Tearing Down a Woman's Name

Lady Cilento bathing Diane Cilento
The $200,000+ a day cranes and crew haven’t been hired and the roads haven’t been closed yet to remove the name of Lady Cilento from the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.

This ridiculous decision hasn't yet started to cost the taxpayers of Queensland the tens of millions of dollars it will take to remove her name from practically every surface, all uniforms, all the linens and every other conceivable object with the Lady Cilento Childrens Hospital name printed on it. It’s etched into every window for God’s sake. Will they replace 100,000 window panes that all have her name on them?

The $500,000 claimed by the Government is a lie. They admitted to us that no formal costing had been done. It’s an obscene waste of money from an inept minister. The reasons given for the change are paper thin and the polls used by the Government have been professionally investigated by polling experts and proved to be invalid. The decision is illegitimate on any of the grounds the Government has given.

We have been stunned by the overwhelming support to keep the name and put those tens of millions of dollars back into a hospital system that has a $594 million-dollar shortfall. This is a clarion call.

Every member of the family is constantly meeting people in Queensland whose lives were changed or helped by Lady Cilento or they are one of the thousands she delivered. The homes and diets of generations of families were based on her wisdom and practical knowledge. There is enormous affection and gratitude toward her, she saved lives and gave hope.

She set up clinics for women and children who had nothing to support them apart from a backward and patriarchal medical fraternity.

The same medical fraternity (AMA - Australian Medical Association) that insisted homosexuality was a psychological disease until 1974 and had fried peoples brains and ruined their lives because of it.

She didn’t. Her own daughter was gay and she didn’t bat an eyelid. She loved and accepted her daughter Ruth and her partner and never made an issue of it. They were an accepted part of the family.

She was always ahead of her time right from her graduation from Medical School in 1918 as the only woman in her class. Throughout her life she broke glass ceilings and challenged stereotypes. She had a deep and intuitive understanding of health and the needs of ordinary women and children. Her ground-breaking work on vitamins was ridiculed and resisted by the medical establishment at the time and now vitamins are standard practice and routinely accepted. She has an extraordinary strike rate and she never cared what the narrow-minded orthodox doctors around her thought.

This same fraternity now seeks to destroy her legacy at vast cost to ordinary people and at the expense of hospital equipment, services and staff who save children's lives.

They are tearing down a woman's name literally and brutally. She is an icon and one of the great female trailblazers of Australia.

This is an International disgrace.