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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.

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