The Female Orphan School, completed in 1818, is now a part of the University of Western Sydney, in New South Wales, Australia. This recently restored building has been referred to as a rejuvenated heritage jewel and a forgotten heritage treasure, but which aspects of heritage, and whose heritage, are being celebrated? This paper investigates the Orphan School's discursive construction in historical documents and more recent media releases. Using a theoretical approach informed by the work of Michel de Certeau and Michel Foucault, and drawing on the writings of various modern historical geographers, the paper considers the ways in which understandings of the Institution and the building have been created and argues that many interesting aspects have been overlooked in an effort to produce a heritage designed to appeal to a relatively privileged constituency.
- Female orphan school