The NSW Corrective Services Gaol Museum, located between the Cooma Correctional Centre and the Cooma Court House on Vale Street, is now open seven days a week from 9am to 3pm.
The museum has a fascinating history that’s been brought to life by Andrew Weglarz, who took over the ownership and operation of the museum eight years ago.
Andrew has a passion for collecting unique pieces of memorabilia from gaols across the state, and he’s turned the small local attraction into something that’s well worth a visit. Some of the new items and exhibits that have recently joined the museum’s collection include a portable medical facility that used to travel between various correctional facilities across the state, the actual spy hole from Ned Kelly’s cell, and new dioramas of various correctional facilities across the state.
The museum has a range of popular exhibits, including the death mask of the infamous bushranger Captain Moonlite, a complete recreation of an old padded cell with the original padding, and a variety of prison-made weapons and paraphernalia confiscated from inmates.
The NSW Corrective Services Museum isn’t just a place for history buffs to explore, it also plays an important role in supporting current inmates with their rehabilitation. The Cooma Correctional Centre primarily houses minimum-security inmates, and it has a strong emphasis on providing them with skills to help them integrate more easily into the workforce. Working at the museum is one of the most sought after roles for inmates, and it’s the only one that allows them to interact with members of the public.
Andrew and his colleagues has been instrumental in providing inmates with unique skills and guiding tour groups through the museum. They’ve also been creating art, textiles, and crafts to be sold at the museum gift shop.
So if you’re looking for a unique museum experience that offers both historical and contemporary relevance, be sure to check out the NSW Corrective Services Museum on Vale Street in Cooma. It’s open every day from 9am to 3pm.