Convict Female Bonnets Project

In conjunction with the research and writing of the NFHS publication They Sent Me North: Female Convicts in the Hunter (2019) members of the NFHS undertook to participate in the Australia-wide Roses from the Heart Female Convict Bonnets initiative of Dr Christina Henri, the Artist in Residence at the Cascades Female Factory in Hobart.

Our interested members and friends met once a month from 2018 to make a memorial bonnet for each of the 1600+ female convicts who came to the Hunter Valley.

The launch of the publication They Sent Me North in the Lovett Gallery was accompanied by an exhibition of bonnets which ran from 31 July 2019 until mid-September when the bonnets became one of the feature exhibitions at the Stitches Craft Fair in the Newcastle Entertainment Centre.

We have also exhibited at the Singleton Public Library from March-July 2021. Research continues as we find more female convicts who came to the Hunter Valley and make a bonnet for each of them. We are currently involved in filming a documentary about the women with Singleton Public Library and Maitland and Beyond Family History.

Next March we will hold the inaugural Female Convicts of the Hunter Seminar Day.