The Parramatta Female Factory, a 'special gaol for women and girls', was established in 1821. It replaced Australia's first female factory, the 'factory above the gaol', which was also located in Parramatta, and it was designed to accommodate up to 300 women, combining elements of a prison, a factory and a workhouse. During its history, the precinct of the Parramatta Female Factory has accommodated an asylum, an orphanage, a girls' home and a women's prison. The precinct is located in present day Fleet Street, Parramatta, NSW, and a campaign has been launched to list the area as a National Heritage site.
- Ask students to research the history of the use of the site of the Parramatta Female Factory. Students can create a timeline of the use of the site. Students can conduct research in the school or local library, or online. As a starting point, teachers can refer to the resources listed below:
Free Settler or Felon?, 'Parramatta Female Factory', http://www.jenwilletts.com/female_factory_parramatta.htm
Parramatta Female Factory Precinct, http://www.parragirls.org.au/
- Ask students to pretend they are addressing a committee formed to decide whether the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct in Fleet Street, Parramatta, should be designated a National Heritage site. In small groups, they must create a short presentation, accompanied by PowerPoint slides or a poster, explaining the historical importance of the site and why the committee should support National Heritage listing.
Student Activity Sheet H21.4: The Parramatta Female Factory