Colonial Australia’s Strange Convict Society

How felons built a successful community

Adam M Wakeling
8 min readDec 14, 2020

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The founding of Sydney, 26 January 1788 (Wikimedia Commons)

OnOn a sultry summer day in January 1788, beside the languid waters of Sydney Harbour, Great Britain began a truly strange, unprecedented experiment. It would build a colony using convicted criminals as colonists. Under the plan, Britain would turn Australia into a profitable and strategically-important colony, and the…

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Adam M Wakeling

Adam Wakeling is an Australian writer, lawyer and historian. He is online at https://www.amwakeling.com/ and on Twitter @AdamMWakeling.