The Newcastle Industrial Girls’ School

View of Newcastle East circa 1870 Courtesy Bert Lovett Collection, University of Newcastle (Australia)
(This post has been transferred from ‘Newcastle Government Domain’ WordPress site- originally posted 28 June 2013)

The Newcastle Industrial Girls’ School, ‘…the little volcano slumbered’

The Newcastle Industrial School for Girls opened in 1867 and was the beginning of a new era at the Government Domain (James Fletcher Hospital). The story of the girls at Newcastle is notorious and there were many riots. They displayed resilience and vigour that tested the management skills of authorities placed over them. The girls’ institutions introduced a new use for the Domain that was associated with care, education and an attempt to implement civil regulations to help improve conditions for children in the colony. In the previous decades, many children had suffered socially and government inquiries into poverty and child destitution in the 1850s and early 1860 had shown that the rising generation needed support to prosper and have healthy lives. The rationale behind developing institutions for girls was to address the long standing problem of child neglect and poverty in Sydney.

Jane Ison a member of the CRWP is currently researching the girls at the Newcastle Industrial Girls School, further information visit

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