Melbourne and Victoria have a unique history in terms of Australia, in that the original colony was founded by free men. Research has revealed that the convict presence in early Victoria was still very strong, with around 30,000 crossing from Tasmania in the late 1840s. These newly freed men were drawn by the lust for gold that surrounded Victoria's goldfields.
Professor McCalman is a Professor in History and Philosophy and is exploring the forgotten stories of Victoria's early ex-convict populace in 'Founders and Survivors'. She aims to record and study over 73,000 convicts transported to Tasmania, tracing them from the period of their release. Such research has never been conducted before.
The stories of some of her study subjects will be shared with special theatrical entertainment and light refreshments before the lecture.
Professor Weston Bates, OAM, was an Australian historian who specialised in the history of Victoria's goldfields. Sovereign Hill holds a lecture in his honour every year.