- 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.
- Spring 2015: tba, to be held 7 November 2015
- Autumn 2015: Succeeding in the regular economy: the aftermath of convict sentences
- Spring 2014: Crime and Crime Families: relocation and reconnection
- Autumn 2014: Voyages of Female Convict Ships
- Spring 2013: From the Edges of the Empire: female convicts born or tried outside the British Isles
- Autumn 2013: Resilience?
- Spring 2012: Women in a Man's World
- Autumn 2012: The Working Lives of Convict Women (held in conjunction with Runnymede as part of Tasmanian Heritage month)
- Spring 2011: Journeys: A Seminar
- Autumn 2011: The Orphan Schools of Van Diemen's Land (held in conjunction with Friends of the Orphan Schools)
- Spring 2010: Populating the Ross Female Factory
- Autumn 2010: Female Factories: Who worked there and why?
Saturday 9 May 2015
Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (Bass and Flinders Room), Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay
CALL FOR PAPERS
Most women transported to Van Diemen’s Land came from impoverished circumstances, and their petty thefts can often be understood as crimes of poverty. For some of these women, transportation meant in the long run an opportunity to achieve economic security and physical comfort, if not actual wealth. The May seminar will explore what it meant for a convict woman to enter successfully into the regular economy after she became free or received a conditional pardon.
In selecting papers for the seminar, we will give priority to those considering a general issue, such as:
- Making the best of employment opportunities (female convict emancipists in the liquor industry, running brothels, in agriculture, in trade etc)
- Acquiring property (might take a street or an area in a town or city to look at the housing where female convict emancipists lived)
- Joint enterprises with husbands in long-term successful partnerships (eg on farms)
- What did female convict emancipists do with their money?
- Looking at a particular ship, or women from a particular location, who succeeded? Can you speculate on why?
To answer such questions might involve research focussed on a particular source (rate books, pub licenses for a specified year or period, wills, bank records, etc)
In addition to papers on these more general topics, there will be a session of papers focussed on particular women—but the papers must be written to set the specific story in a larger context (in effect, treating family history as social history).
Saturday 15 November 2014
Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (Bass and Flinders Floor), Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay
10:00 Session 1: Female Convicts and their Crimes
- Trudy Cowley: Crimes of Transportation: findings from our female convicts database
- Hamish Maxwell-Stewart: Crime as a product of societal failure
- Melissa Fraser: Criminal Women? An exploration of petty session court records in 1860s Hobart
11:15 Morning Tea
11:30 Session 2: Crime families by their descendants
- Elizabeth Friedrich: 'It was the taties that druv us to this country'—the story of Mary and Julia McCarthy
- Allison Ellett: Arsonists on the MIdlothian and Duke of Cornwall
- Yvonne Jackson: 'So Grave a Crime': redemption and legacy in Van Diemen's Land
1:00 'The Case Against Mary Calland'
- A play be Helen and Mike Edwards
1:30 Session 3: Families in crime
- Cheryl Griffin: Getting Rid of Problem Families: Mary Beacroft and her three sons
- Eilin Horvik: Josephine and Marcelin—'The Artful Dodgers' of Port Louis, Mauritius
- Colette McAlpine: The Mountains of Proctor's Road
- Bernadette Dewhurst-Phillips: 'O Lord, it is all over with us now': a story of three Marys
3:10 Female Convicts Research Centre meeting (all welcome)
Cost (includes morning tea and lunch): $25 per head, to be paid on the day
Parking: in the grounds of the Royal Yacht Club (but no the Members Only area to the right) or along Marieville Esplanade
Lunch: gluten-free options will be provided
Access: the seminar is on the first floor with access via stairs
Registration: places are limited, REGISTER HERE
Enquiries: contact us
Saturday 10 May 2014
Old Sunday School, St John's Park Precinct
- Trudy Cowley: A Statistical Overview of the Voyages
- Hamish Maxwell-Stewart: Female convict voyages: an overview
- Deborah Norris: Children on the voyages
- Colleen Arulappu: Five surgeons and their influence
- Stephen Lucas: Medical conditions experienced by female convicts
- Dianne Snowden: Developing skills on the voyage
- Peter MacFie and Hamish Pike provide music of the period
Session 3: Individual Voyages
- Raelene Mibus: Gilbert Henderson 1840 (this is a copy of Raelene's powerpoint presentation - a written paper will be available soon)
- Brian Rieusset: Mexborough 1841
- Jo Brodie: East London 1843
- Mary Landers: Earl Grey 1849
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.
- 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
- 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?
Tour of the Penitentiary Chapel
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
Saturday 11 May 2013
Old Sunday School, St John's Park Precinct
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
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
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?
Saturday 10 November 2012
Junior Medical Officers' Quarters, Port Arthur Historic Site
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
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
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
Saturday 12 May 2012
'Runnymede', Bay Road, New Town, TAS
What did convict women actually do when they were assigned as domestic servants? Papers discussed many aspects of this fascinating topic.
- 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
- Tour of the convicts' working areas at 'Runnymede', conducted by Gemma Webberly
- Trudy Cowley: Trades, Skills and Occupations: A statistical analysis
- Robyn Everist: Heavy Metals, Herbs and Hope: Health care for convict women
- 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
Saturday 5 November 2011
Old Sunday School, Orphan School and St John's Precinct, New Town, TAS
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
Session 3—Journeys Through Life
- 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
Saturday 9 April 2011
Old Sunday School, St John's Precinct, New Town, TAS
- 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”
- 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)