Unlock The Past will be at

Unlock the Past Cruises

Irish Orphan Girls - exhibition

Event Information

  • 23 Feb 2010 1:30pm - 29 Oct 2010 1:30pm
  • Hyde Park Barracks Museum, Queens Square, Macquarie Street
  • Sydney
  • New South Wales
Other Information
  • Cost: Adult $10 , Child/Concession $5, Family $20, Members free

Irish Orphan Girls, a new exhibition at Hyde Park Barracks museum, explores this fascinating chapter in Australia’s immigration history which saw more than 4,000 Irish orphan girls driven from their homeland by the Great Famine from 1848 to 1850, and sent aboard 20 ships to Sydney, Port Phillip, Moreton Bay and Adelaide. Mostly teenagers, the girls were handpicked by government officials from grim, overcrowded workhouses, leaving Ireland behind in the deadly grip of poverty and disease.

Featuring traces of these girls’ belongings which fell between the floorboards during their time at the barracks, real life stories and photographs of the girls' descendants living in New South Wales today, the exhibition explores their journey to Australia and the challenges they faced when they arrived in a colony desperate for wives and workers.

Museum open daily 9.30am – 5.00pm