While Port Arthur and other well-known convict heritage sites in Tasmania have long related the stories of mostly male convicts, the stories of the thousands of women who were transported to the colonies have, until recently, been less accessible. New display elements at the site help visitors to understand its layout and appreciate the stories of those who were incarcerated here.
The Cascades Female Factory Historic Site in South Hobart tells the stories of Australia’s women convicts and their children in a variety of ways; signage and printed guide notes are available, as is an informative guided Heritage Tour. The dramatic Her Story brings the tale of the trials and tribulations of a woman in the Factory in the 1830s to life in a moving and engaging way.
The stories of 52 women from the Female Factory have been illustrated and are displayed around the Historic Site, aligning with the publication A Pack of Thieves: 52 Female Factory Lives and its associated playing cards.
While little of the original buildings survive other than the imposing stone walls, clever elements incorporated into the site where the structures once stood help to illustrate its history. Combined with a Heritage Tour and Her Story, the displays help visitors to visualise the emotional but also inspiring stories of the women convicts who were confined here.