Connect with local history at the Female Orphan School building inside Western Sydney University

The Female Orphan School building has been a key witness to some of the most significant social changes in Australian history. The building has shaped thousands of lives over the two centuries it has stood on the banks of the Parramatta River.

For the National Trust Heritage Festival, we are offering 60-minute guided history tours for 2 or more persons on any weekday from Monday 22nd April to Friday 17th May.

The Female Orphan School was built in 1813 to shelter the colony’s young girls from the depravity of Sydney Town. The site went on to become the Rydalmere Psychiatric Hospital before being left abandoned. Derelict and covered in graffiti, the building’s future was in question before work began in 2000 to restore it to its former grandeur. Visit the restored building now home to the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University.

Tours cost $10 per person and bookings are essential.

Please email or phone (02) 96859210 to make a booking.

Event dates

Event Details

Victoria Road, Rydalmere, NSW

Free Western Sydney University shuttle bus available from the Parramatta City Campus at 169 Macquarie Street Parramatta. If choosing to drive, on campus car parking costs $9 for the day.


First tour time available is 10.30am.
Last tour time available is 2.30pm.

Entry fees:
Adults $ 10, Concession $ 10
Prebooking 96859210
Onsite facilities: