Hos­pi­tal open­ing marks mile­stones

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Look Local - By JUSTIN BIAN­CHINI

LAST week’s open­ing of the Mid­land Pub­lic Hos­pi­tal marked 120 years al­most to the day when the St John of God Sis­ters came out from Ire­land to start nurs­ing in WA.

St John of God Health Care Trus­tees chair­woman Eva Skira ac­knowl­edged the West Perth-based or­gan­i­sa­tion’s founders at an ear­lier of­fi­cial open­ing of St John of God Mid­land Pub­lic Hos­pi­tal.

Eight sis­ters had come 35 days by sea and dis­em­barked in Al­bany be­fore trav­el­ling to Perth by road and go­ing on to es­tab­lish their Su­bi­aco hos­pi­tal in 1898, a Kim­ber­ley post later and, in 1915, a hos­pi­tal in Bal­larat.

“They came here to help those who were in need; there was an out­break of ty­phoid in the colony,” Ms Skira said of the sis­ters’ mi­gra­tion to WA.

“They went to Kal­go­or­lie a year later to help with the min­ers and of course the boom­ing colony… and I think the peo­ple of Perth re­sponded then to es­tab­lish­ing in­fra­struc­ture to help with the growth and 120 years later gov­ern­ment and other peo­ple have re­sponded sim­i­larly.”

The ac­knowl­edge­ment of the sis­ters’ strong ethos of pub­lic ser­vice and pi­o­neer­ing foun­da­tions was a proud mo­ment for the Su­bi­aco-based St John of God Sis­ters present at the open­ing cer­e­mony.

I was think­ing about the ones who came be­fore us, the lead­ers and think­ing of the chal­lenge it was for them. And over time the chal­lenges still ex­ist­ing, still com­ing and this here (new hos­pi­tal) at Mid­land is an­other chal­lenge,” for­mer head of mid­wifery at Su­bi­aco Sr Denise Moloney said.

“This for us is the first pub­lic hos­pi­tal in Western Aus­tralia with the St John of God staff – not the nuns – in charge of it. It’s lovely to see.”

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