They say there is a thin line at times between creativity and madness. It is ironic, then, that the old Callan Park Hospital for the Insane, now houses the School of Creative Arts of the University of Sydney. The wider Callan Park also houses the NSW-Writers' Centre, of which I am a member.
Originally established in 1878, the hospital for the insane went through a number of name changes, depending upon the political climate of the day. In 1994 the state government pursued a policy of moving as many inmates into the commmunity as possible, in what were termed 'safe houses'. I think that simply moved fragile people out onto the streets. Needless to say, scattered throughout Callan Park today there are numerous buildings that are simply boarded up. Certainly, a majority look under-used. The park itself is glorious, and next month I will arrive even earlier and wander the grounds more extensively.