May 15, 2020

Happy Birthday to you Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s!


Just when you thought it was a busy week for celebrations – appreciating our nurses and midwives – we mark a significant milestone today: the first anniversary of the clinical opening of Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s!

I suspect you might be thinking, as I am, “it couldn’t possibly be a year?” but the stats prove otherwise. Since 15 May 2019:

  • 6072 babies born
  • 117,738 outpatient appointments attended
  • 5,859 operations
  • 22,853 inpatients

If you support the services in the building and you felt like it had been an extremely busy year – you were right!

When celebrating International Day of the Midwife and again during this week, I was pleased to see so many lovely comments on social media praising our fantastic staff. Over the course of the year, I know we have seen and heard hundreds of positive comments from our communities, expressing their appreciation and surprise at being able to access services in this new building.

I want to thank the Victorian Government, because without their support and funding, we would have been in the extremely difficult position of trying to manage such a huge volume of births in our former facilities and without the wonderful new theatre and other support facilities that we now have.

Thank you to the hundreds of staff – supported by many volunteers pre COVID – who have worked tirelessly across the past 12 months to ensure that a lovely building has also been the environment for best care.

To celebrate, Western Health got together with the Minister’s office, and shared a big surprise with the family of the first baby born in the building on our first day – – who was able to demolish a mini replica Joan Kirner cake!

The first baby born at the hospital, is also celebrating a milestone. Tallia Baez Mikhael turns one today and is blowing out her birthday cake candles at home with mum Lauren, dad Edwin and four-year-old brother Julian.

Mum Lauren said being the first to have a baby at the Joan Kirner was overwhelming but also a wonderful experience.

“Everyone was so kind and supportive. It is really special that our daughter was the first baby born at the hospital and it’s definitely something we’ll be telling her about when she’s older.”

Here are Tallia and her mum Lauren on the day of her birth – 15 May 2019 at Joan Kirner:


And here is Tallia today with a replica cake to celebrate!

And here – in today’s Herald Sun on page 3!

The Minister for Health, the Hon Jenny Mikakos, made the following comments to celebrate the anniversary:

“In the year since this wonderful hospital opened, the team has accomplished so much to celebrate, and local families are benefitting from the very best in maternity and paediatric care.”

“In these uncertain times it is lovely to acknowledge all the doctors, nurses, and support staff who have worked as a team to support children when they are unwell, at their most vulnerable time.”

Russell has also expressed his pride in our staff and what has been achieved since May 2019.

“We are extremely proud of the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s at Sunshine Hospital and the fact we’ve been able to continue to provide first-class care – in first-class facilities for thousands of families in our local community.”