The Startling Legacy of the Convict Era
Date of publication: April 2009
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Australia
Why is it that Australians are still misled by myths and half-truths about their convict heritage? Why are so many families surprised still to find a convict ancestor in their family tree? And why did an entire society collude to cover up its past? Australia's Birthstain is a controversial, yet intelligent volume that traces the stories of hundreds of convicts over the 80 years of convict transportation to Australia, painting a colourful picture of their crimes in Britain and their lives in the colonies. Many people know about the notorious chain gangs and penal settlements of Port Arthur and Norfolk Island, but few realize that most of the convicts sent to Australia went on to become excellent citizens and to form the backbone of a new nation.