Dialog Box

Arts | Education | Environment | History | Human Rights | Indigenous
Georgiana Molloy


$250 Raised of
This project is a combination of FILM, WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA. It creates an immersive world of Georgiana Molloy and will be online 24/7 and free.

It comprises:
- 6 episodic short films creating Georgiana's biography.
- Themed collections of research and interviews.
- The original letters and diaries of Georgiana, with transcripts.
- A menu of interactive elements; blog, forums, contribution area, education lessons, online shop and free gifts.


Ep 1. Regency Scotland: Georgiana Kennedy is an attractive, young educated woman living with wealthy friends because of her "difficult " family. Not wanting to outstay her welcome, she accepts a sudden proposal of marriage from the handsome Captain John Molloy, recently returned from the Napoleonic war. Molloy requires a wife to accompany him to Australia to help establish a colony. Could this be the answer to her prayers or a terrible risk?

Ep 2. Their journey by ship begins just days after the marriage with an appalling sea voyage. This is the first of many hardships, which test her strength and convictions. Just 2 weeks after arriving on the shores of the southern most tip of Western Australia she gives birth - on the beach, in a leaking tent. The baby lives for only 12 days and Georgiana begins her pioneering life by burying her first child.

Ep 3. Just 6 families and an assortment of individuals, set about creating the settlement of Augusta. Deaths, fire, manslaughter, desolation, exhaustion, and drownings, take their toll. The magnificent hardwood karri trees are the biggest threat to their survival because of their size and density. They are unable to clear sufficient land and the colony struggles for years. Her 4th child and only son aged 2 yrs drowns in the well and she is sick with grief.

Ep 4. Georgiana begins to love the bush and abundant wild flowers. Botanising becomes her passion and the increasing time she spends in the bush has a profound effect on her own identity. With the aborigines help, she collects plants and seeds, which she sends to England and creates a botanical legacy. Captain James Mangles publishes her work (without her recognition) and she enjoys a sense of purpose.

Ep 5. Thrust into a new-world Georgiana stands apart from the other settlers and is often alone. Georgiana has strong convictions about equality for all humans, based on her religion (the strong anti-slavery Scottish church). She develops relationships with aborigines but is also witness to the escalating violence and dispossession.

Ep 6. Despite her weakness after the birth of her seventh child, Georgiana is determined to collect the seeds from the Nuytsia tree. She doesn’t know it’s the aboriginal “sacred tree of death”. She does not recover from birth complications and dies, aged 37 years but is surrounded by people who love her. She leaves a baby girl with no mother, four other daughters and a grief-stricken husband,who never remarries.

How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?

Georgiana brings history into a personal space through the intimate engagement with her own words. This closeness of reading her personal letters is almost shocking. This is not a fiction but a real person. This true story of her life has the turning points of classical dramatic narrative – the quest has a final twist with her tragic death as she gradually arrives at her true sense of purpose.

Georgiana is story of resilience, survival and adventure. As her eyes were opened to a new environment in Australia, she is also a portal to the beauty and value of the enviroment.Georgiana appreciated botany; in Australia she discovered her botanical skills and a diversity of native flora, making a major international contribution to the area. Just as importantly, she discovered a new world view or philosophy while spending time in the bush.

We plan to increase the awareness of the beauty of the environment throughout many audiences but especially younger women.Georgiana was exposed to a Scottish religion which abhored slavery and she realised the values of humanity and equality, and she related this to the aboriginal people of Australia, where she was in the minority. This invites contemporary parallel questions for the audience in how they consider history but also current society.

 The little known history of how and what happened to the Wardandi people of the area will become much more realised.There have been 3 books written about Georgiana but she is not yet iconic. From the perspective of creating an iconic female historical figure, this project will be very important and it will be available online 24/7.

We intend to publish her entire body of work – her letters and diaries. This will be the first time they are published and will be a highly valuable asset for the national and international audience. “and the audience can join in”

We have huge amounts of wonderful “copy” for the story but also an amazing amount of mysteries. Did she or didn’t she do/mean this or that? The audience has a reason to join in and experience the great fun of becoming part of a worldwide team of researchers by transcribing original letters or contributing genealogical or historical information.

Our converstations with donnors (2 committed so far) have been due to their philosophical support for a woman's story, who they can personally relate to. Georgiana has followers through the very personal story of a woman of courage and conviction and this project will expand this to a much greater audience.
Aims & Objectives

What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?

We plan to make Georgiana Molloy an iconic figure in Australia, so that we bring a large audience/users (made up of multiple niche audiences), to explore the story and themes.

Our most valuable asset is a great story which is unique and very engaging ; this is the carrier for the values and ethics which will be explored.We plan to engage audience through their niche interests; to go where the audiences are currently online and in the community. Once they reach the website/documentary we plan to expand their current awareness and knowledge of thier interest and even encourage them to explore new areas. For example; a young woman intersted in Regency Clothing on Pinterest may explore the Regency period in Scotland and then the clothing designs that Georgiana made while in Australian - and then the Colonial life - and then the Indigneous impact of colonisation.

The interactive digital concept we have designed, we believe, is the very best way to present this documentary material. It is rich and broad and will be a resource for many years. Over time we will continue to introduce new elements to grow that interest.

We will be flexible in adapting to our audiences by dropping interactive elements that are not effective and increasing areas that which have good audience uptake. Apart from the free gift area, which increases viral capacity, we have designed an online shop (with quality and appropriate products) to gradually create income to sustain the growth and development.

Our sustianable growth will rely on both good metric evaluation and an assessment of the social quality and value of the audience interaction.

What is your education and outreach strategy?


The Website with the rich interactive content is the hub of the digital project but it is very focussed on getting a broad audience and engaging with them. The social network includes; website, Facebook, Tumblr, flickr, Pinterest, Youtube, Linkedin.


Has already been up for 10 years, is the voice of the Georgiana Molloy Team, who are creating and moderating the website. This is an “open” and frank conversation with the audience and invites them to participate. The audience will be asked to contribute on elements during the construction stage of the production. This stage will be quite extended to keep the audiences contributing and influencing the project.


There are 6 forums, one for each of the theme subjects. This is because they are niche audiences. Someone only interested in Australian botany may not wish to delve into the Scottish religious literature of the times. The Jane Austen fans will probably contribute a great deal about regency clothing. This also allows us to seed and collect the audiences, so we can see where the greatest area of interest is coming from.


This will change over time. It will commence with a selection of botanical photograph and a template for the audience to create greeting cards. These can be shared back to the site for audiences as Free Gifts. This type of creativity will change depending on levels of interest and success. Further plans in the year after major production are for a photographic competition (of the native southwest flowers- as it is one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world).


Join the research team; there will be invitations to help transcribe the remaining letters. 25% have been deliberately left un-transcribed to create a sense of audience participation and an ongoing conversation. As the production is building “call outs” for help and progress reports, will continue.


The State Library of WA is a confirmed partner, it is likely to create an exhibition of the project. Some of our philanthropists have venues and have offered to host events for the project. This creates both interest and publicity.


Following the completion of all letter transcription a “coffee table” book will be published of the letters and diaries and will draw also on visual imagery from the project. There is a letter of interest from publisher UWA Press in Additional Materials.


We intend publishing content for students and teachers (in consultation) and will engage with a range of education publishers e.g. ATOM

Jennifer Gherardi
Jennifer Gherardi
Total budget
60 Minutes