State Library of South Australia

Radical dream

South Australia was born of the ideas of a prisoner serving three years in Newgate Gaol on a conspiracy charge relating to marriage with a 15 year old heiress at Gretna Green. Edward Gibbon Wakefield's experience of the English penal system convinced him of the need to alleviate the social problems of over population by emigration to the colonies. Thus began a continuing social experiment in South Australia with high ideals being proclaimed if not always achieved in practice. When taken up they have placed South Australia at the forefront of reforms such as Women's Suffrage, Aboriginal Land Rights and Equal Opportunity. South Australia in the 21st century is a society that Wakefield could hardly have imagined, but the tradition continues.  Detail: Some recent SA Art. Flinders University Art Museum, 1989.

Read more about this theme in SA Memory

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