The Brisbane General Hospital was established in 1867 on a parcel of land in Herston. In 1966 its name changed to the Royal Brisbane Hospital. In 2003, it merged with the Royal Women’s Hospital to form the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH).
The first facility at Brisbane General Hospital for patients with psychiatric issues was Ward 16, constructed in 1918.
In 1958 the unit formerly known as Wattlebrae was repurposed and became known as Lowson House. At this time what was Ward 16 became known as Ward 15.
In the 1960s and 1970s, children who were wards of the state were accommodated at Lowson House, even though it was a unit for adults with mental health issues. One woman reported having been sent to Lowson House, after having made an attempt on her own life at age 12 (‘Donna’s story’, 2011).
The ‘Forgotten Australians’ Senate report of 2014 discussed wards of state being sent to adult psychiatric institutions, including at the Royal Brisbane Hospital.
The Queensland Government’s 2011 ‘Reconciliation Plan: For children who as wards of the State were placed in adult mental health facilities’ referred to children having being placed at Lowson House and Ward 16.
Brisbane General Hospital
1867 - 2003
The Royal Brisbane Hospital is situated on the corner of Bowen Bridge Road and Butterfield Street in Herston, Queensland (Building Still standing)