This thesis is concerned with an examination and re-assessment of the establishment,
operation and management of the Female and Male Orphan Schools, in the first half
of the nineteenth century in New South Wales. The chaplains and governors in the
early penal settlement were faced with a dilemma, as they beheld the number of
children who were ‘orphaned’, neglected, abandoned and destitute. In order to
understand the reasons why these children were in necessitous circumstances, the
thesis seeks to examine the situations of the convict women, who were the mothers of
Governors Philip Gidley King and Lachlan Macquarie respectively in 1801 and 1819
established the Schools, which provided elementary education, training and
residential care within a religious setting. Researching the motives underlying the
actions of these men has been an important part of the thesis.
An examination of the social backgrounds of some of the children admitted to these
Schools has been undertaken, in order to provide a greater understanding of the
conditions under which the children were living prior to their admissions.
Information about family situations, and the social problems encountered by parents
that led them to place their children in the Schools, have been explored.
The avenues open to the girls and boys when they left the Schools, has formed part of
the study. Some children were able to be reunited with family members, but the
majority of them were apprenticed. A study of the nature of these apprenticeships,
has led to a greater understanding of employment opportunities for girls and boys at
In 1850 the Schools were amalgamated into the Protestant Orphan School at
Parramatta. By examining the governance and operation of the Schools during their
last two decades as separate entities, we have more knowledge about and
understanding of these two colonial institutions.
It is the conclusion of this thesis that some of the harsher judgements of revisionist
social historians need to be modified. It was the perception that more social disorder
would occur if action was not taken to ‘rescue’ the ‘orphaned’ children, usually of
convict parentage. However genuine charity, philanthropy and concern was
displayed for the children in grave physical and moral danger. The goals of the
founders were not always reached in the Orphan Schools, nevertheless they
performed an invaluable service in the lives of many children.
Recent histories of the colonial American soundscape have offered readers the popular story of a sonic frontier between Europeans and indigenous inhabitants, in which the latter is silenced by the former’s “sensory ...
Mutepfa, Magen Luce Musanetseke(University of Sydney Sydney Medical School School of Public Health, 2015-03-10)
In sub-Saharan Africa, grandparents are primary providers of care to orphaned children from HIV. This study sought to explore resilience profiles of grandparents fostering orphans and the impact of resources on the ...
Wirth, Ruth Margaret(University of Sydney., 2008-10-28)
My thesis was designed to shed light on the numerous ways in which a small group of forty three orphaned Holocaust survivors adapted to their new lives in Australia, whilst keeping their preferred Jewish practices. I have ...