Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital celebrates its standing as Australia’s oldest hospital

Dr Justin Playfair, AProf Andrew Chang and Dr Pauline Rumma

Dr Justin Playfair, AProf Andrew Chang and Dr Pauline Rumma

Staff at Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital (SSEH) recently celebrated Foundation Day – an event held each year in October to commemorate when the building’s first stone was laid in 1811.

Dr Pauline Rumma, Director of Clinical Services, SSEH, said this year marks an impressive 209 years of providing quality healthcare services at the facility’s current site on Macquarie Street. “Over the years the hospital has adapted to many changes and challenges within both the health system and the broader community. This year in particular, staff have risen to meet the demands required by the COVID-19 response, with passion and pride,” Dr Rumma said.

The event theme for 2020 was ‘recognition of staff in the year of COVID’.

As part of the festivities, staff and volunteers were recognised for their dedicated service. The top accolade went to Dr Justin Playfair, Chair, Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation (former Head of Ophthalmology/Head of Vitreo Retinal Unit) who was congratulated for more than 40 years of service before his retirement from clinical practice last year. A/Professor Andrew Chang, Head of Ophthalmology/Head of Vitreo Retinal Unit, SSEH, presented Justin with the Bronze Eagle for recognition of outstanding service and former SSEH colleague Professor Frank Billson AO, Ophthalmologist, also attended to honour this achievement.

Congratulations to those recognised at this year’s Staff Awards including:

  • Anita Cobby Memorial Grant: George Yu, AHNM; and Jin Li NUM, 1E (joint winners)
  • Junior Medical Officer of the Year: Dr Dhiren Dhanji, SRMO
  • Staff Achievement Award: Tai Park, CNC, Ophthalmology
  • Team of the Year Award: Eye OPD Clerical Staff
  • 2020 Nurse of the Year Award: Lucie Mckechnie, A/NUM, 2W
  • Anita Cobby Memorial Award was given to George Yu, Nurse Manager After Hours and Jin Li, Nurse Unit Manager of 1E

Dr Pauline Rumma, Tai Park, Jennie Barry and Alan Porritt

Dr Pauline Rumma, Dr Dhiren Dhanji and Dr Justin Playfair

Dr Pauline Rumma, Dr Dhiren Dhanji and Dr Justin Playfair

You can learn more about Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital’s history in Australia’s First Hospital, written by Caroline Wilkinson.