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Who is she?

Student tasks

Task no. 1

Download resource (284.13 KB)

What did she say?

Teachers note: Download the teacher’s script and the student’s Story Map.

Look at this drawing below. Describe the person in the image.

A pencil sketch of the back of a woman

Answer this question:

  • Who is this person?

We don’t know who this is, just as we don’t know about many of the First Fleet convicts or their stories. We don’t have many drawings of them or records of what they said and did. This drawing is not of a First Fleet convict but an original drawing created for you based on what we know. There was a girl named Ann Martin who was living in England at that time. Let’s find out about her.

Ann Martin was a First Fleet convict. She arrived in NSW on the Lady Penrhyn. Arthur Bowes Smyth was the surgeon on the ship. Look at this page from his journal in 1787 and find Ann Martin’s name and discover some information about her.

Collection 01: Arthur Bowes-Smyth, illustrated journal, 1787-1789. Titled 'A Journal of a Voyage from Portsmouth to New South Wales and China in ... - Image 10, 22 March 1787-12 August 1789
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Answer these questions:

  • How old was Ann?
  • What does ‘service’ mean?
  • What crime did she commit?
  • What was the length of her sentence?

Listen to Ann’s story. This sound recording is voiced by a descendant of Ann Martin. There are two versions, one with and one without ‘flash’ language.

Ann Martin audio with flash language:

Caption on bottom

Download teacher's script - with flash language

[Flash language was a set of secret slang words created by the ‘criminal class’ in England that was brought out to Australia by the convicts. Find more information in the Additional Information


Ann Martin audio without flash language:

Caption on bottom

  download teacher's script - without flash language

Complete Ann’s Story Map as you listen to her story and stop at certain points. Record any unknown words in the ‘flash’ shapes.

Discuss flash language. Guess what the words might mean? Find the meanings of the flash words. [A Flash Language word list for this activity is in the Additional Information section.]

Identify some flash language words you heard in the audio that some Australians still use today that have the same or similar meanings.

[For a more in-depth look at flash language go to the Talkin' Like a Convict Learning Activity.]

Discuss: Why did Ann speak with an accent? Where was she from?

Not all convicts were from Britain, some from other parts of the British Empire or the world. Ann was from Britain where there were many different English accents within the one country. 

Write a diary entry of your day using flash language.