Darwin LeprosariumPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Noel Humphry

The monument commemorates the Leprosarium that was established at East Arm in 1955 to provide accommodation and treatment facilities for leprosy patients who had previously lived on Channel Island. The monument traces the history of leprosy in the Territory, which includes information on how people who were once thought to have an incurable disease requiring permanent isolation were successfully treated and able to rejoin the community.

Leprosy is an infectious disease that has been known since biblical times. It is characterized by disfiguring skin sores, nerve damage, and progressive debilitation.

Leprosy was first observed in the Northern Territory in 1882 and soon after, cases of the disease were noted among Aborigines. However, for many years no action was taken in respect of Aboriginal sufferers. From 1884 Chinese lepers were confined on Mud Island in Darwin Harbour, pending their repatriation to China.  In the late 1920s the government adopted a policy designed to confine all Northern Territory lepers, and it was resolved to establish a leprosarium on Channel Island (in Darwin Harbour), which had been the site of the Commonwealth's only Northern Territory quarantine station since 1914. In 1955 the Channel Island Leprosarium was closed and all inmates were moved to the East Arm Settlement on the mainland.


Address:Campion Road, East Arm, 0822
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -12.472034
Long: 130.923263
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Approx. Event Start Date:1955
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au