Peel Island Lazaret

Peel Island

The Peel Island lazaret was a medical facility where sufferers of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) were kept away from society. The compound was planned based on the belief that segregation was the most effective treatment for the disease. In 1955, the population had declined to 22 white patients. Separated from the general compound, near the female accommodation, is the doctor’s residence. Other facilities included a recreation hall and medical area, which includes dispensary, surgery and hospital; two churches and an administrative zone. Behind the main precinct, further away from the coast, were the remains of the “coloured” compound, where Aboriginal, Chinese, Indian and Melanesian patients were housed in communal corrugated iron huts prior to their transfer to Phantom Island in 1940. This 3D model is a virtual reconstruction of the lazaret in 1955, when it reached its maximum physical extent, done by UQ Architecture student Jonus Darr.

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Guide

Peel Island Lazaret

The Peel Island Lazaret is a former institution for people with leprosy, located within Teerk Roo Ra (Peel Island) National Park in Moreton Bay on the eastern seaboard of Australia, near Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland. It is owned by the Quandamooka Yoolloobarrabee people and is jointly managed with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Over 52 years between 1907 and 1959, the north-western corner of the island was the site of a Lazaret - a government institution designed to isolate people suffering from Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy). During its operation, approximately 400 people with Hansen’s Disease were forcibly removed from their families and detained by law on the island. It was the only purpose built, multi-racial lazaret in Australia, housing Anglo-Australian, Indigenous, Melanesian, Indian and Asian patients from across Queensland. Isolation of leprosy patients was considered a suitable medical response, not only restricting people to a quarantined island, but into individual huts and segregated compounds. The remains of the lazaret is a significant cultural heritage site and reflects many of the early 20th century Queensland social attitudes and divisions. It also represents the resilience of the patients and the dedication of medical staff and other workers who served there.

 

Country
Australia
Field Documentation
March 21, 2017
Culture
Anglo-Australian
Historical Period
1907-1959
Location
27° 29' 40" S, 153° 20' 43" E

Peel Island Lazaret

Peel Island
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