CONVICT WOMEN AND ORPHANS
(2014) 4 x 50 mins
This film is a pioneering documentary series that fuses history, genealogy and dramatic reconstruction to reveal for the first time, the stories of these forgotten women and their experiences in the strange and harsh new world of Colonial Australia. The series is the first to deal with the establishment of the enterprise that would give birth to the Australian nation and the roles that Irish females, both women and girls, played in its formation.
From 1787 to 1853, over 25,000 women, nearly half of them Irish, were transported in the dark holds of ships on a 16,000 mile journey to the other side of the world as bonded labour. Such an infusion of Irish female blood at the end of the 18th and in the 19th centuries had a telling influence on the development of colonial Australia. Neither damned whores or passive victims, these women and young girls and the hard choices they were forced to make ultimately shaped the world in which they lived.
Convict Women and Orphan Girls rescues their stories from the obscurity of the museums and archives, these founding mothers of modern Australia.