Darlington, Maria Island
Darlington, Maria Island (photograph: Joe Shemesh)

Celebration for Tasmania's World Heritage convict sites

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Tasmania's World Heritage convict sites celebrate 10th an​​niversary  ​

Today the Tasmanian sites included in the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage ​Property mark the 10th anniversary of their inscription on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Tasmania is a historic place and an important convict landscape. Much of our grand public buildings, private farming estates, early roads, bridges and other infrastructure was built using convict labour. This legacy connects us to the global story of the forced migration of male, female and children convicts.

Between 1788 and 1868, more than 160,000 convicts arrived in Australia from Britain, and these historic sites are a physical representation of forced migration and the ideas and practices used to punish and reform convicts in the 18th and 19th centuries. They include the probation (Darlington) and assignment systems (Brickendon-Woolmers), female factories (Cascades), harsh worksites (Coal Mines) and penal settlements (Port Arthur).

On 31 July 2010, after many years of research and deliberation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee meeting in Brazil made a decision to inscribe the Australian Convict Sites on the World Heritage List. This listing brought together 11 sites, spread over four jurisdictions, which together help to tell Australia's convict story.

The Tasmanian convict sites included in the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property are:

  • Brickendon-Woolmers Estates, Longford (1820–50s);
  • Darlington Probation Station, Maria Island National Park (1825–32 and 1842–50);
  • Cascades Female Factory, South Hobart (1828–56);
  • Port Arthur Historic Site, Port Arthur (1830–77); and
  • the Coal Mines Historic Site, Norfolk Bay (1833–48)

To help mark this milestone, the Australian Convict Sites Steering Committee (ACSSC) has launched a series of videos, providing the opportunity to gain further understanding and insight into the importance of these places and our convict past.

See the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property video

 We invite you to explore Darlington Probation Station World Heritage Site. See the Darlington Probation Station ​video.

For other videos and information on the Australian Convict Sites are available at www.australianconvictsites.org.au

Video produced by Australia's Convict Sites and Sarah Abad.

We acknowledge the assistance of the Sydney Living Museums in providing some of this content.​