In 2010 four historic convict sites in NSW were internationally recognised by the UNESCO Heritage Committee in Paris with seven other sites across Australia.
The four NSW sites include:
- Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney (1819-1848)
- Old Great North Road, Wiseman’s Ferry (1828-1835)
- Old Government House and Domain, Parramatta Park (1788-1856)
- Cockatoo Island Convict Site, Sydney (1839-1869).
Minister responsible for Heritage Don Harwin acknowledged the anniversary saying that NSW could be proud of having such a history that was internationally recognised and celebrated.
“These sites tell diverse stories of convict transportation, labour, hard punishment and life in the colonies as well as the harrowing stories of First Nations Peoples in this period,” he said.
Minister Harwin also used today’s opportunity to renew his support for the inclusion of the Parramatta Convict Female Factory on the World Heritage Register of Australian Convict Sites, reflecting on his own family’s history at the site.
“I am one of the 10% of Australians descended from a female convict housed at the Female Factory at Parramatta. My ancestor, Mary Jane Wilson, was transported to Australia on the William Pitt in 1806 and lived there until assigned as a “housekeeper” to the Police Constable at Castlereagh, James Styles. Mr Harwin said.
“I have written to Minister Sussan Ley seeking guidance from the Commonwealth Government on how that might be achieved but am confident that such an important historical site will be recognised by the international community,”
Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said Old Government House is the oldest surviving public building in Australia.
“As Western Sydney expands it is important to remember our past and Old Government House is an integral part of the foundations of our strong community we have built in Parramatta,” Mr Lee said.
“It is fantastic to celebrate 10 years of Parramatta’s heritage being internationally recognised.”
A new series of interactive videos showcasing the unique Australian Convict Sites Serial Listing is now available to explore.
The UNESCO World Heritage List of Australian Convict Sites is available to view.