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Law & Order Week

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at The Wheeler Centre

A History of Bad Behaviour

Opium dens, illegal brothels, and men with names as colourful as their pasts: our panel uncovers Melbourne’s criminal record.

Melbourne’s history is neck-deep with skullduggery, from our city origins to the wild colonial days of the gold rush to the golden age of illegal bookies and ganglands. In this session, we’ll take a forensic look at this city’s shady past.


Portrait of Andrew May

Andrew May

Associate Professor Andrew May is a social historian in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne, and editor of The Encyclopedia of Melbourne.

Portrait of Shane Maloney

Shane Maloney

Born in Hamilton in western Victoria in 1953, Shane Maloney is one of Australia’s most popular novelists. His award-winning and much-loved Murray Whelan series – Stiff, The Brush-Off, Nice Try, The Big Ask, Something Fishy and Sucked In – has been published around the world. 

In 1996, The Brush-Off won the Ned Kelly Prize for Crime Fiction. In 2004, Stiff and The Brush-Off were made into telemovies starring David Wenham as Murray Whelan. In 2009, Shane Maloney was presented with the Crime Writers’ Association of Australia Lifetime Achievement Award.

Portrait of LM Robinson

LM Robinson

LM Robinson has worked as a tutor, university lecturer, freelance writer and teacher.

Portrait of Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor and broadcaster. His most recent book is No Way But This: In Search of Paul Robeson. He writes a fortnightly column for the Guardian, is part of the Breakfasters team on 3RRR each week day morning and is also an Honorary Fellow at Victoria University. 

Law & Order Week

In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the criminals, police, lawyers and correctional staff who have direct contact with crime, and the people who write about it. These are their stories.


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