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Convicts' Contribution to Goldfields Explored in Lecture at Sovereign Hill

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by H. Clare Callow (subscribe)
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Enjoy some history for free at Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill is about to present an intriguing history of Victoria's hidden convict past in its annual lecture.

In honour of Professor Weston Bates OAM and entitled 'Vandemonian Ballarat: a hidden history', the lecture is to be presented by University of Melbourne's Professor Janet McCalman.

The lecture will explore the convict history of Victoria, and how convicts who were sent to Van Diemen's land found their way to the Ballarat Goldfields.

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.
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Why? Free lecture
When: 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Phone: 03 5337 1100
Where: Sovereign Hill, Bradshaw Street, Ballarat (Victoria Theatre)
Cost: Free
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