Fair Game
Australia’s First Immigrant Women


Young women as fair game? In 1832, the British government sent 400 young single women to Sydney and Hobart on two ships–the Red Rover from Cork and Princess Royal from London – to balance the male-dominated societies. Viewed as colourful butterflies alighting on the antipodean shores, the women were ‘fair game’ for employers and potential husbands. This book analyses how this migration was allowed to happen while telling the women’s stories, describing who netted them in the hiring scramble and how they ultimately spread their wings.

The Red Rover and Princess Royal women approached the challenges of migration with a diversity of abilities and attitudes. As Perry and Liz studied the women’s lives, they grew to admire the strategies the women developed to deal with the emigration experience and cope with the extraordinary difficulties encountered in their translocation to an unknown world. Perry and Liz are pleased to bring these women’s stories to light. Similarly, the work of the Emigration Commission of 1831-1832 has been a little-known aspect of early Australian history yet it was the genesis of assisted immigration to Australia. This book adds to our understanding of Australian immigration, a process which is on-going and as contentious today as it was in colonial times.

About the authors

Dr Liz Rushen and Dr Perry McIntyre have each published widely on colonial immigration. Liz’s Single & Free: female migration to Australia 1833-1837 was first published by Australian Scholarly Publishing in 2003 and re-published by Anchor Books Australia in 2011. Perry’s book, Free Passage: The reunion of Irish convicts and their families in Australia 1788-1851 was published by Irish Academic Press in 2011. A second edition is forthcoming from Anchor Books Australia.

ISBN 9780980335439 Categories ,