Sydney Hospital Graduate Nurses' Alumni

Sydney Eye Hospital PinNurses staying connected and bringing together our community of fellow trainees, graduates and associate nurses of Sydney and Sydney Eye Hospital

Credited with having played a critical role in establishing modern nursing in Australia, Lucy Osburn along with five Nightingale trained nurses arrived in Sydney from England in 1868 in order to improve Sydney Infirmary and Dispensary (late called Sydney Hospital) and commence a training school for nurses.  Reportedly, in her time, Lucy successfully trained many Nightingale nurses and established the Nightingale focus on cleanliness, sanitation, fresh air and adequate food.

Sydney Eye Hospital opened in 1886 and nurse training was spread over two campuses. Today, even after hospital nurse training finished in 1985, there remain many graduates and associate nurses still involved in nursing.

Sydney Hospital Graduate Nurses’ Alumni (SHGNA) was founded in 1962 by Matron Joyce Rodmell and a group of Registered Nurses working at Sydney Hospital and Sydney Eye Hospital. 

The goal of SHGNA is to enable members to continue their connection with the Sydney Hospital Nursing Community.  Today we have over 250 members living nationwide and internationally.  Membership is offered to all nurses who graduated from training at Sydney Hospital and Sydney Eye Hospital and Associate membership to those who have worked at the hospital for a minimum of two years.

We publish four newsletters each year. In addition, we hold an annual Reunion lunch which is a wonderful reconnection with friends and colleagues.  

Wander into the Hospital grounds and you will be transported to a tranquil courtyard outside the Nightingale Wing, home to many nurses who trained at Sydney Hospital.  By the fountain you will find a plaque which reads “Dedicated in the memory of The Nurses who Graduated at Sydney Hospital from 1868 – 1985” and was “Presented by the Sydney Hospital Graduate Nurses’ Association”.

Jenny Combet

Jan (Teddy) Dilworth

Nancy Knott

Treasurer and Membership Officer
Sandy Freeman

Newsletter Editor
Ann Burleigh

Committee Members
Jennifer Aaron
Gwen Brett
Ann Burleigh
Kerry Freeman

Please send all correspondence to:

Sydney Hospital Graduate Nurses’ Alumni

GPO Box 1614
NSW 2001


0402 858 527

We invite nurses who graduated from training at Sydney Hospital and Sydney Eye Hospital and any who have worked at the hospital for over two years to join the Alumni.

Membership forms available from

The Sydney Hospital Graduate Nurses’ Alumni Newsletter is published in March, June, September, and December and is available to all members.

We offer members the opportunity to share their stories and reconnect with fellow graduates. We also endeavour to keep our members briefed on some Medical and Nursing issues of general interest and share historical facts and photos.

All contributions are greatly appreciated.

General Committee Meetings are held on a regular basis and all members are invited to attend and participate.

The Annual General Meeting is held in October/November each year.

We offer a number of scholarships on an annual basis for specialty development programmes, transitional nursing opportunities, research and quality improvement to a Sydney Hospital and Sydney Eye Hospital nurses.

We also offer the annual Marie Dempsey Memorial Prize for the Sydney and Sydney Eye Hospital Nurse of the Year.

Each year a Reunion Luncheon is held and is an opportunity for Sydney Hospital Nurses Alumni friends and colleagues to reconnect and enjoy time together.