Inspector General of the Insane was a position in the Medical Department, responsible for mental health hospitals and services in Western Australia from January 1904 to October 1947. During these years it was common to place children with intellectual and other disabilities in mental health institutions.
The Inspectors General of the Insane were:
Although the Lunacy Act 1903 established the title Inspector General of the Insane appointments had been made under the Public Service Act, giving the Inspector direct access to the Minister for Health. In September 1940, the position was placed under the Lunacy Act 1903. This had the effect of making the Inspector General responsible to the Under-Secretary for Health, distancing the relationship from the Minister. Ellis, in his history of mental health services in Western Australia, says that this led to difficulties with policy and restricted mental health budgets.
1901 - 1903? Superintending Medical Officer of Asylums
1904 - 1947 Inspector General of the Insane
1947 - 1966 Inspector General of Mental Hospitals
1966 - 1984 Director of Mental Health Services
Sources used to compile this entry: 'West Australia [Inspector General of the Insane]', Kalgoorlie Miner, 6 January 1904, p. 4, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89795274; Ellis, A.S., Eloquent Testimony : the Story of the Mental Health Services in Western Australia, 1830-1975, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, Western Australia, 1984. Please see chapters 4-7 for the life and times of the Inspectors-General; also pp.101, 105..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 23 April 2013, Last modified: 7 February 2019