One of the oldest buildings in Australia, the historic Female Orphan School (1813) has a new life as home to the Whitlam Institute and Whitlam Prime Ministerial Collection.
Join us on this Female Orphan School Open Day to discover the A Changing Australia: The time of Gough Whitlam exhibition, and enjoy A Sense of Place: The artist Greg Hansell's record of history now, on display in the Margaret Whitlam Galleries. Volunteers will be running free guided introductions to the building at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 2:30pm.
Saturday 15 October 11am – 4pm
Free admission to Female Orphan School and galleries.
Gangsters and Crime in 1920's Sydney
National Trust (NSW) in partnership with the Whitlam Institute present Gangsters and Crime in 1920's Sydney.
In this talk, curator, Nerida Campbell introduces us to the colourful identities of the infamous Razor Gangs of the 1920's.
When: Saturday 15 October, 11:30am
Where: Female Orphan School, Conference Room 1
Tickets: $15 ($10 NT Members)
Bookings: 02 9635 8149
For more upcoming events and exhibitions at the Whitlam Institute and Female Orphan School, download the What's On Female Orphan School brochure.
Join us for a twilight evening of Christmas cheer, music and family entertainment at the Female Orphan School. A Sense of Place: The artist Greg Hansell's record of history now exhibition will be open to explore.
Why not bring a picnic to enjoy under the heritage-listed trees by the river?
This event is free. Registration is required.
A Changing Australia: The time of Gough Whitlam
The Whitlam Institute's exhibition, A Changing Australia: The time of Gough Whitlam explores the remarkable life and enduring legacy of one of Australia's most significant Prime Ministers – Gough Whitlam. Step back in time to explore the dynamic, influential and tumultuous years of the Whitlam Government through some of the key objects from the Whitlam Prime Ministerial collection.
- Free admission
- Our regular opening hours are Thursday and Friday, 10.00am - 4.00pm
- East wing, Female Orphan School
Image: National Archives of Australia
THE WAY OF THE REFORMER: GOUGH WHITLAM IN HIS CENTURY
Images: Whitlam Prime Ministerial Collection, National Library of Australia and Western Sydney University
Nothing in politics grows in a vacuum…I realise I am but a child of my age.
– Gough Whitlam
Gough Whitlam shaped the Australian nation, but before that, the Australian nation shaped him.
The first five decades of the 20th century were a time of extraordinary social and political change in Australia. Much of the legacy of progressive reform Gough Whitlam bequeathed to Australia has its origins in his life experience through this time of change.
This exhibition, which marks the centenary of Gough Whitlam's birth, tells the story of the man behind that legacy – the bright Canberra schoolboy obsessed with Greek myths, the RAAF navigator braving hazardous skies at the height of the Pacific war, and the young father starting a family on the urban fringe.
Admission: Free admission to the Female Orphan School and the The Way of the Reformer: Gough Whitlam in his century exhibition.
Exhibition dates: 9 June - 23 September 2016
Opening hours: Thursday and Friday 10am to 4pm, and Saturday 9 July 2016 11am - 4pm.
Location: The exhibition is presented in the historic Female Orphan School (Building EZ) on Western Sydney University's Parramatta South campus. Download a campus map for more information.
Special thanks to the National Archives of Australia for their support and assistance.
Parramatta Station (Western, Cumberland & Blue Mountains lines) is approximately a 10 minute bus trip from campus — Sydney Buses 521, 523, 524, 525 and M52 services operate from Stand A3 at Parramatta Transport Interchange.
Note: some services are prepay only.
Parramatta campus is 20 – 30 minute walk from Parramatta Transport Interchange.
Rydalmere Station (Carlingford line) is a 10 minute walk to the campus. However, it is recommended you catch the train to Parramatta Station where more frequent bus services to the campus are available.
More transport information
Transport for NSW
Transport Sydney Trains
Parking: Vehicle parking on campus is limited and requires payment. Groups are advised that the Whitlam Institute/Female Orphan School offer discounted parking on Thursdays and Fridays, at a charge of $7 per car per day to park in the Heritage Circle directly opposite the Female Orphan School. Parking tickets/scratchies can be purchased at the Female Orphan School Information Centre and must be displayed on car dashboards. All other on campus parking costs $9 per day, payable at designated meters and vehicles must park in bays marked with blue lines.
A SENSE of PLACE
The artist Greg Hansell's record of history now
The artist Greg Hansell is well known for his pastel paintings of Australia's built history, particularly in the Hawkesbury region, since the late 1980s.
He has been a Wynne Prize and Archibald finalist in over twenty exhibitions, as well as winning the Dobell Drawing prize in 2005.
In 2001, Greg Hansell was commissioned by the University to document the Female Orphan School on its Parramatta campus before it was renovated, from which 3 large pastels were produced.
In 2013, when both the East and West wings of the building were completed, he was commissioned again to produce 3 pastels of the completed building and these works are the centrepiece of this exhibition.
This exhibition also explores the broader arts practice of Greg Hansell, from his handmade pastels produced from rocks and clay, to the influence of other artists he has collected within his own personal art collection.
No.1 Study for large pastel, Greg Hansell, 2013
Female Orphan School, Greg Hansell, 2014
Homage to Bricklayers Various, Greg Hansell, 2014
The Second Flowering, Greg Hansell, 2014
Jacaranda and the Fruit Bat Flyover, Greg Hansell, 2014
Exhibition dates: 8 October 2016 - 20 January 2017
Opening hours: Thursday and Friday 10am to 4pm.
Saturday 15 October 11am - 4pm.
Saturday 19 November 11am - 4pm.
Admission: Free admission to the Female Orphan School and the A Sense of Place: The artist Greg Hansell's record of history now exhibition.
Location: The exhibition is presented in the Margaret Whitlam Galleries, in the historic Female Orphan School (Building EZ) on Western Sydney University's Parramatta South campus. Download a campus map for more information.
National Trust Heritage Festival 2015
Talk: Compassionate interventions: entering and leaving the Female Orphan School
As part of the National Trust Heritage Festival, historian Associate Professor Carol Liston from the University of Western Sydney explored some of the stories of those who ended up either in or out of the orphanage because of compassionate intervention.
The talk Compassionate Interventions: entering and leaving the Female Orphan School will be available for viewing shortly.
Lecture: Happy Birthday Triple J! 40 years of big sound and big impact
The Centre for Media History at Macquarie University and the Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney, with the support of Triple J co-presented a public forum on Monday 19 January 2015, with media and popular music historian Dr Liz Giuffre from the Centre for Media History at Macquarie University, to mark the 40th birthday of 2JJ. The talk is now available to watch below:
National Trust Heritage Festival 2014
The Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney presented several events as part of the 2014 National Trust Heritage Festival. We filmed our two talks, which are now available to watch below:
Arrivals and Departures: The Journeys of the Female Orphan School Children
Historian Associate Professor Carol Liston from the University of Western Sydney tells the stories of how some children came to be at the Female Orphan School, and what became of them after they left.
The Journey to Restoration and Adaptive Reuse: The historic Female Orphan School
Heritage architect Megan Jones, Practice Director of Tanner Kibble Denton Architects discusses her experiences from stage one to completion of the Female Orphan School's progressive restoration.