The Female Convicts Research Centre promotes interest in the female convicts of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), by encouraging and facilitating research.
From 1803 to 1853, 13,500 female convicts were transported to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), as punishment for crimes, mainly theft. After serving their sentences they were released into the community. Their transportation left a lasting legacy.
The Female Convicts Research Centre encourages research into these female convicts, mainly through its database, website and seminars.
When you register with the FCRC, you gain access to our database where you will find information entered by our volunteers as we attempt to reconstruct the life course of each female convict.
We update this website and our database regularly and sometimes daily, as our volunteer transcribers continue to provide new information. Please bookmark this page and return soon.
Congratulations to Professor Janet McCalman.
Congratulations to Janet as a joint winner of the 2022 Ernest Scott Prize for History for Vandemonians: The repressed history of colonial Victoria. (Joint winner with Lucy Mackintosh's 'Shifting Grounds: Deep histories of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.)
This prestigious prize is awarded by the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts and the Australian Historical Association. It is a well-deserved award for an excellent book which tells us much about Tasmanian convicts, those who remained as well as those who moved to Victoria.
The judges called Vandemonians ‘a profoundly original and compassionate work of history that showcases new methods of collective biography to deliver fresh insights on every page about Australia’s colonial foundations. The Vandemonians were the generation of ex-convicts who crossed Bass Strait to lose themselves in Port Phillip and Victoria, seeking to escape their “demonised” past. … The convict experience is analysed in the full context of the life-course of individuals, singularly and in a crowd. This lucidly written historical study carries important lessons for our treatment today of the poor, the unwell and the disabled, the unprotected, abused and unloved.’
For more see here.
We appreciate the support Janet has given the FCRC over many years.
Congratulations to Dr Alison Alexander.
Congratulations to Dr Alison Alexander for being awarded the Dick and Joan Green Family Award for Tasmanian History, for her book The Waking Dream of Art: Patricia Giles, Painter. The $25,000 biennial award recognises high quality published work that makes a significant contribution to an understanding of Tasmania’s past and seeks to celebrate and promote books on Tasmanian history and cultural heritage, including biographies and historical fiction. Alison is the author of approximately 30 books, an outstanding achievement. Her book, The Ambitions of Jane Franklin, Victorian Lady Adventurer won the prestigious Australian National Biography Award in 2014. Alison is a founder member of the Female Convicts Research Centre and currently President of Convict Women’s Press. Well done, Alison!
Dr Dianne Snowden AM
President, Female Convicts Research Centre.
FCRC Seminar : Sunday, 7 May 2023.
More information here:
Topic: Transported for life
Call for papers
TASMANIA v. BRITISH EMPIRE
THE BATTLE TO END CONVICT TRANSPORTATION
By Alison Alexander
The British government was determined to keep getting rid of its criminals to Tasmania; colonists had had enough of them. The Empire used all its weapons against the colonists – lying, intimidation, belittling, threatening, physical force – but in the end the colonists triumphed.
Publisher: Forty South
Available at bookshops or from the author
Save The Date:
Seminar Sunday 7th May, 2023. Topic: Transported for Life
Convict Image Gallery - Agnes Turley (Townsend) per Cadet 1848. (17/08/2022)
Books, Theses & Reports - Tasmania v British Empire by Alison Alexander (updated 15/07/2022)
Justice System - An updated web page, replacing the 'Magistrates' page, expanding on the justice system in Van Dieman's Land as it operated during the convict era. (2/06/2022).
Probation System - Overview and Timeline (contributed by Helen Menard, 20/05/2022).