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Parramatta Female Factory Precinct as a Site of Conscience: Using Institutional Pasts to Shape Just Legal Futures


Linda Steele, Bonney Djuric, Lily Hibberd and Fiona Yeh

Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Association through its Memory Project is activating PFFP as Australia’s first officially recognised Site of Conscience. Through the Memory Project, survivors of Parramatta Girls Home are using art practices and social history to disrupt dominant, official narratives that have silenced their experiences, to put their memories of the Home into action and to prevent future injustices of institutionalisation. For law students and legal practitioners the work of Parragirls through the Memory Project offers possibilities for confronting the complicity of Australian legal systems and legal actors in the harms and injustices of institutional confinement. It provides examples and new methods to direct them towards practices of collective ethical accountability in order to shaping more just future legal frameworks of institutional confinement. In support of this argument the article discusses a recent collaboration between the authors to engage law students in the Precinct through an excursion to the site.

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(2020) 43(2) UNSWLJ 521: