In 1986, a group of retired ambulance officers identified the need to preserve Victoria’s ambulance history. Meetings were held and soon after the Ambulance Historic Society of Victoria Inc (A.H.S.) was formed. With grateful financial assistance and support from Ambulance Victoria, the museum entered its infancy. So began the search for suitable vintage ambulances, equipment and memorabilia, often beyond the bounds of Victoria. Great endeavour brought about the procurement of some six vintage ambulances, each having to be restored at various locations around Melbourne – a challenging and difficult task.
This situation continued until 2006 when premises were obtained in Thomastown in metropolitan Melbourne, again with vital and ongoing support from Ambulance Victoria.
The Ambulance Historic Society received a great response for the museum from ambulance stations and personnel throughout Victoria and other states, resulting in donations of vintage equipment, memorabilia, photographs and other items.
From that time the museum has become an historic gem, currently displaying 17 vintage ambulances dating from 1916, which are complemented by a large range of interesting memorabilia including a circa 1887 “Ashford Litter” man-pushed ambulance, vintage radio and medical equipment and information. The museum also includes the very first MICA ambulance. This entire ambulance museum project has been solely developed and maintained voluntarily by dedicated retired ambulance personnel. It is a non-profit organisation and is a unique and valuable heritage asset for the people of Victoria and indeed for all throughout Australia who cherish our national history.
In 2015 the museum was moved from Thomastown to Bayswater. All of the items (over 3,000) in the museum are currently being catalogued.
The museum is located at Factory 1 / 55 Barry Street, Bayswater. It is open for individual, group or club visits by appointment. Vehicles, memorabilia and retired ambulance personnel are also available for public and corporate events and displays.
Arrange a Visit
Chas Martin - Co-ordinating Officer
Ambulance Historical Society Museum