Discovery Centre

Open Saturdays and Sundays, 11am - 2pm (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)

PLEASE NOTE: The Discovery Centre does not include a tour of J Ward. The Discovery Centre includes entry to J Ward for the purpose of accessing archived records.

If you book into the Discovery Centre and intend to do a tour, you will be charged the difference in admission price upon arrival.

Explore J Ward and Aradale's collection of documents, photographs, documentaries and newsletters ranging from the 1860s to 1993 and beyond.

Examples of content currently available for viewing include:

  • Newspaper articles relating to the treatment of mental health within J Ward and other institutions
  • Copies of The Grapevine - Aradale Asylum's staff newsletter
  • Photographs and articles relating to J Ward and Aradale's significant events
  • Letters and records pertaining to past patients and staff

Physical records are also available for viewing.

All records made available are subject to the Friends of J Ward Records Policy (see below).

With new content being added regularly, there is always fresh content to explore. Our friendly volunteers will provide you with assistance in searching our catalogue.

Adults $5, kids under 16 free. Coffee, tea and soft drink is included in the price of admission.

Unable to make it into the Discovery Centre? Email with what you are looking for, and one of our friendly volunteers will be more than happy to assist you.

Warning about distressing information

Numerous records relating to both J Ward and Aradale contain content that some may find distressing. Records may contain reference to previous policies, views and established practices which are outdated and do not reflect the current views of Friends of J Ward Inc.

Friends of J Ward Inc Discovery Centre Records Policy

This policy is guided by the Public Records Act 1973.

Friends of J Ward Inc (FOJW) supports open and transparent access to records.

FOJW closes access to ‘personal or private’ records to prevent the violation of personal privacy which is generally for a person’s lifetime.

  • Records concerning adults are closed for 75 years from the year in which the records
    were created.
  • Records concerning children as the main subject of the record, are closed from 99
    years from the year in which the records were created.
  • Records concerning staff where the individuals may still be in the workforce are closed
    for 40 years.

Closure of records does not preclude the public from gaining access under the Freedom of Information Act.

For more information on this policy, please Contact Us.