THE story of Tasmania's convict children will be the topic of discussion at this year's The Examiner -John West Memorial Lecture.
American-born University of Tasmania Professor Lucy Frost will talk about her research into the children of mothers in the convict system of Van Diemens Land in the 1800s.
Professor Frost has produced many books detailing the life stories of convict women, particularly those who slaved away at the Cascade Female Factory.
Professor Frost co-convened the Female Factory Research Group and is a Tasman Institute for Conservation and Convict Studies board member.
``I recently became interested in children who sailed with their mother's and was really intrigued by the effect of the sentence to transportation on these children, who hadn't done anything but had their freedom severely limited because of their mother's sentence,'' Professor Frost said.
``I'm just astonished at the number of children who sailed on the convict ships. More than 2000 children came to Van Diemens Land and it's very hard to find out about them because often they are not recorded.
``A lot of the babies who were weaned when they arrived and separated from their mothers (died) because when you have got all the children packed in together and not the right sort of sanitation - if one gets sick, they all get sick.
``But the children that survived that ordeal were sent to the orphan school.''
WHAT: The Examiner-John West Memorial Lecture.
WHEN: Friday, March 15, from 8pm.
WHERE: The Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre at the University of Tasmania, Newnham.