ABOUT Annegret Hall
I was born in Germany and moved to Perth Australia in 1992 where I worked in materials science at the University of Western Australia, and later as a quality assurance manager for a nanotechnology firm. I have co-authored a number of papers in refereed scientific journals. After retiring I pursued my love of gardening and a lifelong passion for history. Since 2013 I have researched Australian colonial history and, in particular, the lives of convicts transported to New South Wales between 1788 and 1850.
My first book "In For The Long Haul" details the 1788 First Fleet transportation of convicts from England to New South Wales and the earliest years of colonialisation. The book narrates the history of this period through the eyes of convicts. It makes a strong case that the harsh portrayals of the young convict men and women, who struggled to create a new life in an unknown land, are mostly unfounded. The lives of two convicts in particular, Anthony Rope and Elizabeth Pulley from rural Norfolk, provide the factual human thread through this great Australian venture. Their stories, which start with acts of theft to stay alive, parallels those of most of the 752 convicts aboard the eleven small sailing ships sent to establish a prison settlement in remote New South Wales.
My second book is the biography of Andrew Thompson, a rural Scot transported to New South Wales in 1792 aged 18 for supposedly stealing textiles. His leadership and industry over the next two decades made him the richest and most successful settler in colonial Australia. As a police Chief Constable he gained prominence for his bravery, and was appointed to positions of responsibility by Governors Hunter, King, Bligh and Macquarie. He built a vast business empire despite opposition from the all-powerful NSW Corps and John Macarthur. Thompson was the first ex-convict to be made a Chief Magistrate and was a close friend of Governor Macquarie.
The third book is the biography of Dr William Redfern, an Irish-Canadian transported to New South Wales in 1802 after being sentenced to death for his involvement in the 1797 Nore mutiny while a surgeon’s mate aboard HMS Standard. He was sent to Norfolk Island where he worked at the hospital for six years and was fully pardoned in 1803. Redfern later moved to the mainland where he became assistant surgeon at the Sydney hospital during the turbulent years of the Rum Rebellion and the Bigge Inquiry. Redfern became a close friend and doctor to Governor Macquarie and was responsible for vastly improving the sanitary conditions aboard convict transports. He is today considered a pioneer in preventative medicine.