In the 1890s, when this photograph was taken, nurse training for male and female attendants was new and the stepping stone to a national career service. The innovation is shown in the women’s uniforms, whereas the male attendants’ uniforms look more custodial. Most male staff in asylums were unqualified and chosen for their physical strength. This group is posing outside the Avondale Lunatic Asylum in Auckland. Originally the Whau Lunatic Asylum, this later became the Auckland Mental Hospital, and later still, Oakley or Carrington hospital. In 1994 its site became part of Unitec New Zealand, a tertiary institute.
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Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira
Photograph by Margaret Matilda White
Permission of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira must be obtained before any re-use of this image.