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March - Lucy Frost

Published: Wednesday, 13 March 2024

One of the largest convict establishments in Van Diemen’s Land housed children. Between 1828 and 1879 some 6,000 children passed through the Orphan Schools at New Town. Most had been ‘orphaned’ not by the death of their parents but by the convict system. After 1860, when the Convict Department handed over management of the institution to the self-governing colony of Tasmania, a change in name was intended to signal a new beginning. But the stigma remained. This talk will explore its consequences.

Lucy Frost is Emerita Professor of English at the University of Tasmania, and chair of the Board of Digital History Tasmania Ltd. Since moving to Tasmania in 1997, her research has focussed on the experiences of convict women and their children, with publications including Abandoned Women: Scottish convicts exiled beyond the seas, and three volumes edited or co-edited in the “Convict Lives” series of Convict Women’s Press. She served for a decade on the board of the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site Ltd.; was the first president of the Female Convicts Research Centre; and was a member of the four-person team which commissioned the “Footsteps” sculptures on the Hobart waterfront of three convict women and an Orphan School boy.