‘Notorious Strumpets and Dangerous Girls’ to kick off  the OFF season at the Cascades Female Factory 

The World-Heritage-listed Cascades Female Factory has created a new evocative  storytelling experience, Notorious Strumpets & Dangerous Girlsas part of Tasmania’s  signature OFF Season winter campaign. Through this new experience you will be  introduced to seven irrepressible convict women – or ‘notorious strumpets’ as some were  once described by the authorities; and hear how they railed against the convict system that  was designed to break them.  

Categorised by society at the time, these women were often underestimated, demeaned and  neglected. The experience of Notorious Strumpets & Dangers Girls demonstrates how female convicts managed to overcome the many hardships, prejudices and inequality within the walls of the Cascades Female Factory and the wider colonial system of the time.  

“Through this experience, we seek to pay homage to the legacy of the strength, resilience and  struggle of Australia’s female convicts.” Emily Clarke, Directory of Interpretation and  Experience said. “The Cascades Female Factory continues to contribute to a much  broader discussion around women’s issues. The site serves as an important historical  reference around colonisation and drives advocacy for the women in Australia’s history.” 

Notorious Strumpets & Dangerous Girls is a special feature OFF-Season activation kicking off this Saturday, 13 May and running every Saturday until 26 August at 2:30pm. Tickets can be  booked online and start at $40 per adult which includes access to the site, gallery and a self-guided audio experience.  

Along with this exciting winter offering, there are other features newly opened to the public, including the poignant Wall of Names, which honours the children that were born and died  within the walls of the Female Factory; and the newly-reopened original building of the  Matron’s Quarters.  

“These new experiences aim to fill in the missing pieces of Australia’s convict history and our collective historical narrative, which has for too long been ignored,” said Ms Clarke. 

 

Notorious Strumpets and Dangerous Girls
Notorious Strumpets and Dangerous Girls

 

BACKGROUND 

The Cascades Female Factory 

The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) is responsible for preserving and maintaining three important historical sites in Tasmania: The Port Arthur  Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula – one of Australia’s most important heritage sites and major tourism destinations; The Coal Mines Historic Site, located near Saltwater River and the Cascades Female Factory in South Hobart. All three sites, including the Cascades Female  Factory Historic Site, are part of the 11 convict sites that together form the Australian  Convict Sites World Heritage Property. As inscribed in 2010, the series of heritage sites across the country collectively represent the global phenomenon of convictism and its association with worldwide developments in the punishment of crime in the modern era.  The site is an excellent example of heritage tourism through the expression of the forced migration of convicts and global developments associated with punishment and reform. 

The ‘Wall of Names’ – a roll to honour and pay homage to some 2000 babies born within the walls of the Cascades Female Factory between 1828 and 1856, of which so very few survived beyond infancy. Their names, date of birth, date of passing and ages are thoughtfully engraved into a slate plaque in the footprint of what was the nursery. The  ‘Wall of Babies Names’ serves as an important place for visitors to trace their ancestry and reflect on those children who survived beyond infancy and pay their respects to the very many children born that never left.  

The Matron’s Quarters – a single-story brick residence with its original four rooms featuring many of the original artefacts that have been preserved. Newly reopened to the public, with the interpretation of Matron’s view of the site, the convict women and children under her care. Including the very first Australian Cookbook. 

The Cascades Female Factory Historic Site aims to foster a greater understanding and appreciation for the largely untold story of female convicts sent to Australia, in particular,  honouring their pain and loss, courage and perseverance. Permanent features of the site  include: 

Visitor Information 

The Cascades Female Factory is open seven days a week from 9am – 4:30pm, offering  regular tours throughout the day. 

Entry prices: Site Entry (including audio guide experience): Adult $25.00 AUD; Child (7 to  17 years, under 6 years free) $10.00 AUD; Concession $10.00 AUD; Family (2 adults and up  to 6 children) $60.00 AUD. 

Contacts 

Diane Glasson, Publicity Director, The Mint Partners, M: +61 428 487 585, E:  diane@themintpartners.com.au 

Jennifer Bett, Marketing and Communications Manager, Port Arthur Historic Site  Management Authority: M: +61 408 343 986, E: jennifer.bett@portarthu.org.au

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