JOINT MEDIA RELEASE WITH CRAIG LAUNDY MP, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR REID
The Australian Government is pleased to announce the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct in Western Sydney will be assessed for possible inclusion on the National Heritage List.
Located just five minutes from the Parramatta CBD, the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct is Australia’s earliest and longest surviving female convict site.
Designed by emancipated convict, Francis Greenway, the Female Factory was the first destination of all unassigned convict women sent to colonial Australia.
Established in 1818, the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct has become a symbol of Australia’s convict past.
“The inclusion of the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct in the Australian Heritage Council's work plan is an important first step towards possible national heritage recognition of this remarkable place,” said Minister Hunt.
“During the convict era, the Female Factory provided medical care for the wider female population and served as a work assignment place, marriage exchange, hospital and prison.”
The end of convict transportation in the 1840s saw the Female Factory become an invalid and ‘lunatic’ asylum, In addition, a Roman Catholic orphanage was established on the site at this time.
In 1887, the orphanage became the Industrial School for Girls, which in time become the now-notorious Parramatta Girls School, which closed in 1974. It is estimated 30,000 young girls passed through institution with an average of 160 girls in residence at any given time.
“Parramatta Female Factory Precinct represents the change in the philosophies, attitudes, policies and practices in state-provided intuitional based care towards women, children and the mentally ill from the nineteenth to the latter half of the twentieth century,” said Mr Laundy.
“The Australian Heritage Council's assessment will consider whether the Parramatta Female Factory’s heritage values are of outstanding significance to the nation, with the assessment expected to be completed by June 2017.”