by Bonney Djuric (guest author) on 8 March, 2011
In celebration of International Women’s Day there is an information stall on Tuesday 8 March 10-2pm in the Church St/St John’s Mall, Parramatta.
The stall is part of the campaign to seek the dedication of the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct as a national heritage destination and in also promoting other women’s organisations and International Women’s Day events.
Bonney Djuric hopes that it prove to be another step forward in achieving the goal of having the site recognised and established as a Women’s Place of history and heritage:
Exploring the Past – Remembering Convict Women
Back in 1827 women broke out of the Female Factory and made their way into the township of Parramatta to fight for their rights in demanding better food and conditions. Essentially this was the first industrial action to take place in Australia. The women were also responsible for producing Australia’s first manufactured export – ‘Parramatta cloth’. It’s 164 years since the last convict woman was relegated to the Female Factory—its remnant buildings are now part of the Cumberland Hospital complex in Fleet St Parramatta. In the early years of the 20th century when the women’s suffrage movement began to emerge few remembered the contribution that these women made. It’s time that they were acknowledged.
Illuminating the Present
Today we live in a society where women have attained equality—however this equality has yet to extend to places significant to women’s history. In 1992 House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs ‘Half Way to Equal’ report recommended that ‘A Woman’s Place’ be established in recognition of women’s history and heritage. The Parramatta Female Factory Precinct is ideally suited for this purpose
Below you can view the film Taking Freedom: Celebrating Women at the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site, Hobart (1828 – 1901) and the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct, Sydney (1821 – present).
You can access further information at the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct website