These sites place Australia’s convict history within the broader story of European expansion, along with the forced migration of labour in the late 18th century.
Talk of Australia’s convict beginnings was once taboo; a source of embarrassment. It is now treated with pride. Along with the social and cultural legacy, Australians have come to value the objects and architectural remains that record and recall their convict past. The once neglected ruins and relics have become must-see attractions.
The World Heritage List
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes places with international importance and works to protect and promote the ‘outstanding universal values’ identified in each case. Find out more about the listing.
The Australian Convict Sites now on the list highlight Australia’s convict beginnings and illustrate changing attitudes towards crime, punishment and the treatment of prisoners throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. As a group they reveal the broad range of institutions, structures and systems experienced by convicts in Australia between 1788 and 1868.