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The Australian collection of Antarctic microorganisms (ACAM)

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  • Biological Sciences
  • Microbiology
  • Bacteriology


Making history the story of women By Sharon Webb When Emeritus Professor Lucy Frost gave the 25th John West Memorial Lecture last month an audience of almost 200 people hung on every word. Evidence that the subject of Tasmanian convicts has changed from being unmentionable to a subject of fascination, Prof. Frost’s subject had extra allure, being about transported women and their children. It felt as though her audience, many members of the booming Launceston Historical Society, physically absorbed the stories of nine-year-old Agnes Hall, sent into a Glasgow bakery with her mother’s newly-minted sixpence. And six-year-old Grace McGuire, begging with her mother who had stolen a book. Both girls boarded the Atwick with their convict mothers in September 1837, bound for Tasmania. When Prof. Frost speaks about the 18 children on the Atwick – how four of them were under one year old, how some chose to fend for themselves apart from the convict system on arrival, how many infants and toddlers died at Cascades Female Factory without ever seeing a blade of grass her commitment to revealing the stories of these victims of the British Empire is apparent. Prof. Frost has been involved with the management of the Cascades Female Factory since she came to Tasmania in the 1990s. On the board of directors of the historic Hobart site for 10 years, she was involved in the purchase of two parcels of land lost to the site. She is president of the Female Convicts Research Centre, which is compiling a database of women convicts available to the public for reference or contributions. And she is vice-president of the Convict Women’s Press, whose most recent book, Convict lives at the Launceston Female Factory, was published last month and edited by Prof. Frost. The lives of women and children from the John West lecture are fleshed out in Prof. Frost’s 2012 book, Abandoned women: Scottish convicts exiled beyond the seas. She seems drawn to women,

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