Greenslopes Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Greenslopes Private Hospital History

"The Bunker" Museum

A historical museum for Greenslopes Private Hospital has been established in one of the former and still existing “bunkers” of the hospital. There were originally three bunkers located at Greenslopes Hospital during the war, with only one still in existence.

The story of Greenslopes Hospital is a slice of Australian national history since it was opened in 1942, many experiences and events have occurred at the hospital.

“The Bunker” displays many old photos dating back to pre opening in 1942 and newspaper clippings from the hospital’s past. Visitors to the bunker can enjoy the story of the hospital’s 60 year history through the audiovisual presentation which is part of the display. Endocrinologist and resident historian, Dr Chris Strakosch has had a life long interest history and was integral in setting up the display and continuing to ensure new elements are added to keep it interesting.

The Bunker is open to patients and visitors Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm. If you are interested in visiting “The Bunker” our hospital volunteers run regular tours. Simply contact our Volunteer Services on 3394 6753.

Click here to visit the Historic Greenslopes website.

Healing the Wounds of War

Australia was fighting for its survival when the Greenslopes hospital opened in 1942. Japan had bombed Pearl Harbour, captured Singapore, and begun bombing raids on Darwin. For tens of thousands of patients, the new military hospital at Greenslopes became a symbol of optimism a reaffirmation of life and the future. The personal tragedy, hardship, humour, and triumph shared since by patients and staff began a rich and unique history.

The first patients arrived from battlefronts in the Pacific, Europe, and North Africa and the Middle East.

From 1946, patients were also to include ‘diggers' who had served in the legendary World War One battles of Gallipoli, the Somme, and the Holy Land. Some spent their final days at Greenslopes. Veterans of more recent conflicts including Malaya, Korea, and Vietnam have shared experiences with veterans from their parents and grandparents generations.

Now a private hospital, Greenslopes continues the tradition of providing a special quality of care and attention for Australian veterans and their widows.

The story of the Greenslopes hospital is more than a chronicle of building and medical advances. It is a slice of Australian national history a permanent vestige of personal stories about the people who risked life and limb for their country, and about those who cared for them.

THE NEED FOR MILITARY HOSPITALS

In October 1939, a month after war was declared, military officials estimated that Australia would need 3,000 additional hospital beds by early 1940 to care for war casualties. Instead of acquiring existing properties and converting them to hospitals (as had happened in World War One), the Department of Defence planned to develop purpose-built military hospitals one in each of the state capitals. Disputes between Commonwealth government bureaucrats delayed decisive action on the new hospitals for almost a year.

The Greenslopes site for Brisbane's military hospital bounded by Newdegate, Nicholson, Denman, and Peach Streets at Greenslopes was first surveyed in the latter half of the 19th century. Originally owned by businessman T B Stephens, the 8-hectare (20-acre) site had been used mainly for farming. In 1919, just after World War One, the War Services Homes Commission purchased the site, intending to construct houses for returned servicemen. Still vacant in 1940, this site was considered ideal for the construction of the proposed military hospital.

Looking down Newdegate Street. On the left, the site of the hospital prior to work commencing, late 1930s.

Above: Looking down Newdegate Street. On the left, the site of the hospital prior to work commencing, late 1930s.

GREENSLOPES SITE IS CHOSEN

The decision to build at Greenslopes was announced in August 1940. The local Brisbane newspaper, The Courier Mail, described the site as commanding a fine view of the city. It was readily accessible by trams that ran a few hundred metres away along Logan Road.

Melbourne-based architects Stephenson and Turner were appointed to draw up the master plan. In Brisbane, local architects Hall and Philips handled working drawings, contract letting, and day-to-day management. (Hall and Philips had designed the iconic Brisbane City Hall and Tattersall's Club.)

A young surveyor, Clem Jones (later Lord Mayor of Brisbane) was commissioned to survey the site in November 1940.

The plan was to initially accommodate 200 patients, and then progressively develop the complex to accommodate 800 patients.

The Courier Mail report of the decision to build the general military hospital at Greenslopes, 24th August, 1940

The Courier Mail report of the decision to build the general military hospital at Greenslopes, 24th August, 1940.

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS

Site excavation at Greenslopes began in May 1941. Construction of three pavilion-style brick ward blocks and the boiler house began in July.

Each ward was to house 64 beds half either side of a central nursing station. Wards were partitioned for groups of four beds. The top half of each partition was glass to allow a clear view of all patients from the nursing station. Each patient was to have a radio point, a bed lamp, and bedside table.

In October 1941, a contract to build the administration block was awarded to Lawson Construction (cost: £71,896). However, construction did not commence until early in 1945.

112TH AUSTRALIAN GENERAL HOSPITAL UNIT FORMED

On Anzac Day, 1941, the 112th Australian General Hospital unit (112 AGH) assumed responsibility for treating all military personnel in the Brisbane area. During construction at Greenslopes, 112 AGH was accommodated at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds, and later moved into 'Yungaba' at Kangaroo Point which had been an immigration hostel.

Construction of the wards on three terraces.

Above: Construction of the wards on three terraces.

GREENSLOPES OPENS

On 2 February 1942, the first 35 patients were admitted to the Hospital and on 14 March the headquarters of the 112 AGH unit was relocated to Greenslopes. By 9 April, Kangaroo Point had been closed and the entire hospital unit was accommodated at Greenslopes. Patients with tropical diseases (such as malaria, dengue fever and intestinal diseases) often outnumbered the wounded.

A newspaper report described the interiors of the three new wards as having Écream walls and beds, stained woodwork, and pale green ceilings and floor coverings. The hospital boasted all modern conveniences, including mechanical dishwashers and electrically heated food trolleys. According to one patient, ‘Home was never like this'.

The wards were given a distinctly Queensland character with 3-metre (10-feet) wide verandas enclosed by triple-hung windows.

The hospital's staff complement was drawn from the Australian Army Medical Corps, Australian Army Nursing Service, and Voluntary Aid Detachments. VADs, were trained by the Red Cross, and later became the Australian Army Medical Womens Service.

The wards were built by H & F Haven (cost: £38,600). The boiler house was built by W. Greene (cost: £7,597). Separate contracts were let for buildings to accommodate staff.

Following the bombing of Darwin, the wisdom of locating a base hospital in Brisbane was now being questioned. Plans to build three additional permanent wards (Wards 4, 5, and 6) were scrapped in favour of temporary wards that could be more quickly constructed and, if necessary, relocated. Construction began in April 1942.

Also built in 1942 were a temporary operating theatre, patients mess, occupational therapy building, and a canteen.

A view of the new Greenslopes Hospital, circa 1942.

Above: A view of the new Greenslopes Hospital, circa 1942.

GREENSLOPES EXPANDED. CENTAUR TORPEDOED & SUNK. In May 1943, the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur was torpedoed off the southern tip of Moreton Island. To provide beds for severely burned survivors, Greenslopes patients who were not bed-ridden were shifted onto canvas chairs. Extra staff was rostered on duty. The only nurse on the Centaur to survive the sinking was Sister Ellen (Nell) Savage. She was taken to 112 AGH Greenslopes to recover. She was later awarded the George Medal for her gallantry.

Additions to Greenslopes in 1943 included three new timber pavilions (Wards 7, 8, & 9), quarters for nurses and wardsmen, an artificial limb factory, and storage buildings.

The first occupants of Ward 7 were wounded Japanese prisoners of war (POWs). A marquee was erected at the back of Ward 7 to accommodate other wounded enemy POWs.

In October 1943, the hospital complex was officially renamed 112 (Brisbane) General Military Hospital.

Sister Ellen Savage, (AANS), being interviewed at Greenslopes Hospital following her rescue.

Above: Sister Ellen Savage, Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS), being interviewed at Greenslopes Army Hospital about 7 or 10 days after her rescue from the hospital ship Centaur.

THE CHAPEL & RED CROSS FACILITY

The hospital's chapel was completed in 1944. It has a Catholic altar and confessional at one end and a Protestant altar at the other. Apart from the imitation-tile roof (which replaced the original asbestos sheeting), the chapel remains essentially unchanged.

In May, the Greenslopes hospital was registered as a training school with the Queensland Nurses and Masseurs Registration Board.

Greenslopes was the only military hospital without a Red Cross patient recreation facility. The War Services Homes Commission initially rejected the Red Cross's request for adjacent land. But, after the Queensland Premier intervened, the Red Cross was allocated land to build a facility that included a hall, library, billiards room, reading rooms, handcraft store, workroom, and storeroom.

The Chapel - 1944.

Above: The Chapel was unusual in its design as it had alters at both ends of the building, one for Protestant & one for Catholic services - 1944.

POWs RETURN

By February 1945, construction of the administration building had begun. Three new permanent wards increased the hospitals capacity to 600 patients. Other work included additions to the boiler house, a new laundry block, minor ancillary buildings, and additional roads and services.

Among the returning Australians were ex-POWs who had survived atrocious conditions in slave labour camps, including those on the Burma railway and in Japanese coal mines. They were emaciated shadows of the healthy people who had left Australia a few years before.

An army sergeant, also a patient at Greenslopes, recalls a despondent young ex-POW telling him: I must be in pretty bad nick. My parents didn't know me. They said G'day to me in the corridor and kept walking.

Medical and surgical advances kept Greenslopes at the forefront of treatment methods. Services were extended to include facio/cranial and plastic surgery, new amputation methods, and new treatments for gunshot wounds. A blood bank was also established at Greenslopes.

An ex-POW of the Japanese recovering in Greenslopes.

Above: An ex-POW of the Japanese recovering in Greenslopes.

MAINTAINING THE TRADITION AT GREENSLOPES

In 1946, the hospital had a staff of 900 caring for up to1,120 patients.

Throughout the war, Greenslopes patients were enlisted personnel. In April 1946, the Repatriation Commission took over a ward at the hospital for discharged personnel. It was agreed that, when there was a ratio of six repatriation patients to four enlisted patients, the commission would assume full responsibility for the hospital. This trigger ratio occurred in 1947. With the change in management responsibility, the hospital was renamed Repatriation General Hospital (Greenslopes).

Patients from the old Repatriation General Hospitalat Windsor were progressively relocated to Greenslopes. War widows were also treated as part of the nations commitment to ex-service personnel.

While healing traumatised bodies and minds, the hospital also prepared ex-service personnel to return to productive new roles in post-war society. The hospitals education therapy department, for instance, offered training in carpentry and other trade skills.

Greenslopes Hospital Nurse Edna Stanley treating veteran patient.

Above: Greenslopes Hospital Nurse Edna Stanley treating veteran patient.

Further development at Greenslopes provided for new or expanded medical, surgical, and psychiatric services. An extension for a dispensary was added to the ground floor of the administration buildings eastern side. The second floor was extended the full length of the building, and other extensions were made to the rear of the building.
 

Aerial view of RGH Greenslopes, circa 1950.

Above: Aerial view of RGH Greenslopes, circa 1950.

 

The first dedicated allied health building in a repatriation hospital was opened at Greenslopes in 1968. The $200,000 building housed occupational therapy, physiotherapy, educational therapy services, a gymnasium, and rooms for social workers and chaplains.

An 8-bed intensive therapy unit was also built, but has since been demolished. In the twenty-five years from 1945, the general appearance of the hospital did not change noticeably, although the wards were repainted to cover the dark and unwelcoming mission brown colour with an attractive light green.

The Para Medical Building - photo circa early 1970s

Above: The Para Medical Building, the first dedicated allied health building in a Australian repatriation hospital was opened at Greenslopes - photo circa early 1970s.

UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL

Greenslopes became a university teaching hospital in 1970. The University of Queenslands Departments of Medicine and Surgery moved to Greenslopes in 1972 and occupied teaching facilities vacated by the School of Nursing. The departments were to remain there until a further extension to the administration block in 1992 provided them with modern accommodation.

Diagnostic ultrasound services were established at the hospital in 1974. The following year, a control centre was set up to manage the patient transport system.

In 1976, outpatient services were relocated from the old Taxation Building in the city centre to the new Outpatient Clinic Block at Greenslopes. In 1979, the old repatriation hospital at Windsor (‘Rosemount') was closed and its patients were transferred to Greenslopes.



UQ research lab at Greenslopes Hospital, Ward 14 in background - circa mid 1970s

Above: UQ research lab at Greenslopes Hospital, note Ward 14 through windows in the background - circa mid 1970s.

MULTISTOREY WING

The multistorey wing, costing $11.5 million, was opened in 1981. Though this modern, efficient, air-conditioned building provides year-round comfort, some patients felt that it lacked the character of the old wards with their verandas and triple-hung windows that let in fresh air.

In the mid-1980s, the old ambulance bay, the gatehouse, and a number of other buildings were demolished and a 24-hour casualty department was established.

Construction of Multi-Storey Wing ward building - circa 1979-1980

Above: Construction of Multi-Storey Wing ward building now called the Jessie Vasey Wing - circa 1979-1980.

PRIVATISATION OF REPATRIATION HOSPITALS

In the late-1980s, the Commonwealth government's Department of Veterans' Affairs, anticipating a decline in demand for its services, began looking at alternatives to owning and operating repatriation hospitals. Three options were considered: hospitals could be integrated with the state health systems, privatised, or closed.

The Commonwealth offered Greenslopes Hospital to the Queensland Government free of charge, together with ongoing funding to treat veterans at Greenslopes or at any other state government hospital. However, the Queensland government declined to take up the offer.

The Returned Services League (RSL) in Queensland initially opposed the privatisation of the hospital. But, after the Queensland Government rejected the Commonwealth's offer, the RSL agreed that privatisation was preferable to closure.

THE DIGGERSDOZEN

The ‘Diggers Dozen', a group of volunteer workers, was established at Greenslopes in 1990 as Friends of the Hospital. In May of 1990, meetings were held to determine how volunteers would be recruited, what their duties and responsibilities would be, and how they would be trained.

Sixteen volunteers were present at the formal launch of the Friends of the Hospital on 28 May 1990 including the groups prime movers Glenis Jay, Margaret Bawden, and Dr. John Sparrow, and following a successful six-months trial period, the Diggers Dozen became an integral part of the hospitals daily functioning.

When Ramsay Health Care took over the running of Greenslopes in 1995, volunteers were concerned that they might be disbanded. However, the new management enthusiastically embraced the work of the volunteers and continues to encourage and support their valuable contributions.

GREENSLOPES IS PRIVATISED

The announcement to put Greenslopes out to tender was made in 1994. The successful tenderer, Ramsay Health Care, assumed responsibility for Greenslopes hospital on January 6th 1995.

The contract ensures that, although the hospital could now take in private patients, veterans would continue to receive the quality and diversity of services provided prior to the sale. Renamed Greenslopes Private Hospital, the complex continues as a university teaching hospital, partly funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veteran Affairs Minister Con Sciacca & Paul Ramsay at the Greenslopes Hospital Handover Ceremony

Above: Veteran Affairs Minister Con Sciacca & Paul Ramsay at the Greenslopes Hospital Handover Ceremony. 

IMPROVING QUALITY OF CARE

Through the latter half of the 1990s, Ramsay Health Care continued developing the hospital campus, adding and improving facilities and services. Some of the early additions included:

  • the Keith Payne Unit, a 30-bed psychiatric unit opened in 1996
  • a 40-bed rehabilitation unit opened in 1997
  • a cardiac catheter laboratory opened in 1997
  • the Coronary Care Unit opened in 1998
  • the Florence Syer Unit, a 30-bed sub-acute unit for patients awaiting nursing home places opened in 1999.

MAJOR NEW CARDIAC FACILITY In 1999, Greenslopes Private Hospital introduced cardiac surgery. By 2002, the Hospital was the major provider of cardiac services on Brisbane's southside.

RAMSAY HEALTH CARE Ramsay Health Care was founded by Paul Ramsay in 1964. By 2002, with a portfolio of 25 hospitals throughout Australia, Ramsay Health Care was Australia’s second largest private hospital operator. Following the takeover of the Repatriation General Hospital, Paul Ramsay made a commitment to retain the essential character of the hospital and its strong traditions of veteran care. As part of this commitment, Ramsay Health Care built Anzac memorials and dedicated displays that perpetuate the hospitals history and heritage.

KEITH PAYNE UNIT Prior to 1996, psychiatric inpatient services at Greenslopes were housed in one of the old pavilion ward blocks. In that year, Ramsay Health Care opened a modern, air-conditioned facility offering inpatient, outpatient, day-hospital services, and recreational areas.

Warrant Officer Keith Payne was, in 1969, a member of the Australian Army Training Team, Vietnam. On 24 May, the South Vietnamese battalion he commanded was attacked by a large force of North Vietnamese. Although wounded several times, Payne organised a fighting withdrawal and saved the lives of many of his men. In 1970, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth presented WO Payne with the Victoria Cross aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia in Brisbane.

FLORENCE SYER UNIT In 1999 Ramsay Health Care recommissioned one of the old pavilion wards as interim accommodation facility for patients waiting for places in nursing homes. The refurbished unit was opened in June 1999 and named the Florence Syer Unit. Mrs Syer was present at the opening ceremony.

The naming of the ward commemorates her remarkable war service. One of many Australian nurses evacuated from Singapore in 1942, she survived the sinking of her ship and imprisonment by the Japanese. Mrs Syer died in Greenslopes Private Hospital in July 2002 at the age of 86.

AUSTRALIA'S LARGEST PRIVATE HOSPITAL By 2001, with 437 beds, Greenslopes was the largest private hospital in Queensland. The multistorey wing, the main patient accommodation area of the Hospital, was shared by veterans and private patients. However, the demand for private hospital accommodation in a growing Brisbane was urgent and increasing.

In December 2001, the Board of Ramsay Health Care approved the most significant new development since the multistorey wing was opened in 1980. The new facility (opened in March 2003) brought the total number of beds to 527 making Greenslopes Private Hospital the largest private hospital in Australia. The construction, managed by John Holland Pty Ltd, was completed in 12 months. The building incorporates ninety private rooms, four operating theatres, and thirty-two onsite medical consulting suites (Greenslopes Specialist Centre). Officially opened by the Prime Minister of Australia in April 2003, this new development is one of the most significant in the Hospital's 60 year history.

Greenslopes Private Hospital has continued to develop its infrastructure and expand its facilities and services in order to meet the increasing demands of the community including:

2001

  • A Sleep Study Unit was opened on campus under the direction of three Greenslopes Respiratory Physicians

2003

  • The Henry Dalziel VC Dialysis Centre was opened on campus

2004

  • New Childcare Centre opens

2005

  • Establishment of the Gallipoli Research Foundation on campus in conjunction with the University of Queensland
  • Additional 5 private rehabilitation rooms increasing to 45 bed unit

2006

  • Theatre complex expansion including an additional four i-suite theatres & the Day of Surgery Lounge opened

2007

  • The Gallipoli Research Centre was officially opened on 1 June with the inaugural art Exhibition. Two key research teams will be based in the research centre – the Centre for Immune and Targeted Therapies and the Liver Research Unit
  • Refurbishment of Outpatients Department
  • New angiography suite opened
  • Expansion of dialysis centre to 24 chairs

2008

  • The Ramsay Specialist Centre was opened in January 2008 which provided an additional 32 consulting suites on campus
  • In September 2008 the mulitstorey carpark was opened offering an additional 348 secure undercover carparks on campus.

2009

  • Greenslopes private Hospital was the first hospital in Queensland to operate with the da Vinci Robot Surgical System. This is being used for radical prostatectomies
  • Cyril Gilbert Cancer Centre was opened offering a new day cancer environment for patients
  • Additional 5 CCU beds opened – total 23 beds
  • Expansion to Day of Surgery Lounge – additional lounge areas for patients.

Stage one redevelopment construction late 2002

Above: Stage one redevelopment construction of 90 bed ward block, theatre suites extension and Greenslopes Specialist Centre late 2002. 

PROTECTING THE TRADITION

Over time, the number of war veterans and widows needing care at the hospital will decline as age takes its toll. However, the spirit of the heroic generations of men and women who have known Greenslopes as their hospital will live on.

Today, everyone working at Greenslopes Private Hospital is aware of the special place the hospital has in personal and national histories. Ramsay Health Care has established permanent memorials at the Hospital to host Anzac Day dawn ceremonies and other significant days of remembrance lest we forget the stories of courage, endurance, and service.

Anzac Day 2015

Above: Anzac Day 2015.

PEACE GROVE Kit Kenneison, former Hospital gardener, at work on his sculpture. An emblem of peace, which was to become the memorial stone for the Peace Grove.

The Hall of Remembrance was opened at Greenslopes Private Hospital on Anzac Day 1995, as part of the Australia Remembers commemorations (1945 - 1995). The opening of the Hall marked the fulfilment of a pledge made to veterans to develop a memorabilia hall, by the owner-operator of the Hospital, Ramsay Health Care, when it took over the Hospital from the Federal Government in 1995.

The Hall houses a permanent display of hospital-related photographs and service memorabilia as well as displays marking special events and anniversaries on the veteran calendar.

CORPORAL JOHN FRENCH The hospital has now paid tribute to one of the many great war veterans and the first Queenslander to be awarded the Victorian Cross during World War II, naming the new 90 bed wing accommodation after Corporal John Alexander French.

Corporal French, born in Crow's Nest in 1914, was held up by fire from three enemy machine gun posts on 4 September, 1942 at Milne Bay, Papua, where he ordered the section to take cover, advanced and silenced the first two posts with grenades.

He then attacked the third post with a submachine gun, and although obviously badly wounded, continued to advance. The enemy guns ceased to fire and the section pushed on to find that all members of their crews had been killed and that Corporal French had died in front of the third gun.

The hospital has given recognise to Corporal French for his courageous action which enabled the section to complete its task, saving them from heavy causalities and responsible for the successful conclusion of the attack.

By the time the attack was over, more than 60 Japanese had been killed and a few days later, the Japanese resistance in the area collapsed. On 18 July, 1958, GG Sir William Slim, opened the French Memorial Library at Crow's Nest which was erected from funds raised by the proud townspeople.

CORPORAL JOHN FRENCH

Above: Corporal John Alexander French.

JESSIE VASEY The hospital has also named its multistorey wing after Jessie Vasey in recognition of her service as a champion of war widows via the War Widows Guild of Australia.

Herself a war widow, she fought for their rights and the story of the Guild is interwoven with that of a remarkable woman. Mrs Vasey gave the last 20 years of her life to the establishment and developed the Guild into the most powerful women's bloc Australia has known.

The building, which comprises of six floors, has been in existence since the early 1980s, but until now has been known as the Multistorey Wing. With several multistory buildings now being developed on our campus, this name is now redundant and, in line with our tradition and heritage, it is fitting that we name it after such an important war widow. We already have the Keith Payne Unit and the Florence Syer Unit on our campus.

FLORENCE SYER The Florence Syer Unit was opened at Greenslopes Private Hospital on 6 June 1999. The Unit is a 30 bed Sub-acute Unit accommodated in one of the last remaining wards of the former Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital, which has been renovated for this special purpose.

The Unit is intended for patients who are past the acute stage of their illness, but are not ready to go home; are awaiting hostel or nursing home placement; or have not the access to social support or carers.

Florence Syer was a 25 year old trained Brisbane General Hospital Army Nurse when she was called up in 1941 to care for Australian soldiers in Malacca Hospital in Singapore.

The Hospital was evacuated when the Japanese swooped down on the Malay Peninsula, but their escape ship was bombed at sea. Surviving the bombs and machine gun fire, Mrs Syer (then Miss Trotter) and four other nurses managed to hang on to a floating rail for 18 hours before being taken prisoner of war for a torturous three years and nine months. Many died in the camps from fever and malnutrition as the nurses were forced to migrate from one POW camp to another. "Food was always scarce, so we learned to be creative. Privet hedge and hibiscus leaves are quite tasty when made into a soup and a little rice!

There was another move on 1 April 1942. The men were separated from the women and marched off. We walked for hours in the heat, barefooted and without hats to protect us. Eventually, we reached some empty houses and were told to go in and wait. We were there for 18 months! The houses only had three rooms but there were at least 24 people in each house; a number, which increased as ever more people were brought into the camp..."

One of the small number of fortunate ones to survive this three and a half year ordeal, Mrs Syer returned to Australia in September 1945. She married in 1947 and had two daughters. Mrs Syer died in Greenslopes Private Hospital in July 2002 at the age of 86.

Greenslopes Private Hospital is proud to have named the Sub-acute Unit in her honour.

Florence Syer

Above: Florence Syer.

KEITH PAYNE UNIT Prior to 1996, psychiatric inpatient services at Greenslopes were housed in one of the old pavilion ward blocks. In that year, Ramsay Health Care opened a modern, air-conditioned facility offering inpatient, outpatient, day-hospital services, and recreational areas.

Warrant Officer Keith Payne was, in 1969, a member of the Australian Army Training Team, Vietnam. On 24 May, the South Vietnamese battalion he commanded was attacked by a large force of North Vietnamese. Although wounded several times, Payne organised a fighting withdrawal and saved the lives of many of his men. In 1970, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth presented WO Payne with the Victoria Cross aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia in Brisbane.

WO Keith Payne, circa 1969

Above: WO Keith Payne, circa 1969.