Convict to settler : an analysis of the transition of the female convicts of the second fleet vessel Neptune from the status of convict to settler and the role they played in the early colonisation of Australia during the period 1790-1792

Narissa Phelps, Southern Cross University

Document Type Thesis


An analysis of the lives of sixty-one women from the convict class reveals the pivotal role women played as agents of colonisation. As homemakers, landholders, farmers, partners and neighbours, they contributed significantly to the spread of white settlement and the corresponding dispossession of First Peoples. The fact that these women arrived in June 1790 and were, therefore, amongst the earliest settlers of Sydney, Norfolk Island and Parramatta, placed them in a social context unique to the period 1788 to 1792. This not only expedited their transition from the status of convict to that of settler, but also greatly enhanced their impact as agents of settler colonisation.