Objects of Oppression: Objects from the Moreton Bay & St Helena Island Penal Settlements

The Commissariat Store was once one of many buildings along the waterfront, performing an essential function for the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement. Prior to free settlement, convicts toiled away in a variety of roles around the vicinity of the Store, subject to the domain of the governor and the threat of the cat o’ nine tails. This display contains the infamous Convict Fingers – said to have been cut off by convicts to escape gruelling days of labour in the Brisbane heat. The leg irons on display testify to the brutal history of the settlement, but you can also discover evidence of the games that convicts would play amongst themselves to pass the time, longing for the end of their sentences.