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Introducing: The Last Outlaws

Emma Lancaster: This is an Impact Studios production from the University of Technology, Sydney. Before we start, please be aware if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, you should know that this episode contains the voices and names of deceased persons. Please listen with care.


Leroy Parsons: This is a story about two brothers.


James Wilson-Miller: She started talking to me about these blackfellas, these two bad black fellas that came through Singleton one day.


Loretta Ethel Parsley: They did a bad thing.


Leroy Parsons: And the complex realities they faced in life


Loretta Ethel Parsley: Where he was walking in the two worlds.


Leroy Parsons: As well as death…


Loretta Ethel Parsley: He had blood on his hands.


Leroy Parsons: The Last Outlaws in Australia. The story of Jimmy and Joe Governor has been told before. But never like this.


Loretta Ethel Parsley: Welcome to Country [in language] This is my story through Jimmy Governor. If it wasn’t for Jimmy, I wouldn’t be here.


Leroy Parsons: For the first time. The Governor descendants will share their story.


Loretta Ethel Parsley: Jimmy was fighting for his family


Leroy Parsons: But that family man snapped.


Professor Katherine Biber: Jimmy Governor was an outlaw, and he probably was guilty of all of these horrific, violent murders, primarily of white women and children. And yet every legal defence, every legal process, every legal opportunity was provided for him. And I’m interested in why.


Leroy Parsons: In this three part History Lab series, we’re pulling on the threads of one of Australia’s great misunderstood histories.


Loretta Ethel Parsley: He fell in love with a non-Aboriginal woman and that changed everything.


Leroy Parsons: We’ll find out what the Governor brothers reveal about Australia, about the start of our Federation, our legal system, a global body trade driven by race science and what their story tells us about black and white Australia.


Leroy Parsons: This may be the tale of a prison colony trying to become a country and the murder case that stood in its way.


Professor Katherine Biber: Local people would come and strike a match on the sole of his feet


Kaitlyn Sawrey: To find it would be a needle in a haystack.


Dr Murat Kekic: Well, we’re going to go through every bit of hay.


Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker: Oh God, what I really want to say… Am I allowed to swear?


Loretta Ethel Parsley: It could be a love story, it sounds like a love story.


Professor Katherine Biber: The archives are always not some pure and true source.


Kaitlyn Sawrey: So who do we trust? Nobody?


Leroy Parsons: This is the story of The Last Outlaws. Subscribe to The Last Outlaws wherever you get your podcasts and find out more at


Emma Lancaster: The Last Outlaws, a three part History Lab series, dropping September 22.


Podcast playlist


What remains of Joe Governor?

October 05 · 42 MIN

After Jimmy’s trial, what happened to his brother Joe?


Joe has mostly been forgotten by history, and his presence in the archives is little more than a whisper.


From coronial records, family tales and a visit to a country pub, it becomes clear that Joe fell foul of the frontier, in life and death.


And yet, more questions remain: Was Joe Governor, an outlaw, killed lawfully?


How do his ancestral remains become another transactional asset in the murky world of race science? And why is western knowledge still entangled in its colonial past?



Death Row Diary

September 28 · 35 MIN

How does the law deal with an outlaw?


Jimmy Governor is captured and his legal case becomes a lightning rod for justice in the new federation. But how did Australia’s most-wanted murderer get one of the best lawyers in the colony?


A prison experiment begins with a diary and we find out how the present mimics the past.


The Last Outlaws

September 21 · 33 MIN

This is the tale of a prison colony trying to become a country and the murder case that stood in its way, but this is not a true crime podcast.


Jimmy and Joe Governor, two brothers from Wiradjuri and Wonnarua country, were the last proclaimed outlaws in Australia – wanted dead or alive.


120 years later we examine what has survived and what we can still learn from the Governor brothers’ story.


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