Before the development of modern medicine, infectious diseases posed a major public health threat. The only known means of protecting communities from outbreaks was to isolate sufferers and those with whom they had been in contact. For immigrants in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who had already endured the long voyage to Australia, quarantine could be a frightening and traumatic experience.
Separated from healthy family members, those in quarantine had no way of knowing whether they would see their loved ones again. Some children left the Quarantine Station as orphans, and some women as widows, alone in a strange country with no means of support.
Once home to generations of Aboriginal people attracted by the abundance of seafood, the deep coves, fresh breezes, clean water supply and remoteness from the fledgling colony of Sydney made North Head an ideal place for the creation of a quarantine area. From Quarantine to Q Station tells the fascinating story of the evolution of this site, from its early days as the colonial Quarantine Station through its transformation to the peaceful accommodation and conference facility known as Q Station.
Richly illustrated with more than 200 colour, sepia and black and white photographs, many dating from the late-1800s, this captivating, well-researched book takes readers on an evocative journey through
time. Newspaper articles, archaeological research and anecdotes from detainees bring the past to life, while modern preservation and restoration efforts are described in fascinating detail.
The Mawland Group is committed to preserving all aspects of the Quarantine Station site, from its fragile populations of flora and fauna and precious traces of early human occupation up through its more recent cultural heritage value. In doing so, our aim is to bring fresh perspectives to the site, enabling new generations to learn from and appreciate both its natural beauty and its history. The Mawland Group is located in Sydney, Australia.
• Explores the fascinating past of Sydney’s wind-swept North Head, from its rich natural history, Aboriginal heritage and development as the Quarantine Station through to the present day.
• Describes the evolution of quarantine practices and the history of infectious disease in Australia, as well as the captivating personal stories of many of the site’s detainees.
• Presents the intriguing results of a three-year archaeological and historical investigation into the origins of the thousands of carved inscriptions found on the site.
• Details the long-term conservation and ongoing education efforts that will preserve this rich slice of Australian history into the future.
•Features hundreds of rare and evocative photographs dating from as early as the 1880s.
*A high profile launch of the book at the site in May, which will be hosted by Deputy Chief Executive NPWS, Office of Environment and Heritage.