The Parramatta Female Factory Precinct is an institutional complex of exceptional significance to not only the history of the City of Parramatta, but also New South Wales and Australia in general.
It is a little known fact that the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct is the location of Australia’s first purpose built convict establishment for women and children.
European occupation of the site dates back to 1792; predating all but 2 of the 11 Australian convict sites recently listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Completed in 1821, and located in Fleet Street at Parramatta, it was established in the early 19th century for the purposes of administering female convict women and children who were sent to New South Wales, unless otherwise assigned. Since then, the site has also been home to the first government orphanage for Roman Catholic children — later occupied as the Industrial School for Girls, and the Parramatta Lunatic Asylum (today the Cumberland Hospital).
Despite this rich and important history, the Precinct has not been recognised as a National Heritage site. The Precinct has the potential to bring into our lives greater understandings of who we are as a people whilst acknowledging the significance it holds for women and the Forgotten Australians of its institutions.
The Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Association is preparing a national heritage listing application for the site and needs your help by spreading the word, and signing a petition.
Help to get this beautiful precinct heritage listed and save it from slow destruction and by doing so save this invaluable piece of Australian history.