The Observatory

150 years of caring in every sense

Since our inception, The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital has been at the centre of world-leading eye, ear, nose and throat care, research and teaching. We have long embraced the important connection between improving patient outcomes through ground-breaking research and educating the next generation of health professionals.

This year we celebrated our 150th anniversary, and what a year it’s been!

Celebrations officially began with a reception at the historic Government House in February, with 150 distinguished guests from the hospital both past and present attending the event.  

Penny Allen speaks to audience at 150th celebrations.jpg
Image coutesy of The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital: Dr Penny Allen launched the 150th anniversary public lecture series, with her lecture ‘A bionic vision for the future’ lecture at Federation Square on 12 March.

Our community street party in April was fantastic, with over a thousand people enjoying a day of fun family entertainment. Our partners and colleagues were also there to help celebrate, with Bionic Vision Australia, the Hearing CRC, Vision 2020 Australia, Vision Australia, Melbourne University, CERA, the Bionics Institute and VicDeaf hosting information stalls. Blind Cricket Victoria also participated in the day.

In July, we opened our doors as part of Open House Melbourne to provide Victorians with a rare glimpse inside the hospital. Visitors were able to walk through the underground tunnel linking the Eye and Ear with St Vincent’s Hospital.

To honour the many decades of teaching, training and research supported by the hospital, a series of public lectures were held during 2013. All were greatly supported by members of the community with the series culminating at the Community Board Meeting on 19 November 2013.

Associate Professor Anne Brooks presented a lecture on Excellence in Teaching and Training on the evening, with attendees invited to give feedback on the hospital redevelopment and strategic plan.

Celebrating 150 years was the perfect opportunity not only to look back at all we have achieved but also to look to the future, so that we may continue to provide excellence in patient care, research and training in the decades to come.

As Melbourne’s third oldest hospital, the Eye and Ear has witnessed many changes since it began, with five pounds and one bed, as the Eye and Ear Infirmary in 1863. As 2013 comes to a close we are thrilled that the five-year redevelopment plan is now underway at the hospital. The redevelopment will enable us to build a better hospital with easier access to services for patients, visitors and staff.

After such an active and exciting year and another busy year ahead, everyone at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital is looking forward to the Christmas break.

Ann Clark