Our history

On 4 January 1906, the Sisters of Mercy opened a 20-bed private hospital in a former residential home in Brisbane’s North Quay. This was the first Mater Private Hospital, and it would be the foundation of a tradition of Mercy which continues to guide Mater today, more than 110 years later. The story of Mater’s development—from a house in North Quay to an organisation comprising hospitals, health centres, a world-class research institute and nationally accredited education centre— is one of hardship, adversity, triumphs and compassion, characterised at all times by a commitment to care.

Catherine McAuley establishes the Sisters of Mercy.

1831

The first Sisters of Mercy arrive in Brisbane.

1861

A private house in Brisbane’s North Quay, named Aubigny, is converted into a 20-bed private hospital.

1906

Mater Private Hospital opens on ‘Mater Hill’. The 50-bed hospital still stands (now as Aubigny Place).

1910

A new Chapel and Convent building is attached to the western end of Mater Private Hospital. The Convent remained a residence for the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation until 2014.

1926

The 80-bed Mater Children’s Hospital opens, with every bed immediately occupied.

1931

Mater Mothers’ Hospital Foundation Stone is blessed by Cardinal Spellman of New York and Archbishop Duhig of Brisbane.

1948

Mater is recognised as a teaching hospital for doctors and becomes a clinical school for The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Medicine.

1949

Mater holds Queensland’s first real estate art union. First prize is a two-bedroom fibro house in Surfers Paradise, valued at A£4150.

1954

Mater Mothers’ Hospital, accommodating 140 mothers, officially opens.

1960

The Multidisciplinary Growth and Development Clinic, which evaluates progress of infants born weighing less than 1500 grams opens.

1978

The new Mater Adult Hospital opens. Mother Teresa visits Mater.

1981

Mater Health Services Governing Board, empowered to develop policy and make decisions for the hospitals, replaces the Advisory Board. The first lay Chief Executive Officer, Mr Pat McGuire, is appointed.

1987

Mater Hospitals’ Trust (now Mater Foundation) is launched to raise community support to fund research projects, capital works and medical and research equipment. Mater Private Priority Emergency Centre—the first in any Queensland private hospital—opens.

1989

Mater Mothers’ Hospital New Life Centre, comprising new operating theatres, labour wards, a birthing centre and new special care nurseries, opens.

1991

The new Mater Private Hospital Brisbane and Medical Centre officially opens.

1993

The Mater Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine is established to provide expert diagnosis and management of complex obstetric cases.

1995

Australia’s first private paediatric facility, Mater Children’s Private Hospital opens.

1998

Mater Medical Research Institue is opened by His Excellency, Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia. Professor Derek Hart is appointed the inaugural Institute Director.

1999

Mater Private Hospital Redland officially opens.

2000

Mater is formally incorporated as Mater Misericordiae Health Services Brisbane. A new Mater Children’s Hospital and Mater Children’s Private Hospital opens on Stanley Street.

2001

Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, launches Mater Prostate Cancer Research Centre, courtesy of a $1 million donation by Brisbane businessman, Bill Siganto.

2003

Mater Private Rehabilitation Unit (now Mater Private Hospital Annerley Road campus) opens.

2004

Mater celebrates 100 years of exceptional care.

2006

The new Mater Mothers’ Hospitals officially opens. The Queensland Paediatric Cardiac Service transitions to Mater Children’s Hospital.

2008

Mater Cancer Care Centre opens.

2013

After providing exceptional care to Queensland children for more than 83 years, Mater Children’s Hospital closes, and government-funded paediatric services transitioned to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

2014

Mater Private Hospital Springfield is officially opened. The Mater Centre for Neurosciences opens, providing specialist care for stroke, epilepsy, neurosurgery, neurology and spinal surgery. Mater Young Adult Health Centre Brisbane is launched.

2015

The transformation of Mater’s heritagelisted Whitty Building into a world-class health education precinct is completed.

To better reflect Mater’s integration of health, education and research, Mater’s legal name changes to Mater Misericordiae Brisbane Limited. Mater Health Services becomes ‘Mater Group’, incorporating Mater Health, Mater Education, Mater Research and Mater Foundation.

2016
Read more about Mater’s exceptional history at history.mater.org.au