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Organisation Roman Catholic Orphan School (1844 - 1886)
- Care Provider, Catholic, Orphanage and School
- Alternative Names
- Institution for Destitute Roman Catholic Children Parramatta
The Roman Catholic Orphan School at Parramatta was Australia's first purpose built orphanage for Catholic Children.
The Roman Catholic Orphan School buildings are still standing, having become part of Parramatta Girls Industrial School in 1887 and remaining in use as a remand home until the 1980s. Since 2006 Parragirls has been lobbying for the buildings, and others on the site of the former Female Factory, to be recognised and preserved in redevelopment plans for the site. Currently, the organisation is campaigning for site to become an international Site of Conscience.
Over Christmas 2012 the Orphan School buildings was damaged by fire. Though gutted, it is still standing.
Building work commenced in early 1840 and the orphan School was formally occupied on the 8 March 1844 with the transfer of 114 children from temporary accommodation at Waverley. A state funded institution with staff employed by the government, the institution was managed by a Board or Committee with a matron responsible for day to day operations.
In 1859 the Sisters of the Good Shepherd (Good Samaritans) took over management of the institution, although it remained owned by the NSW Government. Children considered eligible for admission were either orphans of one or both parents; or considered 'at risk' under circumstances such as 'living with vicious and immoral parents or guardians' or were removed to relieve the distress of a large family.
Initially the Orphan School would only accept children between the ages of 3 and 9 years but these rules were relaxed to admit infants and children up to the age of 14. The number of children in the institution averaged 320.
In 1881 the State Children's Relief Act authorised the State Children's Relief Board to remove children from institutions and board them out. Numbers in the Catholic and Protestant Orphanages declined dramatically. In 1884 the NSW Government ordered the Orphan School not to accept any further children and in 1886 ordered the Good Samaritans to vacate the site.
In August 1886 the remaining children and staff relocated to Manly (Manly Industrial School) and in April 1887 the site was proclaimed Parramatta Industrial School for Girls.
- 1844 - 1886
- Roman Catholic Orphan School situated at Parramatta. Location: Parramatta
- 1859 - 1886
- The Sisters of the Good Shepherd (Good Samaritans) operated the Roman Catholic Orphan School on the Parramatta site.. Location: Parramatta
Records Managed by
Find & Connect - New South Wales Exhibitions
- Orphan schools, State Library of New South Wales, 2012, http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/discover_collections/history_nation/religion/charity/opphan_schools.html. Details
- Djuric, Bonney, Abandon All Hope: a history of Parramatta Industrial School, Chargan, Georges Terrace, 2008, 238 pp. Details
- 'A Piece of the Story': National Directory of Records of Catholic Organisations Caring for Children Separated from Families, Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission & Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, 1999, http://catholicsocialservices.org.au/system/files/Directory+-+edited+10+Dec+2001.pdf. Details
- 'Dismay after Parramatta's historic Norma Parker Detention Centre orphanage damaged by fire', Parramatta Advertiser, 10 January 2013, http://parramatta-advertiser.whereilive.com.au/news/story/dismay-after-historic-site-damaged-by-fire/. Details
- Parramatta Female Factory Precinct, 2006-, http://www.parragirls.org.au/. Details
- State Records, The Index to Child Care and Protection, State Records Authority of New South Wales, https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-to-education-and-child-welfare-records/index-to-child-care-and-protection/index-to-child-care-and-protection. Details
Sources used to compile this entry: 'A Piece of the Story': National Directory of Records of Catholic Organisations Caring for Children Separated from Families, Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission & Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, 1999, http://catholicsocialservices.org.au/system/files/Directory+-+edited+10+Dec+2001.pdf; 'Dismay after Parramatta's historic Norma Parker Detention Centre orphanage damaged by fire', Parramatta Advertiser, 10 January 2013, http://parramatta-advertiser.whereilive.com.au/news/story/dismay-after-historic-site-damaged-by-fire/; Djuric, Bonney, Abandon All Hope: a history of Parramatta Industrial School, Chargan, Georges Terrace, 2008, 238 pp; Parramatta Female Factory Precinct, 2006-, http://www.parragirls.org.au/.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 11 May 2011, Last modified: 25 January 2013