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  • Writer's pictureBridget Walsh

Caroline Chisholm - 'The emigrants' friend'

I came across her name when I worked in Northampton. Some of my students came to college from the Caroline Chisholm School. I didn't know any more about her.

Then recently I saw her name again, when I was researching emigration to New South Wales in Australia in the 1840s. Her work is recognised on the Australian five dollar note.

She set up an agency to welcome single women migrants and assist them to find work as she saw that many were vulnerable to prostitution to support themselves. She was a Catholic convert and believed it was her mission to be a Good Samaritan.

In my novel-in-progress, I imagined that Caroline Chisholm meets and helps my protagonist, Jane, a pardoned Irish convict. Just sixteen years old, Jane Keating has found the friend she needed on arrival in Melbourne

For more information about this real-life hero.

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