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Roses from the Heart – Tasmania’s female convicts

Convict bonnets created by Tasman Peninsula residents in honour of convict women. On display at the Tasman Historical Museum.

Roses from the Heart - convict women in Tasmania

25,566 female convicts were transported to Australia between 1788 and 1853.  They faced tough lives and uncertain futures at the various convict female factories in Hobart, Ross and Parramatta and, until relatively recently, their history was largely unseen and known.

In 2007 Christina Henri began a project to commemorate all those women inviting people to make a bonnet embroidered with the name of a female convict, the name of the ship she arrived on and the date she started her life as a convict on the other side of the world.

Over ensuing years thousands of bonnets have been created, often by descendants of the convict women themselves which in turn brought families closer to their own histories.

In 2015, Tasman Historical Museum held a ‘Blessing of the Bonnets” . These bonnets were made by local people in remembrance of their female ancestors and are on permanent display at the Tasman Historical Museum.

Read more on the incredible Roses from the Heart project here