ROSES from the Heart was the first memorial to all women sentenced to transportation as convicts to Australia (1788-1853).
More than 25,500 cloth bonnets (taken from an 1860s servants bonnet) symbolise the women whose lives have been shrouded by a veil of amnesia for far too long.
These are the words of Christina Henri, coordinator of the Roses from the Heart project, and they sparked an overwhelming reaction in the members of the Lithgow and District Family History Society (LDFHS) as well as the rest of the Lithgow community.
The first bonnets were made by those who had a female convict in their family.
These bonnets were taken to Parramatta, blessed and then sent over to Ireland before making their way back to Tasmania where they will have a permanent home and will be displayed to the public.
The latest batch of 151 bonnets lovingly sewn by the members of LDFHS and the community are in memory of the female convicts which set sail in 1837 on the transport ship Atwick.
The Atwick only made one journey with convicts and on board.
There were 20 children aboard belonging to convict women.
The Atwick carried many of the Scottish convict women, of which there were not many transported.
These women were portrayed to be the worst of the worst convicts however their colourful personalities have proven delightful for historians and authors.
All the bonnets are on display at the Lithgow Learning Centre until the end of August when they will make their way to Tasmania.
The bonnets will be housed in the Female Factory in Launceston.
The LDFHS members also produced a wall hanging, unveiled at the launch of the bonnet exhibition, with the 20 children listed on it along with the 65 children left behind in England, Ireland and Scotland.
If you would like to spend your spare moments searching for your family’s history or need to become a member of the Lithgow and District Family History Society to begin your historical journey, call the LDFHS Library on 6353 1089 on Tuesday nights from 6pm to 9pm or Fridays from 10am to 4pm.
Read about the Scotish women of the Atwick in Lucy Frost's tale called Abandoned Women. Available at a book stor near you.