• 2006
  • Essential Media
  • BBC/ABC Australia/WNET

A bawdy romp, it won Gold in the American Film and Television Awards and was nominated for an Australian Logie. The adventures of a motley collection of whores, thieves and con-artists despatched in 1788 on an all-female convict ship to the far side of the world only to become the great matriarchs of Australia. 

“Beautifully filmed, with a lush orchestral score, writer-director Mark Lewis has delivered a compelling, frequently bawdy and ultimately moving story that lingers long after the viewing.” (Sydney Morning Herald)


When the Lords of the British Empire set up an all-new penal colony in a far flung corner of the Earth, within weeks it was wracked by disease and starvation and soon slumped into depravity.  ‘Womenfolk’ it was decided would save the men from ‘gross irregularities’.  A boatload of gutsy girls crossed oceans to rescue the dying colony, redeem themselves and become the unlikely founding mothers of Australia.  Their bleak world – Georgian London, their ship the ‘Lady Juliana’, the debauched port of Tenerife and the dying colony itself – were all created on location in Sydney and Melbourne with specially constructed sets and a judicious use of CGI.