Friday, December 24, 2010


All the entries have gone into the draw and the winners are!

Congratulations goes to:

[1] Convict Sydney at Hyde Park Barracks

  • S. Byrne, Kurnell, NSW
  • D. Davis, Woodcroft, SA
  • L. Perry, Kallangur, QLD

[2] "How To Get More Family Tree Time"

  • M. Pavljuk, Paralowie, SA
  • M. Smith, Victor Harbor, SA

[3] "One Family History: 220 years in Australia"

  • M. Jones, Canning Vale, WA

[4] Mid-century Trent Art Ware vase

  • D. Clarke, Cooma, ACT

Each of the winners have been sent an email confirming all the details. Merry christmas and a safe new year to you all, from the Inside History team!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fancy a sneak peak inside Issue # 2?

Inside History is for people passionate about Australian and New Zealand history and heritage, whether it's their family's ancestry, or in a broader social context.

In issue 2 we have two terrific features on Trove, the National Library of Australia's brilliant search engine. Read about the new features in the planning stages in our interview with Rose Holley. Then, Shauna Hicks shows us how the site can make a wealth of difference to your family history research.

Our inspiring articles don’t stop there. Author Mark Webster looks at the role of the Red Cross in delivering care packages to New Zealand POWs during World War II. And we're thrilled to bring you the second instalment of Michael Flynn’s work, as he continues his research on the First Fleet convicts. In this issue, Michael has been trying to discover the author of an anonymous work published in 1789. Read all about his fascinating findings.

We take a step back in time to the frightening world of colonial medicine, and visit a school in Sydney that is teaching kids — and adults — about the education of their ancestors. Plus there are tips from the experts, a book package worth $110 up for grabs, and so much more!

Issue 2 of Inside History is on sale December 22.

below: your family: Ask our experts, Issue 2: Jan-Feb 2011

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stand up for the Parramatta Female Factory

In issue 1 of Inside History we brought you the story of the wonderful and unique female factory precinct at Parramatta in New South Wales.

The buildings in the precinct date back to 1819 and are an incredibly important part of Australia's heritage. It was in convict institutions such as these that the Australian spirit of mateship and comraderie, a sense of humour and standing up for the underdog were developed.

And if you think convict heritage is not part of your heritage, think again! It's estimated that one in seven Australians are descended from someone who went through the Parramatta Female Factory. That means you either are related, or you know someone who is.

It's incredible to believe, but these historic buildings are not on the national heritage list and thus protected, even though they predate other world heritage listed convict sites such as Port Arthur in Tasmania, and Sydney's Cockatoo Island.

On the state government-owned site at Parramatta are two Francis Greenway buildings, original walls dating back to 1819, and the third class sleeping quarters with turnkey’s apartment, completed in 1825. All are in need of protection and conservation. One Greenway building is now a building society, and the matron's quarters, meeting and administration rooms are used for storage and training. The third class sleeping quarters and turnkey’s apartment in recent years has been a storage facility for broken beds, then computers.

And right now the Parramatta Female Factory needs your help more than ever, especially the third-class quarters, known as Building 105.

Sydney Western Area Health Services have lodged an application with the NSW Heritage Office seeking approval for alterations to be made to this building for the purpose of housing internal computer equipment and cooling systems. The proposed changes to Building 105 will not only seriously damage the historical fabric of the structure, but it will also deny access by the public to this important building.

How you can help

Gay Hendriksen, from the Female Factory Precinct Action Group, is calling for people to lodge a complaint against the proposed work.

Post your concerns by the deadline of 5pm Friday December 17 to:
Heritage Council of New South Wales
Locked Bag 5020
Parramatta NSW 2124

Email them to or

You can also help by emailing your concerns to the NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally, at and the State Minister for Health, Carmel Tebutt, at

If you'd like to be involved in the campaign or would like more information, contact Gay by email at

See why the site is so important: take a short tour of the factory by watching the video below.