The Parramatta Female Factory precinct (including the third class sleeping quarters and yard) should be returned to the people of Australia and managed by a government body with the expertise and mission to conserve and interpret this site for the people of Australia in accordance with the guidelines of the Burra Charter.
At this time the third class sleeping quarters, turnkeys apartment and third class yard are at serious risk.
The Parramatta Convict Female Factory we see today was a Governor Macquarie initiative. Of the 24,960 transported women an estimated 9,000 went through the factory system of which approximately 5,000 went through the Parramatta Female Factory. If this is multiplied by the generations and number of children, this means that an estimated 1 in 5 to 1 in 7 Australians are related the female factory women.
This factory predates all but 3 of the UNESCO world heritage listed items. It needs heritage preservation. It is now cleared out and work is underway for an IT data room.
In the past there has been application for access and although it was inadequate it was possible.
Given that there are only 2 identified images in national collections of these women and few objects provenance to these women directly the site is even more critical to understanding the experience of these women. The third class sleeping quarters and turnkey’s apartment with the 2 Greenway buildings are the last intact buildings on the mainland relating to convict women’s incarceration.
There is an exhibition Women Transported – Life in Australia’s Convict Female Factories travelling 4 states which has had visitation from over 30,000 people. A petition has been circulating put out by Parramatta’s State Member Tanya Gadiel with 2,432 signatures. She has presented a private members statement to State Parliament about the site. Julie Owens, Parramatta’s Federal Member, has also acknowledged its importance on two occasions in National Parliament.
This Female Factory Site is on the Register of National Estates, State Heritage Register, Heritage Branch database( all statutory and local environment plan heritage lists), Section 170 register of the NSW Department of Health, National Trust Inventory.
See right sidebar for link to blog comments to add your own and find other site links.
The ‘at risk’ third class sleeping quarters site as it has been
The at risk sleeping quarters now