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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Drift Of Derwent Ducks -

A Drift Of Derwent Ducks - Paul Lennon, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Premier Paul Lennon helped officially launch a new book today tracing Tasmania?s links with Ireland through the transportation of female convicts in the 1800s.


Mr Lennon contributed a foreword for Dr Trudy Cowley?s book, A Drift of Derwent Ducks, which he described as an important part of Tasmania?s early historical record.


The book immortalises the lives of 200 female Irish convicts transported from Dublin to Hobart.


The subject is close to the Premier?s heart, as he is a descendant of Irish convict Jane Smith, who arrived in Van Diemen?s Land aboard the ship Australasia on September 28, 1849.


?Today, I am happy to share the launch of this book with many other fellow descendents of the Australasia convicts,? Mr Lennon said at the launch at ?The Female Factory? in South Hobart.

?Dr Cowley?s book is about real people; real women with real hardships and real strength of character.

?They had suffered the famine in Ireland and their punishment of transportation outweighed their crimes.

?This book is invaluable because they help us build a more accurate picture of Tasmania?s past.

?But it does more than document history - it challenges us to reflect on important concepts, such as endurance and survival, family and community, crime and punishment, human dignity and human nature.?

Mr Lennon congratulated Dr Cowley on her meticulous research and noted that she, too, was a descendent of a female convict who arrived aboard the Australasia.

?I congratulate Dr Cowley for the completion and publication of this book,? he said.

?It is a book that will continue to tell the story of Tasmanian history and the lives of the Australasia convicts for years to come.?

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