About PFFP Memory Project

Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project is a social history and contemporary art project centered on the historic institutions of the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct connecting past to present by engaging those who once resided in these institutions to actively participate in how they are remembered and empowering them to determine how the site might be used in the future.

Launched in 2013 the PFFP Memory Project exhibits creative works produced in collaborative workshops on site and at other venues. We regularly participate in conferences and symposiums in Australia and internationally. 

Our aim is to create a vision for the precinct that recognises past wrongs and addresses their contemporary legacies in this historic setting as Australia's first Site of Conscience.

What are Sites of Conscience?

Sites of Conscience are historic sites, museums, and memory initiatives connecting past struggles to today’s movements for human rights and social justice. As the first Australian member of ICSOC we recognise that people want to know about these institutional sites, why they were established, what purpose they served and what of their legacy remains today.  

Creating Community

Activating the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct through community projects that encourage connectedness and social cohesion.

Connecting Past to Present

What was Parramatta Girls Home like? How did this affect women who were confined here as children? What would they like to see happen in the future?


Our annual program of workshops and activities engage former residents to explore and interpret their memories and experiences through a range of creative forms and expressions.

"At the stroke of a pen, my life changed forever." As children what was written about us affected our lives in profound ways. Back then we never got the chance to read what was written about us - to correct or dispute it, or to add our own voice. We never knew what was said but we knew those words existed and they have haunted us all our lives. The only way we could express ourselves was to scratch words into the walls our on our bodies. Now a lifetime later we revisit those marks and respond in our own ways to set the record straight."  

Living Traces 2016

'Living Traces'  is a Parragirls collaboration with artists Gwen Harrison and Sue Anderson, exploring experiences and memories through the written word as graffiti and in official documents and interpreting these in creative form to produce limited edition artists prints and handmade artist books. 

Living Traces workshop

Events & Exhibitions

Abandoned histories, forsaken women
Island Salon, Underbelly Festival, Cockatoo Island 1-2 August 2015

Island Salon presents videos produced by PFFP Memory Project artists revealing the evolution of a shared vision: the struggle to represent forsaken people and capture the traces of their experience embedded in abandoned girl’s home, places redolent of the profound suffering of these children.

Future Feminist Archive
5 – 28 March 2015 SCA, Rozelle

Future Feminist Archive explores the generative potential of the archive as idea and material phenomenon in both a year long series of exhibitions, events and symposiums hosted by Sydney College of the Arts Contemporary Art and Feminism research cluster to commemorate the 40th anniversary of International Women’s year. Essay: The Price of History – Keeping the Public Secret of Parramatta Girls Home at Any Cost.

9 -18 May 2014:

An exhibition of works produced in collaboration with former residents of Parramatta Girls Home. Exposed to Moral Danger was the charge laid against most girls who ended up in this institution.

EMB Invite
EMD PFFP Memory Project 2014

Parramatta Girls @ Riverside Theatres

2 -17 May 2014:

Award winning playwright Alana Valentine has woven together the true stories of a courageous group of women as they return to the notorious Parramatta Girls Home for a reunion in 2003. Coinciding with the 40th anniversary since the Home closed, the play presented an opportunity for HSC students to learn about the institutional experience and to visit the site and talk to former Parramatta Girls....more

Children's Day
9 March 2014:

A special community event opened by Her Excellency The Honourable Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW with the dedication of a memorial plaque and Children's Garden marking 17o years since the first children were admittedto this institution. 

IM/Material Traces
9-28 March 2014

A photographic exhibition by artist Kellie Greene that captures the im/material traces of lives once lived in the Ireland’s vast network of state funded and religious run institutions. Kellie Greene a former resident of St Anne’s girl’s home in Kilmacud, Co.Dublin, seeks to create a visual archive of what remains. The vestiges of buildings which once seemed indomitable and the im/material traces still held within their broken walls have enabled the gathering of a different kind of evidence which in turn allows the silenced voice to speak from a register of its own.

Trace, Place, Identity - PFFP Memory Project History Symposium
26 & 27 September 2013:

Trace, Place, Identity - the institutionalisation of women and children in Australia. Held over two days, leading academics from around Australia presented papers exploring ways in which the arts and cultural sectors contribute to the public narrative about institutional sites associated with trauma and memory. An initiative of the PFFP Memory Project, the Centre for Public History, UTS and the Centre for Creative Practice and Cultural Economy.

The Writing is on the Wall
14 September 2013:

An official history week event presenting works by the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project with artist talks, site tours and exhibition.

PFFP Memory Project Launch
11 February 2013:

A new era dawned for the most historic-yet most neglected- area of Parramatta following the launch of the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project in the former instructional range of the Parramatta Girls Home. More than a year in the planning, the Memory Project builds on the foundational work of Parragirls in leading the way in re-imaging this Precinct through creative projects and social history activities that directly engages people who experienced institutional confinement here.

Our Supporters & Sponsors

Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, it arts funding and advisory body, and is supported by the NSW Government through ArtsNSW.