New garden brings ray of sunshine to St George Hospital

The joyful sound of children playing is now a regular event in the grounds of St George Hospital thanks to a new playground and garden that was officially opened last week.

The space was transformed at the end of 2022 thanks to a grant received from the Department of Infrastructure in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Hurstville.

Member for Banks, The Honourable David Coleman, was instrumental in progressing the grant and attended the official opening alongside Tobi Wilson, Chief Executive, SESLHD, Kim Olesen, Executive Director Operations, SESLHD and Ange Karooz, General Manager, St George Hospital. Other guests included representatives from Hurstville Rotary, Fairy Sparkle and staff who were involved in the planning stages of the playground.

To give the new play equipment a workout, the event was also attended by children from Lorikeet Childcare and the Children’s Ward, who gave the slide and rope bridge the thumbs up.

Features of the new area also include a children’s playground, complete with giant toadstools and caterpillar. The surrounding garden provides patients, visitors and staff ample space to enjoy fresh air and sunshine, with power point access to several tables, allowing patients with power-supplied devices the opportunity to enjoy the space.

Ange Karooz said the new garden has brought the area to life.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people using the area. Patients and their visitors can now get together outside in the fresh air and enjoy watching children play and staff can take their breaks and soak up some sunshine,” Ms Karooz said.

Lauren Sturgess, Director of Nursing and Midwifery, said the garden and play area is an outstanding addition to St George Hospital.

“It cannot be underestimated the impact the upgrade to this area has had on the hospital. It has lifted the entire space, creating a purpose-built area for paediatric inpatients as well as children of inpatients that will lesson the stress and strain of a hospital admission. Creating a space for staff to have a break outside the clinical area is critical to rest and recharge on their breaks,” Ms Sturgess said.

child wearing yellow hat walking across a play equipment bridge