These attributes could certainly be accredited to, and possibly were a prerequisite for, his early service at H.M. Gaol, Grafton, widely acknowledged as one the most brutal and bleak correctional institutions Australia has ever known. In contrast to the portrayal of a brusque, hardened officer, is Mr Perrett’s involvement with the Maitland Gaol Prisoners’ Discussion Group. Documents indicate that he was a key figure in the establishment and ongoing running of the group which met monthly throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. Topics for discussion were agreed upon by consensus and guest speakers from the public sector were invited to participate. Minutes for the group meetings attest that the lively and informative discussions, covering a gamut of subjects, were enjoyed by all who participated, and each month’s gathering was eagerly awaited.
Items from the suitcase offer a tiny glimpse into the working life of 3rd Class Warder A.G.F. Perrett. The H.M. Gaol E. Maitland Storekeeper receipt No.558 shows he returned his uniform, ID card, manual, badge, buttons, shoes, tie and tie pin on 23rd November 1976. Anyone with information about the discussion group or Maitland Gaol can contact gaol staff on (02) 4936 6482 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with items or information they’d like to share.