Welcome To the Podcast Series Remembering Randall
Its been almost 42 years since my brother Randall Scott Carrington chose suicide over the prospect of being returned to Wolston Park Mental Hospital on 7 October 1980.
Wolston Park Mental Hospital was a place of experimentation of psychotic drugs and electric shock treatment in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Patients like my brother were given electric shock treatment, drugged, caged, abused and sexually assaulted. My brother was penned in with 27 men in Pearce House who slept in the same one dormitory. As a young gay man, he was the ‘bum boy’.
I am calling on a wide coalition of former staff, patients, their relatives, government and department of health bureaucrats to face the past, to speak truth to power, to break their silence so that those of us who still carry so much trauma can move on with our lives. I need the truth to be told so I can heal from my grief. Randall’s life cannot be in vain. His legacy is this podcast series that aims to build the evidence for an inquiry into Wolston Park Mental Hospital.
The terms of reference for such an inquiry should include, the passage of 1000s of people, many without any mental illness placed at Wolston Park, including children and adults with disabilities, young female state wards sent their from orphanages and ‘foster homes’, young gay men, like my brother Randall at a time when homosexuality was defined as a mental illness. Wives placed in Wolston Park as involuntary patients by their husbands. Mothers admitted for post-natal depression. The list goes on. All that was needed to make an involuntary admission was a sympathetic doctor to sign off on the admission.
There have been at least 2300 deaths, three cemeteries and a morgue, yet no records, no names, and no attempt to cross check patient inmate records with patient discharge files or death certificates. Or were there none? If not why not? This also needs to be included in the terms of reference of such an inquiry.
Finally, the 100 year embargo of state archives and a multitude of Qld government departments records, that keep these files hidden till no-one living has any memory of anyone abused by Wolston Park has to be amended.
Qld government owes it to people abused in #Wolston Park Mental Hospital to investigate what happened there and why. Who allowed wards of the State, people with disability, gay people, to be incarcerated and forceably treated? Says former Mental Health Commissioner, Lesley van Schoubroeck in this podcast series. Listen to the podcast and make up your own mind.
In 2017 Betty Taylor was commissioned by the then Minister of Health Cameron Dick to undertake an investigation and provide two reports (one confidential and one public) on the harms experienced by a number of women, who as children and state wards were admitted, against the law, to locked adult mental wards at Wolston Park Mental Hospital. This occurred, as far as we know, from the 1950s to the 1980s and there were at least 60, but could have been more. There has never been an inquiry this century into Wolston Park, and in this podcast series Betty Taylor tells why there should be one.
Three inquiries, the Forde Inquiry, the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse and the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry took evidence from the Goodna Girls that Wolston Park had detained and abused them and violated their human rights repeatedly. While they received a belated apology and some compensation, none of these inquiries would make the evidence public or use their powers to subpoena files, records, or former staff. Is this a co-incidence? Or a cover-up? The curator of Remembering Goodna, at Brisbane Museum, Jo Besley says ‘there’s a lot to cover up’. Listen to the podcast series and make up your own mind.
Finally if you have a story, break the silence, contact me and participate in this podcast series.
Public comments will be moderated, to respect privacy and protect me against defamation. Already had to deal with one too many threats to sue me for defamation this. Its very stressful and expensive.