Point Puer was established by Governor Arthur to accommodate boys aged between 10 and 14. During the convict era, they made up between 10 and 20 percent of the arrivals on each ship. 68 boys arrived at Point Puer on 10 January 1834 bringing their own supplies and neccessities. They were to build the barracks for the insititution themselves, using the handmade bricks made by boys at Port Arthur.
Point Puer was the first ever British institution designed to reform boys who had committed a criminal offence. The idea had already been practiced at Carters' Barracks, Boys Dormitory in NSW , with the reform program including separation from the adult convicts, basic schooling, and religious instruction. Boys who were considered to be well behaved learned shoemaking, tailoring, carpentry, stonemasonry, bookbinding or boat building. The rest cleared and worked the land. The Commandant imposed a hierarchical system of punishment.
By the end of the 1830s, 500 boys lived at Point Puer. Between 1842 and 1844, the numbers grew to 700. By 1844 many of the buildings were damaged beyond repair and required demolitoin. After Parkhurst Reformatory was built on the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England, fewer boys were transported to Australia. Numbers at Point Puer declined. It closed in 1849.
We do not currently have any records linked to this organisation, but records may exist. The Find & Connect Support Service can help people who lived in orphanages and children's institutions look for their records.
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16 April 2015
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/tas/TE00236
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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