One could hazard a guess at the reasons, and I am sure that many of the thoughts that come into our minds would be quite accurate. But what about the pioneers? The actual people on the ground who made a difference in those early days. We had a couple here in Brisbane - Dr Alfred Turner, the first resident doctor of the Royal Children's Hospital in 1908 was one. He saw 100 children a week free of charge and was instrumental in developing a diptheria antitoxin. Matron Florence Chatfield, who opened Queensland's first baby clinic in rented premises in Fortitude Valley in 1918, was another. Those humble beginnings were the forerunner of today's building, the Fortitude Valley Child Health Centre, which opened in 1923 with Chatfield in charge. A couple of early photographs of the building follow.
In 1922 Queensland's Labor government introduced the Maternity Act, which had four main aims:
- to decrease the death rate of mothers and babies,
- to increase the birth rate,
- to increase outback settlement,
- and to train mothers in how to care for children
Although other Queensland Health Services have now been located here, a Child Health Centre continues to occupy most of the ground floor.
Click here for a Google Map.