ICYMI: The Netflix adaption of Trent Dalton's semi-autobiographic novel is set in '80s Brisbane, and follows Eli Bell as he juggles bullies, past trauma, crime and a seriously dysfunctional (but loving) family. The heartfelt and witty series stars Phoebe Tonkin, Travis Fimmel, Simon Baker and Anthony LaPaglia – not to mention Felix Cameron as main character Eli.
While most of the characters have been fictionalised, Eli's mentor Arthur 'Slim' Halliday was based on Dalton's real-life childhood family friend and sometimes-babysitter, who famously broke out of Boggo Road Gaol. Several times.
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The real Boggo Road Gaol closed in 2002, after 119 years in operation – and now, in the wake of the show's success, acclaimed author and operator of history tours, Jack Sim, has kickstarted a Change.org petition to 'Reopen Boggo Road Gaol Tours'.
The Boggo Road Gaol manager and Brisbane local is calling for the site to be turned into a museum, after earlier plans by the state government to do so were stalled after the pandemic and impending Olympic Games.
The hopes are for an official Boggo Road Gaol Museum to be established, which will display historic artifacts donated by the public and feature tours from former prisoners and officers.