Bushrangers are as synonymous with Australian history as the Gold Rush and the Eureka Stockade. And people from all walks of life are endlessly fascinated with these notorious, often colourful, outlaws. Opening these September school holidays, the Wild Colonial Boys Exhibition at the Old Treasury Building is a fantastic, FREE exhibit featuring some of our earliest bushrangers.
Travel back to the 1840's, when gold was in abundance and bushrangers travelled in 'gangs' looking for easy victims and vulnerable stock. See images of the panic and havoc they wrecked in their pursuit of riches.
Included in the exhibit are some of the earliest bushrangers and details of their very public trials around 1842, which were designed to act as a deterrent to others. You'll also meet the gang who made a career out of holding-up passers-by on the St Kilda Road through the 1850's, along with the youngest bushranger on Australian recorded, John (Jack) Doolan, who was the inspiration for the song The Wild Colonial Boy.
Of course, no bushranger exhibition would be complete without a tilt toward our most famous bushranger of them all, Ned Kelly. The Kelly boys will be featured, along with their now infamous stories and some of their armour made from heavy metal plough plates, generously on loan from the Police Museum.
See up close the death mask of 'Mad Dan' Morgan, thanks to the Museum of Anatomy and Pathology at the University of Melbourne and take a look at precious records from the state's archives and plenty of other interesting artefacts.
The Wild Colonial Boys Exhibition is being presented in conjunction with the Old Treasury Building and the Public Record Office Victoria. For visitors to Melbourne, The Old Treasury Building in itself is worth a visit. Designed by JJ Clark when he was only 19 years old and constructed between 1858 and 1862, it continues to be recognised as 'one of the finest 19th century buildings in Australia.' It is also home to the original gold vaults, used to store gold bullion during the gold rush era, and rare and historical documents relating to key moments in Victorian history.
The Wild Colonial Boys Exhibition will be featured at the Old Treasury Building from Monday 19th September 2016 through to the 19th September 2017.