The Friends of Peel Island Association (FoPIA) is a community support group for Peel Island, one of the beautiful islands in the Moreton Bay Marine Park east of Brisbane. New members are welcome.

Peel Island (Teerk Roo Ra) is special

Peel Island means different things to different people. To some it is a place of natural beautya jewel of an island among many found in Moreton Bay. It is now a national park in recognition of its important cultural as well as natural history.

With its remnants of European history it is remembered as a prison: first as a quarantine station for early immigrants many of whom spent up to three months held on the island after arriving on ships with notifiable diseases such as typhoid, cholera and smallpox.

Later it held patients of many racesnotably Caucasians, Chinese, South Sea Islanders, and Aboriginesunfortunate enought to contract Hansons disease (leprosy). They were sent to spend their lives in isolation at the island's Lazaret until they recovered, or not; an untold number are buried in the island's bush cemetary.

Peel's Aboriginal history stretches much further back. It remains a special place for the local traditional owners and their ancestors who used the island as a feasting and ceremonial place for countless centuries. The Quandamooka People's traditional rights to the island were recognised in 2011, and the island is now formally known as Teerk Roo Ra.

Exhibition on lazaret history

The exhibition "going to the gums" provides access to the stories of staff and patients, along with artifacts and memorabilia.

Access to the lazaret buildings and site are restricted to tours organised through the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services. Members of FoPIA visit the island several times each year on working bees, and organise at least one public tour per year.

Exhibition opening times: Sundays 10.00am to 4.00pm

Location: Fort Lytton National Park, South Street, Lytton (Brisbane)


Award winning book Peel Island's lazaret


"going to the gums...the lazaret on Peel Island" by Tracy Ryan, Rhonda Bryce and Gabrielle van Willigen

A pictorial short history of the lazaret, covering information on: the patients, staff, treatment, buildings and the closure of the lazaret.

Copies are available to FoPIA members for a special rate of $18.00 / non-members for $26.95, including postage and handling.

More information...

Order form


Looking for Information

Do you have information about Peel Island's history or natural environment, or are you looking for information about your own family?

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The FoPI Flyer is our newsletter, produced a number of times each year, and emailed to members. Past editions are available online.