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Our heritage

St Vincent’s Health Australia has been providing health care in Australia for 160 years, since our first hospital was established in Sydney in 1857 by the Sisters of Charity. When the first five Sisters arrived in Australia in 1838 they carried with them the vision of their Founder, Mary Aikenhead, to reach out to all in need of care, but particularly those living on the fringes of our society.

It is the legacy entrusted to us by the Sisters of Charity that continues to inspire St Vincent’s Health Australia to strengthen and grow our mission.

Today, St Vincent’s Health Australia is the nation’s largest not-for-profit health and aged care provider. We operate six public hospitals, nine private hospitals and 17 aged care facilities in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Along with three co-located research institutes – the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research – we work in close partnership with other research bodies, universities, and health care providers.

St Vincent’s Health Australia employs around 18,400 staff and operates more than 2,600 hospital beds and 1,100 residential aged care places. In our hospitals, we provide more than 1 million episodes of care for patients each year.

We are a clinical and education leader with a national and international reputation in medical research. Our areas of expertise include heart lung transplantation; bone marrow transplantation; cardiology; neurosurgery; cancer; clinical genomics; HIV medicine; palliative care; respiratory medicine; mental health; drug and alcohol services; aged psychiatry; homeless health; and prisoner health.

St Vincent’s Health Australia provides compassionate healthcare to people from all walks of life, but reflecting our mission, we are especially committed to people from vulnerable and marginalised backgrounds.