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Parramatta Female Factory Institutions Precinct

Situated on the traditional lands of the Burramatta clan of the Darug nation, Parramatta Female Factory Institutions Precinct offers a unique insight into Australia's past. Its historic institutions include the Parramatta Female Factory, Parramatta Lunatic Asylum, Roman Catholic Orphan School, Parramatta Girls Home, Kamballa & Taldree Children's Shelter and the Norma Parker Detention Centre for women.


Parramatta Female Factory

Once the destination of unassigned convict women to the penal colony of New South Wales, Parramatta Female Factory operated from 1821 to 1847. Today an estimated 2 million Australians are descended from these women.

Parramatta Lunatic Asylum

Established as an Asylum for Lunatic and Invalid convicts in 1847, Parramatta Lunatic Asylum was officially gazetted as a public asylum in 1849. Now Cumberland Hospital, this institutional complex features buildings and structures from the 19th and early 20th century period. 

Roman Catholic Orphan School

Australia's first purpose-built government owned orphanage for Catholic children operated here from 1844 to 1886. 

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Parramatta Girls Home

Also known as Parramatta Girls Industrial School, Parramatta Girls Home was the principal child welfare institution for girls in NSW from 1887 to 1974. Renamed Kamballa & Taldree Children's Shelter in 1974 it closed in 1983. From 1980 to 2011 a section of the site operated as the Norma Parker Detention Centre for Women.

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Memory Project ~ past to present - memory to action

Since 2007 former residents of the Parramatta Girls Home, known today as Parragirls, have been protecting, preserving and promoting this institutional precinct. In 2011 we launched the Memory Project to activate this precinct as Australia's first Site of Conscience so that its history, heritage and legacy are not forgotten.

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