Some people may find content on this website distressing. Read more
The Find & Connect website is changing soon Read more
New South Wales - Organisation

Newcastle Reformatory School for Females (1869 - 1871)

19 January 1869
20 July 1871
Government-run, Reformatory and School
Alternative Names
  • Newcastle Reformatory (also known as)

Newcastle Reformatory School for Females was established on 19 January 1869. The Reformatory School was located in the North Wing and grounds attached to the Newcastle Public Industrial School for Girls with the same matron serving both schools. The Reformatory was started to house girls who had committed criminal offences. The Reformatory School was closed on 20 July 1871 and relocated to Cockatoo Island becoming Biloela Reformatory School for Females.


On 19 January 1869, following the introduction of the Reformatory Schools Act, a reformatory was established on the same site as the Newcastle Industrial School for Girls, in the Officer's Barracks. This created twin institutions.

The Reformatory School was overseen by the same Matron as the Industrial School, Mrs Agnes King, but a new superintendent, Mr J. H. Clarke was employed.

There were many issues associated with both the Industrial School and the Reformatory School inlcuding bad conditions and frequent rioting.


1869 - 1871
Location - Newcastle Reformatory School for Females was located on Watt Street, on the Government Domain, Newcastle.. Location: Newcastle


 1869 - 1871 Newcastle Reformatory School for Females
       1871 - 1880 Biloela Reformatory School for Females
             1880 - 1904 Shaftesbury Reformatory School

Related Archival Collections

Related Glossary Terms

Related Legislation

Related Organisations


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Ison, Jane, The Newcastle Industrial School for Girls: Their infamy is lost to history, Jane Ison, 2012,; 'Shaftesbury Reformatory', in State Records Authority of New South Wales website, State of New South Wales through the State Records Authority of NSW 2016,

Prepared by: Nicola Laurent