The first convict fleet arrived in Australia in 1788. Needing a hospital urgently, as many people had become sick during the long voyage, the first was set up in a tent on George St in the Rocks.
It was moved to its present site in 1816, at Governor Macquarie’s bequest. Macquarie St was created for access to the hospital grounds and the first buildings, built with funds collected from the sale of Rum.
The Florence Nightingale connection: When Henry Parkes, NSW politician saw the need for improving the state of care provided by the hospital, he contacted Florence Nightingale for assistance in nurse training. She responded by sending out six English sisters, including Lucy Osburn.
The Nightingale Wing of the hospital was built in 1869 to house the first nursing school in Australia. Constructed to the specifications of Florence Nightingale, it is still there.
Henry Parkes went on to become Premier of NSW and is credited with being the “Father of Federation.” for Australia.
Early history of the New South Wales Colony: Australia History.
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