Melbourne Eye Specialists was established in 1920. Since then we have brought high quality eye care to our patients
For nearly 80 years Melbourne Eye Specialists practiced at the top end of Collins St, which at the time was home to many other medical specialists. Initially this was at 100 Collins St, and subsequently moved to 55 Collins St, until the early 1970s when that space was taken over for the development of the ANZ towers. The practice than moved across the road to 20 Collins St and stayed there until the year 2000. With changing practice patterns and the increase in facilities in the St Vincent’s space, we moved up to St Vincent’s Private Hospital.
Redevelopment meant that in 2008 we moved next-door into the building on the corner of Victoria Pde and Brunswick St. this has been owned by the Sisters of Charity for the past 30 years, and is linked to the rest of the St Vincent’s administrative buildings in the corner.
Over the years the practice has changed much, but maintained a strong association with the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. Our central location embeds us in a network of other specialists and facilities, which allow patients the best management options. Melbourne
The Melbourne Eye Specialists practice has changed as dramatically over its 80-year history as the practice of medicine itself. It now consists of six ophthalmologists, one full-time orthoptist and three part time, and six administrative staff.
Melbourne Eye Specialists is a traditional associated practice, which is not owned by a third party nor does it own day surgery or other facilities. Its existence is solely to provide care for patients in Melbourne.
The building we are currently in has a famous history. It was, originally, the Belvidere Hotel. It was likely designed by Joseph Burns, and built by Thomas McClelland between 1854 and 1856. This means it is one of the few surviving hotels rom the pre-Gold Rush era. It is famous for being the site of the proclamation of the 8-hour day.
The story is that stonemasons working on the Exhibition Building petitioned the local member of Parliament in Fitzroy to move a motion in the Victorian Parliament for an 8-hour day. They were successful, and used the Belvidere Hotel as their rallying point. They were thus known around the world as the Belviderians and gained the first legally sanctioned 8-hour day in the world. It is reasonable to assume that a significant amount of celebration occurred in the downstairs of the building.
Over the years, the hotel had a large amount of traffic, both in the ground floor, and the upper floors, but gradually fell into disrepair and was purchased by the Sisters of Charity for the St Vincent’s complex in the early 1980s.