In this section
The Archives Department functions as the corporate memory of the Royal Children's Hospital. The hospital was one of the first in Victoria to recognise the need for managing its historical records and established a part-time Archivist position in 1983. The Archives also provides advice to internal departments on the retention, disposal and storage of administrative records in accordance with the Public Records Act. The department is supported by an advisory committee.
The archival collection consists of the existing administrative records of the hospital executive, nursing administration and training records, complete sets of annual reports of both the hospital and affiliated groups such as research, auxiliaries and volunteers, biographical material on a large number of medical, nursing and executive staff, a wonderful photograph collection of over 12,000 images, oral history tapes and some historical films and videos.
The Archives continues to be an invaluable resource to a wide range of both internal and external researchers. Many of these resources were pulled together by Dr. Peter Yule to publish a substantial history of the hospital in 1999. (available from the RCH Auxiliaries shop and Shop Online) and by Margaret McInnes in 2006, with her comprehensive history of nursing at the RCH. (available from the Auxiliaries Office).
The RCH Historical Room, used extensively for meetings within the hospital, houses a small museum collection of artefacts and a selection of photographs and other memorabilia for which the Archivist is responsible.
Another important role of the Archives Department is to maintain a register and control the movement and maintenance of the hospital's valuable artworks and cultural assets collection.
The "Melbourne Free Hospital for Sick Children", opened by Drs William Smith and John Singleton at 39 Stephen St in the CBD.
Mrs Frances Perry is elected as the first President of a ladies Committee of Management.
The hospital changes its name to the "Melbourne Hospital for Sick Children" and moves to bigger premises at 13 Spring St.
The first "Hospital Sunday" appeal results in £223, much of which came from State schools.
Mrs Sarah Bishop is Matron and will stay until 1898.
The Children's Hospital moves to the former home of famous Melbourne judge Redmond Barry on the corner of Pelham and Rathdowne Sts, Carlton with 24 beds.
An Infectious Diseases Pavilion opens.
Organised training of nurses begins and a uniform is introduced (paid for by nurses).
A three year training course for nurses is introduced for which a "Certificate of Competance" is awarded.
The first medical students are accepted at the hospital.
The Brighton Convalescent Cottage opens in Holyrood St.
Much building work commences and inpatient capacity increases to 30 beds. New operating rooms open.
The hospital is officially recognised as a training school for nurses.
Nurse training formally begins.
The first telephone is installed at the hospital.
The first Honorary Pathologist, Dr. C.H. Mollison is appointed.
An antitoxin is first used for the highly infectious disease, Diphtheria
The hospital is the first public hospital in Melbourne to open a Radiology department under Dr. Herbert Hewlett
A new Outpatients building opens in Drummond St.
The hospital accepts its first female doctor - Mary Cowan.
A 3 week long bazaar is held at the Exhibition Buildings to raise building funds for the hospital. New kitchens were built.
Dr. William Snowball is nominated as the first paediatric representative to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Melbourne.
The first Honorary Dermatologist, Dr. A Finch Noyes, is appointed.
New medical wards open in the "Princess May Pavilion" on the corner of Pelham and Drummond streets, and babies are admitted for the first time.
The new three storey John Robertson nursing home opens in Rathdowne St.
Figure 1: A new administration block with medical staff accommodation opens in Pelham St. and the Pathology laboratory is rebuilt.
Figure 2: The Redmond Barry building is demolished.
Figure 1: New surgical wards, "Edward Wilson Pavilion", opens.
Figure 2: Dr. Reginald Webster is appointed as the first salaried Pathologist.
Vegetables and fruit, which doctors previously believed children couldn't digest, are included in patients diet for the first time.
The hospital opens the first babies ward in Melbourne. A special gymnasium and treatment room for Physiotherapy is provided.
The Honorary Medical Staff sets up an Advisory Board for medical staff recruitment.
The Auxiliaries provide a canteen for parents in the Outpatients Department.
A 100-bed orthopaedic campus is opened in Mt Eliza caring for children with tuberculosis, osteomyelitis and infantile paralysis.
The Good Friday Appeal is founded by the staff at the "Sporting Globe".
Miss Isobel Hodge is appointed and a car donated for her use.
Mrs.(later Lady) Ella Latham was elected president of the Committee of Management
Figure 1: Nine-year-old patient Allan Goates is the first patient to receive penicillin from his doctor Elizabeth Turner.
Figure 2: Dr Elizabeth Turner appointed as first female Medical Superintendant.
10 acres in Royal Park is designated by the government as the site for the new Children's Hospital.
Figure 1: 1948-1950. Chemotherapy used for the first time on leukemia patients, in the worlds first controlled trial of the drug by Dr John Colebatch.
Figure 2: 1949 Dr. Vernon Collins is appointed as the first Medical Director.
The hospital received Royal Assent to change it's name to "Royal Children's Hospital", after seven years of lobbying by the hospitals dedicated committee.
Another severe outbreak of polio occurs. Later that year the Salk vaccine for polio becomes available in Australia.
Channel 7 joins the Good Friday Appeal, televising the event as an all-day telethon.
The new Nurse's Home on the Parkville site opens with nurses commuting by a special bus to Carlton.
Figure 1: The first patients are transferred to the newly completed hospital at Parkville.
Figure 2: Miss Joan Gendle is appointed Lady Superintendant of Nursing.
The Redmond Barry building is demolished.
Figure 1: Mrs Patricia McKinnon is elected President of the Committee of Management. Dr. L.E.G. Sloan is appointed Medical Director.
Figure 2: The first dialysis machine
The RCH celebrated 100 years.
The hospitals neonatal unit discovers new treatment called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), which saves the lives of hundreds of premature babies. A Handicapped Children's Centre is established.
Rotavirus, the cause of a deadly form of severe gastroenteritis, discovered by Ruth Bishop.
The Mt. Eliza orthopaedic Section closes after 41 years.
The new North-West building at Parkville opens.
Conjoined twins (Foo) from Singapore are successfully separated (Peter Jones) followed by Melbourne conjoined twins Grant and Andrew Priestly (Nate Myers)
Ultrasound was introduced in 1977 after Radiologist Valerie Mayne secured funding to purchase the Australian made
3 East Adolescent Ward established for patients over 14 years of age.
The Murdoch institute is founded with a generous bequest from the Murdoch family.
Final graduates from the last RCH School of Nursing
Michael Sofoulis undertakes the first heart transplant on a child.
The Royal Children's Hospital Foundation (for fundraising) is established.
Medical Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment was first used at The RCH in 1994.
As part of an over all Victorian government strategy, The RCH and RWH merge as the "Women's and Children's Health Care Network"
First liver transplant performed on 10-month-old Jordyn Griffin.
The hospitals research institute and the Murdoch Institute merge to become the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI).
Funding announced for new hospital, to be constructed on a site neighbouring the current hospital.
Children's Neuroscience Centre opened.
A GP clinic is established near the Emergency Department.
First Run for the Kids.
The RCH Chairman Tony Beddison AO, Premier John Brumby and Minister for Health Daniel Andrews unveil plans for a new RCH building and turn the first soil on the new site in Flemington Road.
Children's Bioethics Centre opens.
The RCH Immunisation Drop-in Centre officially opened in October.
The RCH team successfully separates conjoined twins Krishna and Trishna in 32 hour surgery
Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) implemented nationally for the first time. (Pilot in 2004).
The RCH awarded prestigious Committee for Melbourne, Melbourne Achiever Award, is awarded RSL ANZAC of the Year for their successful separation of conjoined twins Krishna and Trishna and becomes a member of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
The new RCH building is designed.
The new RCH building opens at 50 Flemington St, Parkville.