Online Event: Convict Lives on Cockatoo Island

8:30am - 9:15am / Thursday 10th September 2020
Type: Webinar / Category: Department
  • Admission: Register your interest and we will send the zoom link and password.
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This event will take place on Zoom - please register to receive the link and password.

17.30-18.15PM (Sydney/NSW time)
8:30 am UK

As part of the NSW History Council's "History Week", this online lecture tells the stories of convicts incarcerated on Cockatoo Island (1839-69). Historian Dr Katherine Roscoe unpacks the mythology around Sydney’s “Alcatraz” and challenges convicts' label as “criminals incapable of reform”. History allows us to understand diverse experiences, and Dr Roscoe will tell the varied stories of: John Fahey, the Irish soldier-turned-“bushman”, “Black” John Perry, the prize-winning boxer; bushranger and poet, Owen Suffolk; Tan, a Chinese gold-digger who refused to work; and the relationship between “two Fredericks”. Together, their stories tell us about life in the Australian colony, from the bush to the bustling port city, and how prisoners survived or even thrived on the island. Dr Roscoe will also introduce digital resources available at This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK)
Registering is essential as attendees will be able to view the lecture live via a Zoom link (to be emailed to attendees prior to the event) and to participate in a 10-minute audience Q&A.

For those unable to attend, the lecture will be uploaded to NSW History Council's YouTube after the event.

5.30 PM: Introduction and welcome Dr Meg Foster (UNSW/Newnham College, University of Cambridge)
5.35 - 6.00: Talk by Dr. Katherine Roscoe (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Liverpool)
6.00-6.10 PM: Audience Q&A

Limit of 100 attendees.