On 4 January, 1906, the Sisters of Mercy opened a 20-bed private hospital in a former residential home in Brisbane’s North Quay.

This was the first Mater Private Hospital, and the start of a tradition of care and compassion for the sick and the needy which would eventually lead to the establishment of several hospitals, health centres, a world-class medical research institute, pathology and pharmacy businesses, and a nationally accredited hospital-based Registered Training Organisation—all with one aim—to provide exceptional care.

The story of Mater’s development is one of hardship, adversity, triumphs and compassion, characterised at all times by a commitment to care.

It’s not just Mater’s story. During its first 100 years, Mater has been part of the story of almost every person who has lived in Brisbane and countless more from all over Queensland and Northern NSW.

From humble beginnings the Sisters of Mercy are established in Ireland. They arrive in Brisbane pledging to care for the sick and needy. 

Pre 1900

The first Mater hospital 'Aubigny' opens in North Quay, before the Sisters and Brisbane's medical community and patients 'cross the river'.


Mater welcomes its tiniest patients with the opening of the Mater Mothers' Hospital, and Mater’s clinical pursuits expand.


Mater celebrates a century of exceptional care, and continues to expand to integrate health, education and research for a healthy community.

2001 to Now

The future of Mater

Our future developments

We're on a mission to revolutionise the way our community experiences good health and wellbeing.

Healthcare across the world is changing. So too, Mater continues to evolve. Through our future development projects we are bringing together health, education and research for a healthier community.

For further information email masterplan@mater.org.au or call 1800 565 946.

Learn more

Mater Annual Review

We are our Mission. Mater exists to respond to unmet community need; to provide compassionate care to those who need it most. We see this care—our Mission in action—every day. Sometimes, it’s uplifting. Sometimes, it’s heartbreaking. Sometimes, it’s humbling. It is genuine kindness, offered compassionately without expectation. It is who we are.

Read more

Mater would like to acknowledge Helen Gregory, author of Expressions of Mercy. Mater has used information, as appropriate, from this publication to support the creation of this content.