News and Events

ACHHA Fence Function 18th October 2016

ACHHA Members and friends attended a most enjoyable function at the Country Hospital Museum at the Heritage Village on 18th October 2016. The purpose of the function was to celebrate the completion of the magnificent sandstone and wrought iron fence at the front of the Museum which was built for us by Village staff and volunteers. The fence includes the Sandrock Gates, originally a feature of the Canning Street fence of the Rockhampton Hospital. The fence was built at the hospital in 1935 using a bequest to the hospital from the estate of the late Mr George F. Sandrock. These gates are now part of our front fence, along with the commemorative plaque which was originally attached to the remnants of the fence near the Rockhampton Hospital Post Office. You will also see other signage which we have placed to tell the story of the Sandrock Gates.

We have also erected a sign to tell the story of the original Foundation Stone of the Rockhampton Hospital placed by the Mayor of Rockhampton, Captain Hunter, in September 1867. Yvonne Kelley managed to save this stone from going to the dump in 1986 when the original buildings were demolished. This year will be especially significant for the Rockhampton Hospital since it marks 150 years since the start of construction on the present site.

The function was addressed by our President, Lorraine Antonello, Ms Barbara Hatfield who delivered the Welcome to Country, Ms Brittany Lauga MP (who also contributedn towards the cost of the function) and Cr Rose Swadling, a strong supporter of the Heritage Village. We were also very pleased to have one of Mr Sandrock's descendants join us for the function. Our Association greatly appreciates the work undertaken on our behalf by Village staff and volunteers both before the function and in catering on the day.

As an added and very welcome feature of the day, we were able to show our slideshow of historic buildings and former doctors, nurses and other health professionals on a new and modern TV which has been donated to us by Mrs Cecily Primmer.

As always at such a function, photographs were taken. Here are just some of them. If you click on any of the photographs you will be shown a larger version with additional information. Clicking on the Back Arrow on your browser will take you back to the story.

The first photograph sets the scene by showing a full view of the front of the Museum building including the fence, gates and signage for the gates and the Foundation Stone.

Country Hospital Museum at the Rockhampton Heritage Village in January 2017.

The next two photographs show our President (Lorraine Antonello) opening the function (Left) and Barbara Hatfield delivering the Welcome to Country.

Lorraine Antonello opening a function to celebrate improvements at the Country Hospital MuseumBarbara Hatfield conducting a Welcome to Country ceremony at the Country Hospital Museum 

Addresses were also delivered by Ms Brittany Lauga MP and Cr Rose Swadling.

Ms Brittany Lauga MP addresses guests celebrating improvements at the Country Hospital MuseumCr Rose Swadling addresses guests at a function marking improvements at the Country Hospital Museum 

This photograph shows the guests who participated in the function enjoying the shade of a canopy erected for us by Rockhampton Heritage Village staff.

Guests at a function celebrating improvements at the Country Hospital Museum

In the photograph on the left below, we see three Association members Dorothy Broad (L), Rita George and Berenice Payne viewing a slideshow on the new TV kindly donated to the Association by Mrs Cecily Primmer. The photogrpah on the right shows ACHHA Secretary Errol Payne with members Reg Fitzpatrick and Duncan Stewart. Reg and Duncan are pharmacists who played an important part in setting up the pharmacy display at our museum.

Guests at a function celebrating improvements at the Country Hospital MuseumGuests at a function celebrating improvements at the Country Hospital Museum 

In the photograph on the left, ACHHA Committee members Carol McIver (L) and Nancy Crapp (R) discuss the displays with Association members Dawn Wurgler and Jacquelene Geraghty. On the right, we have a photograph of our President Lorraine Antonello (L) with guests Denise and Jim Lyons and ACHHA member Adele Rogers.

Guests at a function marking improvements at the Country Hospital MuseumGuests at a function marking improvements at the Country Hospital Museum 

In the photographs on the left below, our Archivist, Yvonne Kelley (L), discusses the Museum with Association members Elizabeth White and Reg Fitzpatrick. ACHHA committee member Ashley Reid (R) shows Margaret Kent a large register book which includes correspondence relevant to her her ancestor, Mr George F. Sandrock.

Guests at a function marking improvements at the Country Hospital MuseunGuests at a function marking improvements at the Country Hospital Museum 

On the left we see Ashley and Margaret joined by Barbara Hatfield who deliverd the Welcome to Country at the commencement of our function. We also see Lorraine Antonello once again, this time with our guest Brittany Lauga MP, Member for Keppel.

Guests at a function to mark the completion of  improvements at the Country Hospital MuseumGuests at a function to mark improvements at the Country Hospital Museum 

In the final photograph in the set we show our Archivist Yvonne Kelley with the new television set which was donated by Cecily Primmer. Yvonne has been instrumental in developing our collection over many years and Cecily is the wife of our former Patron, the late Dr Conrad Primmer.

Country Hospital Museum Archivist, Yvonne Kelley, with new museum TV set

Changing Displays - Centenary of Anzac

Our Vice-President Ashley Reid is continuing with her program of changing displays at our Country Hospital Museum at the Rockhampton Heritage Village.

The focus since 2014 has very much been tied to the commemoration of the centenary of World War 1. After a concentrated period of research in 2014, Ashley has continued to seek out information about nurses from our local area (Rockhampton, Gladstone, Calliope, Raglan, Mt Morgan and Yaamba) who trained locally and served in World War 1. Thirty-three such nurses have been been identified and their stories summarised. In addition, Ashley found a further 18 nurses who had pre-war links to the local area but trained elsewhere and another eight with no known pre-war links but who worked in the local area after the war.

In 2015, Ashley set up a special display at our museum which was viewed by many visitors. This photograph shows a partial view of that display.


Portion of a display at the Country Hospital Museum commemorating the role of nurses in World War 1.

Subsets of this display were taken to other events such as Rockhampton International Nurses Day in 2015, a senior staff forum at the Rockhampton Hospital and to a commemoration function held by the CQ Family History Association. The project has also forged links with the State Library of Queensland. This has included the sharing of information on a State Library blog and an invitation in 2016 to Ashley to present a paper about the research at a 2-day workshop in Brisbane.

You may read more about Ashley's project in our April Newsletter.

In October 2016, Ashley finalised a major update of her research which has now been loaded to this website. You may read the stories of individual nurses with links to Central Queensland who served in the Australian Army Nursing Service in World War 1 by following this link on our website.

Death of our Patron, Dr Conrad Primmer OAM

We are sorry to report the death of our Association's Patron, Dr Conrad Primmer OAM on 10th December 2014. Dr Primmer had a distinguished career as a specialist Obstetrician and Gynacologist in Rockhampton for many years. He was instrumental in establishing our Association and formulating agreements with the Rockhampton Regional Council which led to the establishment of the Country Hospital Museum at the Rockhampton Heritage Village.

We offer our sincere condolences to Dr Primmers wife Cecily and all members of the Primmer family. A tribute has been included in our April Newsletter.

Our website archived for access in perpetuity

We were very pleased to receive correspondence from the State Library of Queensland seeking permission for our ACHHA website to be archived in the Pandora Project which is managed by the National Library of Australia.

What this means is that the National Library will periodically copy our website to the Pandora archive in order to provide public access to the infomation it presently contains in perpetuity no matter what may happen to our Association.

Association gains recognition as a charity under new laws

In late 2012, the Australian Government established the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) to formally approve and register any incorporated association which has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. While donors to our Association have always been able to claim tax deductions on donations, it was necessary to go though a number of additional steps including a minor change to our Constitution to maintain our status under the new laws.

If you are interested in seeing the formalities of our registration, go to the ACNC website at, click Find a Charity and type in our fullname to search for us.

Archived News Items

To read previous archived stories about the development of our Museum, please click this link.

Association Newsletters

The Association produces a printed Newsletter regularly in order to keep both our members and the general community informed of our activities.  You may download the most recent versions of the Newsletter here in pdf format by clicking the links below.

November 2017 Newsletter
July 2017 Newsletter
February 2017 Newsletter
August 2016 Newsletter
April 2016 Newsletter
December 2015 Newsletter
April 2015 Newsletter
December 2014 Newsletter
July 2014 Newsletter
March 2014 Newsletter
August 2013 Newsletter
April 2013 Newsletter

To view our full set of archived newsletters, please click here.

Heritage Village events.

While the Rockhampton Heritage Village and our Country Hospital Museum are open daily with static displays and guided tours are conducted by the Friends of the Village each morning, the ideal time to visit the living Village is on Market Days.  Members of our Association are always present at our Country Hospital Museum on these days.

Here is a list of the planned Market Days and special events for 2018.

Sunday 28 January 2018

Australia Day Markets

Sunday 11 March 2018


Sunday 13 May 2018

Mother's Day Markets

Sunday 8 July 2018


Sunday 09 September 2018


Sunday 25 November 2018

Christmas Markets