Generations of Community Care


Nurse smiles at camera holding newborn twins
For generations St Vincent’s has been committed to serving the people of Toowoomba and surrounds, of all ages and backgrounds, inside the hospital walls and out. 

From the very beginning, the people of Toowoomba welcomed and supported the Sisters of Charity with donations of money, farm produce, labour and supplies, enabling the sisters to establish the hospital

After a century of service, St Vincent’s Hospital Toowoomba faces the future with optimism and a firm belief that the spirit of the founder of the Sisters of Charity, Mary Aikenhead, is alive and well.

Visit this display to look back over the last 100 years and see a range of objects and stories. 

Highlights of the display include

  • A range of medical equipment used at St Vincent’s from the 1940s to the 1960s including a 1960’s Nissei electronic sphygmomanometer used for measuring blood pressure, a German-made ‘Haemometer Superior’ (1930s – 1950s) which determined the concentration of haemoglobin in the blood and a ‘Keeler’ brand.
  • Ophthalmoscope and otoscope kit from the1940s with an ophthalmoscope to examine the interior of eyes, and an otoscope for examining the interior of ears. 
  • A plant stand, one of the original pieces of furniture made by local makers Rosenstengel Furniture for St Vincent’s. The furniture stamp guaranteed ‘European labour only’. This stamp was a legal requirement to distinguish between furniture made by Chinese workers and that made by Europeans or white Australians. Stamps of this kind are a reminder of the accepted racist attitudes and legislation of the time, known generally as the ‘White Australia Policy’.
  • Baby beanies knitted by St Vincent’s volunteers and donors for the littlest members of the hospital’s community.
  • A Pinard Horn from the 1950s used to listen to the unborn child’s heartbeat. They were invented by French obstetrician Adolph Pinard in 1895. Variations of pinard horns are still used around the world today.

In this black and white photo, three nuns, the Brady sisters, stand in front of an old car. An old photograph of St Vincent's photograph in black and white

This exhibition has been developed in conjunction with St Vincent's Private Hospital, Toowoomba.

Event Details

25 October 2022 - 25 April 2023