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When the colony of South Australia
began in 1836, there was no provision made for people with a mental illness, or lunatics as they were then called. Consequently, they were kept in the Adelaide Gaol. A ward was set aside for the insane where, reflecting the view of the time, thet were kept restrained and out of sight. To address this problem a Board of Pauper Lunatics was set up in 1841 to suggest alternative solutions. However, no one was prepared to take any responsibility. In addition, the colony was nearly bankrupt which restricted public expenditure, so nothing was done.