Law Rare Books lecture: The Macquarie story as a history take for today

Theatre 102, Level 1, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street Carlton,


Public Lecture by Austin Lovegrove, Honorary Principal Fellow, Melbourne Law School

This lecture describes one attempt to inform the public and engage them in debate about an enlightened approach to the punishment of criminal offenders. The heroes of this story are the Scots Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales between 1810 and 1821, and his wife Elizabeth Macquarie, who together attempted to introduce an enlightened approach to the treatment of convicts. For them, convicts were men and women of inherent worth, for whom reform, not punishment, should be the principal consideration in their treatment. The aim of this treatment should be their full restoration to society, including leadership.

The Macquarie enlightenment took place on two lands. It is fitting that a pictorial representation of the Indigenous moiety of 'Kaapay and Kuyan' (Two Ways) serves a foundation for the telling of this story and conveying it message to the modern world.

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Image: Rosella Namok, Kaapay and Kuyan, 2018