Digging up Sydney’s dirt

The good thing about living in Sydney for a while, is that you have the time to see all the smaller and lesser known activities around the city. If I were a tourist on a busy schedule, I wouldn’t have visited the small Justice & Police museum. During a weekend with too much time on my hands, I discovered it was worth a trip.

The building housing the museum used to be a police station and inside you can still see some rooms in the original state, like the reception area and one of the cells. Besides this, there was a courtroom with information about the clothing of attorneys and judges. Where I always thought a solicitor and a barrister where one and the same, here I learned the barrister works in the higher court. Both fall under the term lawyers though.

The museum has a good collection of weapons and there are two rooms that are dedicated to individual cases the police dealt with. It also explains the forensic work they did for it. Being a fan of series like criminal minds, this museum was thus quite entertaining for me. Besides the regular criminals, Australia has bush rangers that robbed people in the countryside. They teamed up and formed gangs and some of Australia’s folk tales are based on these bad guys.

Of course there was also room for the first convicts that entered Sydney. The new colony also needed rules and even as a convict you could receive bigger punishments, even the death penalty. This was abolished after the controversial decision to sentence a few youngsters to death. Besides the western society, Australia has a big Aboriginal population and they have their own laws. These don’t usually coincide with the laws of the white folks. This caused many Aboriginal people to get into trouble and this still happens. And who says they are the ones that need to adapt?

If you’re planning on visiting a few museums around Sydney, check out the museum pass. This can save you some money and might give you the extra benefit of entry to some museums you wouldn’t otherwise visit. The museum is located in Albert street, close to the Circular Quay.


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