This timeline has been compiled by Dr Robin Barrington and Dr Melissa Sweet for use by the Carnarvon Library. They thank and acknowledge the descendants of those who were incarcerated, some of whom have contributed to this story and their permissions, the valuable support and information provided by fellow researchers of this history, in particular,

  • Dr Mary Ann Jebb and Dr Jade Stingemore-Pervan
  • The National Library of Australia
  • The Trove collection of digitised newspaper records
  • The State Records Office of Western Australia
  • The J S Battye Library of West Australian History
  • The Shire of Carnarvon and Carnarvon Public Library

Melissa also thanks and acknowledges all who contributed to her PhD, including people in Carnarvon and Shark Bay: “Acknowledgement”: A social journalism project relating to the history of lock hospitals, lazarets and other forms of medical incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. (A copy of Dr Sweet’s PhD is available through Carnarvon Library’s reference collection. Suggested further reading: #Just Justice: Tackling the over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (available at or in hard copy through Carnarvon Library).

Lock Hospitals Memorial Project
A project is underway to fund, develop, construct and install culturally appropriate memorials/healing places and an interpretive walking trail in Carnarvon. The project will recognise and acknowledge the neglected history of the Aboriginal men and women who were part of the Lock Hospitals project between 1908 and 1918/9 on Bernier and Dorre Islands.
A working group has been established to ensure the project achieves the above objectives and demonstrates respectful recognition of the people buried on the Islands with signage installed to identify the sites significant to the Lock Hospitals history.
Affected people from communities throughout Western Australia will be invited to attend a commemorative ceremony hosted in Carnarvon. To recognise the story, Carnarvon Library will exhibit temporary and permanent displays.

As of January 2018, the working group consists of:
Kathleen Musulin - Community member
Bob Dorey - Community member and Mulgana Elder
Naomi MacMahon - Community member
Dr Melissa Sweet - Health Journalist and Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney
Dr Robin Barrington - Lecturer, Curtin University
Dr Jade Stingmore-Pervan - Superintendent, BHP
Cr. Karl Brandenburg - President, Shire of Carnarvon
Deb Wilkes—A/Executive Manager - Corporate and Community Services, Shire of Carnarvon
Cheryl Weston– Coordinator Library Services, Shire of Carnarvon
Corey Walsh - IT Officer, Shire of Carnarvon
Nadine Brown - Community Officer, Shire of Carnarvon