Grampians Health set to farewell the 43-metre tower crane named after one of its incredible volunteers

Thursday 13 June 2024
Manager of Volunteer Services for Ballarat and Stawell Leah Ferguson and Maureen Woodford pictured one last time in front of Maureen the Crane before it’s dismantled this weekend. Manager of Volunteer Services for Ballarat and Stawell Leah Ferguson and Maureen Woodford pictured one last time in front of Maureen the Crane before it’s dismantled this weekend.

Grampians Health will this weekend farewell the 43-metre tower crane which was named after Maureen Woodford in recognition of her incredible contributions as a volunteer.

Maureen the Crane is expected to be dismantled this Saturday 15 June and Sunday 16 June (weather dependent). The crane has played an integral role in helping construct the first building of the $655 million Ballarat Base Hospital Redevelopment.

The new six-storey building on Drummond Street will house Grampians Health Education, Capital Works, Engineering, IT, Pharmacy, Environmental Services, the at-home care workforce, Pathology and Deakin University.

CEO Dale Fraser said it had been fitting watching the first building being constructed with the support of a crane named after one of Grampians Health’s many wonderful volunteers.

“I’ve been lucky to have a bird’s eye view of the construction of the building. It’s been fantastic to see such progress being made on the much-needed upgrade to our hospital,” Mr Fraser said.

“Maureen is a valuable support arm to Grampians Health having volunteered at the Ballarat Base Hospital for more than 15 years across various programs including the Welcome Team of which she is currently the Team Leader.

“The naming of Maureen the Crane was a wonderful way to recognise the collective efforts of all of our incredible volunteers who give so much to our healthcare service.”

Chief Redevelopment and Infrastructure Officer Veronica Furnier-Tosco said works on the hospital’s newest building now focussed on completing the fit out of all levels.

“Once Maureen the Crane is dismantled, the focus will turn to fit out and commissioning of the building.” Ms Furnier-Tosco said.

“Thank you to our wonderful staff for their patience and support while works have been underway on upgrades to our hospital.

“It’s an exciting time in the upgrade of our hospital with the new building on Drummond Street expected to be completed at the end of this year and preparatory activities for the main tower already underway on site.”

Maureen said it had been an absolute privilege to have her name gracing the Ballarat skyline for the past year – representing her fellow volunteers.

“It really has been wonderful in so many ways. It has been a great topic of conversation for all who walk through the hospital doors every day. One conversation that will remain close to my heart is with a nurse who regularly brought her five-year-old son into the hospital. The nurse would often talk to her son about the crane to distract him of the purpose of his visit. To be able to help in that way was very special,” Ms Woodford said.

Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison said Maureen the Crane had symbolised the importance of the Ballarat Base Hospital's volunteers and the significant upgrades to the hospital.

“I look forward to seeing the hospital's redevelopment progress so more patients can receive the care they need, closer to home." 

The section of Drummond Street, between Sturt and Mair Streets, will be closed to all vehicles on June 15 and 16 to allow for Maureen the Crane to be dismantled. Grampians Health’s Ballarat Base Hospital will remain accessible via Drummond Street, Mair Street and Sturt Street with pedestrian access still available.

The car park crane is expected to be dismantled on June 19 and 20, with minor road disruptions expected in Ascot Street on those two days.

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