Archived News Item

Werribee Mercy Hospital Resuscitation Unit Dedicated to Sunshine Police Officer

Pictured L-R: Graham Ashton AM, Chief Commissioner, Adj Prof Linda Mellors, Chief Executive, Health Services, Mercy Health, Wendy Steendham, Deputy Commissioner and Adj Prof Stephen Cornelissen, Group Chief Executive Officer, Mercy Health.


Werribee Mercy Hospital’s Emergency Department Resuscitation Unit has been dedicated to fallen police officer Constable Clare Frances Bourke at a ceremony on Wednesday 9 August.


Constable Bourke was performing watch house duties at Sunshine Police Station on 16 March 1983 when a colleague’s firearm discharged and she was fatally shot.


The Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation awarded Mercy Health Foundation and Werribee Mercy Hospital a $99,000 grant via their Westgate Branch to refurbish the resuscitation unit in 2016.


The refurbishment included the purchase of two new resuscitation machines, which can be used on adults and children, as well as the painting of colourful murals in the paediatric resuscitation bay.


Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation Chairman David Mann, OAM, said Constable Bourke served the people of Melbourne’s western suburbs and the foundation wanted to acknowledge her service to the community.


“By dedicating the resuscitation unit to Constable Bourke we will ensure her memory lives on,” Mr Mann said.


“This hospital, in particular the emergency department, represents a coalition between our community’s protectors and its healers.


“This year we celebrate 100 years of women in policing in Victoria and remember the four female officers who’ve paid the ultimate price for our peace and safety.


“Constable Bourke’s memorial will be the fourth one we’ve created for fallen female police officers at Victorian Hospitals.”


Constable Bourke’s brother Greg said it is fitting that Werribee Mercy Hospital’s resuscitation unit will be dedicated to a woman of the west who benefitted from the wonders of medicine.


“When Clare was eight years old she was the victim of a road trauma accident and was left clinically dead at the scene,” Greg explained.


“Fortunately, Clare was able to be resuscitated and she went on to display great determination and courage until her tragic death 15 years later.”



Mercy Health Chief Executive Health Services, Linda Mellors, said the refurbished resuscitation unit was a welcome addition to the expanding hospital.


“We are extremely grateful for the support of the Victorian Police Blue Ribbon Foundation to help equip our hospital with the resources it needs to serve the Wyndham community,” Adjunct Professor Mellors said.


“According to the 2016 census data, Wyndham’s population has grown by 34.4 per cent or 55,500 since 2011.


“The refurbished resuscitation unit plus an expanded inpatient mental health facility and the ongoing $93 million extension of the hospital including a critical care unit will help us respond to the needs of the growing community.”


Messages to Kasey McCulloch, Mercy Health