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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware this website contains images, voices and names of people who have died.

A chain gang. Convicts going to work near Sidney [sic], by Edward Backhouse, 1842

Convicts were sent to Australia for crimes they had committed in Great Britain. In Australia, they were made to work. Their sentences stipulated they would work from sunrise to sunset, Monday to Saturday. This was a punishment, but the colonial government also viewed it as an opportunity for redemption. Governor Phillip believed that ‘honest sweat’ was the convict’s best chance of improvement.


National Library of Australia, obj-138467409

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