Much has been handed down about the severity and iniquities of the Australian convict system, but much has been falsely mythologized. The Western Australian period of British convict transportation, 1850 – 1869, was one with rehabilitation rather than retribution as its central tenet. 


This paper is an encapsulation of the main points contained within a PhD thesis which argues that the new environment played a considerable role in modification of attitudes and behaviour among the convicts, even among the formerly most intransigent. The convict experience in Western Australia proved to be, economically and socially, a positive and progressive phase for both the free and bond elements within that struggling embryo society.

Monograph - The Western Australian Convicts