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About Us

Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Inc

1 Fleet Street

Parramatta North NSW 2151

precinct@parragirls.org.au

ABN 89 483 427 076

We are a volunteer led not for profit arts and cultural organisation with a mission to protect, preserve and promote the history, heritage and legacy of the Parramatta Female Factory Institutions Precinct and activate it as Australia's first Site of Conscience.

Established in 2007 as a support network and contact register for former residents of the Parramatta Girls Home, we work to ensure that the history of this institutional precinct is not forgotten.

 

Our aim is to transform this once inaccessible precinct into a place of shared cultural heritage that acknowledges the significance it holds for First Nations people, women, Forgotten Australians, Stolen Generations and in the provision of mental health services.  

We are the first Australian member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience - the only global network of historic sites, museums and memory initiatives that connects past struggles to today’s movements for human rights.

Background

This historic precinct bears witness to 200 years of incarceration and control of women, children and the mentally ill. In Australia, the history of institutionalisation is so little known, so poorly documented and so frequently challenged. This is what we seek to change.

 

As an organisation founded by former residents of the precinct's institutions, we are guided by the principle Memory to Action. In doing so we focus on the human experience and human rights issues of institutionalisation.

What we do

We work to transform the Parramatta Female Factory Institutional Precinct into a place of public memory to inspire dialogue and civic engagement with contemporary human rights issues associated with the institutionalisation of women, children and people with mental and cognitive disabilities in Australia. 

 

We do this through a diverse program of contemporary art and social history Memory Projects that foster agency for former occupants to document and interpret the institutional experience and its legacy.

We conduct  workshops and undertake research that illuminate the history, heritage and legacy of this institutional precinct and the institutional experience. 

We develop relevant resources for persons engaged, in or desirous of undertaking research into the history of the Precinct, its historical institutions and associated institutions.

We promote awareness about this institutional precinct as a cultural heritage site of national significance through a creative cultural program of annual events, exhibitions, tours, educational programs and community engagement activities.

We assist former occupants in their healing journey and provide advice on how to access or obtain personal welfare records. 

About Sites of Conscience

Sites of Conscience are places of memory – such as a historic site, place-based museum or memorial that are redefining museums and historic sites – infusing these trusted spaces with exhibitions and programming that encourage visitors to take active roles in ending systemic injustice in their communities today by sharing the stories of past human rights struggles​. In this way we remember the history, heritage and legacy of institutional 'care' and, in learning from past struggles, work to ensure that it never happens again.

Our Story

Established in 2007 as the Parragirls support network and contact register for former residents of Parramatta Girls Home, we recognise the deeply interconnected histories of this site, through families and over time. 

Parramatta Female Factory Precinct association builds on the foundational work of Parragirls in extending our scope and engagement with this site, its institutional and pre institutional history and heritage.

 

We are committed to a transformational justice-centred approach that empowers former residents as creative authors in the documentation and interpretation of their institutional experiences.

Our Board

 

​Our Board of Management is elected annually and consists of three Executive Members: Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and no fewer than four ordinary members. All Board Members may stand for re-election. The Board administers the organisation's finances, strategic directives and oversees all program activities.

Current Executive 

Bonney Djuric OAM (Chair),  

Pauline O'Loughlin (Secretary),  

Professor Paul Ashton (Treasurer)

Board Members

Associate Professor Jacqueline Wilson,

Brett Bondfield,

Jenny McNally,

Matilda House.

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