- Women Transported Exhibition (2009)
- Seniors Week (2008)
- Harmony Re-enactment (2006)
- International Women's Day (2006)
- Female Factory Muster (2004)
To find out about upcoming (or past) events visit our events calendar.
We hold seminars for members and any one who is interested in attending twice a year—in autumn and spring. The seminars usually run for a half day or whole day and vary in location.
Members and guest speakers present papers related to the topic of the seminar.
Tours of convict sites are sometimes included as part of the seminars.
A brief list of the seminar topics is provided here. For more information on the seminar program.
- Autumn 2010: Female Factories: Who worked there and why?
- Spring 2010: Populating the Ross Female Factory
- Autumn 2011: The Orphan Schools of Van Diemen's Land (held in conjunction with Friends of the Orphan Schools)
- Spring 2011: Journeys: A Seminar
- Autumn 2012: The Working Lives of Convict Women (held in conjunction with Runnymede as part of Tasmanian Heritage month)
- Spring 2012: Women in a Man's World
- Autumn 2013: Resilience?
- Spring 2013: From the Edges of the Empire: female convicts born or tried outside the British Isles
- Autumn 2014: Voyages of Female Convict Ships
Saturday 10 May 2014
Old Sunday School, St John's Park Precinct
9:30–11:00 Session 1
- Trudy Cowley: Introducing the voyages
- Hamish Maxwell-Stewart: Female convict voyages: an overview
- Dianne Snowden: Developing skills on the voyage
- Debora Norris: Chidren on the voyages
11:00 Morning Tea
11:30–1:00 Session 2
- Colleen Arulappu: Five surgeons and their influence (30 minutes)
- Stephan Lucas: Medical conditions experienced by female convicts
- Marueen Bransden: Diet on board female convict ships
1:30 Peter MacFie and Hamish Pike provide music of the period
2:15–3:30 Session 3: Individual Voyages
- Raelene Mibus: Gilbert Henderson 1840
- Brian Rieusset: Mexborough 1841
- Jo Brodie: East London 1843
- Mary Landers: Earl Grey 1849
3:40 FCRC General Meeting
Saturday 9 November 2013
Penitentiary Chapel, corner Brisbane and Campbell Streets, Hobart
Feature article, Untold story of our deep convict past, in The Mercury (9 November 2013) about the seminar.
10:00–11:00 Session 1
- Cheryl Griffin: Life on the edge: How six black women from the British Caribbean found themselves in New South Wales
- Jan Richardson: Stories from the Caribbean: The transportation of female convicts born in the West Indies to New South Wales in the 1830s
- Darryl Massie: Maria—from runaway slave to convict
11:15–12:15 Session 2
- Maureen Mann: The Canadian Connection
- Alison Alexander: French women in the Antipodes
- Douglas Wilkie: Eugenie Caroline Lemaire: Woman of fashion and influence; or con-woman?
12:15–1:00 Tour of the Penitentiary Chapel
1:30–2:30 Session 3: 3 papers
- Eilin Hordvik: Policing in the Indian Ocean: Four women convicted to transportation on the Island of Mauritius
- Cassandra Pybus: From Mauritius to New South Wales: the childhood exile of Elizabeth and Constance
- Lucy Frost: Writing biographies for the website: the story of Mary Jane
2:30–3:00 General discussion
3:00–3:30 Business meeting of the Female Convicts Research Centre Inc.
Saturday 11 May 2013
Old Sunday School, St John's Park Precinct
10:00–11:30 First session: Traditional female methods of coping
- Alison Alexander: Marriage as a panacea
- Don Bradmore: Prostitution as a Response by Female Convicts to the Trauma of Transportation to Van Diemen's Land: Questions and Cases
- Norma Watt: Embroidering the Past
11:45–12:45 Second session: Escape through the mind
- Cyndy and Maureen Brandsden: Better or Worse
- Nicola Goc: Understanding Resilience through the Frame of Madness
- Tour of the Orphan School buildings with Joyce Purtscher
2:00–3:30 Third session: Desperate action
- James Parker: Keeping out of trouble
- Jan Richardson: Queensland's Female Convicts: tragedy and resilience
- Trudy Cowley: Self-Harm by Female Convicts: Is there any evidence for it?
- Meeting of the Female Convicts Research Centre
Saturday 10 November 2012
Junior Medical Officers' Quarters, Port Arthur Historic Site
10.30–11.30 First session: Women in a man's world
- Meredith Hodgson: Caroline Leakey's account of convict women at Port Arthur
- Stephen Lucas: Female Convicts: Fertile Grounds for the Development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Robyn Everist: Un-natural Acts: The plight of lesbian convicts
11.40–12.40 Second session: Female convicts, their records and their masters
- Maureen Mann: Absent Without Leave: the Navarino (1841) experiences
- Deb Norris: Treatment of convicts by masters/gaps in records
- Brian Rieusset: "Lord Jesus, receive my soul": The life and death of Margaret Coghlin
- A Walking Tour with James Parker: Women and Children at Port Arthur
2.10–3.10 Third session: Lives of female convicts
- Hilary Jones: Eliza Stout: Murder or suicide? You decide ...
- Group of volunteers from the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site: Convict women assigned to Captain Haig
- Irene Schaffer: From finger tinker to first woman horse trainer in Van Diemen's Land
- Business meeting of the Female Convicts Research Centre Inc.
Saturday 12 May 2012
'Runnymede', Bay Road, New Town, TAS
10 am to 2:30 pm
What did convict women actually do when they were assigned as domestic servants? Papers discussed many aspects of this fascinating topic.
10:00–10:50 Session 1, chaired by Alison Alexander
- James Parker: To The Tubs: The laundry as female punishment
- Gemma Webberly: 'I rise at dawn': Daily chores of a servant girl in a colonial homestead
10:50–11:30 Tour of the convicts' working areas at 'Runnymede', conducted by Gemma Webberly
11:40–12:15 Session 2, chaired by Dianne Snowden
- Trudy Cowley: Trades, Skills and Occupations: A statistical analysis
- Robyn Everist: Heavy Metals, Herbs and Hope: Health care for convict women
12:15–1:00 Lunch, provided
1:00–2:00 Session 3, chaired by Lucy Frost
- Deborah Norris: poem Accidental Housemaids
- Colette McAlpine: 'I will not have women of that kind in our house Robert': Convict governesses in Van Diemen's Land
- Dianne Snowden: Margaret Shaw of the 'Rajah'
- Alison Alexander: Roasting Jacks and Sugar Choppers: what convict women put up with in the kitchen
2:00–2:30 Business meeting of the Female Convicts Research Centre
Saturday 5 November 2011
Old Sunday School, Orphan School and St John's Precinct, New Town, TAS
A sentence of transportation became a sentence to travel as convict women journeyed from their places of trial across the world to Van Diemen's Land. Many had made significant journeys before their arrestts. After they arrived in Hobart Town, many travelled about the colony while they were under sentence. Once they were free to move where they liked, the emancipated women often set off yet again for somewhere new.
The seminar explored these journeys.
- Trudy Cowley: A Statistical Overview of the Voyages
- Alison Alexander: The Voyage of the Henry
- Margaret Lindley: Nature, Quality and the Sailing of the Margaret
- Lucy Frost: Caring for the Children at Sea
- Meredith Hodgson: Steerage or Stay Behind
12:35–1:15 BYO lunch
- Susan Hazell: The Journeys of Mary Carr Hobson
- Cheryl Griffin: Unintended Journeys: the life and crimes of Mary O'Neil
- Brian Rieusset: The Journeys of Mary Murphy
2:30–3:00 Business meeting for Female Convicts Research Centre
Saturday 9 April 2011
Old Sunday School, St John's Precinct, New Town, TAS
9:30 am to 3:30 pm
- Andrew Cocker: A Very Bad Child: the Story of Sarah Briggs
- Lyn McLeavy: Ann Young and the aftermath of the Irish Famine
- Lucy Frost: John Offer’s flawed crusade for the Boys School, 1838-1839
- James Parker: "Captain Booth's Piccaninnies"
- Grant Finlay: Aboriginal Children at the Orphan Schools
- Toni Sherwood: Childhood outside the Orphan Schools in mid-nineteenth-century Van Diemen’s Land
- Rosie Davidson: "Faith, Funerals and Children at the Orphan Schools"
- Andrea Gerrard: "The Convict Stain: the story of three generations of the Quamby/Taylor Family"
- Joyce Purtscher: “The Orphan School Stigma”
1:00-1:30 BYO lunch - tea and coffee will be available
1:30-2:15 Tour of the Orphan School site (Joyce Purtscher)
- Trudy Cowley (Female Convicts Research Group (Tasmania))
- Dianne Snowden (Friends of the Orphan Schools)
- David Boon (Education Department)
3:00-3:30 Business meeting for Female Convicts Research Centre