Leading innovation and advancement in pathology, for over 104 years

As we celebrate International Pathology Day today, we highlight the incredible work and innovation Mater Pathology continues to deliver in response to the changing health needs of South East Queensland.

Mater Pathology plays an integral—but often hidden role—in the health outcomes of our patients and the broader community.

Today, we invite you to stop and thank our exceptional pathologists, scientists, phlebotomists, couriers and the entire Mater Pathology team for their dedication and innovation.

Mater Pathology has worked tirelessly to be at the forefront of significant industry advancement throughout its 104 year history. From humble beginnings, rowing across the Brisbane River in 1919 to collect pathology samples, to launching Australia’s first drone collection fleet—and countless milestones in between, such as:

  • Brisbane first Cytogenetic lab, focused on cervical cytology at the time and played an important role in diagnosis and management of lymphomas and tumours (1963)
  • Breakthrough in early detection of sepsis, a bacterial infection that is potentially fatal for newborn and high-risk babies (1991)
  • The only public laboratory offering FISH (Fluorescence In Situ Hybridisation) on a routine basis for analysis and research of chromosomal abnormalities (1993)
  • Opened Queensland Placental Cord Blood Bank (2000)
  • Queensland’s first laboratory to perform HPV screening on site to improve cervical cancer detection (2006)
  • Queensland’s first laboratory offering high resolution micro-arrays as a diagnostic tool in genetics (2009)
  • World’s first validated sulphate test to measure and determine low levels sulphate in preterm infants, and help them live full lives (2015)
  • Developed unique rapid testing for sepsis and blood stream infections providing up to 24 hours earlier notification to Infection Control of organism identification in blood cultures (2016)
  • Deployed COVID-19 response, overhauling an entire Cellular Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory in just one-week and upskilling hundreds of staff to ensure safety and compliance to support testing for the entire state (2020)
  • Expanded genetic testing to include BRCA testing within seven days to improve the diagnosis and turnaround time for patients with breast and ovarian cancer (2021)
  • Introduced skin audits for GPs to maintain and improve their cancer diagnosis whilst providing knowledge and improvement through awarding CPD points (2023)
  • Opened the first afterhours pathology collection centre in the greater Brisbane region at Blackstone, as part of a network of over 40 collection centres (2023)
  • Received funding to progress Australia’s first drone-enabled pathology collection network to reduce travel and testing time by up to six hours. Since that announcement, trials and validation of pathology samples has been completed and plans are underway to implement the first operational flights by mid-2024.

Today, Mater Pathology is driven by the very same passion that led the Sisters of Mercy in starting the service, and continuing to improve diagnosis and expand its network of collection centres and services to support Mater’s health network and the broader community – including First Nations communities—across South East Queensland.

Public relations contacts

07 3163 6142