OPINION: Homophobic And Racist, Lady Phyllis Cilento Was No Lady

Lady Cilento Children's Hospital

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 have one point of agreement – that Phyllis Cilento was a great human being.

But that judgment appears based on her Wikipedia entry which omits readily available information.

After extensive research conducted by our archive team we uncovered the real Phyllis Cilento.

In the 1930’s, she and husband Raphael advocated the compulsory sterilisation of people who were physical, mental or moral social misfits because, according to them, the future of the white race and western civilisation was threatened by the “better class of families” breeding less than the “less fortunate.”

The “morally degenerate” no doubt included homosexuals who Phyllis held as especially contemptible.

Phyllis Cilento also documented herself, her own illegal physical abuse of house servants in Papua New Guinea, and her admiration for Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. In fact, she congratulated herself on being one step ahead of Il Duce, pioneering the use of castor oil as a punishment, administering large doses to “houseboys” for “minor delinquencies”.

“They hated it,” she said, as well they might, humiliated by a colonial overlord who thought it was 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.

If you are annoyed that Queensland has a children’s hospital named after a woman who, in 1987, 40 years after WWII, still boasted of Mussolini as a role model, there is still time to vote. Go to this website. The poll closes Friday 31 August.