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Photograph - Senior Staff, Kew Hospital for the Insane, 1923-1924

From the Collection of Kew Historical Society Inc Level 1, Kew Court House 188 High Street Kew Victoria

One of a pair of panoramic photographs donated by Fran Van Brummelen in 1994, and dating from 1923-4. The photo is mounted on brown card and shows senior staff of the Kew Hospital for the Insane, posed in front of the main administration building. The staff identified in this photograph include, in the front row, Dr. Reg Ellery fourth from left, Dr. Joseph Hollow, centre, and Matron Molloy, third from right.
Photograph 114 x 505 mm; on card 175 x 617 mm
Object Registration
kew mental hospital, kew lunatic asylum, kew hospital for the insane, willsmere
Historical information
Following a Royal Commission in 1854, the building of a new Asylum at Kew began in 1864. It was built to replace the Yarra Bend Asylum on the Fairfield side of the Yarra River. Work started in 1864 and was completed in 1872 at a cost of ₤198,334. Operating over a period of 116 years, and often renamed to take account of public sensitivities, the ‘Kew Lunatic Asylum’ was one of the largest asylums built in Australia. ‘Willsmere’ was finally closed in December 1988 and sold by the Government of Victoria in the late 1980s.
When Made
A rare and historically significant photograph of the senior staff of the Kew Asylum in front of the main administration building. The photograph can be confidently dated to 1923-4, as Dr Reg Ellery had been appointed to the staff in 1923 and was [unjustly] moved following the Victorian Royal Commission of 1924. The photograph is one of a pair donated to the Kew Historical Society by Frances Dorothea Van Brummelen (1931-2011) in 1994. Following her graduation as a social worker, Fran Van Brummelen joined the staff of Kew Cottages in 1969, and became senior social worker there in 1971. She remained at the cottages until she retired in 1994. Earlier, In 1987, with psychiatrist Cliff Judge, she founded the Kew Cottages Historical Society becoming its president. In 2002, the pair collaborated on the book Kew Cottages: the World of Dolly Stainer, which was later commended in the Victorian Community History Awards. This photograph appears in the book.
Inscriptions & Markings
Three staff identified on reverse.
Last updated
18 Jul 2018 at 11:47AM