The gift that keeps on giving after 60 years


From one man’s kind gesture to a hospital celebrating 60 years of caring for the people of Adelaide.

Burnside War Memorial Hospital began when Otto von Rieben gifted his house, Attunga, and the grounds to the City of Burnside to form a hospital.

Mr von Rieben wanted the house to be a living memorial to the service men and women from World War One and World War Two.

The Attunga Convalescent was the first part of the War Memorial Hospital scheme and cared for 1,400 patients over six years before closing its doors and making way for more changes.
After 12 years of planning and fundraising Burnside War Memorial Hospital opened on 26 October 1956.

Last week the hospital held a dinner at the National Wine Centre and almost 300 staff, doctors, volunteers, donors and corporate partners turned out to celebrate the considerable contribution the hospital has made to its local community in its 60 years.

Burnside War Memorial Hospital CEO, Ms Heather Messenger acknowledged the hospital’s beginnings and where it will be heading to in the future.

“A hallmark of our hospital’s reputation is our people and our relationships with them – with patients and their families, visiting medical specialists and allied health professionals, corporate partners and importantly the 350 staff who are central to the delivery of safe high quality care that we provide day in and day out to people from all walks of life.

“Looking to the future we remain focused on how we can continue to adapt, evolve and lead the way serving our community and respond to the ever-changing landscape that is healthcare,” Ms Messenger said.

Burnside War Memorial Hospital continues to honour the vision of Otto von Rieben, providing safe, contemporary care for every patient in well-equipped facilities.


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