The first mental asylum was at Castle Hill, NSW. . .Victoria became a separate state in 1851. . .Yarra Bend was the first permanent institution established in Victoria . . .prior to establishment of Yarra Bend lunatic patients had been kept in District’s gaols . . .the discovery of gold led to Victoria being inundated with thousands of immigrants . . . inclement weather . . . poor quality drinking water . . . sly grog . . . or perhaps sheer bad luck certainly took their toll on the fortune seekers.
Grandiose plans were to build three asylums at Kew , Beechworth and Ararat . .based on the style of the huge asylums of England (Colney Hatch). . . the name of these institutions went from “Lunatic Asylum” to “Hospital for the Insane” . . .the patients lived in large rooms like soldiers.
Adapted from The Building: Aradale Lunatic Asylum, by Graeme Burgin