Creswick campus celebrates local history

December 13 / 125

The Creswick Hospital building.
The Creswick Hospital building.

The University has celebrated the 150th anniversary of the old Creswick Hospital building with a week-long open house.

The old Creswick Goldfields Hospital building has played an important role in the Creswick community as its first hospital and then as the home of the University’s School of Forestry for more than 100 years.
 
To celebrate the anniversary, the Creswick campus was opened to the public last week.

The hospital, officially known as the Creswick District Hospital, opened in 1863 and today houses the Melbourne School of Land and Environment Library, which supports research and teaching in the University’s Department of Forest and Ecosystem Science.

Melbourne School of Land and Environment Librarian, Gerard Fahey, said the hospital is the legacy of the strong local community involvement in getting a hospital established back in the 1860’s.

“It is significant for the University, as it went on to become one of the buildings that was home to the Victorian School of Forestry (VSF), which eventually became a campus of the University, with staff and students from the Melbourne School of Land and Environment in residence,” Mr Fahey said.

“The transition from hospital to ‘forestry school was all part of the vision of people in 1910 to develop a world class forest education facility in Victoria. 

“It is a vision that had sustainability at its heart and this is very much still at the centre of study and research in the MSLE,” Mr Fahey said.

At the open house, photos from the early years of the Goldfields hospital, items from the H.V. Wardle wood collection, the Creswick herbarium, the H.E. Dadswell wood collection and a rare collection of photographs, books and reports, including the 1939 Bushfire Royal Commission transcripts were on display.
 
Photos from the early years of the hospital were exhibited, including items from the H.V. Wardle wood collection, the Creswick herbarium, the H.E. Dadswell wood collection and a rare collection of photographs, books and reports.

“In mounting the display and managing the cultural collection, I have been impressed by the vision of the people who worked to establish both a hospital and then a forestry school and arboretum on this site,” Mr Fahey said.

“I appreciate the importance of vision for leadership in any organisation and I think we have lot to learn from the past.”

The Goldfields hospital building opened in 1863 after strong local lobbying for a hospital to serve the needs of the Creswick community.  In 1912, the hospital relocated to a new building closer to town and this made way for the University’s School of Forestry.

Editorial Enquiries

Got a story?

Staff are encouraged to submit stories. There are some important steps in preparing a media-ready story.  Email musse-editor@unimelb.edu.au

Share/Save