More than 50,000 people, including children as young as 11, suffered in silence at the Wacol Mental Asylum after it was established in 1865.
The abandoned Wacol Mental Asylum was founded by the Queensland government as the first publicly funded mental health institution in the country. Due to its sheer size and being the first of its kind, by the 1950s it had become the largest asylum in Australia.
After being in operation for almost 160 years, the Brisbane-based Wacol Asylum, otherwise known as Wolston Lunatic Hospital or Goodna Psychiatric Hospital, was shut down in 2001 and since then has been left to rot.
150 Years of Systematic Abuse and Torture at Wacol Mental Asylum
Since the institution was shut down in 2001, survivors of the Wacol Mental Asylum have come forward to tell stories of shocking stories of systematic rape, electroshock, intellectual abuse, physical torture and being force-fed drugs.
According to the Brisbane Times, several women were able to access their files from Wolston Park, documenting the drugs they were given as children, mostly on a daily basis. Those drugs included Haloperidol, Paraldehyde (used to melt plastic!), Mellaril, Largactil, Neulactil and Valium. Paraldehyde has since been removed from the list of legal drugs in Australia.
The women described being raped while drugged, forcibly held down and being injected, being locked up in isolation while drugged and being electroconvulsive therapy if they refused or resisted drug injections.
The exact number of survivors is unknown, however, it’s believed there is no more than six.
In response to these reports and heightened pressure from survivors and their families, the Australian government issued an apology to the Wacol Asylum survivors in 2010. Since then, there have been more calls for a further Wacol Asylum investigation and a proper apology for the specific crimes committed by the Australian government and Heath Department, to be properly addressed.
Abandoned Photo Album of the Wacol Mental Asylum
On the same day that I explored and photographed the abandoned Broadway Hotel in Brisbane, I almost managed to document the Wacol Mental Asylum in Brisbane, Australia. I had my head underneath the wired fence when a policeman drove up to the building and told me that not only was I trespassing, but rapists and murderers were wandering around and might kill me.
But I couldn’t accept defeat so quickly. After all, it is one of the oldest mental asylum in Australia and one of the most protected abandoned buildings in the country. I wanted to know why.
I walked the perimeter of the site again looking for any other way in that didn’t involve me breaking through the fence surrounding the ruins. I knew there was a basement section, so I tried snooping around for a tunnel or underground entrance, but the policeman was back in flash, this time driving onto the grass right up to me.
As you can see in the photo below, I was being stalked by the police AND kangaroos! Unfortunately, I had to accept defeat and say I’d try again another day.
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