Commemorative sculpture acknowledges Lock Hospitals’ history

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Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt today officially unveiled the Lock Hospitals memorial ‘Don’t Look at the Islands’ sculpture at Carnarvon’s Heritage Precinct.

The Lock Hospitals operated from 1908 to 1919 and were an example of medical incarceration where Aboriginal prisoner patients, supposedly with venereal disease, were forcibly removed from country and transported to the islands to be treated.

It is estimated that more than 200 people died on the islands, with their remains left in unmarked areas.

The bronze sculpture – titled ‘Don’t Look at the Islands’ – is installed adjacent to the One Mile Jetty, the same point from which Aboriginal detainees were removed from their mainland home and transported to Bernier and Dorre islands, many never to return.

The McGowan Government contributed $140,000 to the sculpture, with the Shire of Carnarvon providing a further $25,000.

Lotterywest has also contributed $90,350 towards the Lock Hospital memorial project.

DPC media statement: Commemorative sculpture acknowledges Lock Hospitals’ history