“ ‘Here is an Asylum open…’ Constructing a Culture of Government Care in Australia 1801–2012” by Ann Hardy PhD candidate in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Presented on the 7th September as part of the 2012 History Seminar Series in Cultural Collections Auchmuty Library, University of Newcastle (Australia)
Abstract: The nineteenth century saw a burgeoning of Government institutions in the Colony of New South Wales. Rapid social change in the course of that century generated a need for state-sponsored provision of care and a reorganisation of the management systems that oversaw those services for the state’s growing population. The Newcastle Government Domain (also known as the James Fletcher Hospital) is used in this paper as a case study to demonstrate how administrators used such institutions to alleviate a variety of problems in the Colony. By considering the many uses and policies introduced at the Newcastle hospital, this study explores whether a planned approach was intended, or whether it was simply a ‘testing ground’ aimed at dispersal.
Whatever the case, the result was an ‘accidental’ institution that remains in place as a government institution in 2012.