Visit the historic Female Orphan School for free




Whitlam Institute, Parramatta South campus of Western Sydney University, on the corner of James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road in Rydalmere.

Whilst something of a hidden treasure, the Female Orphan School is of immense significance to Australia's social history and has shaped thousands of lives over the last 2 centuries. First an orphanage, then a psychiatric hospital, the building is one of last surviving of its size from the early colonial period. Admission to the School, as well as the stunning exhibitions in the Margaret Whitlam Galleries, is free.

All buildings are fully air-conditioned - take the family and explore this unique and incredible piece of Australian history! 

Opening hours for 2016: Thursdays and Fridays, 10am - 4pm

Opening hours for 2017: Thursdays and Fridays, 10am - 4pm; Saturday 14th of January and Saturday 11th February, 11am - 4pm

The Female Orphan School will be closed from Monday 19 December and will re-open on Thursday 12 January 2017.

Getting there: Check Visitor Information to find your best option for transport (bus, train, driving).

Important information: No food, drinks or photography is permitted in the exhibitions. 


02 9685 9210