The Australian Convict Sites are a World Heritage site that consisted of 11 penal sites that were originally built by the British to jail their criminals in the 18th and 19th century. Remember that the British established the colony of Australia as a penal colony. Some of the people who settled there were not criminals and they managed along with the criminals to make this former penal colony into one of the most developed countries in the world.
The Australian coastal towns of Sydney, Tasmania, Norfolk Island, and Fremantle began as penal centers for the British. The 11 sites that are located here are the best remaining example of mass transport of convicts and depict the expansion of European economy and power through the presence of convicts and forced labor.
The sites had previously been included in the Australian National Heritage List. They would later be included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010's 34th session. Below is the list of the sites:
- Cockatoo Island Convict Site - Located in New South Wales
- Great North Road - Located in New South Wales
- Hyde Park Barracks - Located in New South Wales
- Old Government House - Located in New South Wales
- Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area - Located on Norfolk Island
- Brickendon and Woolmers Estates - Located in Tasmania
- Cascades Female Factory - Located in Tasmania
- Coal Mines Historic Site - Located in Tasmania
- Darlington Probation Station - Located in Tasmania
- Port Arthur - Located in Tasmania
- Fremantle Prison - Located in Western Australia
Approximately 166,000 convicts that comprised of men, women and children were taken to this prisons which were calibrated with different kind of punishment, rehabilitation through forced labor etc. All of these convicts were taken there over a period of 80 years from 1787 and 1868.
As gloomy as the story sounds, it has to be told to the generations that follow ours so that they can learn from history. If you are interested in the true version of the Australia as a penal colony, you just need to head to these sites and you will get to read the recounted horror stories in their libraries.
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