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Welcome to the Southern Highlands Chapter
of the Fellowship of First Fleeters


graham_rutledge_1April 2017 Guest Speaker

Graham John Rutledge Wilcox

 Graham John Rutledge Wilcox is an amateur genealogist and family historian. After more than twenty years research of his ancestors, and having written several books about their lives he decided it was time to write a biography of his great-grandfather Sir Arthur Rutledge.

Graham’s research into the life of Sir Arthur revealed that his life was more than that of an interesting ancestor but a great Australian whose important story had never been told. This led to the book being written not as a biography but a story of federation from the view of one of its great supporters.

Graham lives with Johanna, his wife of fifty-three years, at Pitt Town on the Hawkesbury River of New South Wales. Their home is close to the area where several of his ancestors settled on the bank of the river 215 years before him.

For more information follow the link from here.


Meeting Dates

Meetings convene at the Mittagong Senior Citizens & Community Centre,
Cnr. Albert Lane and Queen Street, Mittagong.
Meetings start at 10:30 am.

February 8th
Guest Speaker: Lyn Fergusson

April 12th
Guest Speaker: Graham John Rutledge Wilcox

June 14th
Guest Speaker: Paul Brunton

August 9th – AGM & Chapter Chats

October 11th
Guest Speaker: Rodney Davis

December 13th Lunch
Guest Speaker: Robert Griffin


Chapter Bonnet Project

The Chapter project this year is to mount a display of convict women bonnets, at the Berrima Historical and Family History Society museum at Berrima in April.

For this project to be a success the committee encourages all the members who are able, to sew a bonnet for your female convict ancestor, or if you do not have a female convict ancestor then for a female convict of your choice. If you have more than one female convict in your ancestry why not sew a bonnet for each.

Many ladies who attended the December Christmas Luncheon took a pattern home and patterns were also available at the February Chapter meeting. We need as many bonnets as possible for this to be a great event.

You do not have to be a skilled sewer to make this bonnet – more than 25,000 were made by convict ancestors and interested women for the Roses of the Heart project initiated in Tasmania by Dr Christina Henri a few years ago.

Bonnets must be delivered to Wendy Selman or Gwen Herbert no later than 17th April to be set up for the start of the exhibition at the Berrima Museum on the 19th April – in time for the start of the Australian Heritage Festival.


Australia Day 26th January, 2017

Members at the Fellowship of First Fleeters 2017 Australia Day Luncheon.
Left to Right: Rob and Gail Huckstepp, Pamela Cormick, Wendy Selman and Trish Scott-Wandmaker.

The Southern Highlands Chapter has members who’s First Fleet ancestor(s) arrived on the Alexander, Charlotte, Friendship, Lady Penrhyn, Scarborough or HMS Sirius.

HMS Sirius
HMS Supply
Convict Transport Alexander
Storeship Borrowdale
Convict Transport Charlotte
Storeship Fishburn
Convict Transport Friendship
Storeship Golden Grove
Convict Transport Lady Penrhyn
Convict Transport Prince of Wales
Convict Transport Scarborough
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Paintings by marine artist Frank Allen see website here