Two new Footscray Hospital cranes officially named
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Hospitals 20 December 2021

Two new Footscray Hospital cranes officially named

Two tower cranes working on the new Footscray Hospital have received their official new names.

The cranes have been named ‘Hai Bui’ and ‘Mavis’ by the New Footscray Hospital Community Consultative Committee and Western Health.

The honourees are Dr Hai Bui, a surgeon at the current Footscray Hospital, and the late Mavis Mitchell, an icon of the West and Footscray Hospital’s first nursing director.

Both recipients have inspiring stories. They are being recognised because of their significant contribution to healthcare in their community.

IMAGES: A Go-Pro video taken from above a suspended basket carrying three signage installers, followed by a view from the ground looking up at the suspended basket and the crane they will be attaching the sign to.

Dr Hai Bui: When they first called me and said ‘your name on a crane’ I said ‘Are you sure you got the right person?’ I feel very humble about it. Footscray Hospital means a lot to me. This is where my career was beginning, so I think a new hospital will be fantastic for me, for the new younger generation. I think I’m looking forward for that.’

IMAGES: Doctor Hai speaking, followed by Hai Bui sign being attached to a crane, then an artist impression of the completed new Footscray Hospital.

Dr Meron Pitcher: We often forget to say thank you, and really acknowledge the amazing people we have around us.

IMAGES: Time lapse footage of diggers and cranes working on site. Artist impression of the completed hospital seen from the air. Cranes at the construction site.

Adjunct Professor Russell Harrison: We’re building a new Footscray Hospital, and there’s going to be about ten cranes on site all told. We were asked to run a process to find people that had contributed significantly to the current Footscray Hospital. We ran an internal process and came up with a shortlist of several names. Those names were given to the Community Consultative Committee to vote on, and I’m pleased to announce the fact that Mavis Mitchell and Doctor Hai Bui were those two chosen for the first two cranes.

IMAGES: Aerial time lapse of construction. Hai Bui sign attached to crane.

Dr Hai Bui: Yeah, I feel so honoured, and very humbled to be recognised and to be part of the legacy of the hospital in the future.

IMAGES: Archival pictures of Mavis Mitchell and early nursing activity at Footscray Hospital.

Adjunct Professor Russell Harrison: It’s great to acknowledge their contribution in this way. Mavis Mitchell is a bit of an icon in the west. She was the first Matron of the Footscray Hospital. She started just before it opened and set up a nursing training school

Liz Edmonds and Maureen Naismith: And in those days the Matron and the Chief Medical Officer ran the hospital. She really was a woman before her time. Pushed education, pushed the idea that women could be and do whatever they wanted to do – and demanded the best of everybody.

Adjunct Professor Russell Harrison: And she was here for 18 incredible years, and really instilled in the place a culture.

Liz Edmonds and Maureen Naismith: Footscray nurses were well known and well regarded and it was all because of her and the standard she set. She also went out of her way to include the community in the hospital. She was highly thought of by all the community around here. It’s pride! We were very proud to be Footscray trained nurses. Very proud, because it had such a good name. Yeah, we knew that we could stand up against any other nurse and be just as knowledgeable, just as skilled...

Adjunct Professor Russell Harrison: Dr Hai is a classic tale almost of the west. He came to Australia as a refugee from Vietnam. He learnt English at the same time as doing Year 12 and got an almost perfect score. He then went on to study medicine at the University of Melbourne and came to Footscray because he really had an affinity with the community. It was serving all the diverse needs we had.

Dr Meron Pitcher: To me he’s quite innovative and creative and very skilled technically.

Adjunct Professor Russell Harrison: It’s about what he can offer to help ease the plight of the patient who’s before him.

Dr Meron Pitcher: He’s thoughtful about what he does and how he cares for patients.

IMAGES: Dr Hai. Aerial view of Melbourne CBD and Westgate Bridge from Footscray.

Adjunct Professor Russell Harrison: And Hai is now an upper general intestinal surgeon, and he offers a great service to our community and its great to have him on board.

IMAGES: Community Consultative Committee ideas session. Hai Bui sign on crane.

Dr Meron Pitcher: I think Hai’s been nominated for this honour because of his dedication to the people of the west.

Adjunct Professor Russell Harrison: It’s great to be able to recognise his contribution in this way as well.

IMAGES: Construction workers gathered around the Mavis sign prior to attachment to crane. Mavis sign on crane.

Liz Edmonds and Maureen Naismith: I’m very thrilled that some effort’s been put in to remember the great work she did for Footscray. Yes, yes! And for us – she made a lot of us much better people.

A screen displays partnership logos and text ‘In partnership with Western Health (logo) Plenary Health (logo) End frame with text: ‘Learn more about their inspiring stories at’ Victorian Health Building Authority and Victorian Government logos

End of transcript.

Dr Hai Bui

Dr Hai Bui arrived in Australia as a 19-year-old refugee from Vietnam. He attended the University of Melbourne medical school, learning English at the same time. He is now an upper gastrointestinal surgeon for Western Health and has dedicated his life and much of his career to the people of the West.

Dr Bui is commended by his colleagues for the enthusiasm and innovation he brings to the role but more importantly his commitment to help ease the lives of the patients before him.

Mavis Mitchell

The late Mavis Mitchell is remembered as an icon of the West, and one whose story is well known within Western Health. Returning to Australia following time in the British Army’s Nursing Service during World War II, she became Footscray Hospital’s first nursing director in 1952.

The naming of the crane will be an extension to celebrating the legacy she left behind. She is currently honoured through the Mavis Mitchell Memorial Scholarship and the Mavis Mitchell Room at Footscray Hospital, acknowledging her commitment to nurse education and leadership.

You can now view the cranes on the site of the new Footscray Hospital, on the corner of Geelong and Ballarat Roads, Footscray. A total of 10 tower cranes will be installed on site by early next year.

Construction is underway on the new Footscray Hospital and the new hospital is set to open in 2025.

Learn more about the new Footscray Hospital via our dedicated project page.

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Last updated: 20 December 2021