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As a 12-year old London street urchin Mattie is convicted for petty theft and sentenced to 7 years transportation to the penal colony in Port Jackson, New South Wales. Another female convict. Peg takes her under her wing and gives her a chance of making something of this new and strange life. Mattie makes something of every opportunity that comes her way, and though life is not particularly kind to her, she battles though, earning her freedom, marrying and becoming a mother in her new home. On this amazing journey she gets entangled with bushrangers, becomes a goldfields entrepreneur, sadly gets widowed, but her spirit is indomitable and she becomes both a pillar and a much-loved treasure of her adopted community. Mattie, may be a fictional character but her experiences are only too real and invite us to immerse ourselves in the lives of those remarkable women who helped to make Australia what it is today.
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About the Author

Born in 1924 Sheila Hunter grew up in Perth and Melbourne. Unusually for a woman at this time she found work in a service station and this kick-started a love affair with cars that lasted many years: the first woman in the Victorian Light Car Club, she regularly navigated in rally cross races. Professionally, however, she went into nursing and spent a lifetime in the service of others, both in the medical profession and as a committed volunteer in a variety of community roles. One of Sheila's chief passions was history and genealogy, and she was inspired to write three novels of Australia's early colonial years after researching her and her husband's ancestors. Sheila died in 2002, unfortunately before seeing her books in print.

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