What's On


Current Exhibitions

Blaze: Working Women, Public Leaders


26 APRIL – 27 JULY 2018

Blaze: Working Women, Public Leaders explores the stories of a selection of NSW women who were leaders and trailblazers in public sector work, alongside the perspectives of women working in key public sphere roles today.

Melding past and present, this unique exhibition asks provocative questions about women, the public sphere and leadership. Blaze: Working Women, Public Leaders is a new exhibition curated and produced by State Archives and Records NSW, presented at the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University from 26 April to 27 July 2018.

Free admission

Margaret Whitlam Galleries
Female Orphan School (Building EZ)
Western Sydney University, Parramatta South campus
Corner James Ruse Dr and Victoria Rd
RYDALMERE NSW 2116

Thursday and Friday, 10:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday 12 May  11:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday 14 July 11:00am - 4:00pm


A Changing Australia: The time of Gough Whitlam

A Changing Australia exhibition images

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, and the second Saturday of each month, 11:00am – 4:00pm (Excluding long weekends and public holidays).
  • East wing, Female Orphan School

Image: National Archives of Australia

A Changing Australia exhibition room 1

A Changing Australia exhibition room 2


Previous Events

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.