The historic lunatic asylum still relevant to regional Victoria today

18 AUGUST 2020

The historic lunatic asylum still relevant to regional Victoria today

Charles Sturt academic part of presentation for Social Sciences Week on Beechworth Lunatic Asylum and how its history is still relevant to the community.

  • Charles Sturt academic part of exhibition that unlocks the past for Social Sciences Week

A Charles Sturt University researcher is part of a team delving into the unique history at one of regional Victoria’s lunatic asylums for Social Sciences Week.

Three short presentations will be delivered by Associate Professor in the School of Education in Albury-Wodonga Dr Jennifer Munday, genealogist and researcher Ms Eileen Clark and Dr Alison Watts from Southern Cross University on different aspects of the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum and how connections from the past have relevance now.

Dr Munday will take a tour around the exhibition and put the various collections of the exhibition in context for the viewer.

Dr Watts will discuss ‘The Open Door’ magazine which was produced by staff and patients at Mayday Hills psychiatric hospital in Beechworth. Reading magazines was intended to distract patients, provide entertainment and a form of occupational therapy through the production of the magazine.

Ms Clark will outline the economic benefits of the asylum to the Beechworth community, including provision of goods and services and tourism, from the early days of the institute until now.

The presentation, entitled ‘Collections from the lunatic asylum: Past lives, present tense’, will be available to view via a Zoom event on Sunday 13 September from 5pm.

Registrations for this event are now open online.

Charles Sturt University is a proud partner of Social Sciences Week, which runs from Monday 7 to Sunday 13 September.

Information about the other events Charles Sturt is hosting during the week will be made available on the University’s news site.

Media Note:

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on 0429 217 026 or

Photo caption: The first photo of the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, taken by Algernon Hall in 1866. The image was later photo engraved and published in supplement to the Ovens and Murray Advertiser in 1867.

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Albury-Wodonga Wagga Wagga Charles Sturt University Teaching and Education Society and Community