In 1997, The University of Queensland acquired the site of the Challinor Centre for its new campus in Ipswich. Opened as an asylum in 1878, it was originally intended to be a benevolent asylum, but due to overcrowding at the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum (Goodna), it was decreed that it would become the Ipswich branch of the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum, and so began the long and checkered history of an institution that was familiarly known to most as Sandy Gallop or “The Gallop”.
It has been home to the mentally ill, the criminally insane, delinquent girls and most recently, the intellectually handicapped. Over the years, progression in treatment and knowledge has seen the decline of the institution and a more integrated life in society for the majority of these people. By the time the University had acquired the site, there was only a handful of residents left.
“The evil that men do, lives after them, the good is oft interred with
the bones”1, and so it is with most mental institutions. They can never
be a substitute for family life but they do provide a refuge for the
less fortunate in society. If it is possible to feel history, then it
is almost palpable at the Ipswich Campus.
From a place for society’s less fortunate, it has become a place for those fortunate enough to receive a university education. It will always be a place about community, extending help to each other and as such, enriching the society we live in.
1. Shakespeare, William. (1993) Julius Caesar. Oxford : Heinemann Educational, p.139