Buildings & Locations

1922 – Foundation Stone Laid

The Age (Melbourne) 27 November 1922

“The Society for the Protection of the Health of Women and Children in Victoria, adopting the Plunket System has established various centres in the metropolis, Preston, Coburg, Footscray and Williamstown being included. Recommended from a New Zealand system, the system has been wonderfully successful, and the health of mothers, and particularly the lives of children, has been considerably benefited. On Saturday afternoon the ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone of The Tweddle Plunket Baby Hospital and the School of Mothercraft, at the corner of Barkly and Gordon Streets Footscray, was attended by a large number of interested persons, there being included in the gathering the mayor of the City of Footscray,(Cr. and Mrs J.H.Stephens), Messrs.Angus and J.Lemmon, M’s L.A. and R.Williams, J.H.Disney and W.H.Edgar, M’s.L.C.”

Additional Nurses Quarters  1925

The Age Wednesday 23 December 1925

A splendid gift, increasing the accommodation at the Plunket Tweddle Hospital at Footscray materialised when the additional nurses quarters which have been erected at the cost of £1000 pounds and were donated by Mr and Mrs T.M.Burke, were opened by Mrs Burke yesterday. The new building is on land presented by the Footscray council, just across the road on the western side of the hospital. There is accommodation for six nurses, there being six single bedrooms, with a bathroom in every three rooms.

Verandahs are both at the front and the back, with an open covered space between every three rooms and bathroom. The rooms are tastefully and well furnished, and practically everything in the quarters was donated by business firms. There is an extensive space between the gate and building, where Footscray council will make a croquet lawn and garden, and judging by the beautiful garden that has been made by the council on the hospital grounds, the approach should be very attractive.

Dr J.W.Springthorpe, president of the Society for the Health of Women and Children of Victoria in introducing Mrs Burke, re-referred to the necessity of reducing infant mortality in Victoria, which was too high when compared with New Zealand where the Plunket system of infant welfare is universal. He also pointed out that seven times too many women died in childbirth. He had offered questions to the Government, but they were a little ahead of the Government.

He mentioned that the Society campaign against infant diarrhoea would commence on Monday next to provide one nurse for every 220 babies as recommended by Sir Truby King at their centres in Coburg, Footscray, Preston, Williamstown and Yarraville and appealed to the public for cooperation.

Mrs Burke declared the building open and expressed her pleasure at being associated with the work of the Society. Mr Burke said he thought they should go back to the fundamentals and aim at the preservation of life, the happiness of life and the safety of life.

1930 New Buildings Opened

The Age Melbourne 25 June 1930


The report stated: ‘In consequence for demands for accommodation the Tweddle Baby Hospital and School of Mothercraft found it necessary to enlarge the hospital buildings at Footscray, and yesterday the new cottage for mothers, the additions to the nurses home and a summer house were opened by Lady Irvine.  There is now room for nineteen babies and four mothers, while eighteen trainees, including those who are training to become Primrose nurses, can be accommodated. The whole of the new building cost £3000 pounds to erect and furnish, and all this sum has been donated with the exception of £700 pounds. Mr Angliss M.L.C donated the sum of £500 pounds and promised to increase it to £800 pounds if that amount was required. The mothers’ cottage is named after his daughter Eirene. Mrs J.T.Tweddle has given £100 pounds for the erection of a summer house, while Mr Tweddle has guaranteed the society’s overdraft to the ex-tent of £2000 pounds and has presented to the hospital £100 pounds worth of pictures.

In declaring the buildings open, Lady Irvine also referred to the excellent work that had been done by the Footscray Council for the benefit of the women and children of Victoria. Lady Agnes Irvine was the wife of Sir William Irvine former Premier and Lt. Governor of Victoria.

1942 – Plans to move to a New Home

The Age Melbourne 18 June 1942


An announcement was printed ‘Plans have been completed for the evacuation of the Tweddle Hospital to the Riversdale golf house in Jordanville, and when this is completed the hospital building will be taken over as a private boarding house for woman munition workers’ The reason for this was an obvious concern for the welfare of babies, nursing staff and mothers, but it would also release the premises for much needed. Accommodation for workers from the nearby munitions factory.

The Age 18 September 1942


On 18 September 1942, The Age gave praise for the competent manner in which the problems of evacuation were resolved. The (Riversdale) clubhouse had been transformed in the past two months into a smoothly running hospital, capable of accommodating ten babies and three mothers.

1958 – Dame Jacobena Angliss and Lady Herring at Laying of Foundation Stone

On 25 October 1958 the Foundation Stone for the new hospital building was laid in (This stone has been moved and is now laid in the concrete driveway in Adelaide Street.)


1959 – Opening of the New Hospital Buildings

(Corner Barkly Street and Gordon Street Footscray)

The Foundation stone has now been relocated and is in the concrete driveway on ground level in front of the 53 Adelaide Street site.

The hospital site was originally leased from Footscray Council pending resumption for non-payment of rates. Eventually donated by the council to the Society in 1945 with Certificate of Title Volume 6784 Folio 1356712 in the names of Messrs I A Davis and A I H Gifford as Trustees.

Old Nurses Home site was donated for the purpose by the Footscray Council in 1925 with Certificate of Title Volume 6003 folio 1200572. New Nurses home and Matrons Cottage site Crown Land reserved for The Tweddle Baby Hospital by Order in Council published in Victorian Government Gazette No 27 of 12 April 1961. 


1960’s – New Hospital Block, Donation of Showgrounds Building, New Buildings

  • Hospital block opened by Mr J Tweddle and Nurses Quarters by Mr T M Burke
  • Mothers and Babies Cottage was opened by Mr (later Sir) William Angliss
  • The present brick buildings erected during the years 1958 to 1964 were financed by the proceeds of a public appeal launched in 1959, many private donations prior to and subsequent to the appeal and very substantial grants from The Hospitals and Charities Commission of Victoria.
  • The Architects were Messrs Stephenson and Turner.
  • 1960 Blackall Estate block in Sydney Street Footscray resumed by the Government of Victoria for Hospital purposes.
  • 1961 Completion of a new dining room, kitchen and store block
  • 1963 Official opening of the William Angliss Nurses Home on Crown land in Sydney Street by Dr J H Lindell.
  • Donation of a Showgrounds Building by the Commissioners of The State Savings Bank of Victoria. Completion of Matrons Cottage
  • 1964 Completion of new Eirene Angliss Mothers and Babies Building, Old Nurses quarters in Sydney Street renovated.


1990’s – Relocation to Adelaide Street and New Community Locations

  • The Parent and Infant Unit commenced operation on March 26th 1990 and heralded major changes to the service structure at Tweddle.
  • The Parent and Infant Unit offered a Monday to Friday residential service for five to six parents and their infants under 12 months of age.
  • Day stay programs were operating out of Hoppers Crossing, Footscray and Delahey
  • A $1.3 million grant from the Department of Health and Community Services enabled the commencement of a building contract and building works for the redevelopment of Sydney Street facilities. (Announced by the Honourable Marie Tehan)
  • 1998 Tweddle introduced a Day Stay program in Hume (Tullamarine).
  • Commencement with a partnership with the Djerriwarrh Health Service to deliver services in Bacchus Marsh.
  • Tweddle’s new parent and infant unit was officially opened by the member for Footscray, Mr Fordham. After many delays, the services finally relocated to 53 Adelaide Street on Monday 18 March 1996.  It has 12 beds, six for adults and six for children, including one room which can house both parents. It is designed to allow western suburbs’ families access to local rooming-in facilities for the first time where they have access to professional nursing staff to attend to their problems. Hede architects provided the concept and brought it to reality with the assistance of the Project Control Group.


2000’s –  Expansion of Community Services across Victoria

  • Day Stay services commence at Williamstown Hospital in addition to Tullamarine, Bacchus Marsh, Hoppers Crossing and Footscray.
  • 2001 Day Stay program in Terang commenced
  • A fee for service Day Stay program commenced at The Northern Hospital in Epping.
  • 2007 Launched new community Day Stay programs in Geelong and Melton
  • 2009 Closure of Community Day Stay centres in Williamstown and Epping


2010’s – Refurbishment and New Construction

  • Refurbishment of premises in Sydney Street Footscray as new Psychology consulting rooms
  • New Day Stay service for Vietnamese families commences in Brimbank 2011
  • Construction of new Family Pod commences
  • Channel 9’s The Block refurbishes Footscray Day Stay Unit


2020’s Redevelopment and Expansion

  • Minister Gabrielle Williams MP and Ms Katie Hall MP Member for Footscray opened Family Strengthening Unit
  • Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos visited Tweddle to announce $9m redevelopment funding