Female Orphan School – WSU


  • Education
  • Heritage

Parramatta NSW

Western Sydney University


The Female Orphan School is the oldest three storey brick building in Australia, dating from 1813-18. This project involved the conservation and adaptation of the complex to provide exhibition spaces and meeting rooms for the Western Sydney University and the wider community.

The introduction of services to suit the new use involved careful planning and detailed documentation. The fragile fabric was repaired and the various periods of the life of the building were interpreted in the interiors. This project won an award in the interiors division of the Parramatta City Council Design Excellence Awards 2003 and an honorable mention UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Awards in 2004.

The second phase of the project involving conservation works to the facades of the East and West Wings was complete in 2010, while the third phase for the fitout of the West Wing was completed in March 2011. The final stage involving the fitout of the East Wing was completed in mid 2013.


An ABC News Sydney report on the Female Orphan School from 2 November 2020.