Jonathon Fairall - Saturday 21st September

Earl Grey's Daughters: The Women Who Changed Australia

To be launched by ABC Journalist Inga Ting

Between 1848 and 1850, over four thousand orphaned girls arrived in Australia under the Earl Grey Scheme. They were refugees from the Great Famine in Ireland.

Earl Greys Daughters, The Women Who Changed Australia, tells the story of one of these girls. Who was she? Why did she and the others make the perilous voyage to the far side of the world? What happened to them in their new land? Did they make a difference?

The contribution of these women to the evolution of the Australian spirit has been largely written out of our histories. Earl Grey’s Daughters tells the story of one of them.

Jon Fairall will discuss the book within the context of the more general question of the Irish impact on Australia in the period 1850-1900. This was the period of the great debate about what Australia’s future would be: British settlers of “good character”, who had made money by privileged access to land, served by an underclass that would include Roman Catholic Irish peasants such as the protagonists of this book, or a meritocracy, where success in life would depend not on one’s family connections, but on natural ability and hard work.


Date and time: Saturday 21st September, 3.30pm for 4pm

Please RSVP here or phone 02 9660 2333

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