The Geelong Gaol Museum is proud to present a talk by Bob Marmion, author of “Murder at the Fort”.

Bob is the Queenscliff Fort historian and an ex Victorian Police detective who has investigated two mysterious murders that occurred in 1942, both with connections to Fort Queenscliff.

In May 1942, Driver Roy Willis was found on the side of the road with several bullets in his body. In September 1942, Gunner Johnny Hurston disappeared while on duty with his body not discovered until 10 days later, again with bullet wounds.

Join Bob for an hour long talk about his investigation into these two wartime cold cases

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Step back in time for a magical moving image display of the Magic Lantern by John Semmens.

Roll up, roll up for the Magical Mystery Tour of innovation, reservation, and satisfaction guaranteed!!!

Step back into a time before television and cinema. To a time of storytelling and the birth of moving images.

As early as the 1840s, people would gather at public halls, churches, and theatres to watch the magic of moving images to illustrate lectures, concerts, pantomimes, and other forms of theatre.

In colonial Victoria, the use of the magic lantern by The Salvation Army was a popular form of entertainment. Captain Joseph Perry while stationed at the Ballarat in 1890, showed informal slide shows of biblical subjects using the magic lantern to finance The Prison Gate program, which supported men after their release from prison.

Join John Semmens as he shares his love and knowledge for a forgotten art of Limelight magic, on one of the best preserved Magic Lanterns in Victoria as he tells the history and performs a display of antique Royal glass slides in readiness for King Charles’ Coronation.


For 170 years, the Geelong Gaol has overlooked the township of Geelong leaving its mark in history. Join Deb, General Manager and Historian of the Geelong Gaol and host of the historical true crime podcast “Locked Up With History” to hear some of the gaol’s history and the stories of those contained within the bluestone walls

Opening in 1853, the Geelong Gaol is one of Australia’s most intact 19th-century convict prisons. And in 2023, the goal is to celebrate her 170th birthday!

Deb Robinson has been researching family and local history for more than 30 years and for the last decade has researched the Geelong Gaol, her prisoners, and staff. Some of these stories have been told in the “Locked up with History” podcast but there are many more!

Join Deb for 45 minutes as she regales you with tales of the building, prisoners, and staff that once worked or were incarcerated here.

Part of the Australian Heritage Festival


23/4/2023 at 10.30pm

7/5/2023 at 1.30pm


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Opening in 1853, the Geelong Gaol is one of Australia’s most intact 19th-century convict prisons.

For 138 years it was a place of incarceration for men, women and children from all walks of life serving sentences imposed by the law of Geelong. Many tried to escape over the entirety of its history. Some succeeded but many failed. Hear the stories of some of these prisoners.

Tours are led by one of our costumed guides

Tour available by request for groups