The Newcastle Industrial School for Girls - Jane Ison
A chance discovery made during Jane Ison’s investigation into her family led to a nine year study of the first arrests and admissions under the 1866 Act for the Relief of Destitute Children. A grant enabled her to create a website containing biographies for every Newcastle inmate. She will give a brief history of the Newcastle Industrial School for Girls where the first admissions were detained, outline some the records, tell some stories of the school and present one case study. (see http://nis.wikidot.com )
A bigger statement
Newcastle was and still is a region where the NSW Government tries new ideas and this was the case with those children arrested from 1867 and sent to the first NSW industrial schools. This was a government attempt to help children and led to major child welfare decisions in the state.
Boys and girls were arrested under the Act for the Relief for Destitute Children. They appeared in court and became the responsibility of the Government who promised to care for them, educate them and get them an apprenticeship. Boys were placed on the sail training ship the Vernon, moored off Cockatoo Island but girls needed special treatment and accommodation. They were admitted to the Newcastle Industrial School for Girls in the barracks buildings in Newcastle. From 1869 a Reformatory was opened on the same site. By 1871 a number of wild riots and frequent escapes led to bad media and this coupled with the costs of transport from Sydney caused the school to be closed and moved to Sydney.
Jane has investigated the lives and circumstances of every girl admitted to Newcastle and has written a biography for each. The statistics she has been building contribute to a deeper understanding of the records available to assist in discovering your family. Their stories are fascinating but often quite sad. ‘Her girls’ were survivors and they each have a story to tell. Jane will present one and she hopes that you will read more about their lives by visiting her site. It is quite free. (see http://nis.wikidot.com )
Patricia Anderson - An Author's Historical Research
Patricia is a local author who has just published an historical urban fantasy novel set in Sydney and the Isle of Skye. She will speak about her research, being an amateur historian and how she used her own genealogy to create semi-fictional characters - In particular, one of her Scottish ancestors, Flora MacKinnon, who emigrated from the Isle of Skye in 1852.
Patricia, who writes under the name Patricia Leslie has written several novels: The Keeper of the Way, A Single Light and The Ouroboros Key.
Keeper of the Way, first in a series of three, also explores the current affairs of 1882 through the eyes of the Ponsonby family and culminates in the tragic loss of the Garden Palace - all while weaving in magic and Old Country traditions.
Her website is: www.patricialeslie.net