here.


The Women’s moves to its new site on the corner of Flemington Road and Grattan Street, Carlton. The new building is officially opened by Premier John Brumby.
June The Pauline Gandel Imaging Centre is opened thanks to the generous support of the Gandel Charitable Trust.
October Dr John McBain, Head of Reproductive Services and Lisa Dunlop, Director of Redevelopment are jointly awarded the Royal Women’s Hospital  Woodward Family Medal of Excellence.
September The Women’s and the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Combined Breast Service receives the Premier’s Award for Excellence for improving cancer care in Victoria at the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.



  The hospital provides clinical expertise and unique insights as a service provider to inform parliamentary debate on Abortion Law Reform, leading to improved outcomes for women’s reproductive rights in Victoria.


The Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound service at the Pauline Gandel Women's Imaging Centre opens, providing treatment for uterine fibroids, the first hospital in Australia to do so.

October Dr Chris Bayly is awarded the Royal Women’s Hospital Woodward Family Medal of Excellence.
  Victoria’s first Chronic Pelvic Pain Clinic is established at the Women’s.




Professor Della Forster is appointed as the Professor of Midwifery and Maternity Services Research, a joint position across the Women’s, the Judith Lumley Centre, and La Trobe University.

October Head of the Women’s Newborn Research Centre, Professor Peter Davis is awarded the Royal Women’s Hospital Woodward Family Medal of Excellence.
October The Women’s establishes Australia’s first nurse-led de-infibulation clinic for women who have experienced female genital cutting.

The Women's Menopause Symptoms After Cancer clinic, led by Professor Martha Hickey, is established. It is the only clinic in Victoria where menopause, mental health and cancer are treated together.


The Women’s becomes a joint venture partner in the new $1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

  The Women’s new building at Parkville is awarded the Best Public Building in Australia for 2010 by the Property Council of Australia.



October The Women’s Director of Pharmacy, Swee Wong, is awarded the Royal Women’s Hospital Woodward Family Medal of Excellence.


An international clinical trial  by A/Prof Susan Jacobs, Director of the Women’s NISC, validates unique and simple way to reduce the risk of brain damage during newborn transportation.



23 January

Chief Executive Dale Fisher apologises to mothers and families involved in past forced adoption practices at the Women’s. Read the apology here


The Women’s Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA House) marks 25 years of service. Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Population Division, Kate Gilmore speaks at the anniversary function. She was CASA House’s inaugural Coordinator.




The Women’s develops a nurse-led Newborn Retinopathy of Prematurity  Screening Service to detect potential eye damage in very pre-term babies. The new service is made possible with donor support from the Oscar & Luca Fund and the Mathieson Family.

Associate Professor Leslie Reti from the Women’s is named the recipient of the 2013 Victorian Public Healthcare Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The Women’s and Melbourne IVF achieve a world first when a Melbourne woman delivers twins after a successful abdominal wall grafting procedure – seven years after her ovaries were removed during cancer treatment.

August Professor Fiona Judd is awarded the Royal Women’s Hospital Woodward Family Medal of Excellence for her contribution to women’s and newborns’ mental health.

Nipple tattooing is introduced at The Combined Breast Service of the Women’s and Royal Melbourne Hospital offering women the opportunity to have a realistic nipple and areola after breast cancer.


The Women’s assumes management of maternity and gynaecology services at Sandringham and District Hospital from Alfred Health. This partnership with Alfred Health provides access to specialist expertise in maternity care and women’s health for women living in the Bayside area.




Dr Sue Matthews is appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Royal Women’s Hospital.

The Women’s Health After surgical Menopause (WHAM) research project is launched to look at the impact of menopause on health, in particular sexual function, bone density, heart risk and the severity of menopause symptoms.

April The Women’s joins forces with Bendigo Health, in partnership with Our Watch and the Victorian Government to lead the Strengthening Hospital Response to Family Violence (SHRFV) program.


The Women’s neonatologist, Dr Brett Manley receives a commendation at the 2014 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research presented by The Governor of Victoria, Alex Chernov.


Associate Professor Mark Umstad, Clinical Director of Maternity Services at the Women’s, is awarded the 2014 Woodward Family Medal of Excellence, the highest honour bestowed by the Royal Women’s Hospital.

New research led by the Women's and published internationally shows that the national program to vaccinate school-aged girls and boys with the "anti-cervical cancer" vaccine is providing population-wide protection against the virus responsible for most cases of cervical cancer.


The Minister for Health David Davis celebrates Father’s Day at the Women’s by launching Growing Together, an Australian-first kit for new parents.

Professor Louise Newman is appointed as the Director of the Centre for Women’s Mental Health  at the Women’s.


Tanya Farrell, Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery, is appointed an Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University.

The Women’s celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Tracy Maund Lecture and Medical Student Awards. The prestigious awards are named in honour of two of the founders of the Women’s, Richard Tracy and John Maund.




The Women’s and the University of Melbourne celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first lecture in obstetrics and gynaecology with a lecture and dinner on 26 March.


The Women’s makes a formal submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence.


Well-known founder of the Pink Ladies, outspoken women’s health advocate and former Melburnian of the Year, Lyn Swinburne AM, appointed the new Board Chair of the Royal Women’s Hospital.


Dr Margaret Sherburn, head of the Physiotherapy Department at the Women’s,   is awarded the 2015 Woodward Family Medal of Excellence, the highest honour bestowed by the Royal Women’s Hospital.


The Women’s excellence in research is highlighted with over $6.8 million awarded in Federal Government grants for ongoing studies into a range of health issues affecting newborns and women.


The first edition of the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence Toolkit for hospitals across Victoria is released.  


A five-year research program at the Women’s looking at ways to minimise harm to babies exposed to adverse health events in early life is awarded $6.12 million in funding by the National Health and Medical Research Council.


The Women’s celebrates its 160th year at a special Government House reception hosted by the Governor of Victoria, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, along with 160 babies and their families for Mother’s Day.


The Women’s hosts the inaugural Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence state-wide forum attended by over 200 health service representatives.


The Women’s takes a lead role in the development of the Victorian Perinatal Autopsy Service  to provide a coordinated state-wide service ensuring consistent standards of practice and expertise for the clinical investigation of perinatal deaths across Victoria.


The Minister for Health Jill Hennessy announces Professor Kelsey Hegarty as Australia’s first chair of Family Violence Prevention, a joint appointment between the Women’s and The University of Melbourne.


Associate Professor Sue Jacobs, is awarded the 2016 Woodward Family Medal of Excellence, the highest honour bestowed by the Royal Women’s Hospital.

May The hospital’s Chief Executive Dr Sue Matthews is appointed to Victoria’s Family Violence Steering Committee.
June The Women’s makes a formal submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Children’s Rights Report 2017.
August The Minister for Health, the Hon. Jill Hennessy MP opens the Women’s new $1.5m special care nursery at the Women’s Sandringham.
August The Women’s Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence state-wide forum acknowledges the legacy of one of the hospital’s strongest supporters, the late Fiona Richardson MP, Australia’s first Minister for Family Violence.
August Professor Bruce Mann is awarded the 2017 Woodward Family Medal of Excellence, the highest honour bestowed by the Royal Women’s Hospital.
October Safer Care Victoria’s CEO, Professor Euan Wallace, delivers the 53rd Tracy Maund Oration.
November The Women’s is named the 2016 Premier’s Large Health Service of the Year as part of the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.
  The Women’s research Centre for Family Violence Prevention is established.
February On International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the Women’s Patron and Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency, the Hon. Linda Dessau AC, welcomes over 150 young women from secondary schools across Victoria to Government House as part of the Women’s Meet a Scientist event.
March Former Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard AC delivers the keynote address at the hospital’s annual International Women’s Day breakfast event.
  The Women’s delivers Stage 4 of the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) program and produces the fourth edition of the SHRFV toolkit.
  The Women’s Family Violence Workplace Support Program is extended to 89 other hospitals across the state to help them develop and implement their own programs.
  The four Parkville partners: the Women’s, Melbourne Health, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Royal Children’s Hospital are successful in securing $124 million from the Victorian Government for the Connecting Care electronic medical record (EMR) program.
August Julene Halo, Clinical Trials Coordinator in the Women’s Oncology and Dysplasia unit is awarded the 2018 Woodward Family Medal of Excellence, the highest honour bestowed by the Royal Women’s Hospital.
November Associate Professor John McBain retires after a distinguished 40-year career at the Women’s. A/Professor McBain was part of the team behind Australia’s first IVF birth in 1980.
January The Women’s Professor Lex Doyle AO is recognised as an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours, for distinguished service to medicine, and to medical education, as a neonatal paediatrician, academic, author and researcher.
March Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp is the keynote speaker at the hospital’s annual International Women’s Day breakfast.
April An exhibition celebrating the Women’s rich history opens at The University of Melbourne’s Medical History Museum. The Women’s: carers, advocates and reformers explores medical advances in women’s health and the hospital’s 160-year history.

The Women’s launches its Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinical Champions Network, a state-wide program that provides training, support, and advice to health professionals across the state.

  The Women’s researchers secure $13.3 million in National Health and Medical Research Council grants – more than double the amount received the previous year.

Dr Paddy Moore, Head of Contraception and Abortion Services at the Women’s, is awarded the 2019 Woodward Family Medal of Excellence, the highest honour bestowed by the Royal Women’s Hospital.


The Women’s announces the establishment of a new, in-situ simulation education initiative, following a generous $1.6 million grant from Gandel Philanthropy and an $800,000 grant from the Melbourne Medical School at The University of Melbourne.


The Baggarrook Yurrongi midwifery program is recognised in the 2019 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.

  The Women’s researchers secure a combined $14.9 million in grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council and Medical Research Future Fund. In total, the Women’s ten research centres are collectively awarded more than $26 million in competitive grants.
January The Women's Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Head of the Pregnancy Research Centre, Professor Shaun Brennecke AO, is recognised in the Australia Day honours list.
February The Women’s holds the first of many information forums for staff on the novel coronavirus, which is starting to cause significant concern across the world.
  Aboriginal Elders, staff, Board Directors, and past patients gather to launch the Women’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan.
March Dr Paddy Moore and Aunty Gina Bundle are inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.
  The hospital’s International Women’s Day annual breakfast features keynote speaker Nicole Livingstone OAM.
  The Women’s stands up a COVID-19 Incident Management Team to plan and coordinate the hospital’s COVID management, support and response strategy.
April The Women’s commences a ground-breaking study with Monash Health looking at the impacts on pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19.
  A world-class multi-disciplinary training program, the Gandel Simulation Service, commences, thanks to the generosity of Gandel Foundation.
May The Women’s celebrates Mother’s Day during the COVID-19 pandemic with an 80-foot light show on its Parkville hospital site.
  The Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt announces a $3.9 million research grant to help the Women’s to improve the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis.
June The 40 year anniversary of the birth of Australia’s first baby conceived through IVF is marked. The pioneering team at the Women’s, led by the late Dr Ian Johnston, achieved Australia’s first successful IVF birth in June 1980.
  Emeritus Professor Roger Pepperell AM is recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours for significant service to medical education, particularly obstetrics and gynaecology. Although retired, Emeritus Professor Pepperell returns to assist the Women’s during the COVID pandemic.
August Parkville’s four public hospitals, including the Women’s, successfully implement the Parkville Connecting Care EMR program, a multi-site clinical transformation program taking three years to develop and deliver.
  The Women's Health Clinic ANUM, Marie Jones is awarded the 2020 Woodward Family Medal of Excellence, the highest honour bestowed by the Royal Women’s Hospital.
October The hospital’s African Women’s Clinic, a nurse/midwife-led clinic for women affected by female genital mutilation/cutting, celebrates its ten year anniversary.
January Dr Jeffrey Tan AM is recognised for his significant service to gynaecological medicine and to cervical cancer research, as part of the Australia Day Honours.
March Clinicians, advocates and pioneers from the Women’s gather to engage in a panel discussion on the future of women’s health for International Women’s Day.
  Flesh after Fifty, a thought-provoking art program that celebrates and promotes positive images of older women opens, the brainchild of the Women’s Professor Martha Hickey.
May The Women’s welcomes an announcement by the Victorian Minister for Health to invest $70 million to improve access for more Victorians by establishing public fertility care services in Victoria, with the hospital playing a leadership role in establishing the new service.
August The Cornelia Program, a unique program that breaks the cycle of homelessness for new mothers and their babies, is launched thanks to government funding and the generous support of A/Prof John McBain AO and Dr Penelope Foster, the John T Reid Charitable Trusts and the Alfred Felton Bequest.
March The Women's celebrates International Women’s Day with an online discussion exploring how sex and gender impact health and healthcare.
  The Women's unique and dedicated support of patients and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic is recognised at the 2021 Volunteering Awards at Government House.
April Researchers at the Women’s secure $10.6 million in government grants from the Medical Research Future Fund.
June Assoc Prof Kate Stern AO, Prof Clare Scott AM and Prof Jeremy Oats AM, valued members of the Women’s team, are recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. 
  The Women’s outlines its vision for a healthier future for women and babies with the launch of The Royal Women’s Hospital Strategic Plan 2022–2025
August The Women’s welcomes the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp as the hospital’s inaugural Philanthropy Ambassador.
September One of the Women’s most experienced women’s health experts, Professor Patricia (Paddy) Moore is recognised by the Governor General for significant service to women’s reproductive health in Australia.
October The Women’s Chief Medical Information Officer Dr Carl Kuschel is recognised for his extraordinary contribution to the care of women and newborns with the prestigious Woodward Family Medal of Excellence.
  Professor Eugenie Kayak, Enterprise Professor in Sustainable Healthcare at the University of Melbourne, delivers the annual Tracy Maund Oration with the spotlight on healthcare and climate change.
  The Women’s Director of Informatics, Sofie Karamzalis, is one of 25 women leaders from across Australia to be recognised at the 2022 Brilliant Women in Digital Health Awards.
  The Women’s welcomes an announcement by the Victorian Government establishing Australia’s first public fertility service. The Victoria-wide service is to be led by the Women’s and Monash Health. 
  The Women’s System Audit Family Violence Evaluation project is recognised in the Whole of Hospital Model for Responding to Family Violence category at the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.
November The Baggarrook Yurrongi project wins the Excellence in Indigenous Engagement award at the Engagement Australia 2022 Excellence Awards.
December Former Board Chair Lyn Swinburne AO is announced as the hospital’s second Philanthropy Ambassador.

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