South Perth Hospital: residents reminisce on 60th anniversary


June Rundle, Paterick Rundle, Karen Maher and Megan Rundle at South Perth Hospital. Picture: Jon Hewson d453023
June Rundle, Paterick Rundle, Karen Maher and Megan Rundle at South Perth Hospital. Picture: Jon Hewson d453023

AUSTRALIA’S only community-owned hospital – South Perth hospital -celebrated its 60th anniversary late last month.

While staff cut a cake at a celebratory morning tea on April 22, South Perth residents took the time to reminisce on their experiences with the local hospital.

Resident June Rundle saw three generations of her family pass through the obstetrics ward and said the anniversary had brought back wonderful memories for her.

“The 60th anniversary had me thinking about why I decided to have a baby here in 1970,” Ms Rundle said.

“I’d originally come from the country and I didn’t want to go to a great big hospital.

“I’d already had two babies in the country and I wanted to go to a place that was small like that.”

She said it was the hospital’s small, community feel that drew her in; after she gave birth to her daughter Karen Mahar (nee Rundle), her two grandchildren Paterick and Megan were also born there.

Member for South Perth John McGrath made a statement in Parliament ahead of the celebration last month.

“The hospital’s story of community endeavour dates back to the post war years when South Perth residents included people who had migrated from the UK and had experienced community-based hospitals back home,” he said.

“It was a time when South Perth was slowly becoming urbanised.”

Mr McGrath said in 1959, as the population boomed, the government encouraged the hospital to go into obstetrics.

“Thousands of babies were born there until the service closed down in 2002,” Mr McGrath said.

“The hospital now provides acute services for medical and surgical cases.

“In 2009, it was rated the best in Australia in a patient satisfaction survey conducted by Medibank Private.”