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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3234..


Calvary Hospital-anniversary

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (10.10): Mr Speaker, I wish to bring to the attention of members the 25th anniversary of the opening of Calvary Hospital. Calvary opened on 2 March 1979, and last Saturday evening they had a hospital ball to celebrate.

The ACT Calvary Public Hospital is run by the Little Company of Mary. This order was founded in 1877 in Nottingham, England, by Mary Potter, a lady who, in her late teens and late twenties, was found to be suffering from a serious illness. She came to understand that God was calling her to found an order of sisters who would pray and care for people who were sick and dying. Since that time the Little Company of Mary have been doing just that. For the last 25 years they have been a very large part of the Canberra scene.

The hospital was officially opened on 2 March 1979 by then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. Since that time there have been a number of major events. Calvary Public Hospital opened in 1979; Calvary Private Hospital opened in 1987; a 24-hour emergency room was opened in 1991.

MR SPEAKER: By Wayne Berry.

MR SMYTH: Apparently in 1991, Mr Speaker, the 24-hour emergency was in fact opened by the then Minister for Health, Mr Berry. Calvary Private Maternity opened in 1994. In 1995 there was, most importantly, a continuation of the work of the venerable Mary Potter when the Calvary Little Company of Mary took over the ACT Hospice management. The Calvary Clinic opened in 1997; Hyson Green, the private psychiatric facility, opened in 1998; and in 1999 major redevelopment of the hospital commenced and the Calvary Foundation opened.

Calvary Public Hospital was renamed Calvary Health Care in 2000; Clare Holland House, the ACT permanent hospice, was opened in 2001; in 2002 a new chapel was opened; and events, of course, have unfolded this year with celebrations on 2 March and with the hospital ball last Saturday. There is a hospital review in August, and in November the 25-year history of the hospital will be launched.

One of the most significant achievements is that of the Calvary Hospital Auxiliary, which on 2 March this year gave their millionth dollar in fundraising for the good work of the hospital. I think it is worth naming the inaugural members of the Hospital Auxiliary. They are Pam Fenning, Mary O'Callaghan, Margaret Goyne, Phil Dogan, Betty Cooper, Hazel Harris, Pat Smith, Nancy Hagen, Lee Faulks, Pauline Hurley, Bev Jungwirth, Pat McGovern, Josie Collier, Kath McLinden, Eileen Halsall, Christine Faulks, Jim Rochford, Margaret McKinnon, Gwen Dempsey and Lady Mary Scholtens.

It is interesting to look at what has been done in those 25 years. In the 1979-80 financial year there were 9,000 presentations to the emergency department. In their first year of operation there were 611 births in the maternity department, and in the 2002-03 financial year there were 1,681 births. In their first year of operation 2,584 patients were formally admitted to the hospital for care. In the year 2002-03 there were 19,384. There was an initial complement of 252 staff, and it is now more than 1,200 staff.


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