History

The Queen Victoria Women’s Centre building – 100 years of bricks and spirit

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In 1912 the foundation stone for the new Melbourne Hospital building was laid in Lonsdale Street. Designed by father-and-son architectural team JJ and EJ Clark, the purpose built ‘pavilion’ hospital filled the entire city block bound by Swanston, Lonsdale, Russell and Little Lonsdale Streets.

Over the next century, three pioneering establishments have occupied the site; The Melbourne Hospital, The Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, and the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre which occupies the only surviving structure of what was an innovative and vast hospital complex, the beautiful heritage-listed Edwardian Baroque tower at 210 Lonsdale Street.

In 2012 the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre embarked on three projects to promote the centenary of our building and share the stories of our bricks and sprit.

The QVWC's centenary digital timeline

Drawing on rich archives, the “Bricks and Spirit” timeline incorporates images, rare video footage and stories of the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre building. We have worked with noted historian Emma Russell and a team of historians and writers from The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Monash Health and ‘Queen Vic’ campaigners Barbara Cameron and Helen Macrae.

The QVWC gratefully acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government and Public Record Office Victoria for making this project possible.

The QVWC's interpretive history panels

Denise Scott launched the “Bricks and Spirit” interpretive history panels during Australian Heritage Week 2014. Installed at the front entrance of the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, the panels share the stories of the buildings architectural, medical and social significance.

The launch celebration was the culmination of a ten-month collaboration with History@Work, Eggbox, Skyview, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Monash Health and prominent ‘Queen Vic’ campaigners Barbara Cameron and Helen Macrae.

The QVWC gratefully acknowledges the support of the Australian Government Your Community History Program for making this project possible.

A Womans Place: 100 years at the Queen Victoria Women's Centre building

The exhibition, co-curated with Dr Monica Lausch from Monash Health, was held in March 2012 to coincide with the QVWC’s International Women’s Day celebrations.

The exhibition featured four history panels and hundreds of archive images and objects highlighting the courage, determination and legacies of significant women across the history of the QVWC building.