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Following Footsteps towards Freedom

Shiploads of impoverished convict women and children arrived in Van Diemen’s Land from 1803 to 1853. Now the lives of almost 13,000 convict women who arrived with 2,000 children will be remembered through a new sculpture installed at MACq 01, Hunter Street, on the Hobart waterfront.

Titled Footsteps towards Freedom, the sculpture project was inspired by the extraordinary lives of common women and children born into circumstances that found them at the centre of building a new nation.

Internationally renowned Irish sculptor, Rowan Gillespie, created the sculpture comprising four figures: three women and a boy, which represent the women and children who arrived in a strange land and stepped into an unknown future.

Behind the Footsteps towards Freedom project was a small team who worked tirelessly for five years to see the sculptures come to fruition. The team included businessman, John Kelly; Urban designer Carole Edwards; Emeritus Professor of English, Lucy Frost; and Cultural Heritage Consultant, Jo Lyngcoln.

The project received widespread support with many businesses, organisations community members making donations and providing support.

Find out more about Footsteps towards Freedom.