Created in 1978 many years before I was born, it’s no wonder that this series had completely escaped my notice. I don’t think it was ever re-run so if it wasn’t for my Mum finding it and purchasing it from the ABC Shop I guess I would never have known of or had the chance to watch an outstanding Australian drama.
Against the Wind tells the story of early colonial and convict life in Australia and in particular, that of Mary Mulvane. It starts in her home country of Ireland and as the tale progresses we are shown the trials that her family and the people of Ireland are enduring under British control. The unjust seizure of the family’s cow (which provided income and food) is the last straw for Mary and she and a friend attempt to steal it back with unfortunate consequences. Sentenced to seven years transportation to the new colony of New South Wales we then begin following Mary’s life as a convict and the trials she must face in a new land.
It’s easy enough to read and imagine the hardships and injustices that were felt by the convicts but when they are acted out on the small screen and are attached to relatable characters we are given a whole new opportunity to see just how bad it was and are able to feel empathy for their situation. It really is told from the convict perspective and coming from a convict background myself, it’s easy to become quite passionate at what they had to go through to get a break.
If you are interested in early Australian history and in particular convict life then I highly recommend watching this series. The scenery and the acting are brilliant and the story is one that truly resonates with the Australian fighting spirit. Though there was once shame with being the descendent of a convict, this is certainly no longer the case. Australians are proud to be related to people who triumphed over adversity and who ultimately helped forge Australia into the country that it is today.