War, babies and ‘Nurse Emily’: building’s amazing century

Sunshine Coast Council

It was a Private Hospital that helped women of Eumundi and surrounds give birth safely.

From 1924 to 1958, local resident Emily Luke, known simply as ‘Nurse’ ran the facility.

She oversaw the delivery of a generation of babies, minor surgery and the treatment of injuries.

While visiting her family home in Sunny Brae in 1923, Nurse Emily was approached by a local doctor who asked her to establish the nursing home. In a gracious gesture, Emily’s parents donated the beautiful Queenslander to be used for this purpose.

When it opened in January 1924, the nursing home focused on supporting soldiers returning from the Great War. But in the years following, Sunny Brae catered more for maternity patients and eventually it became a maternity hospital.

Nurse Emily

Eumundi Museum will host the 100-year celebration of the hospital on July 20, welcoming families and community members to tour the space, share their Eumundi stories and revisit Sunny Brae’s unique history. Visit their Facebook page for more details.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 10 Councillor David Law said our region was home to amazing history.

“Sunny Brae has such a unique history in our township of Eumundi,” Cr Law said.

“And what a time to celebrate its century of achievements at the 100-year celebration to be held in July.

“If you want to learn more about Sunny Brae’s history or history of more parts of the Sunshine Coast, be sure to explore the Heritage Library, located in Nambour.”

Sunshine Coast Libraries have conserved, rehoused, indexed and partially digitised the Sunny Brae Private Hospital Collection, made possible thanks to a generous donation by the family of Fay Miller (nee Peachey), niece of Nurse Emily.

More than 1,500 images, documents, patient logs, maternity case records and more are in the collection. Digitised images from the collection can be accessed via sunshinecoast.recollect.net.au

To access or learn more about the hospital or its history, you can contact the Sunshine Coast Heritage Library via [email protected].

Want to learn more about the Sunshine Coast’s past? The Heritage Library provides answers about Sunshine Coast people, places, parks and road names, house histories and more.

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