Two museum archaeologists standing with the Artisian Bore Drill

Curator Conversation: Murder in the Mulga

Wednesday 5 April 2023

2pm - 3pm

All ages welcome

Cobb+Co Museum


To those who knew him, William (Bill) Groves was a quiet, steady man, not known to be a drinker. Yet, in January 1941, Bill’s fragmented skeletal remains were discovered deep within a hole over which an antiquated Artesian Bore Drill once stood – a silent witness to his brutal murder.

After lying abandoned for many years, the bore-drilling rig was recovered from ‘Boorara Station’, one hundred and forty kilometres south of Thargomindah, in October 1990 by Queensland Museum archaeologists, Richard Robbins and Mick Elmore.

In a tangential way, the murder bore is linked to a much bigger Queensland crime story. In this talk, join Queensland Museum's own Judith Hickson on a journey back to the 1940s, and learn the disturbing story of a rusty old piece of machinery which was once used to drill sub-artesian bores throughout Queensland.

About the presenter

Judith Hickson joined Queensland Museum in 2016 as Curator of Social History in the Cultures and Histories Program.

Jude’s role is fundamentally embedded in the stories of Queensland’s people and communities - collecting, researching and helping others to represent and tell their own stories and share their lived experiences through the objects they donate.

For Jude, object stories have the ability to transcend time and space and also to serve as an important point of reflection - connecting us to people, places and events beyond our knowing, provoking in us either positive or negative emotions and prompting us to understand our complex world in ways we may previously not have considered. 

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