Conviction Politics: The Convict Routes of Australian Democracy (Melbourne)

Date 02.12.2021
Time 6:30pm (AEST)
Location Monash University Online
Date: 02.12.2021 Time: 6:30pm (AEST)


Conviction Politics explores the story of radicals and rebels transported as political convicts to Australia. This international digital history project is proud to launch its centrepiece: an online Transmedia Hub and a sequence of short documentaries. Using a mixture of compelling animation, live action and music, the documentaries tell the stories of democratic reformers, labour protestors, and revolutionaries exiled as political prisoners to Australia in the late 18th and 19th centuries.

The Hub will be formally launched by ACTU Secretary Sally McManus at the Monash Media Lab, a cutting edge digital media and production facility in Monash’s School of Media, Film and Journalism.

The launch event will showcase several documentaries, animations and songs developed by award-winning media production partner Roar Film. Finally, a panel discussion featuring several of the project’s researchers will explore this shared history of struggle with lessons for today.

Please join  for the event start time of 6.30pm on 2 December  2021 (AEST)  in Melbourne and online. (please note that the date has changed from 29 October)

Please register  here for online

Another date for your diaries is 6.30pm on 11 November 2021 (GMT) from Manchester and online

Watch the Trailer  Here


  • Sally McManus is Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). Sally was the leader of her Union, the Australian Services Union in NSW representing community, public sector and private sector workers. She commenced work with the ASU as an ACTU Trainee Organiser in 1994. Sally has also worked as a Pizza Hut delivery driver, shop assistant and cleaner and studied Philosophy at University.

  • Tony Moore is Associate Professor of Communications and Media Studies at Monash University and leads the Conviction Politics project. He is author of Dancing with Empty Pockets: Australia’s Bohemians since 1860 (2012) and Death or Liberty: Rebels and Radicals Transported to Australia 1788-1868 (2010), adapted as a television documentary of the same name (2015). Tony has had previous careers as a documentary maker at the ABC and academic commissioning editor at Pluto Press and Cambridge University Press.

  • Monika Schwarz is a researcher at Monash University’s SensiLab, where she focuses on data analysis, interactive data visualisation as well as data fabrication. Monika also has a PhD in archaeology and over 15 years of experience in that field. Currently she combines skills from her two careers in archaeology and information technology for the Conviction Politics project by turning convict records into interactive data visualisations and more.

  • Steve Thomas is a filmmaker with extensive expertise in documentary, multimedia, and interactive digital storytelling. He has contributed to over 30 award-winning film and television projects since 1995. Steve is Creative Director at Hobart-based production company Roar Film, and his work at Roar has been broadcast on ABC, SBS, NITV, ZDF Germany, TG4 Ireland, S4C Wales, and the Discovery Channel. He has also collaborated with institutions such as the Australian National Maritime Museum, the National Trust of Australia, and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

  • Hamish Maxwell-Stewart is a Professor of History at the University of New England. Hamish has authored many books and articles on convict transportation, the history of crime and the health of past populations. He specialises in the use of digital data to explore life course outcomes and has worked on a number of heritage site interpretations and other visualisation projects. He lives in Hobart, Tasmania.

  • Young woman wearing black university gown with white shirt underneath, arms folded. Long brown hair

    Alison Pennington is Senior Economist at the Centre for Future Work, associated with The Australia Institute. She conducts research on economic issues facing working people including the future of jobs, skills and training, collective bargaining, and the role of government. Alison has held previous roles in the federal public service, public sector unions, and music teaching. She considers economics a powerful tool for reinvigorating ideas about how society is organised, and a natural home for building a more democratic and meaningful life for everyday people.

Monash University