– 150 years of history at The Royal Children’s Hospital –
A concise and chronological record of the rich and diverse 150-year history of The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH).
Please feel free to scroll through all 150 years or easily filter information via categories or tags.
The historical images have been sourced from the RCH Archives and Collections, unless stated otherwise.
Images have been chosen to illustrate the subject matter and may not necessarily reflect the date of the event.
The RCH has produced such an immense amount of groundbreaking achievements and we cannot assume to have captured them all here.
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Showing Events Tagged with: committee
Committee of Management Established
September 9th, 1870
The committee was run and populated predominantly by women until 1940.
Image credit: PROV, VA 1239 The Royal Children’s Hospital, VPRS 16796/P1 Minutes of the Committee of Management (1870-1992), Unit 1 (Minutes 1870 -1872). Digitised copy.
Perry, wife of the Anglican Bishop of Melbourne, was elected as the first president of the Committee of Management.
Elected as President of the Committee, Testar took a leading role in building, planning and expansion of the hospital.
Re-structure of the Hospital Committee
For the first time, a representative from the honorary medical staff joined the management committee.
As committee president, Mackinnon was responsible for guiding the hospital through the Depression.
Dame Kate Campbell DBE
Though Campbell resigned in 1924 for a role with more responsibilities at The Royal Women’s Hospital, the time she spent with children at the hospital solidified her interest in paediatrics and she became an enormously respected practitioner in the field.
A ‘Changing of the Guard’
The resignation of many stalwart committee members saw a new and fresh outlook for the hospital.
The Great Depression
August 1929 - March 1933
Widespread hardship led to a rise in demand for the hospital’s services and lessening of public contributions. The committee deferred requests for new equipment due to lack of financial resources.
Lady Ella Latham
Involved with the Auxiliaries since 1923 and a committee member since 1926, Lady Ella Latham was elected as president of the Committee of Management in 1933 and held the position until 1954. She guided the hospital through the Depression and the Second World War, and into its modern form.
Professor Vernon Collins CBE
Appointed as a physician to inpatients, Collins quickly became medical superintendent. As medical director from 1948 to 1959, he worked closely with Lady Ella Latham to reform the hospital in terms of staffing and patient care. He was with the hospital until 1974.
Royal Assent Granted
After seven years of lobbying from the Committee of Management, royal assent is granted. The hospital is officially re-named ‘The Royal Children’s Hospital’ (RCH).
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC, DBE
A member of the Committee of Management since 1933, Dame Elisabeth was President from 1954-1965. Her commitment and vision saw many improvements for the hospital, including the move to new premises in Parkville. In 1986 she became a co-founder of the Murdoch Institute for Research into Birth Defects.
The Committee of Management Introduced Provisions and Scholarships to Encourage Research
Dame Patricia Mackinnon DBE, CBE
A member of the Committee of Management since 1949, Dame Patricia was president from 1965-1979. Her devotion and capable leadership saw her positive influence on the hospital during the ‘golden age’ in the new building.
Change of Management Structure
State legislation mandated that the committee size was reduced from 21 to 12 members. New members were appointed by the Minister of Health and the hospital’s political autonomy was reduced.