Making Feminist Heritage Work: Gender and Heritage

  • Anna Reading


In 2012 in western Sydney, Australia, I met up with a group of heritage activists to carry out a ‘docuprotest’ at a derelict site in Parramatta that is Australia’s oldest continuous site of institutional female containment. Ivy covered the windows and the perimeter wall. A noisy colony of fruit bats nested in the eucalyptus trees. Rusted padlocks prevented access to the buildings. We were given a tour of the buildings and grounds by women activists who, as girls, had lived at the site when it was a girls’ orphanage in the 1980s. We took photos and videos to record in situ the stories of the women, as they held up old photos relating to the site, as well as plans, and lists of ‘internees’ that dated back to the 1840s. They described to us the horrendous daily abuse they had themselves survived at the hands of adults and the authorities in the 1980s (see Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project, 2014).


Cultural Heritage Child Sexual Abuse Heritage Management Heritage Study English Heritage 
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© Anna Reading 2015

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  • Anna Reading

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