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Port Arthur Talks Return


The Minister for the Environment, Parks and Heritage, Michelle O’Byrne, said that visitors and locals alike have the opportunity to hear stories of the lives of convicts, including those transported to Port Arthur, as well as the history of the Site during the post-convict Carnarvon period.

Starting on January 20, archaeologist Julia Clark will relate the story of William Thompson, a twenty-one year old shoemaker who was sentenced to life for stealing. Thompson spent eleven years in the Van Diemen’s Land convict system, including considerable time at the Coal Mines and at Port Arthur. Thompson told his story to the renowned photographer of the time, John Watt Beattie. Thompson’s tale speaks of the convict system from the inside, often surprising, sometimes moving, but always fascinating.

“When you hear these stories your heart goes out to those who had to endure not only a long and arduous sea journey, but also the loneliness and harsh conditions of this infamous penal settlement.” Ms O’Byrne said.

“The Port Arthur Historic Site is always a fascinating place to visit. These revealing talks  help us better understand what was a harsh and unrelenting reality for many, and why it is so important that we continue to protect, preserve and seek to reveal more of Tasmania’s convict history.” Ms O’Byrne said.

The talks are offered free of charge. For more information please visit or call the Port Arthur Historic Site Visitor Services team on 1800 659 101.

Contact: Rohan Wade 0417 051 255