August 12 - 18, 2012: Issue 71    

 Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary

This week we are privileged to present an insight into a vital community organisation that has been ensuring essential health services are supported and maintained in our community. With over fifty years of contributing to all facets of Mona Vale Hospital, the MVH Auxiliary, and local Auxiliary groups prior to MVH Auxiliary’s formation, this group of dedicated people have amassed, through community support, any item needed or required to be updated.  In 2011, at the 78th United Hospital Auxiliaries Inc. conference in Ballina, the Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary was presented with Edith  Edwards MBE Trophy  for the most money raised by a N.S.W. Metropolitan Auxiliary in the past year. Our thanks go to the Current President of the Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary and stalwart in no small terms, Eileen Gordon, for kindly assisting us with the answers.

How did the MVH Auxiliary begin?

In March, 1961, the Minister for Health announced that tenders were being invited for the construction of the Mona Vale District Hospital. The community had lobbied for this for years and showed their support by forming Auxiliaries throughout the district:
Newport Auxiliary inaugurated 6th June, 1961 (Closed June, 2002)
Mona Vale/Bayview/Church Pt July, 1962 (Closed Sept, 2000)
Narrabeen/Collaroy/Elanora October, 1962 (Closed June, 2007)
Avalon/Whale Beach/Palm Bch Nov., 1962 (Closed June, 2007)
Southern Districts (Brookvale) July, 1963 (Closed 1989)
In the first Annual Report of the Hospital, the Board of Directors reported on the great participation and financial support contributed by the Hospital Auxiliaries. On 23rd March, 1964, one Ward and the Emergency Department opened.

In anticipation of the opening, the Auxiliaries established the Combined Auxiliary, made up of two representatives from each of the five auxiliaries for the purpose of establishing and running a Hospital Kiosk. When the Hospital opened, SO DID the Kiosk!
The Mona Vale Hospital Kiosk was established in March, 1964, using a six hundred pound loan from the Hospital Board. Ten months later —31st January, 1965— the Kiosk showed a trading surplus of nine hundred and fourteen pounds, fourteen shillings and ninepence. The set-up loan was then repaid to the Hospital Board.

The Kiosk later moved to the present location(near main entrance), which was built and equipped with funds raised by the Auxiliaries. The Kiosk continues to be maintained from Kiosk funds. The aim is to provide a service for staff, patients and visitors while keeping our charges as low as possible. The Auxiliary staffs the kiosk with volunteers, oversees its maintenance and management and allocates any profits to purchasing equipment for the hospital.   (Picture to left): Eileen Gordon (President MVHA), Karen Draddy(Vice President MVHA), Cr. Patricia Giles and Anthony Dombkins at a recent High Tea held by Ornella Tomaino

What are the main changes that have occurred during this time?

Over the years, the foundation auxiliaries closed one by one as membership decreased until, by June, 2007, only two remained. It was decided to combine these. So, on 30th of June, 2007, both Avalon and Narrabeen were closed and on 1st of July, 2007, a new Auxiliary - Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary - was inaugurated. Total membership was 24. As at 30th June, 2012, membership had increased to 70. Our members are all adults (>18), most are women + a few men, many are retired from a variety of occupations and that means a wide variety of skills.

What we have in common is a desire to make our Hospital the best it can be. We try to achieve this by fund-raising for much-needed medical equipment, providing a Kiosk service for staff and patients, helping staff if required, and being advocates for services in Mona Vale Hospital.

Who are the members ?

The Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary is a Branch of United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW Inc. We work under that umbrella and comply with the Constitution of U.H.A. The branch has a President, two Vice-Presidents, Secretary and Assistant, Treasurer and Assistant. In addition, MVHA has A Kiosk committee to direct the day to day organization of the Kiosk in consultation with the Kiosk Manager, A Website manager and Publicity officer. All positions are voted on at AGM in early July each year.

What have been some of the most memorable achievements so far ?

Last financial year (2010/11) the Auxiliary and Kiosk raised $250,000 which enabled the purchase of new electric beds for most of the hospital, plus self-locking medical trolleys for all wards, and medical equipment for Theatres and Intensive Care Unit.

This year (2011/12) we have been able to supply new bedside cabinets, overbed tables and stackable visitors chairs for the WHOLE hospital and medical equipment for Medical Assessment Unit and Level 3 Medical Ward and special cots ($5,300ea) for the Children’s ward. This is great, but MORE memorable was achieving the release of $240,000 from the dormant Hospice Trust Fund for extensions to the Palliative Care Day Hospital. The Auxiliary spent nearly four years satisfying various government departments that these funds, donated by our community via the auxiliaries, should be released for palliative care. And, recently, the re-opening of our Maternity Unit, due to community pressure. The Auxiliary had purchased approx. $60,000 worth of equipment for maternity shortly before the “temporary” closure (thanks to a fund-raising dinner organised by Hon. Bronwyn Bishop), and was very involved in the community pressure to restore equity of access to the public health system for the women of Pittwater.

What is slated for your future projects ?

In earlier years, most of the fund-raising was done with large annual fetes in the Hospital grounds, concerts and dinners. With changing times, we have found that stalls, raffles, fashion parades and individual Charity days seem to be the best way to involve our very supportive community. With our enlarged membership, we are able to have a stall in the Hospital foyer once a month, on the third Friday of the month. There is a stall in Avalon for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, occasional stalls in Pittwater Place and a stall outside Memorial Hall when there is an election - Council, State or Federal.

What do we sell?? There is a wide variety of craft made by our members and friends - e.g baby ware (matinee jackets, bootees, pram and cot covers, soft toys), childrens jumpers, cardigans, dresses, shorts,etc coat-hangers, crocheted towels, tea cosies, aprons, various types of bags, toys, $2 pre-loved books and,ofcourse, CAKES and JAMS.

We have recently added a bric-a-brak table with lots of beautiful china, crystal etc at very low prices. And, with a stall, there is always a raffle.

Once a year, we have a fashion parade and Newport Bowling Club has allowed us to use their clubhouse FREE of charge - this is an indication of how supportive our community is Our fashion parade this year is on 23.August at NBC 10.30am to 2pm. All welcome. $10 entry, raffles and lucky door prizes. Affordable fashions by Donna Lou. Fathers Day Stall at Avalon is on Friday, 31 St August outside ANZ Bank from 9am to 3pm Council Elections are on 8th. September and the Auxiliary will have a stall outside Mona Vale Memorial Hall from 8.30am to 4pm
On 14th September, we will have a small stall at Centro Shopping Centre, Warriewood.


1. Our chapel is a beautiful building and we are working to bring it up to scratch with new carpet, cleaning curtains and general housework
2. Working with management and palliative care clinicians to build an extension to day hospital.
3. Fundraising to purchase new beds for Day Surgery and Children's Wards.

Community support:
The auxiliary is very indebted to the local community who are so generous in their support. In addition, there are groups in the community who hold fund-raisers for us, including Long Reef Ladies Golf Club (who have had a charity day for us every year for 20 years), Pub to Pub Fun Run (organised by Newport Arms and Brookvale Rotary Club) Open Gardens, Peninsula Bridge Club, Mona Vale Garden Club, Mona Vale Library and recently, Pittwater RSL who held a Charity Golf Day at Mona Vale Golf Club on 27th of July.

What is the MVH's Auxiliary’s motto ?

"Let us hold high the lamp of service for the welfare of our hospital."

What is the  MVH's Auxiliary’s  favourite place in Pittwater and why ?

While we work for the Hospital, we do not meet there. We meet on the 1st Tuesday of each month at Pittwater RSL in the Sunset Lounge at 10.30am. After the formal meeting, most of us stay for lunch or coffee. The Club is very good to us and I guess this is our favourite place.

 Mona Vale Hospital Auxillary Meeting Tuesday 7th of August, 2012

 Pittwater RSL courtesy Pittwater RSL

Mona Vale Hospital July 2012 

August 12 - 18, 2012: Issue 71    

 Waverney Perman, Yvonne Parsons, Eileen Gordon

 Elizabeth Flood with Lyn Smith

 Helen Shaw

 Joyce Staniford

The best way to support this Community organisation is to attend events run on their behalf, buy goods from stalls and  keep them in mind when raising funds through your own sports, cultural or community events. Details of l upcoming Events by or for Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary, and how to book, are on their website and our Community News page.

Copyright  Mona Vale Hospital Auxiliary 2012. All Rights Reserved. Photos by Michael Mannington and AJG.