The start of Calvary nursing in South Australia – 120 years ago

In 1900, five Sisters from the Little Company of Mary (LCM) travelled from Sydney to Adelaide to take over the management of the North Adelaide Hospital. These women rapidly gained recognition for their nursing expertise and the number of patients steadily increased from the original seven, to 172 over the following nine months. Information about each of the founding sisters can be found at Calvary North Adelaide Hospital in the ‘Heritage Corridor’, as well as in the new Calvary Adelaide Hospital, with wards across levels 7, 9, 10, 11 named in their honour.

The hospital was registered by the Australian Nurses Association as a training school, and by 1911, twenty four lay nurses were in training or employed, with many LCM Sisters in teaching positions. The School of Nursing at Calvary North Adelaide spanned 80 years (1900 -1980) and contributed a total of 1596 graduates to the South Australian community.

It is thanks to the dedicated work of these women and the sisters of the LCM that we have the Calvary of today, a values-based organisation that offers professional standards of quality care deeply entrenched in the philosophy of ‘being for others’.

Back to SA stories