Finding Your Way
A repatriation hospital for Sydney (1940-1999)
1940 - 1969
The hospital was established in November 1940 as the 113th Australian General Hospital. In February 1941 the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel William Wood and a nucleus of staff arrived to take quarters at the hospital.
1500 workmen were brought on site to construct the temporary pavilion type wards, operating theatres, an x-ray department, pharmacy, kitchen, boiler house, and living quarters to create a complete operational hospital.
In all, 34 wards were constructed in the pavilion section for patient accommodation. By the end of February 1941, the number of workers had increased to more than 2000, building the multistorey block and the two Nurses' Homes. The multi-storey building was completed in 1942 and the architects, Stephenson and Turner, were awarded the Sulman Memorial Prize for merit in Architecture in 1946. The builders were F.T. Eastment & Son.
With the cessation of World War II, The Repatriation Commission assumed full administration of the hospital on 19 May 1947 and takeover was completed on 14 December 1948.
1954 saw the State visit to the hospital by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh.
The University of Sydney has been affiliated with the hospital since the post war special intake of 1948. A Clinical School at Concord was opened in 1963. This partnership is the foundation of the hospital's status as a centre of excellence in medical education.
The Volunteer Service was established in 1968 with only a handful of volunteers. Today, there are more than 100 volunteers who generously donate their time and expertise to provide care and comfort for the patients of Concord Hospital.
The Volunteers provide a number of services for both patients and hospital staff and fundraising ventures such as the weekly markets and raffles. They continue to raise much-needed funds to purchase new equipment for the hospital.
1970 - 1979
The completion of the Clinical Sciences Building in 1973 greatly facilitated both undergraduate and postgraduate training as well as providing a large lecture theatre for a variety of hospital functions and meetings.
A new Intensive Care Unit was opened in June 1976 located on the second floor of the multi storey building. The hospital's Emergency and Accident Centre, which opened on 1 July 1976, was developed in liaison with the State Health Department. Its opening extended health care beyond the veterans to members of the local community.
In consultation with the NSW Health Commission, a four bed Burns Unit was opened at the hospital on 23 May 1977, supported by the sophisticated facilities of the modern Intensive Care Unit.
1980 - 1989
Concord's Metabolic Unit was opened on 19 February 1980, to test sufferers of many metabolic disorders such as osteoporosis, Paget's Disease and also kidney disorder associated with bone disease.
1990 - 1999
On 7 March 1990 Prime Minister Bob Hawke opened the Surgical and Diagnostic Facility. This included 10 modern operating rooms, a Central Sterilising Unit, Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Centres and Administration Offices.
Construction included an impressive entrance foyer to the hospital, which features a stained glass window of the Hospital Ship, Centaur, established in memory of the Centaur and those who lost their lives. The window was installed on 13 May 1990.
On 1 July 1993, the Hospital transferred to the NSW State Health System and changed its name to Concord Repatriation General Hospital. Significant redevelopment was undertaken to provide a state of-the-art Emergency Department, Coronary Care Unit and Burns Unit, under the Central Sydney Area Health Service.
On 30 November 1994 the Duchess of York officially opened the Motor Neurone Disease Association. In this year also, the 113th AGH Memorial Chapel was opened, to serve as a haven for peace and reflection for staff, patients and relatives.
In 1995, Nurses' Home No. 1 was converted into the Concord Hospital Medical Centre. The Centre houses the specialist medical consulting suites, retail outlets and also the hospital's Endocrinology, Dermatology and Podiatry Departments.
On Remembrance Day the same year, the ANZAC Health and Medical Foundation was launched. The establishment of the Foundation further strengthened Concord Hospital's commitment towards its veteran patients, with the aim of researching men's health and diseases of lifestyle and ageing.
1996 saw the opening of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway. The Walkway is a community project involving City of Canada Bay Council, Concord Rotary, the Returned and Services League of Australia, Department of Urban Affairs and Planning and Concord Repatriation General Hospital. The 800 - metre walkway runs from the Hospital to Rhodes station, serving as a lasting memorial to all veterans who served in World War II. The Walkway features a memorial centrepiece, education centre, rainforest area, rose garden entry, café and mangrove boardwalk.
July 1999 saw the opening of the Ethel Lane Nurses' Museum. The museum has a number of volunteers dedicated to the history and preservation of nursing memorabilia relating to 100 years of military nursing. The museum is kept extremely busy with the growing number of tour groups that visit each year.
Other developments included the establishment of the NSW Institute of Sports Medicine and the designation of Concord Repatriation General Hospital as the Olympic Hospital for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.