Story: Mental health services

Asylums: staff at Avondale Lunatic Asylum, 1890s (1st of 4)

Asylums: staff at Avondale Lunatic Asylum, 1890s

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.

Using this item

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira
Reference: B3488
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.

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How to cite this page:

Warwick Brunton, 'Mental health services - Lunatic asylums, 1840s to 1900s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/29405/asylums-staff-at-avondale-lunatic-asylum-1890s (accessed 19 October 2021)

Story by Warwick Brunton, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 21 Jun 2018