Joanna Gonnella worked at the Larundel Mental Hospital, which operated for many years at the site behind Polaris Shopping Centre on Plenty Road Bundoora.

Gonella Crescent Bundoora commemorates Joanna Gonnella (correct spelling) who worked as a nurse and Charge Sister with the patients of Larundel for more than 20 years.

Gonella Crescent winds its way through the beautiful houses of the Gresswell Grange Estate, near the Larundel Memorial Reserve and the Larundel Walkway. If you would like to take an historic Walk around this Estate which honours Joanna Gonnella and other Larundel staff go to:

Larundel Staff remembrance walk – Walking Maps

Joanna was born Ivana Remskar in 1936 and married Alfredo Gonnella in 1958. Both had migrated from Europe after World War Two. Alfredo and Joanna had one daughter. Joanna became the Charge Sister at Larundel Hospital from the late 1960s, working with the Medical Superintendent Dr David Barlow who came to the Hospital about the same time (see ). They ‘ran a tight ship’ according to their co-workers, in this very large and busy facility.

Joanna’s husband Alfredo worked initially as a ward assistant and then trained and worked as a nurse also. They lived in Thomastown for about 20 years until they moved out to St Andrews to a 36 hectares farm in about 1983. There they raised beef cattle and improved the property greatly, surviving the droughts of the early 2000s and then the dangerous bushfire on Black Saturday 2009.

Joanna Gonnella on their property in the 2010’s


Joanna died suddenly in 2012 at the age of 75 years.

Thanks to former Larundel Hospital staff members Pam and Eric Wrigley for the photograph of Joanna when she was the Charge Sister at Larundel.

Prepared by Kathy Andrewartha 2021.


Article about closure of Larundel Hospital from Northside Christian College web pages – Larundel Psychiatric Hospital – BUNDOORA HISTORY (

Description of Gonnella’s Farm, Community Environmental Recovery Action Plan St Andrews Catchment Fact Sheet