Supporting The Women's and Children's Hospital for many years

History of the Friends

The Friends of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Incorporated (Friends) was established in 1993 following the amalgamation of the Adelaide Children’s and Queen Victoria Hospital’s to form the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in 1989. This led to the merger of the established groups of supporters to create the Friends which consisted of approximately 2,000 members from five Divisions.

The Divisions were:
• The WCH Auxiliaries
• The WCH Volunteers
• The WCH Shops Auxiliaries
• The Beryl Lipman Committee
• The QVH Unley Park Auxiliary (later to become the Queen Victoria Auxiliary Division)

A Coordinating Council was formed to manage the affairs of Friends with the first members being:
• Barbara Lamkin (Chairman) Representative, Auxiliaries Division
• Pat Bockner (Vice Chairman) Representative, Volunteer Division (QVH site)
• Heather Konzag Representative, Auxiliaries Division
• Toni Micarelli Representative, Volunteer Division (ACH site)
• Maurine Richter Representative, Shops Division (ACH site)
• Anne Saunders Representative, Shops Division (QVH site)
• Jean Ligertwood Representative, Beryl Lipman Committee
• Ann McLoughney Representative, QVH Unley Park Auxiliaries
• Chris Osterman Director of Public Relations, WCH

The first appointed Patron for Friends was The Honourable Dame Roma Mitchell, AC, DBE Governor of South Australia who held the position until 1995. Lady Mary Downer became the second Patron for Friends and remained in the position for 20 years until her passing in 2015 which brought about the appointment of Associate Professor Doctor Ross Haslam as Patron.

After 30 years of dedicated service to the hospital the Beryl Lipman Committee decided not to continue and held their last meeting in December 1997.

Towards the end of 2014, The Volunteer Service Division decided that their core purpose no longer met the objects of the Friends and a decision was made by all members that the Volunteer Service Division of the Friends of the WCH Inc, be wound up as a Division of the Friends.

The Friends provide a variety of services to the hospital including:
• Operating of two hospital shops providing a service and funds
• Raising of funds for the WCH and dissimilation of health promotion information by the state-wide Auxiliaries Division
• Raising of funds for the Women’s and Babies Division by the Queen Victoria Auxiliary.

Over the 23 years the Friends have operated over 10 million dollars has been raised and donated to the hospital.

The Friends continue to provide a valuable link between the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the South Australian community.

History of Queen Victoria Auxiliary

In 1980, a group of women - some of whom were past trainees of the Queen Victoria Hospital in Rose Park, and led by Margaret Higginbotham (herself a past midwife) - started a fundraising committee in aid of the hospital.

Initially called the Unley Park Queen Victoria Auxiliary, they raised monies by holding many functions - very successful Melbourne Cup Luncheons, Plays, Film Nights, Bridge Days and Morning Teas. Venues over the years have been varied but include Carrick Hill, Ayers House and the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.

In 1995 when the Queen Victoria Hospital and the Adelaide Children's Hospital amalgamated, the Queen Victoria Auxiliary (QVA) became part of the Friends of the Women's and Children's Hospital Auxiliaries Inc. Funds raised by the QVA particularly go towards much needed equipment in the Women's and Babies' Division.

These days our activities are varied, however, Film Nights and Bridge Days are popular, and a fabulous Fashion Parade towards the end of the year is usually sold out.

The Auxiliary meets on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, usually at the hospital, and we invite anyone interested to join.

History of the Auxiliaries Division

In 1992, the Adelaide Children’s Hospital Auxiliaries Association of South Australia which had been operating since 1958, became a Division of the newly formed ‘The Friends of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Inc.’ This association was formed as a result of the Adelaide Children’s Hospital and Queen Victoria Hospital amalgamation to incorporate all the fundraising divisions.

The oldest active volunteer group is the Dorcas Society formed in 1897; eighteen years after the Hospital opened its doors and admitted the first patient.

Today our Auxiliaries Division has 32 fundraising groups spread across South Australia. Your involvement through an Auxiliary will assist in funding much needed medical equipment contributing to the health and well-being of women and children in SA. 

History of the Shops Division

This group was founded in 1927 by a team of doctor's wives who joined together to provide refreshments for outpatients and visitors to the Hospital.

The current group of volunteers provides the same service but has also developed into a powerful fundraising unit for the provision of much-needed medical equipment for the Hospital. The combined efforts of Vics Coffee Shop and Rainbows Kiosk raise approximately $400,000 each year.

Our volunteers , through their weekly contact, form close and long lasting friendships while knowing they are contributing to the health and well-being of children in South Australia.

Auxiliary Kiosk - How it all began!
Auxiliary Kiosk - How it all began!