HM Prison Dhurringile
|Location||Dhurringile, Victoria, Australia|
|Security class||Minimum security|
|Managed by||Corrections Victoria|
Situated 160 km north of Melbourne near Murchison, the 68-room mansion, completed in 1877, was originally a homestead for a large farm. The house was completed for the Winter-Irving family, who were major landowners in the area. The house was built in conjunction with another Winter-Irving mansion nearby, Noorilim. Dhurringile was built in an Italianate style, to the design of Lloyd Taylor, in partnership with Frederick Wyatt, from bricks produced on site, with details completed in stucco render, and cast iron.
The mansion has not been used to house prisoners since 2007 when new buildings were opened. The main unit is called Kyabram and houses 54 prisoners in cell accommodations. The unit has two sides, South and North. South is the reception side, where all new arrivals are housed prior to being moved into cottage accommodation. The North side is for medical hold prisoners who need to be located within the unit on a permanent basis.
The prison also contains cottages in both C1 and C2 classifications. The C1 cottages are: Merrigum (1, 2 and 3) Kyouga (1 and 2) Echuca (1, 2 and 3) Tatchera (1, 2 and 3) and Tallygaropna (1 and 2) Each C1 cottage houses six prisoners who each have their own bedroom. There is a main lounge area with TV etc. The prisoners in these accommodations collect their meals from the main mess hall every day as there are no cooking facilities located within the cottage. There are 3 C1 self-catered units where cooking is done within the unit.
There are 3 main C2 units called Garnya (1, 2 and 3) Dhugalla (1, 2 and 3) and Benalla (1, 2 and 3); these units are fully self catered. Each prisoner has their own bedroom and there is a large kitchen and living area. The units have two bathrooms and two toilets. Food for these units is ordered off a grocery list and the unit is allocated $275 per week to buy groceries. Prisoners from these units are not permitted to attend at the mess hall for any meals.
There is a 12-bed unit called 'Wyuna" for long-term C2 prisoners coming to the end of their sentences. You must be selected to go into this unit, you simply cannot ask to be placed there. The unit is made up of bedrooms with en suites. The unit is unlocked at night as with any c2 unit but prisoners obtain their meals from the mess hall.
A new kitchen, medical, library and administration building were opened in mid-2010. It is a state-of-the-art facility. Musters are now conducted on the balcony of this building as opposed to the mansion where they had previously been held. Most musters at the jail are held at the prisoners units or by their doors if they are located in Kyabram. But all work musters on Monday through Friday are held on this balcony.
A 54-bed expansion was opened by Andrew McIntosh, Minister for Corrections on 31 July 2012.
The prison continues to expand. In January 2014, 50 converted shipping containers were established on site to house 100 prisoners. Other expansion works are underway (early 2014) to build more permanent accommodation for Victoria's growing prisoner population.
All prisoners are expected to work whilst located at the prison. There are a variety of work opportunities. The main two industries are wooden products and metal fabrication. Most prisoners are placed in these two industries upon reception. Other areas of work include Horticulture (working in the main orchards), Maintenance, Gardening, or "Billet" (cleaner) jobs.
The prison is also a working dairy farm and about 15 prisoners work in the dairy. This work includes being woken and let out of their units at 5.30 am to go and milk the cows. The dairy also goes back and milks again at about 4 pm. The dairy workers work a 6 day week with one day off. They have their own special canteen times also as they are working when other prisoners are able to attend canteen etc.
Dhurringile is of architectural significance as one of Victoria’s grandest homesteads and a fine example of the Victorian Italianate style. It is significant as a rare work of the short-lived but prominent architectural partnership of Lloyd Tayler and Wyatt. Dhurringile is significant as an early demonstration of the rise of the red face brick aesthetic which arose as a reaction to the predominant use of stucco in the previous decades.
Dhurringile and its outbuildings are of historical significance as an important example of a substantial homestead built on the proceeds of gold discoveries and subsequent pastoral wealth. It is significant for its associations with its owner John Winter and the prominent Winter and Winter-Irving families who were among the largest pastoral landholders in Victoria.
During World War II, it was used as an internment camp for 'alien civilians' and later for prisoners of war.  One notable prisoner at Camp Dhurringile was Hauptmann Wolf Graf von Baudissin of the Afrika Korps. After the war he later became one of the founders of the new German armed forces, the Bundeswehr in the Federal Republic of Germany. Baudissin retired as a Generalleutnant to become the head of the "Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy" at the University of Hamburg. The letters he and his wife exchanged during his internment in Australia have been preserved and were issued as a book in 2001.
Murchison Military Post Office opened at the camp on 2 October 1941 and closed in 1947.
After the war the property was used by the Presbyterian Church as a training camp for English and Scottish orphans. It was then purchased by the Victorian Government in 1965 for use as a minimum security prison. Over the years the grounds have been reduced to just over 1 km² (0.4 mile²).
The prison was the first in Victoria to participate in the Prison Pet Partnership program to help retrain retired greyhounds. The dogs were trained and adopted in a pilot program which began in September 2007.
On 15 February 2010, 36 year old, convicted armed robber Jason Campbell, escaped from the prison.
On 20 September 2013, 35 year old Eray Aslan escaped but was found on 1 October 2013 in a Footscray home.
- "Dhurringile Prison: Visitor Information". Department of Justice. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "Minister opens Dhurringile prison expansion". Media Release. Liberal Victoria. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- *"HMAS SYDNEY and KORMORAN DOCUMENTS". Sea Power (Royal Australian Navy Archive). 1941. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Miki Perkins (24 April 2008). "Greyhounds retired to jail". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "Jail escape still under investigation". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 17 February 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2012.