Located in Hobart, Cascade female factory is Australia’s most significant historic sites. The factory is associated with the female convicts, operational between 1828 and 1856. The factory was intended to remove the convicts from the negative influences and also to protect the society from what was seen as their immorality and corrupting influence.
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The factory was a purpose built, self-contained institution intended to reform the convicts. However, the factory was located in the damp swamp land, which added greatly to the ill health of the female convicts. With overcrowding, poor sanitation and inadequate food and clothes, there was a high rate of disease and mortality among its inmates. As per Department of the Environment and Energy website, by 1838, 208 children had died within the factory out of the population of 794 children admitted or born in the factory since its opening.
My visit to the female factory was very emotional and saddening. The grieving and painful stories of the female convicts and their children can only be felt by visiting the site.
A few pictures from my visit:
A detailed history can be read at femalefactory.org.au.