We are pleased to announce that Jane Smith and Dr Nicole Davis have been awarded Harry Gentle Resource Centre Visiting Fellowships for 2024. Jane Smith is a librarian/archivist, author and editor. She is researching the life of Hannah Rigby, a seamstress from Liverpool who was transported as a convict to New South Wales in 1821–22. Hannah is known as the only female convict to stay in Moreton Bay when the penal settlement closed, and also has notoriety as a prisoner who was transported twice to Moreton Bay for colonial crimes after serving her initial sentence. Jane intends to publish a biography of Hannah Rigby.

Nicole’s project will explore the experiences and networks of nineteenth-century Queensland businesswomen in a specific site of commerce and leisure – the arcade. It examines establishments owned or run by women and commodities or services provided in four arcades built during this period – in Brisbane, Charters Towers and Townsville. Sometimes disguised behind male relatives acting as faces of the businesses or historiography overlooking their participation, these women played a vital role in the Australian colonial economy and represented significant networks in global exchanges of goods, ideas, and people.