Campaigns by the newly formed Women's Liberation movement called for reforms to the welfare system. In July 1973 ABC TV This Day Tonight put to air a program exposing the brutality of Parramatta and the Hay Girls Institutions. This was later followed by protests outside the Girls Home in December. In April 1974 the Child Welfare Minister announced the closure of Parramatta however what he did not mention was that an alternative facility 'Reiby' had been built at Campbelltown in the previous year. Girls committed to Parramatta during the changeover period remained until the completion of their sentence.
Kamballa & Taldree Children's Shelter
Parramatta Girls Home and Hay Institution for Girls were officially closed in June 1974 however in October 1974 the main section of the site was known as 'Kamballa'. This was made official on 7 March 1975 when the institution was named Kamballa (Girls) and Taldree (Boys) Childrens Shelter. Taldree operated until 1980 at which time the boys section was transferred to Werrington with the Kamballa section operating until 1983.
End of an Era
In 1980 the Department of Corrective Services took possession of the original orphanage buildings and established the Norma Parker Detention Centre for Women.Since 2010 Norma Parker Centre ceased as a detention centre but continues to be used for administrative purposes by NSW Corrections.
Parramatta Girls Reunion
In 2003 the Parramatta Girls re-united for the first time since leaving the institution. Joining them was Sydney based playwright Alana Valentine who went on to write the Parramatta Girls play. The play premiered two weeks after the Hay Girls re-union in March 2007 at Belvoir Street Theatre, Surry Hills and has subsequently been taken up in HSC Drama studies.
Reliving the Horror. 30/5/03 ABC Stateline
More Victims of Parramatta Girls Home 6/6/03 ABC Stateline
The Reunion 27/06/03 ABC Stateline.
The Girls get together 24/10/03 ABC Stateline:
The ‘Girls’ Re unite. 7/11/03 ABC Stateline
Exposed to Moral Danger - In our very recent history, the 1960s and early 70s, teenage girls were locked in cells in an old jail in the town of Hay, in southwestern NSW.Deemed troublemakers at the Parrammatta Girls Home in western Sydney, they were subjected to a militaristic regime of state-sanctioned harsh discipline. Behind high walls, and a long way from the Sydney-based authorities, many abuses occurred over the years. ABC Radio National Hindsight.
For information on Institutional Records of the Parramatta Girls Home here
Other Names: Parramatta Industrial School for Females 1887-1912, Girls Training Home – School (GTS) 1912 -1925, Parramatta Girls Home (PGH) 1925 -1974, Kamballa (1974-1983) & Taldree (1974-1980).
Alana Valentine's play Parramatta Girls about the Parramatta Girls Reunion.
Valentine went on to write a second play Eyes to the Floor about the Hay Girls Institution.
For Schools: Study Guide : Forgotten Australians
What do they tell us about social life in Australia in the twentieth century and especially about aspects of childhood for poor and disadvantaged children...study guide
The first reunion of the Girls Institution took place on the 3 and 4 of March 2007.