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State of the art health services a legacy of 100 year-old letter

29 April 2019

The Uniting War Memorial Hospital in Waverley has celebrated a special centenary milestone.

On 25 April 1919, a letter donating the historic ‘Edina’ property to the Methodist Church was signed by the widow of the late Ebenezer Vickery and her 10 children for use as a War Memorial Hospital, to ‘commemorate those who died in war and give thanks for those who returned’.

Since then the site, also renowned as the best surviving local example of Victorian architecture, has been home to many health services and continues to provide 21st century services specialising in multi-disciplinary geriatric care to the local community.

One hundred years since the letter was written, the site which includes surrounding buildings continues to operate as the Uniting War Memorial Hospital – a specialist rehabilitation service providing both inpatient and outpatient services as part of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.

The hospital includes 21st century facilities such as a hydrotherapy pool, podiatry and dialysis units and day rehabilitation, and is home of the award-winning Geriatric Flying Squad, which sends rapid response teams to review elderly clients in their homes to enable them to stay at home and minimise Emergency Department admittance. (footage at https://youtu.be/V9_H7GLUPxQ?t=123). It also has a specialist young onset dementia service.

Nearby you’ll also find a range of other services provided by Uniting which benefit the local community, and beyond:

  • a Seniors Gym – fitted with equipment specifically designed for older people, offering a supportive and social environment for seniors to build muscle strength, improve balance, decrease risk of frailty and help to manage risk factors associated with chronic diseases.
  • Independent living units for retirees – Uniting Conrad Beard Waverley
  • Residential aged care – Uniting Edina Waverley
  • and the former nurses home, Elizabeth Hunter Lodge (named after the hospital’s first matron). This provides affordable accommodation for regionally-based patients and their carers needing access to medical treatment in Sydney (footage at https://youtu.be/pyx9QefkgRk).

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Vickery Estate donation, a six metre long timeline of the hospital’s history will be unveiled at an official celebration to be held on Saturday 4 May.

The timeline is the combined effort of retired Uniting War Memorial Hospital nurse Lyn Smith and Audrey McCallum from the Waverley Historical Society.

A permanent public display of historical artefacts is located on the first floor of the hospital’s Vickery Building, accessible via the staircase with the stained glass windows. The official centenary of the opening of the hospital will take place on November 11, 2022.


Media contacts

Contact Media@uniting.org or 0457 568 938.