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612 years of history on tour in Mater Pathology

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

612 years of history on tour in Mater Pathology

Twenty-two retired Mater Pathology staff combining 612 years of service, toured the newly renovated Mater laboratories which have changed significantly during 97 years of service to Mater patients.

The renovations had been in planning for many years, and since last month, the Microbiology, Blood Bank, Immunology, Haematology, Chemical Pathology and Central Specimen Reception teams are now in their permanent ‘homes’.

Longest serving scientist Diane Broe started at Mater as a 17 year old cadet and only retired two years ago after 49 years of service.

“I genuinely can’t believe the change in technology today,” Diane said.

“In the past, so much work was done by hand but now it’s mainly automated” she said.

“The view is so much better in the new labs too!” she laughs.

“We used to look out at a brick wall but now there’s natural light!”

Diane’s early work involved visiting wards with a collection list, collecting the required blood and then returning to the lab to help analyse it. Scientists needed to be multi-skilled in many aspects of pathology – haematology, blood bank, chemistry to name just a few. As time progressed, staff numbers increased and staff focused on specific disciplines.

Thanking the group after their tour, Chief Scientist of Chemical Pathology, Barbara Mottram recognised the new facilities had made a significant difference to the way pathology services are delivered at Mater.

“Now that we’re all in, it’s a great space to be working in,” Barb said.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the beginnings of our labs–our thanks to the Sisters of Mercy who began the work all those years ago,” she said.

In 1919 the Sisters of Mercy established Queensland’s first pathology laboratory and nearly a century later Mater Pathology is still Queensland’s leading not-for-profit pathology provider.

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Tags: Mater Hospital Brisbane, Mater Pathology, pathology