Female Factory

Laundry Duties Every Day in The Female Factory


 Friday 27 October, Mark your calendar the 190th Anniversary of the 1827 Female Factory Riot: Friday 27 October 10am – 3pm. Fleet Street, Parramatta. Come celebrate and commemorate the 1827 Parramatta Factory Riot on the day 190 years ago when the convict women ‘downed tools’ and broke out for freedom into Parramatta Town!


In the new colony, convict women are the most disadvantaged and economically vulnerable. Cohabitation is seen by society as immoral. Yet, surviving on her own, without protection once ashore at Sydney Cove, she must resort to all means to survive. Assigned as a servant to a family, she is viewed by many households as a threat to the marriage and to the family unit. And through religious eyes, she is to blame and could not be rehabilitated. Hers (prostitution) is a terminal illness.


The reputation of floating brothels (convict ships from England) follows these women, though law dictated that every seaman and every officer is entitled to choose a ‘mate’ for the duration of the voyage. She, on the other hand is ‘to oblige’ sailor or officer who chooses her. Men believe in ownership, so for these young English women engaging in serial monogamy is the only way to survive.


For those who commit an infraction – large or small – Parramatta’s Female Factory is the destination. Pregnancy is inevitable ticket to the Female Factory, where she labours throughout her pregnancy. . . where she is declared unfit to parent and where her child reaching age four is removed from her care. Many never see their child again.

Female Factory


Parramatta Female Factory was once home to at least 5000 of the 24,960 convict women transported ‘beyond the seas’ and from whom an estimated one in seven Australians are descended. On Friday, 27 October you can join a guided tour of the site with its beautiful sandstone buildings and the haunting narratives. Along the tour you will hear the inspiring stories of these women, hardships, survival and legacy in Australia.


Female Factory

Entry for the event is a gold coin donation. Trade tables and displays include models of the Factory site and artefacts from the recent North Parramatta site dig by Casey & Lowe.

BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL FOR TOUR GROUPS: 10:30 AM AND 1:30 PM. Bookings online Eventbrite.

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