Parramatta Girls Home
Parramatta Girls Home has also been known as Parramatta Industrial School for Girls, Girls Training School Parramatta and Girls Training Home.
First built by convicts in 1841, Parramatta Training School had been a brutal and cruel institution for the incarceration of young women for more than 125 years. Names like ‘Industrial’ and ‘Training School’ sound innocent enough but don’t be fooled – these were not schools as we know them but prisons where harsh and oppressive conditions were concealed under the guise of child welfare philosophies, to justify their creation.
In 1946, Parramatta Training School for Girls was re-established for the reception, detention, maintenance, discipline, education and training of young women. It then became known as Parramatta Girls’ Home but the name belied its function: it was no home. In reality, it was a prison where young girls were stripped of their dignity and liberties and punished frequently with physical force and threatened with imprisonment in Hay Girls Institution.
At just sixteen, Sharyn Killens was sentenced to Parramatta Girls Home. She had committed NO crime. She was a runaway.
See the photos below and read her extraordinary life story - The Inconvenient Child.