Mater Hospital’s History

The Mater Misericordiae Hospital Townsville opened in 1945 in West End when the Sisters of Mercy purchased the Lister Private Hospital from Dr Halberstater OBE. 

In 1962 the Hospital was relocated from West End to the present Mater Hospital Pimlico site on Fulham Road, where it had a bed capacity of 50. The transfer to the new hospital was made possible by the support provided to the Sisters of Mercy by a dedicated group of local fundraisers. This support has continued over the years and has enabled the Sisters of Mercy to expand services significantly.

The Mater Women's & Children's Hospital Hyde Park Hospital was purchased in 2007.

In 2008 the Mater Misericordiae Hospital Townsville Limited changed its name to Mater Health Services North Queensland and the Mater Women’s & Children’s Hospital was born at a separate facility in Hyde Park, becoming the first regional facility dedicated to women’s and children’s health.

The Mater Hospital Pimlico now has more than 150 beds and the Mater Women's & Children's Hospital in Hyde Park has a bed capacity of 70.

Who are the Sisters of Mercy?

The Sisters of Mercy, founded in Dublin in 1831 by Catherine McAuley, is a world-wide religious order of women within the Catholic Church who left the comfort of their convents to go into prisons, hospitals, and homes to offer care and support. As nurses, social workers and teachers, these “walking nuns” — as they came to be known — brought care, solace and inspiration into thousands of homes and lives. First arriving in Australia in 1846, there are 17 congregations across the country today and they are linked by a governance structure known as the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy Australia. For more information, click here.

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