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Law and Order Under La Trobe: The First Prisons of Port Phillip

April 18, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

$35 – $50

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria, in partnership with the C J La Trobe Society, presents the annual A. G. L. Shaw lecture delivered by Dr Ashleigh Green, the current La Trobe Society Fellow at the State Library of Victoria.

Dr Green’s fellowship topic is very interesting and, until her current work, little researched. Dr Green has investigated the planning and construction of the first purpose-built penal and psychiatric institutions in the Port Phillip District and Colony of Victoria during the La Trobe administration (1839-1854).  Her project provides an in-depth history of the construction and early administration of four of these key institutions, and how they set the precedent for the design and construction of gaols, prisons, and asylums in the colony that came after.

Ashleigh is a tutor in classics and archaeology at the University of Melbourne and the author of the book Birds in Roman Life and Myth. She has worked as a volunteer guide for the National Trust at Old Melbourne Gaol, and more recently as an historical tour guide throughout Melbourne and at Old Geelong Gaol. As the 2022 La Trobe Society Fellow at State Library Victoria, she researched the untold stories of the state’s very first penal institutions. She is currently working on a book that explores the prisons and prisoners of Port Phillip from 1835 to 1857.

Alan George Lewers Shaw AO, FAHA, FASSA, FRAHS, FRHSV (1916 – 2012) was a Royal Historical Society of Victoria Councillor from 1965 to 1971, President from 1987 to 1991 and a generous benefactor.  A G L Shaw was also President of the C J La Trobe Society and the two organisations have jointly presented the annual A G L Shaw lecture since 2002 as a tribute to a great historian.

There will be catered refreshments served before the lecture from 5:30pm – 6pm.


April 18, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
$35 – $50
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Royal Historical Society of Victoria
03 9326 9288


RHSV Gallery Downstairs
239 A'Beckett St
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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03 9326 9288