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For 150 years, The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) has provided world-leading care to Victoria’s sickest and most vulnerable children and young people.
Founding doctors, William Smith and John Singleton, had a vision “to help sick and injured children at no cost to families”. With the help of a volunteer ladies committee, they brought their vision to life. The Melbourne Free Hospital for Sick Children opened its doors on 9 September 1870 with just six rooms.
The story of how the RCH has grown from such humble beginnings to become one of the world’s great hospitals for children is as impressive as it is unique. It’s a story of visionary people dedicated to building something extraordinary.
A story of thousands of heroes (celebrated and unknown) whose tenacity and commitment – as medical innovators, nurses, volunteers, educators, researchers, philanthropists, fundraisers, administrators and supporters – has created a much-loved institution with a place in the heart of all Victorians.
Images in our timelines are courtesy of The Royal Children's Hospital Archives Department.
1948: Royal Park designated for new Children’s HospitalRead More
1948: World first use of chemotherapy on leukemia patientsRead More
1970: RCH celebrates 100 yearsRead More
1970: New treatment for premature babies and Handicapped Children’s Centre establishedRead More
1995: RCH and RWH merge as the “Women’s and Children’s Health Care Network”Read More
1995: First liver transplantRead More
1960: Hospital receives largest contribution in an appeal to a charity in AustraliaRead More
1960: Harry Lyon Moss Trust establishedRead More
1965: Mrs Patricia McKinnon is elected President of the Committee of ManagementRead More
1965: Dr. L.E.G. Sloan appointed Medical DirectorRead More
2006: My Room and the Children’s Cancer Foundation donation upgrades Children’s Cancer CentreRead More
2006: The Victor and Loti Smorgon Chair in Paediatrics establishedRead More
Support the future of paediatric healthcare.
You can create a brighter future for sick children. Click here to learn how to donate today.
Everyone Has A Story.
We'd love to hear from you as we celebrate this momentous anniversary throughout 2020. Click here to share your favourite RCH memory or photo.