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Transportation Exhibition

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
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Our convict past for all to see
old government house
Old Government House source National Trust

Even if you don't have a convict in your family history, their stories are ultimately fascinating and here is a chance to find out more. To mark the 10th anniversary of its inscription on the World Heritage list, Old Government House is hosting a new exhibition called 'Transportation', on loan from Fremantle Prison.

Through a series of panels, 'Transportation' tells the stories of specific convicts sent to Australia and the impact forced migration had upon their lives as well as the major impact convicts played in shaping and building Australian society.

Their stories are indicative of the more than 165,000 men, women and children who were transported from Great Britain and Ireland to Australia as punishment for their crimes between 1788 and 1868. Some were serious crimes but many were misdemeanours

Convicts contributed to all aspects of colonial life, from exploration, land clearing and farming to the construction of roads, bridges and public buildings, many of which you can still see today. This exhibition offers an opportunity for visitors to compare the experiences of convicts at the eleven different sites and delve into the phenomenon of transportation in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

Old Government House, where this exhibition is being held, is one of the buildings built from convict bricks. It was rendered to look like stone. Like Fremantle Prison and nine other places, it makes up the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage listing.

Together they tell a story of exile from one side of the world to the other and how a new nation was forged from hardship, inequality and adversity. In recognition of this, collectively they were inscribed on the World Heritage list on 31st July 2010.

The sites included in the heritage listing and those you will find out more about in this exhibition include:

Old Government House and Domain, Parramatta Park, New South Wales (1788–1856)

Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney, New South Wales (1819–1848)

Brickendon—Woolmers Estates, Longford, Tasmania (1820–the 1850s)

Darlington Probation Station, Maria Island National Park, Tasmania (1825–1832 and 1842–1850)

Old Great North Road, Wiseman's Ferry, New South Wales (1828–1835)

Cascades Female Factory, South Hobart, Tasmania (1828–1856)

Port Arthur Historic Site, Port Arthur, Tasmania (1830–1877)

Coal Mines Historic Site, Norfolk Bay, Tasmania (1833–1848)

Cockatoo Island Convict Site, Sydney, New South Wales (1839–1869)

Fremantle Prison, Fremantle, Western Australia (1852–1886)

Arthur's Vale Historic Area, Norfolk Island (1788–1814 and 1824–1855)

This event is running on selected dates from 1 December 2020 until 14 February 2021. Please note the venue is closed 14 December – 1 January, reopening on Saturday 2 January 2021.

It is included with entry to Old Government House. But please note there are timed tickets through Eventbrite.

Accessibility - this exhibition is via a flight of stairs.

National Trust Members – FREE. Others are various prices.



$11.39 -Full-time students, seniors, pensioners and children aged 5-15 years.

Child under 5 years old
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Why? Learn about our convict past
When: Open with timed entry tickets. Thursday to Sunday 10am – 4pm, last entry 3:30pm
Phone: 02 96358149
Where: Old Government House Parramatta Park, Pitt Street Entrance Parramatta
Cost: Free to National Trust members - Adult - $15 *Concession/child - $10 Family - $35 Children under 5 years – FREE (* Concession applies for full-time students, seniors, pensioners and children aged 5-15 years.) Please note: To ensure we can manage time
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