Wolston Park Hospital, 1865-2001: a retrospect
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We know about the first day at Wolston Park from a report in the Brisbane Courier of 1865. On 12 January of that year, seven prison warders (two of them women) and ten police constables escorted 57 male and twelve female lunatics from Brisbane Gaol 'to the new Asylum at Woogaroo'. Since 1859, Queensland's insane had no longer been sent to Sydney, but were lodged instead at the Brisbane Gaol. Now the asylum was ready, its residents were loaded into cabs and taken down to the river. There they boarded a steamer named Settler and were conveyed down the river to the landing point near Woogaroo Creek. The name of the asylum hinted at the reality that this was Aboriginal land: the word Woogaroo, so it was remembered in the 1930s, being a corruption of an Aboriginal word meaning 'to step over a person lying down'. Aboriginal people would be among the earliest inhabitants of the asylum, but not in great numbers. Instead, the institution was rapidly filled from its earliest days with the immigrant settlers who made up most of the colony's growing population.
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