Hospitals 27 June 2023

‘Maureen’ the crane arrives in Ballarat

The first tower crane on the site of the Ballarat Base Hospital redevelopment has been named after longstanding hospital volunteer Maureen Woodford.

The 43-metre-high tower crane has been named ‘Maureen’, in honour of her significant contribution to healthcare in the Ballarat community.

The first tower crane on the site of the Ballarat Base Hospital redevelopment has been named after longstanding hospital volunteer Maureen Woodford.

IMAGES: time lapse view of a construction site; Leah Ferguson, Manager of volunteer services is interviewed; footage of Maureen arriving at the hospital in her Volunteer uniform

Voiceover: Maureen's a little bit of a superstar around the hospital. Everybody knows Maureen. People are drawn to her. I think she has an amazing energy.

IMAGES: Dale Fraser, Grampians Health CEO is interviewed; footage of Maureen interacting with other volunteers in the hospital at a desk labelled with ‘we’re here to help’

Voiceover: She's at the volunteer desks. She's at various functions and events that I go to.

IMAGES: Leah Ferguson, Manager of volunteer services is interviewed; footage of Maureen walking throughout the hospital with other volunteers

Voiceover: She's kind and positive, and I think she's patient with people. She really brings a sense of calmness, peace, and absolute passion for volunteering.

IMAGES: Dale Fraser, Grampians Health CEO is interviewed

Voiceover: I was born and bred in Ballarat. I have my husband Alan, and three children and four grandchildren, and I started my nursing training here many, many years ago and worked as a nurse for 35 years. Been volunteering for about 14 years now. You just gotta be generous and willing to listen to people, be mindful of people's privacy. I have found over the years that people just want to talk. You can see the pressure is relieved after they've talked to you for a while.

IMAGES: Maureen Woodford, Volunteer is interviewed; camera cuts between Maureen’s interview, aerial footage of Ballarat, and footage of Maureen working with other volunteers in the hospital

Voiceover: Often people don't choose to share their health journey with family and friends, but they really do often share it with our volunteers.

IMAGES: Leah Ferguson, Manager of volunteer services is interviewed

Voiceover: Even if you just sit down for couple of minutes and just spend the time of day with them, the volunteers do a really good job doing that.

IMAGES: footage of Maureen reading thank you cards received from patients; Maureen Woodford, Volunteer is interviewed

Voiceover: with them, the volunteers do a really good job doing that.

IMAGES: Leah Ferguson, Manager of volunteer services is interviewed; montage of Maureen reading thank you cards received from patients, footage of handmade beanies gifted to patients

Voiceover: Maureen's work across the hospital is so valuable, and it's not just to the patients, but it then leads off to the staff and the families going up into an oncology appointment, sitting in the wellness center, making people a cup of tea, sharing their time and sharing their experience, and providing comfort's really, really important.

IMAGES: Maureen Woodford, Volunteer is interviewed

Voiceover: In the cancer center. We are just here to chat to people, help them in any way, and it's when they come up and give you a hug when they're finished their treatment. That's a pretty good memory too.

IMAGES: footage of Maureen working with other volunteers in the hospital; Leah Ferguson, Manager of volunteer services is interviewed

Voiceover: Telling her to slow down a lot and not take on every shift is probably a challenge for her because she constantly wants to help people out. Maureen as a volunteer having her name on the Crane. It's such an amazing representation for all of our volunteer team. Maureen's the perfect person to do that. To have her acknowledged publicly for what we know Maureen is capable of and does every single day, it's an absolute treat. Everybody plays their part, but I definitely think Maureen is a great representative of all of our volunteers here at Ballarat.

IMAGE: Leah Ferguson, Manager of volunteer services is interviewed; timelapse footage of a construction site; a photo of Maureen in front of the crane

Voiceover: It is pretty special because a crane is part of a bigger plan, to build this new building. I'm happy to be involved there and have it named after me to represent all volunteers in the Grampians Health area. They do a great job. To have a small opportunity to recognise that for a person who wants to be unsung is a real privilege.

IMAGE: Maureen Woodford, Volunteer is interviewed; a montage of footage of Maureen and other volunteers; Dale Fraser, Grampians Health CEO is interviewed; aerial footage of Ballarat

TEXT: Your bigger and better Ballarat Base Hospital redevelopment is set for completion in 2027.

IMAGE: A screen with a white background displays an ‘in partnership with Grampians Health’ logo. A sliding transition screen then displays the Victorian Health Building Authority and Victoria State Government logos and the web address vhba.vic.gov.au

End of transcript

Nominated by Grampians Health staff, Maureen Woodford is a familiar and friendly face at the hospital. She has welcomed patients and their families to the hospital for more than 14 years.  

Maureen started working at the Ballarat Base Hospital as nurse in 1967.  She now volunteers across three programs at the hospital including: 

  •  the Welcome Team 
  •  BRICC Wellness Centre 
  •  Volunteer Simulated Patient Program.  

‘Maureen’ the crane will become a prominent feature in Ballarat’s skyline for the next year. The arrival of the tower crane paves the way for structure and façade works to begin.  

You can view the tower crane on the site of the redevelopment’s new Central Energy Plant and support services building on Drummond Street. 

What’s happening on site 

Works to prepare the foundation for the new Central Energy Plant and Support Services building are well underway. 

More than 8,200 tonnes of soil and rock have been removed from the site as foundation works continue.  

The redevelopment will be completed over multiple stages. Construction of stage two is expected to be completed in late 2024. It will support more than 170 construction jobs.  

Construction of the final stage is expected to be completed in 2027. 

Once completed, the upgraded hospital will have the capacity to treat at least 18,000 more emergency patients and an extra 14,500 inpatients per year.  

Request for tender - main works

Three builders have been invited to tender for the final stage of the Ballarat Base Hospital redevelopment.

Built, Icon and John Holland will progress through to the next stage of the tender process, vying to deliver the hospital's new multi-level tower, which includes:

  • a new emergency department
  • a women's and children's hub
  • a state-of-the-art theatre suite
  • a new helipad
  • an extra 100 inpatient and short-stay beds

The successful builder is expected to be announced in December 2023. Construction will start in early 2024.

Continued care at Ballarat Base Hospital 

There will be no interruption to healthcare services at Ballarat Base Hospital during construction. 

Ballarat Base Hospital will maintain full operational capacity throughout the redevelopment to ensure the continuity of care for the community. 

To learn more about the project: 

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Last updated: 27 June 2023