Caps and Veils: The Nursing History of the Sydney Hospital Matrons and its Nurses 1788 – 1985 by Valerie Griffiths is exclusive to the Historic Houses Trust of NSW, available online and at select HHT museum gift shops.
Medicine and all its allied health professionals in Australia rose from the foundations of raw beginnings. From the trials and tribulations of those early colonial years, Sydney Hospital owes its being.
The large central, colonnaded building was demolished in the early 1890s whilst the Northern and Southern Wings remained, all initially the pride of Governor Macquarie. In 1894, the heritage buildings that grace that central section of Macquarie Street today, opened as the now well known Sydney Hospital. The patients during the rebuilding period were nursed in the Nightingale Wing. These stone buildings, added to over the years as necessity demanded, became the basis for the world renowned Sydney Hospital of the Twentieth-Century. It not only became a leader in the practice and the teaching of medicine, but also the training of nurses.
Sydney Hospital still stands to serve, though sadly, not as the great teaching hospital for which it will always take its place in history. With the constantly changing demographics of the City of Sydney, who knows what the future holds. Perhaps the future medical needs of the city may be met once again, by the ‘General Hospital, Sydney’ and the Phoenix may, once more, rise from the ashes!