The Parramatta Female Factory women made a life with the opportunities they had and largely ‘disappeared’ into the fabric that is Australian society These women, their lives and choices are the foundations of our Australian Identity.

I would suggest that the Australian perceptions of strength in adversity we can survive anything, do anything, came from these convict women (and the convict men). Also the mateship, sense of equity, judging people on their actions not what family or circumstance they come from, the lack of deference to authority and the sense of humour, can be attributed to them. Many of us can identify with all these aspects but few would source the nature of the Australian character in any degree to these women.

The factory women were part of a quiet revolution where they taught their children and their children’s children about their rights and equity, which we value now.

Surprisingly, outside government records, there are less than 15 objects we know about, in State and National Collections, that can be directly provenanced to these factory women. In the transportation period there are only 4 images that are described as convict women and 2 that are factory women. There is a sense of public invisibility. The traces of their lives, however are still with the families, your histories, your family treasures.