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Convicts in Moreton Bay

March 14 @ 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM

$25 – $40

Convicts in Moreton Bay

“I thought that God had altogether forgotten me”: Convicts, soldiers and civilians at Moreton Bay.

The penal settlement at Moreton Bay existed from 1824 until most residents were evacuated in May 1839 after which the place was mainly neglected and badly maintained until the NSW government announced the district’s opening to free settlers in 1842.  During its operative years nearly four thousand people lived at the site, the majority of them under orders.  This paper will concentrate on the fascinating, yet disparate, population who laid the foundations for the future colony of Queensland seeking colourful identities and their origins while assessing the complex hierarchical structures.  

“Our new settlement of Moreton Bay: a veritable Garden of Eden”: A community defined by space and place

These days many residents of Brisbane wonder why the original settlement was not sited along the Wickham Terrace ridge rather than in the valley below.  Here, the landscape, as the first Europeans found and adapted it will be considered, seeking a greater understanding of the regional dimension of Moreton Bay’s convict history.  The location, climate and physical environment can provide clues about the sites and contribute evidence of events which fashioned the routine pressure imposed upon prisoners, their guards and civilian minders.  Its isolation, the need for self-sufficiency and the growth of the district, were all deliberate policy decisions – often made by officials who never, or rarely, visited the site.  The extent to which physical,  geographical and cultural elements imposed upon daily life experienced at Moreton Bay are identified and explored.

Presenter: Dr Jennifer Harrison

Jennifer Harrison has been a member of the Genealogical Society of Queensland almost since the beginning and is proud to have been patron since 2009. She is a research fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at The University of Queensland and has served on councils and committees of Queensland State Archives and the State Library of Queensland. Jennifer was made a Fellow of and awarded life membership of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland and the Brisbane History Group and was also created a Fellow of the Federation of Australian Historical Societies.


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March 14
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
$25 – $40
Event Category:


(07) 3349 6072


Genealogical Society of QLD
1873 Logan Road
Upper Mount Gravatt, QLD 4122 Australia
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