Based on meticulous research, Paupers, Poor Relief and Poor Houses in Western Australia 1829-1910 throws light upon those who are neglected within the celebratory history of Western Australia’s past.
Who fed the indentured servants who were cast adrift by their masters? What was the government’s solution to the problem of unemployed paupers, many of them ex-convicts? And what became of the destitute women and children and the sick and insane?
The overt wealth of present-day Western Australia makes for a problematic consideration of a colonial society characterised by the fundamental lack of resources and charitable institutions, and inadequate Governmental administration.
With a sense of simplicity, Hetherington guides us toward contemplation of Western Australia as a state whose present wealth was built on the backs of indentured labourers, ex-convicts and penniless immigrants.
Special Commendation – 2010 Margaret Medcalf Award
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