john tiong chunghoo

Silver Star - 4,470 Points (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

Unesco Heritage Site Haiku - Australian Convict Sites - Poem by john tiong chunghoo

aussie friends - between
embarrassment and laughters
we talk about convict ancestors

australian penal sites
still echoing here
'throw them out of England'

australian penal sites
we laugh about
the Promised Land


Poet's Notes about The Poem

The property includes a selection of eleven penal sites, among the thousands established by the British Empire on Australian soil in the 18th and 19th centuries. The sites are spread across Australia, from Fremantle in Western Australia to Kingston and Arthur's Vale on Norfolk Island in the east; and from areas around Sydney in New South Wales in the north, to sites located in Tasmania in the south. Around 166,000 men, women and children were sent to Australia over 80 years between 1787 and 1868, condemned by British justice to transportation to the convict colonies. Each of the sites had a specific purpose, in terms both of punitive imprisonment and of rehabilitation through forced labour to help build the colony. The Australian Convict Sites presents the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Poem Edited: Friday, August 24, 2012


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