Report on Female Factory

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
17 February 1832

GOVERNOR BOURKE has  by this time visited nearly every public establishment in and about Sydney. His Excellency very likely will shortly visit the country towns. His visit to several of the penal establishments—the Hyde Park and Carter’s Barracks, Gaol and Hulk, will, we doubt not, be of much benefit to the inmates. The Female Factory, Parramatta, has yet to be examined. Either this factory should be a place of reformation, or of public utility in some sufficient way. It is neither.

To say that four to six hundred women in “a Colony such as this,” where the disparity in number of the sexes is most lamentably obvious, should be shut up, wasting their time in idleness, and ripening in profligacy, for no decent purpose of punishment or reformation, is almost too preposterous for rational credence. How many unfortunate fellows who are now working out their hearts in iron-gangs on the roads and at penal settlements, might be saved from the gallows, and be restored as useful members to society, by a judicious system of encouraging marriage and communication among those very factory women.

His Excellency will soon find the benefit of seeing with his own eyes the state of the Colony, & hearing with his own ears, what the people have to complain about, or ask for—in other words in effect, the value of that admonition which we took the liberty of offering months ago—“Let him mingle among the people—let him talk to the people—let him see, hear, and decide for himself.”

See Original:No Title,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW: 1824 – 1848), Friday 17 February 1832, p.3