The Royal Melbourne Hospital - Celebrating 165 years of caring

Emergency Department (24 hours)
Grattan Street (corner of Royal Parade), Parkville - map

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Historic photographs


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Commemorative certificate
Fifty years of memories at nurses home
Reminiscences

 Charles Connibere Memorial Nurses Home 1944-1993


 
Bedroom


 
Library

  
 
Cafe

 

    
Sitting Room

    
Entrance, 1960s

    
Exams, 1970s

 

 
Pool    

 
Courtyard

 
Nurses Home exterior,
1980s  

                                                          

 

RMH staff who previously lived at the nurses home,
farewell the building in 2005 prior to its demolition
End of an era

 Commemorative certificate

 

This commemorative certificate was produced in 2005, to coincide with the launch of Being There, a history of nursing at the Royal Melbourne Hospital written by Susan Sherson.

Download the Charles Connibere Memorial Nurses Home commemorative certificate PDF, or order a free printed copy from Melbourne Health Public Affairs via enquiries@mh.org.au (please including your name and address).

Fifty years of memories at nurses home

The Charles Connibere Memorial Nurses Home opened at the same time as the new hospital at Parkville in late 1944 (after two years of occupation by the US 4th General Hospital). It was built with funds donated by George and Ernest Connibere, in memory of their brother Charles.

For 50 years, trainees lived on site while working and studying for three years to become qualified nurses. Many trained nurses also chose to live at the nurses home. Hospital-based nursing undergraduate training ended in 1993, as training moved to university courses.

The 10-storey "CCB" building was used for administration offices until 2004, and the courtyard was a popular venue for annual staff barbecues. The facility was demolished in 2005 and a hole dug for a five-storey underground carpark, prior to construction of the new Royal Women's Hospital on the site.

Reminiscences ...

... of former nurses who visited RMH for a reunion 50 years after they began their nurse training (from The Age, 28 October 2003, p6):

"I approached the pan flush with a full pan. Instead of closing the door then pushing the button, I pushed the button with the door open. I was covered in glory."
Maureen Deans remembers her first day as a trainee nurse, on 26 October 1953.

"I spent some of my best days here. We laughed together, worked and played together and cried on each other's shoulders. I think we were able to get over things more quickly because we could come back here (the nurses home) and talk about our tragedies and triumphs. Modern nurses miss out on that." Maureen Deans

"We had a midnight curfew and if we were late we'd have some explaining to do. You grew up pretty quickly on the wards. I prayed I wouldn't be put on the men's ward first up, but sure enough I ended up on the men's ward. It was a great shock. Most of us hadn't seen a man naked before."
June Topperwien

"The friends you made you kept for life. We were a real team on the wards and off." Beth Taws


 

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