Port Arthur Talks

The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority presents this semi-regular series of talks by authoritative speakers on a variety of topics, ranging from history and conservation to environmental issues, research results, study tours and much more.

The talks are held every couple of months at the Port Arthur Historic Site, are free of charge and open to anyone who is interested in the topic. Rich and varied subjects and speakers make for fascinating listening and discussion.

Each talk begins at 5:30pm in the building at the rear of the Junior Medical Officer’s House at Port Arthur Historic Site. Light refreshments provided.

For more information about our Port Arthur Talks, please phone +61 (0)3 6251 2324.

21 August

“I always worked hard for my living but hunger drove me to it” John Finelly/Finlay, accounting to the court for his theft of pork and clothing at Evandale in 1872.

Irishman John Finelly was one of the minority of transportees who reoffended, and his defence in court shed light on his struggle to survive in Tasmania. Why did men like him remain enmeshed in the convict system for decades, despite the bright promise of the New World?

I will argue that, compounding the burden they carried from their deprived lives in Britain, this colonial society relentlessly and remorselessly drove men like John Finelly into lives composed of cycles of poverty, offending and incarceration.

Trained as an archaeologist, and having worked in museums, galleries and as a consultant, Julia spent the last 12 years of her career as manager of Interpretation and Collections at Port Arthur, where she was able to combine her interest in convict history and photography in research that has become her PhD thesis.

Port Arthur Talks leaflet – Dr Julia Clark

10 October