At a recent M&G NSW seminar the Gang had the good fortune to meet Les Strzelecki who manages The NSW Corrective Services Museum at Cooma Goal. We had no idea that it even existed…
“Drop by” he said. And so we did – on the way back to the Hideout last Friday. And what a treat it turned out to be.
We LOVED it.
We were taken on a curious and fascinating journey through the last 222 years of the prison service, from the arrival of the First Fleet…
…through whippin’ biz…
… to chains and shivs..
…and everything (un)imaginable between.
Inmates regularly serve as volunteer guides in the museum (and make artwork on site) but we were given the grand tour by Les himself, and the stories just kept coming – from riots to escape attempts to humorous asides – in a stream of gritty authenticity that was nothing short of breathtaking.
Forget faux urban sophistication and designer slick. In this little outpost of candid penal retrospection, every object in the joint is the genuine article – collected from across the state by Les, himself a ridgy-didge (still serving) prison officer.
Make a date and check it out sometime, it really is incredibly fabulous. And immensely entertaining, in a grim kinda way.
More snaps here.
Meanwhile, Megsie’s investigating the artbiz. Stay tuned.