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A new bronze sculpture was unveiled in Hobart on Saturday.

Between 1803 and 1853, nearly 13,000 female convicts arrived in Tasmania, bringing with them about 2,500 children, many of whom were born on the long sea voyage from the UK.

Three life size women and a young boy represent those early Europeans who arrived on this exact spot in Hobart.IMG_6506

Each tells a different story of the hardship of life for women and children in the penal colony.

The first is of a young woman accused of stealing cattle, the second of an Irish famine victim, the third a housemaid who fell pregnant and the fourth a young boy separated from his mother.

The plinths list the ships that arrived over one hundred and fifty years ago. Others list the names of the women who arrived with their children. IMG_6507IMG_6508

We saw the sculptures earlier in the day, whilst still under wraps. They were unveiled by Tasmania’s Govenor, Kate Warner, and the Irish President, Michael Higgins.

… “These sculptures remind us also of the suffering of the migrants of our times…. that the trauma of displacement and forced exile, for many reasons, are not experiences confined to our past but are the lived experiences of millions today around the world, including many who now call Australia home.”

These sculptures were created by Irish artist, Rowan Gillespie, modelled by descendants of Tasmania’s convicts. IMG_6372