When the Sydney Hospital for Sick Children first opened its doors in Glebe in 1880, an old bedroom served as an operating room for the staff of four doctors and six nurses.
The Hospital treated 55 children in the first year, most of them suffering from diseases linked to the poor living conditions in inner-city Sydney at the time.
The Hospital’s name was changed to the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in 1904, when King Edward VII granted the use of ‘Royal’ and Queen Alexandra consented to the use of her name.
Two years later, the expanding hospital moved to Camperdown, where it would remain for 89 years. At the opening ceremony the Governor of NSW, Sir Henry Rawson, called it “the finest children’s hospital in the world”.
In the late 1960s, the need for a new hospital to serve Sydney’s growing population could no longer be ignored, and discussions began with the government about building a more modern facility that could accommodate the rapid changes taking place in the community and healthcare.
In November 1995, the Hospital, renamed The New Children’s Hospital, relocated to a new purpose-built facility in Westmead in Sydney’s expanding western suburbs.
Now known as The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (though its official name the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children has been retained), the facility is renowned around the world for its cutting-edge healthcare with 3,000 staff caring for more than 70,000 sick children every year.