The Adelaide Hospital Foundation Stone was laid in 1840 with the hospital opening in 1841. Each year Royal Adelaide Hospital recognises its foundation with a ceremony held in the Chapel of the Residential Building during Royal Adelaide Hospital Week.
The main feature of the event is an oration. In choosing a person’s name for the oration, the late Dr Bernard Nicholson AM said that “such a person should be one with very many years of active association with (Royal) Adelaide Hospital.”
The oration was named after SA medical pioneer surgeon Dr William Wyatt (1804-1886) and titled “The William Wyatt Oration.”
The oration is aimed to remember the contribution that Dr William Wyatt gave to the Adelaide Hospital and the South Australian community in the mid-to-late 19th Century, and as such, the oration most often reflects on a particular area of medical specialist care.
Similarly, the selection each year of a William Wyatt Orator, is for a person who has had many years active association with the Royal Adelaide Hospital. From the first Foundation Day Address given in 1979, each successive speaker has touched upon an aspect of the hospital’s search for excellence, be it historical, present, or advancing towards the future.
The topic of a William Wyatt Oration is designed to reflect some part of the history and heritage of Royal Adelaide Hospital or its predecessor, the Adelaide Hospital, but may also include SA Pathology (Institute of Medical Veterinary Science IMVS) or any other past or present associated body, organisation or institution, for example the Eden Park Nurses Home, the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre; the Joanna Briggs Institute; the University of Adelaide Medical School.
A biography of Dr William Wyatt and a selection of the oration speakers’ biographies can be accessed through Biographies.
Foundation Day Addresses:
- 1979 The Royal Adelaide Hospital - Pamela Joy Spry, Emeritus Director of Nursing, Royal Adelaide Hospital.
- 1980 The 140th Anniversary – James Estcourt Hughes, Emeritus Surgeon, Royal Adelaide Hospital.
- 1981 The Fourth of the Four Hospitals – Brian Joseph Shea, previously Director of Mental Health.
- 1982 Renewal and Compassion – Peter Stuart Hetzel, Emeritus Cardiologist, Royal Adelaide Hospital.
- 1983 The True Glory – Hamilton D’Arcy Sutherland, Emeritus Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Royal Adelaide Hospital.
- 1984 A History of Dentistry in South Australia – James (Bill) Scollin, previously Dental Superintendent, Royal Adelaide Hospital.
- 1985 Ionizing Rays and Cancer in Review – Bertram Speakman Hanson, Emeritus Radiation Oncologist, Royal Adelaide Hospital.
- 1986 History, Nursing Education and Jubilee 150 – Joan Durdin, Nurse Educator (retired).
- 1987 Progress in Gynaecology Over Sixty Years – Alfred Dudley Byrne, Emeritus Gynaecologist, Royal Adelaide Hospital.
- 1988 Sir Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny and Pathology Services in South Australia – Bernard Nicholson, Emeritus Medical Superintendent, Royal Adelaide Hospital.
- 1989 ‘Lifelines’. The Blood Transfusion Service and Royal Adelaide Hospital – Robert Beal, Interim Director, Blood Department, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva.
- 1990 Hope, History and the Royal Adelaide Hospital – Peter Cahalan, Director, History Trust of South Australia.
- 1991 Tuberculosis Control in South Australia – Roger Clare Angove, Emeritus Physician, Royal Adelaide Hospital.
- 1992 Hospital Organisational Structures and Royal Adelaide Hospital – Brendon John Kearney, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Adelaide Hospital/Director, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science.
- 1993 For all Sorts and Conditions of Men – Hugh Robert Gilmore, Emeritus Physician, Royal Adelaide Hospital.
- 1995 Australia Remembers WWII 1945 – 1995 – Donald Beard AM FRACS FRCS
- 2015 On the Shoulders of Giants – Peter Stuart Hetzel AM, Emeritus Cardiologist, Royal Adelaide Hospital.