Wild Colonial Boys collage of images

Colonial Robin Hoods or murderous thugs? Discover new stories of Victoria’s bushrangers

If you thought you knew all about Victoria’s bushrangers, think again. There’s far more to it than the story of Ned Kelly.

This exhibition will reveal the long history of bushranging in Victoria, with some new and little-known characters from our frontier past. Meet the first bushrangers convicted in 1842 who were tried and executed publicly as an example to others. And the audacious gang who held up travellers on St Kilda Road in the 1850s.

Visitors can also meet the oldest bushranger, and the youngest – John (Jack) Doolan, who inspired part of the well-known bushranging song The Wild Colonial Boy. The Kelly Gang will be there too of course. There’s no story of bushranging without Ned!
It features records from the state’s archives and other intriguing artefacts, including Mad Dan Morgan’s death mask from the collection of the Museum of Anatomy and Pathology at the University of Melbourne and Dan Kelly’s armour, on loan from the Police Museum.

And it asks us to think about how we see the bushrangers today. Were they indeed nineteenth century ‘Robin Hoods’ – or just common criminals? We’ll leave you to judge.

Wild Colonial Boys: Bushrangers in Victoria is presented by the Old Treasury Building in partnership with Public Record Office Victoria.

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Start Date: 9 September 2016

End Date: 15 April 2018

 

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