A seminar in Hobart on female convicts: In 1859, the Commissioners of the Hospital for the Insane at New Norfolk wrote, ‘It must be borne in mind that a large majority of the patients … confined in the asylum have been of the convict class, the offspring of diseased parents, inheriting in very many cases a defective intellect, brought up from the earliest childhood in misery and vice, and leading in after years a life of sensual debauchery and crime, resulting in enfeeblement alike of body and mind – a more hopeless class of subjects it would be impossible to collect together in one institution’ (cit Gowlland, Troubled Asylum, p.54)

The next seminar to be presented by the Female Convicts Research Centre will explore the lives of convict women admitted to the New Norfolk Asylum. Presentations will include:

• An historic overview of the New Norfolk Asylum

• Stories of convict women admitted to the Asylum.

• The psychiatric impact of solitary confinement.

• Female delinquency and madness in VDL.

 Registrations are now open, click here to book your spot.

Here is the program for the seminar:

8.30 registration open

9.15: Welcome and Introduction: Dianne Snowden

9.30 Session 1:
The New Norfolk Asylum: an overview – Dianne Snowden
Women convicted at Liverpool and admitted to NNA – Stephanie McComb
Mary Ann Lowe – a convict – Margaret Schmidt

10:15 Question time
10.30 Morning tea
10.45 Session 2:
Balancing silent treatment and silent histories – Catherine Rees
The Last Ladies – Chris Woods
Apprehended in Liverpool Street: Female delinquency and madness in the Van Diemen’s Land colony – Honey Dower

12:15 Question time
12.30  pm Lunch
1.30  The FCRC Database: what it is and how to use it.  An interactive demonstration of the Female Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land Database.

2.00 Session 3:
Deaths at the New Norfolk Hospital for the Insane – Leonie Mickleborough
Solitary confinement exposure and psychiatric admission rates – Hamish Maxwell-Stewart

2.30 Question Time
2.45  Conclusion and Seminar close

Venue: Hobart Town Hall
The entrance to the Hobart Town Hall is off Macquarie Street, with wheelchair access. The seminar will be held in the Ball Room which is on the first floor, with a magnificent staircase or a lift, which is to your right as you enter. Women’s toilets: ground floor at left; first floor just outside the Ball Room. Men’s toilets: ground floor at right.

Parking – Parking meter charges apply on Sundays, so street parking is inadvisable. The large Argyle Street Car Park is a block and a half north of the Town Hall. There is a maximum charge of $4 on Sundays.

Parking on the Hobart Domain is free, with a lovely 15 minute walk to the Town Hall.

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