St Vincent's Nurses need your help this Christmas

Christmas is often a time to reflect, which is why we want to share a beautiful, heartfelt letter from one of our nurses. Bernadette’s letter gives an insight into her personal experiences over the last 18 months. It demonstrates why your support is so critical: your support strengthens our healthcare services and shows our exceptional, dedicated and courageous nurses how grateful the community is for their hard work.

Bernadette Smith joined St Vincent’s in 1984 as a wide-eyed trainee nurse. She spent 25 years working in the Emergency Department as well as in the Intensive Care Unit. She is now part of the ALERT team, which cares for vulnerable people in the community. She is a passionate and valued member of the St Vincent Hospital family.

Top image: Bernadette Smith.

Bottom image: Bernadette Smith and her nursing friends in their graduation photo. From left – Bernadette Smith, Danni Gobbo, Clare Hamilton and Jacinta Gallagher.

Dear Friends,

The COVID-19 experience for me has, at times, been deeply personal, juggling the risk of virus transmission to an at-risk family member with my commitment and duty as a frontline healthcare worker. 

One of the most challenging aspects of the pandemic is seeing the exhaustion felt by all the hospital staff, but still they keep going. Always skilful, kind, professional and committed. 

However, out of the challenges of the pandemic, some of the most positive aspects shine through. It is wonderful to witness the incredible dedication of our staff, seeing the personal sacrifices they have made. The professional collegiality shown, the acceptance of risk, and the enormous care they show not only to the patients but also to each other. It reinforces how proud and privileged I am to be a nurse and to be part of these amazing teams. 

We are all so grateful to the Victorian community. Your donations have led to the successful delivery of care to all inpatients and those in the community. This level of care will escalate as COVID-19 numbers rise.

However, we need more resources and staff than ever before! Because of the influx of patients, we are suddenly in need of more equipment to make our work more manageable, easier and faster. This equipment will help us both now and into the future.

Your support has helped us all to keep going on the toughest days. To feel valued and recognised for our commitment to caring has helped our own sense of worth and wellbeing. Thank you so much.

Kindest regards,


Please support those who care for us

St Vincent’s urgently requires the following equipment:

  • 200 iPads to enable gravely ill patients to communicate with their families at $500 each
  • Automated defibrillators to automatically analyse a patient’s heart rhythm to determine if a shock is required in a resuscitation setting at $2,000 each
  • Intensive care beds are specialised beds to assist in the treatment of complex patients at $40,000 each
  • Overhead Patient Hoists for moving neurosurgical and stroke patients at $50,000
  • Providing support for staff who are all working exceptionally long hours, with pre-packaged meals, snacks and drinks.

“St Vincent’s nurses are renowned for providing exceptional and compassionate care. They are committed, resilient and determined to support our community through this extremely challenging period. The pride I feel for our nurses is beyond words, they truly are extraordinary people” 

- Kathryn Riddell, Chief Nursing Officer, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

At St Vincent’s, we see firsthand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on both our patients and on our heroic staff. The past 18 months have been particularly challenging for our hardworking and courageous nursing staff.

Every day as they face extraordinary challenges on the front line, they continue to astound us with their ability to remain calm in a crisis, while providing selfless care to those in need.

Please donate today and support St Vincent’s Hospital. Your gift will help to ensure our staff have the necessary equipment to meet the expected demand and to save more lives.

One day you may need St Vincent’s nurses – right now they need you.

Your gift will go directly to purchasing this vital equipment. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your generosity will mean so much to nurses, doctors, patients and their families.

St Vincent's Nurses in action.


St Vincent's Foundation
Ground floor
Rear, 55 Victoria Parade
Fitzroy, Victoria 3065