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Queen Victoria Hospital

On 2 April 1897 the Mayor of Launceston, RJ Sadler, called a public meeting to discuss the funding of a memorial to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee year of Queen Victoria's reign. The meeting was chaired by Viscount Gormanston, Governor of Tasmania.

Lady Gormanston suggested the establishment of a hospital for women, or at least a maternity ward, for at that time such a facility did not exist in Launceston to provide this 'service for women'. She was supported by a committee of Launceston's most prominent women. Previously the only assistance for women during childbirth was given by midwives, who had no access to formal training in Tasmania and who were not required to be registered until 1901, and a few small lying-in hospitals. The Queen Victoria Maternity Hospital opened at 195 St John Street in September 1897 and was managed by a committee of women, one of the first such institutions in Australia. In 1903 it was described as the most flourishing institution of its kind in Australia. In 1935 it moved to 7 High Street, and in 1993 it was incorporated into the Launceston General Hospital as the Queen Victoria Maternity Unit.

Paul Richards