Pair of cream canvas boots, size 9, with black laces. Worn by a patient before 1950 at Aradale Psychiatric Hospital. Aradale Psychiatric Hospital was built as the Ararat Lunatic Asylum between 1864 and 1867, and is important as a record of the changing approaches to the treatment of mental illness in Victoria - from institutional confinement to treatment and rehabilitation.

Much of the Museum's Psychiatric Services Collection was assembled during the 1950s by Dr Charles Brothers while he was working within the Victorian system to bring about reforms. Dr Brothers' investigations uncovered the institutionalised poverty and lack of hope resulting from decades of government and community neglect. The texture of daily life in an impoverished and overcrowded institution is evoked by well-worn domestic objects, battered metal chamber pots and standardised clothing.

Physical Description

Pair of cream canvas boots, size 9 with black laces, and leather soles and standard heels.


Example of uniforms worn in mental health hospitals in Victoria, Australia prior to 1950

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