Recently, QNews Magazine revealed something of the character of Phyllis Cilento after whom the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital is named.
The Queensland Government are currently conducting a poll seeking feedback on whether to change that name.
Social media discussion shows both those for and against the change agree on one thing. They all laud Phyllis Cilento as a great human being.
But that judgment appears based on her Wikipedia entry which omits readily available information.
Research conducted by QNews uncovers the real Phyllis Cilento.
In the 1930s, she and husband Raphael advocated the compulsory sterilisation of people they regarded as physical, mental or morally degenerate social misfits. The couple fretted that the ‘less fortunate’ bred in greater numbers than the ‘better class of families’. That, they warned, threatened the future of the white race and western civilisation.
The ‘morally degenerate’ included homosexuals who Phyllis held as especially contemptible.
Phyllis Cilento documented in her own autobiography, her illegal physical abuse of house servants in Papua New Guinea. Even 40 years after WWII she still held on to her admiration for Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. In fact, she congratulated herself on being one step ahead of Il Duce. Long before he employed castor oil as a punishment to intimidate and humiliate dissidents, she used it on household servants. Phyllis boasted in print of administering large doses to Papuan ‘houseboys’ for ‘minor delinquencies’.
“They hated it,” she said, as well they might, humiliated by a colonial overlord who thought it fine and dandy to use her medical knowledge to cause them to shit themselves.
Read more about Phyllis Cilento in QNews Magazine 462, including a two-page feature on Cilento’s unacknowledged gay Aboriginal grandson, the child of renowned poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal.
Update: Queensland Health later decided to remove Phyllis Cilento’s name from the Children’s Hospital. The hospital is now known by its originally intended name: The Queensland Children’s Hospital.
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