A Bit of Perth

The Rotunda Hospital, established by midwife Elizabeth Baillie in 1912, provided women with an alternative to home birth. The Rotunda Hospital was established four years before King Edward Memorial Hospital, Western Australia’s first public hospital for
women. It fronts onto Albany Highway in East Victoria Park. The side street is Baillie St and that is the street where my father’s mother (the non-teetotal grandmother) had her house.

In 1920 the hospital was purchased by the Commonwealth Government for chronic tubercular ex-service patients and was named the Edward Millen Home after the first Minister for Repatriation.

In the 1950’s I was always warned against the shadowy figures who lived over the road. There was no specific threat but there was some un-named evil with which my natural curiousity was curbed. I knew they were WW1 soldiers and I assumed that they had been wounded in the war. Tuberculosis was never mentioned as it had been a very scary problem for my parents and grandparents in their recent past.

After the need to house and care for the last of the WW! survivors, the Hillview Clinic (1968) and W E Robinson units (1983) were established to cater for the treatment and care of autistic children.

It is currently deserted but, protected by the National Heritage Trust, its future, in some form, is assured. One of the suggestions is that it be used as a boutique hotel.

One response to “A Bit of Perth

  1. It is such a beautiful house it would be such a shame to see it torn down, but you’ve got to remember this /is/ Western Australia … synonymous with razing every historical building to the ground and erecting penile envy substitutes in their place.


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