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Islands

State Library of Queensland

30th June - 27th January

When war broke out in 1939, wife and mother Phyllis Ebbage was thrown into her own personal turmoil on Queensland’s Peel Island, which became a ‘leprosarium’ (leper colony) in 1907.

Phyllis was a wife and mother living in Townsville when she was said to have contracted leprosy however there seemed to be some doubt over her diagnosis. Her family and doctor agreed not to tell her about the diagnosis before she was transferred to Peel Island where she was forced to stay for 13 years. It would be eight years before she was able to see her two small daughters.

The heartbreaking Ebbage story is one of many compelling tales from State Library of Queensland’s newest exhibition, Islands. Islands explores the hidden histories of Queensland’s islands and aims to reshape our knowledge of these close but faraway places. From Peel Island’s leprosarium and St Helena Island’s penal settlement to the story of Eliza Fraser and the development of tourism on Lindeman Island, Islands brings together some of the lesser known stories of the state’s island life.

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Islands

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