Larundel (Mental Hospital 1953-1991; Receiving House 1953-1959; Psychiatric Hospital 1959-1999)

Public Record Office Victoria
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Larundel Mental Hospital was proclaimed as an independent mental hospital in 1953. Its proclamation as a Mental Hospital was published in the Government Gazette on June 10, 1953 (No. 497, p. 2857). It was located on Plenty Road, Bundoora.

A mental hospital was any public building proclaimed by the Governor-in-Council and published in the Government Gazette as a place for the reception of lunatics. A mental hospital could also provide wards for the temporary reception of patients as well as long term patients. Until the Mental Health Act 1959 (No.6605) came into operation in 1962 these "short term" wards were known as " receiving houses". The Mental Health Act 1959 designated hospitals providing short term diagnosis and accommodation as "psychiatric hospitals". Any institution could have a section designated as a mental hospital for long-term or indefinite hospitalisation and a section designated as a psychiatric hospital for short-term diagnosis and treatment of acute psychiatric illness. Any such designation of particular wards are published in the Government Gazette. Hence some sections at Larundel were designated as a mental hospital and some sections as a psychiatric hospital.

Although the first patients arrived in 1949, Larundel was not officially proclaimed as a separate mental hospital until June 10, 1953. At this time, five wards, previously known as the Farm Worker's Block at Mont Park (VA 2846), were incorporated into Larundel. Larundel housed 387 patients, a quarter of which were female. In 1955, eight additional wards opened, allowing for another 360 patients, of which 270 were female.

By the early 1970s, Larundel had wards dealing with psychological illnesses such as acute psychiatrics, chronic schizophrenics, chronic psychotics and geriatric patients. A clinical laboratory had also been added.

Larundel continued its own administration until the formation of North Eastern Metropolitan Psychiatric Services (commonly known as NEMPS) (VA 5083) in 1991. Larundel continued to operate under the administration of NEMPS until 1999, when Larundel closed. Many of Larundel's patients were then transferred to Austin Hospital (VA 1243).

Throughout its operation Larundel may also have been known colloquially as Larundel Mental Asylum and Larundel Hospital, although these names are not specified in any relevant Government Gazettes.

Prior to its proclamation as a mental hospital in 1953 the site at Larundel was administered by Mont Park (VA 2846). Larundel began housing mental health patients on November 21, 1949, when thirty male patients were transferred from Mont Park, with other wards being opened progressively and female patients first being transferred in May 1952. Prior to this, the facility was conceived in 1938, began being built in 1940, was taken over by RAAF in 1942, was a WAAF training depot from 1943-1945, and from 1946-1949 provided emergency accommodation for the Department of Housing.

141,-34 142.91934,-34.1456 144.58213,-35.65923 147.74263,-35.87318 150.02422,-37.52904 150.2,-39.2 141,-39.2 141,-34


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