College of Arts, Law and Education

Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies

Aims of the Centre

  • Promote research into Tasmanian history
  • Encourage and assist publication of research
  • Provide professional advice to those researching Tasmanian history
  • Generally, encourage interest in Tasmanian history

31st Annual Conference in 2016

'Divisions, Discord and Disputes in Tasmanian and Australian History'

CTHS Members

The Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies (CTHS) received formal recognition within the University of Tasmania in 1984, as an adjunct of the History and Classics Program within the School of Humanities. The Program Director is ex officio Director of the Centre.

The CTHS Advisory Committee consists of the Director, Dr Tom Dunning, Associate Professor P Chapman, Dr R Ely, Dr R Kellaway, Professor H Maxwell-Stewart, Associate Professor S Petrow, Professor H Reynolds, Emeritus Professor M Roe, Professor Michael Bennett, Dr Caroline Evans and Professor Pam Sharpe.

Friends of the CTHS

The CTHS established a support group named Friends of the Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies. For the annual subscription of $50, Friends receive a copy of the Tasmanian Historical Studies and are kept informed of the Centre's activities, such as conferences and seminars. Friends are also eligible for a reduction in the registration fee for the annual conference. Subscribe to become a Friend of the CTHS (Word 252KB).

Associated Projects and Centres

Point Puer Juvenile Convict Reform Prison at Port Arthur

Nigel Hargraves - Honorary Research Associate
PO Box 116, Sandy Bay, Tasmania, Australia 7006.

Point Puer operated from 1834 to 1848 and was a purpose-built British institution for convicted male juveniles. It predated the opening of Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight by four years.

The first of a two-part study of the Point Puer Boys' Establishment is currently underway and a publication is anticipated in the near future. In particular, this work focuses on the penal system as it affected the juvenile convicts who arrived in Van Diemen's Land from the British Isles before the end of 1834. The last of these boys left Point Puer in 1840 and the impact of education, trade training and religious instruction is considered in conjunction with the boys' interaction with the prison and its subculture. A longitudinal study of the lives of boys has been made to assess the outcomes of the reforming objectives of Point Puer and includes the time they spent assigned to masters in Van Diemen's Land as well as what happened to them after being freed.

Following the release of this initial work a further publication on the second phase of Point Puer will be undertaken based on research already underway.

Current Research Interests of Committee Members

Committee Member

Research Interests

Dr Tom Dunning

Current projects include the Social and Cultural Life of the Plebeian Peoples of Scotland and the American Civil War and Cultural Memory.

Dr Richard Ely

Biography of Frank Bond; editing reminiscences of Sarah Hood; an ethnographic study of a heritage precinct in Plenty Valley, Victoria; educational and religious history.

Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart

Convict history, history and heritage site interpretation.

Associate Professor Stefan Petrow

William Denison; Policing in Tasmania 1899-1999.

Emeritus Professor Michael Roe

Various biographical studies.

Professor Michael Bennett

Politics, religion, society and culture in late medieval and early modern Britain; the royal succession in Britain; the global diffusion of vaccination in the early nineteenth century.

Professor Pam Sharpe

Pam Sharpe's research interests span the history of women, demography, poverty and textiles from seventeenth to nineteenth century England. She is also working on the history of a mining community in Western Australia.

Associate Professor Peter Chapman

Peter is currently editing and researching the Historical Records of Australia.

Current Research Interests of Friends

Friend of CTHS

Research Interests

Tony Harrison
19 Firth Road, Lenah Valley, 7008
Ph/Fax: 03 6278 1591

Captain Samuel Wright, second commandant of Sarah Island penal station.
The History of Tasmania's commercial fisheries, their management and development.
Family and Fisheries Website

Dr Bruce Rosen
Honorary Research Associate
School of History & Classics
University of Tasmania

British Victorian Social History and Australian History.
Essays in Victorian History.

Dr Caroline Evans

History of children, welfare, and institutions, cultural heritage.

Dr Alison Alexander

Women's history; convict history.

Associated Centres

Colonialism and its Aftermath


Companion to Tasmanian History
Browse all CTHS Publications