History: Looking Back

Looking Back history feature: Elizabeth, the Thirroul convict woman

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Looking Back

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THE Thirroul district is said to have been cleared of scrub and timber by women convicts. This statement does not sound so fantastic when we read that Bungaribee, near Penrith, was built of bricks hauled in handcarts by women convicts from Sydney.

The camp was at or near the present site of Thirroul. The occupants were neither lovely nor refined, for the majority were born and bred in the slums of England, educated in the prisons and hulks, and finally, after some years of this intensive training, were professionally engaged in the Female Factories of New South Wales.

There was one exception to prove this rule of cultural deficiency. Elizabeth —- was cast in a gentler mould. She was neither snub-nosed or wide-mouthed, her hair was not wild and unkempt, nor did she enrich her conversation with many forceful and unmelodious oaths. She did not, indeed, engaged much in conversation…

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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