The Hobart waterfront has a new sculpture installation, entitled Footsteps to Freedom, commemorating the lives of the thousands of convict women and their children who were transported to Van Diemen's Land in the first half of the nineteenth century.
From 1803 to 1853, almost 13,000 convict women together with 2,000 children arrived in Van Diemen’s Land, and a small team of passionate Tasmanians decided that something needed to be done to 'lift the amnesia' about them and publicy remember them at the place where they disembarked.
The sculpture, by Irish sculptor Rowan Gillespie, comprises four bronze figures: three women, one holding a baby, and a young boy as they arrive at the wharf. It was commissioned after a worldwide expression of interest process by a group who worked hard to raise $300,000.
Footsteps Towards Freedom Inc. comprises: John Kelly, businessman; Carole Edwards, urban designer; Lucy Frost, Emeritus Professor of English; and Jo Lyngcoln, cultural heritage consultant.