Author Dr Pamela B Harrison will be holding a free book launch for her book ‘Confined but Free! The Female Staff of Maitland Gaol in the 19th Century’ at Maitland Gaol next Thursday as part of the 2021 NSW Seniors Festival.
Maitland Gaol’s Service Delivery Officer, Zoe Whiting says Dr Harrison has worked tirelessly to uncover a section of Maitland Gaol’s history that was long forgotten.
“The historical significance of this research is paramount in allowing us to give a comprehensive picture of life in Maitland Gaol over its 150 years in operation,” Ms Whiting said.
‘We owe Dr Harrison a debt of gratitude for her research which unlocks more of the Maitland Gaol narrative. The chronological account of the women’s lives, which are presented in the publication, adds depth to their story and humanises them in a way we know our visitors will connect with.”
She said that in recent years, there had been increased interest in female convicts and prisoners in the colony of NSW; however, little attention had been given to the female staff who supervised their imprisonment.
The book aims to redress that omission by revealing those forgotten women who worked in the unique environment that was Maitland Gaol in the 19th century.
“A chronological account of their work and the working conditions of female staff has been documented. While not guilty of any crime, the conditions of their employment kept these women as virtual prisoners within the gaol,” Ms Whiting said.
There will be a short talk, light refreshments and book signings available on the day.
While tickets are free, numbers are limited, and bookings are essential. The event begins at 11.00am.
To book, visit maitlandgaol.com.au/events/seniors-festival-book-launch