The day that shook Russell Street

Hear how the Russell Street in 1986 bombing changed Melbourne forever in this Making Public Histories seminar. 

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Russell Street Police complex, 1986, courtesy the Victoria Police Museum
24 March 2016, 6:00pm7:30pm
LocationKeith Murdoch Gallery
Accessibility Has wheelchair access

On Thursday 27 March 1986, 50 sticks of gelignite planted in a stolen brown Holden Commodore parked outside the Russell Street Police Complex were detonated by a primitive but effective timing mechanism.

This shocking event marked a change in consciousness for the community: where once Melbourne was seen as a peaceful and calm city, the blast heralded the start of a new period of criminal violence.


  • Associate Professor Seamus O'Hanlon (chair), Monash University
  • Detective Inspector Bernie Rankin, Victoria Police
  • Geoff Wilkinson, OAM, Founding Media Director, Victoria Police
  • Martin Green, Learning & Interpretations Manager, National Trust of Australia (Victoria).

About Making Public Histories

Making Public Histories is an ongoing seminar series exploring public history, contemporary society and heritage with discussions framed around topical issues. It is a joint initiative between State Library Victoria, the History Council of Victoria and Monash University Institute for Public History.