Welcome to 57 Murray Street
Located in Perth, Western Australia, 57 Murray Street was built in 1912 for the Public Health and Medical Department as a centre for government bureaucracy, policy and innovation. The legacies of 57 Murray Street continue to have a deep impact on Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities across Western Australia.
Health campaigns that tackled tuberculosis, polio and venereal disease were implemented from 57 Murray Street, while policies that led to the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families were enacted from offices in the building, including those of Chief Protector of Aborigines AO Neville. Dark chapters contrast with amusing stories about dancing girls, pet rabbits, dynamic doctors and the day to day of government workers.
Share with us the histories, experiences and memories of 57 Murray Street to raise knowledge, awareness and understanding of the influential and significant place.
Former employees as well as specialists in health and Aboriginal history have contributed valuable stories and interviews to the website and your stories are welcome too.
57 Murray Street is on Western Australia’s State Register of Heritage Places. The National Trust (WA) has managed 57 Murray St since 2010 on behalf of the community and government of Western Australia. Curtin University’s Law School will occupy the site from 2016.
Reconciliation is a priority commitment for National Trusts across Australia. A smoking ceremony at 57 Murray Street, Perth has provided a new future by cleansing its rooms, energy and strong emotions associated with the place.
See private and public images from the Public Health Department.explore
Explore the intrigue and the histories through revealing interviews.explore
Hear about the work and the workers connected 57 Murray Street..explore
Read about the building and the people who contributed to 57 Murray Street.explore
Take a virtual tour of 57 Murray Street. It has been a place of decisions and dissections and vital links to 20th century Aboriginal history. 57 Murray Street is a powerful symbol of surveillance and control and the appropriation of space and lives of people from Western Australia’s community.tour
Share Your Stories
57 Murray Street has extraordinary links to the community which can lead to better knowledge, awareness, understanding and reconciliation. The National Trust is sensitive to the complex histories associated with the place and encourages all who wish to contribute their stories. Please contact us if you would like to share your story on this website.contribute
57 Murray Street was not only a place of work but, as former typist Verity Cripps explains, it was where lifelong friendships were...
Over the years 57 Murray Street was home to a legion of talented and influential health professionals but, as Verity Cripps tells us,...
57 Murray Street has a rich history where life-changing decisions were made but, as part of its chance at a fresh beginning, Noongar...
Tony Calgaret’s sense of abandonment and isolation as a child of the Stolen Generations could have scarred him beyond recovery but he...
Tony Calgaret is one of the Stolen Generations, taken from his parents by authorities and raised on a mission for Aboriginal children at...
Unlike current approaches to Sexually Transmitted Diseases, the way health authorities in WA responded to Venereal Disease during the...
The creation of the 1911 Health Act, which led to the construction of 57 Murray Street, was recognition by authorities of the need for a...
For Public Health staff from 57 Murray Street, the visit by Queen Elizabeth to Western Australia in 1954 helped spread awareness of the...
Polio, officially poliomyelitis, was a shocking disease that caused the deaths of hundreds of Australians and left many more severely...
The Commissioners of Public Health from 57 Murray Street were powerful and highly influential but few took their responsibilities quite...
Argentine ants in plague proportions caused widespread distress in Western Australia from the 1940s and the attempted remedies...
In 1912, the same year as 57 Murray Street was completed, the Public Health Department hosted a national conference to discuss pressing...
A Brief History
57 Murray Street was built for the Public Health and Medical Department following the 1911 Health Act.
Campaigns run from here to improve public health ranged from better drainage and housing to containing epidemics including the 1919 Spanish Influenza, tuberculosis and polio.
It was a place of innovation when ideas were changing. Medical discoveries and dissections are reflected in its architecture. It’s also a place of unprecedented government interference in the lives of Aboriginal people.read more