Experience incarceration for yourself

The Watch House experience gives you an opportunity for a unique encounter with the justice system by being processed and 'charged with a crime'

Between 1913 and 1994 the City Watch House was Melbourne’s central ‘holding place’ for people arrested and awaiting trial.

The police office and cells remain almost unchanged in the 20 years since they were last used.

Here students actively explore this confronting place and its people from different perspectives through role-play, multi-media interpretation and self-exploration.

This is a 30 min activity with an actor performing as a police sergeant in the Old Watch House. If you would also like to access the main building of the Old Melbourne Gaol site you need to book a Gaol Tour as well.

Group sizes are between 15-30 students for both activities.

Year Levels:Yr 9-VCE (Not recommended for Year 8 or below)
Tour times:9am
Duration:30mins (option to package with Gaol Tour & Court Room Drama)
Numbers:30 students maximum
Location:377 Russell Street, Melbourne
Resources:Online information
Cost:$10 per student. Different prices for after hours and early sessions (teachers free at ratio of 1:12)
$11 per ESL / Tertiary student.
Bookings:Online Booking Form or Email: bookings@nattrust.com.au or Phone: 9656 9817.

Curriculum Links

Levels 9 and 10
HistoryAnalyse the different perspectives of people in the past and evaluate how these perspectives are influenced by significant events, ideas, location, beliefs and values (VCHHC124)

Identify and evaluate patterns of continuity and change in the development of the modern world and Australia (VCHHC126)

Evaluate the historical significance of an event, idea, individual or place (VCHHC128)
Civics and CitizenshipDiscuss the key principles of Australia’s justice system, including equality before the law, independent judiciary, and right of appeal (VCCCL034)
DramaEvaluate how the elements of drama, forms and performance styles in devised and scripted drama to convey meaning and aesthetic effect (VCADRR045)
Personal and
Investigate personal, social and cultural factors that influence the ability to experience positive and respectful relationships and explore the rights and responsibilities of individuals in relationships (VCPSCSO049)
Australian History - Unit 4
Area of Study 1 - Crises that tested the nation 1929–1945

Area of Study 2 - Voices for change 1965–2000

"Both presenters were fantastic. They were able to keep the attention of VCAL students. Treating the students as if they were arrested, with the line up, checking for contraband and putting them in cells in the dark was great. Taking photos for line up was also a fun experience for them all."

Teacher feedback, August, 2015

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