The Whitlam Institute and Western Sydney University warmly welcome you to visit the Female Orphan School. The Visitor Information Centre in the building contains a heritage interpretation display which explores the building's history from 1813 up to its recent restoration. A small selection of artefacts uncovered during the Female Orphan's School's restoration is also on display.
The Margaret Whitlam Galleries are located in the Female Orphan School's west wing. In these galleries, Western Sydney University and the Whitlam Institute present temporary art exhibitions and exhibitions related to Australia's social, cultural and democratic history for the public to enjoy. To find out more about exhibitions on display, visit the What's On page.
The Female Orphan School is also home to the Whitlam Institute. The Institute's permanent 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.
For a self-guided walking tour of significant heritage sites on the Parramatta Campus of Western Sydney University, download this map (PDF, 845.08 KB) (opens in a new window) .
Admission to the Female Orphan School and exhibitions is free for individual visitors.
To find out more about visiting with a group, please contact us for tour options and prices.
Female Orphan School building and exhibitions:
Our regular opening hours are Thursday & Friday, 10:00am – 4:00pm and the second Saturday of each month, 11:00am – 4:00pm (excluding long weekends and public holidays).
Christmas and New Year Closure
The Female Orphan School and Whitlam Institute will close on Thursday 21 December 2017 and re-open Thursday 4 January 2018.
The Female Orphan School is located on the Parramatta South campus of Western Sydney University, on the corner of James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road in Rydalmere.
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.
Download our Campus Map (opens in a new window) to find the Female Orphan School (Building EZ) on the Parramatta South campus.
We warmly welcome group visits (including school groups) to the Female Orphan School, which is the centrepiece of an historical precinct on the campus.
A range of food outlets can be found close to the building. Bus parking is available.
Bookings are essential. To find out about tour options and prices, download the Whitlam Institute and Female Orphan School group tour brochure. To arrange a group visit, please contact us using the details below.