One of the State’s most significant hospitals and its cemetery have been permanently listed by the State Government in Western Australia’s Register of Heritage Places.
Environment and Heritage Minister Dr Judy Edwards said registration of the sanatorium and cemetery at Wooroloo would provide permanent statutory protection and recognition of the contribution made by the places to WA’s cultural heritage.
“Both the Wooroloo Sanatorium and Wooroloo Cemetery are significant reminders of the virulence of tuberculosis between 1915 and 1959,” Dr Edwards said.
“In particular, the Wooroloo Sanatorium, comprising 36 major buildings constructed between 1914 and 1917, is the only large scale purpose-built tuberculosis sanatorium in the State, and a large number of Western Australians suffering with the disease were treated there.”
The Minister said the sanatorium was one of the State’s largest intact complexes of early 20th century buildings, and an excellent example of a large-scale care institution.
“The place also has scientific value for its potential to provide information about the way in which tuberculosis was treated in the early 20th century, and about the way in which tuberculosis was perceived by Government and the wider community,” she said.
Dr Edwards said many of the patients at the sanatorium were miners whose lungs had become infected while working in the State’s Goldfields.
Returned servicemen from World War II had also led to an increase in patients.
From 1960 to 1970, the sanatorium operated as a geriatric and district hospital, before being converted to the Wooroloo Prison Farm.
Dr Edwards said the Wooroloo Cemetery was historically significant due to its close links with the Wooroloo Sanatorium.
“It is the only cemetery in WA to have been established to initially serve a hospital,” she said.
“The place is also a reminder of the large number of people who died from tuberculosis prior to the advent of modern medicines.
“In addition, the large number of burials at the site between 1915 and 1925 provide a valuable insight into the social and economic circumstances of WA during that time.”
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