Outside the Camp


Fishermans Wharf, Darwin City

September 5-9, 2000
Festival of Darwin

Channel Island Leprosarium (1931 - 1955)

This work grew from stories about a Leprosarium between 1931 and 1955 located on Channel Island just across Darwin Harbour. In the quarter of a century to 1955 when the Leprosarium operated there was a lot of misinformation surrounding  the disease and it seems that people were exiled there for life through a combination of ignorance, fear, and a dehumanised bureaucracy. For further reading about the leprosarium we recommend Rowena Ivers’ book The Spotted Skin

The research phase for this project was completed under the Darwin Theatre Company development project Side by Side (1999) that has resulted in three new theatre works: Choking in the Comfort Zone - Stephen Carleton, Prisoners in the Garden - Stanley Stanislaus and Outside the Camp

work of fiction

"Outside the Camp is a work of fiction. It comes into being through hearing stories of indigenous and non-indigenous people’s experience of Channel Island Leprosarium. It is not one person’s story but a weaving of many.

While hearing these stories I was told a Buddhist story of two people who spent nine consecutive lifetimes together. I began to think about how and why people connect. I thought about what if I lived before? I questioned: can you cross cultures from one lifetime to the next?

We have not always been handed down the stories of this country’s past; our history books tell little of the personal truths. There are many truths we have not yet come to terms with. Regardless of whether one may have lived a past or current life as a priest driven by words from the Bible, or a young child dragged away from his family to Channel Island, personal stories are important for our future and our culture.

The road to bring this story Outside the Camp back inside the camp has not always been smooth. I sincerely thank all those who have held on and taken the journey, contributing to the research and creative stages. I hope that as the audience to the production you both enjoy and gain something by travelling with us tonight."

Director's Notes – Tim Newth

collaborative skill set

The performance was developed with a small team of local Darwin artists working with the script. The collaborative skill set brought dance, puppeteering, story telling, singing and acting to the final work. Members of the team with the director to create the puppets, sets and props.

Creative Personnel

Conceived, Written and Directed by: Tim Newth
Design and Construction: Tania Lieman, David McMicken, Tim Newth
Co-Colaborators: Ken Conway, Tania Lieman, Stanley Stanislaus, Allyson Arjibuk Mills, David McMicken
Performers: Ken Conway, Tania Lieman, Stanley Stanislaus, Allyson Arjibuk Mills, David McMicken

Production  Personnel

Lighting: Neil Macknight (Darwin Entertainment Centre)
Sound: Andrew Dudley (Darwin Entertainment Centre)
Soundtrack Production: Matthew Cunliffe


Tracks 2000

Artistic Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
Office Administration: Heather Richards
Bookkeeper: Lynn Bramham
Production Manager: Eunice De Ramos

Committee Members:  David Taylor (Chair), Jackie Wurm (Vice-Chair), Glenn Bernardin (Treasurer), Rukshana Ramachandran (Secretary/Public Officer), Ken Conway, Kay Brown, Tania Lieman (Ordinary Committee Members), David McMicken and Tim Newth (Ex-Officio Members)



Explore Further

Research and Development

Iconic Tracks Works


"On a night at the end of the Dry, with electrical storms crackling over Darwin Harbour, and the lights of the port dotting the background, Tracks presented an exquisite evocation of local history. The narrative told of an Aboriginal boy taken from his family and sent to Channel Island. A powerfully emotive performance unfolded, evoking his terror, bewilderment and courage."

"Theatre at its best...sending chills up my spine." 

Suellen Hinde, NT News

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