Delivery of the Parramatta Girls Home Memorial and Heritage Garden in partnership with the ParraGirls and Department of Communities and Justice, is currently underway.
To create a place of remembrance and reflection for survivors of the Parramatta Girls Home, works will re-instate the original historic front garden of the Norma Parker Centre and establish a memorial in recognition of the former occupants of the Home. The memorial and garden will be a place for everyone, but also a quiet and reflective place for the ParraGirls and their families.
The project cannot be delivered without the demolition of the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent’s Cottages fronting the Norma Parker Centre. The removal of the Cottages will not detract from the cultural and heritage significance of the site, with the demolition of these buildings consistent with the overarching Parramatta North Conservation Management Plan.
Demolition works are anticipated to commence in December 2020, with completion of the memorial and heritage garden anticipated in early-2021.
Planning for the Western Sydney Startup Hub (WSSH) in partnership with NSW Treasury, is currently underway.
The delivery of the WSSH provides an exciting opportunity for the Heritage Core, Parramatta North and broader Central River City. Future focused and community driven, the WSSH will support the growth of startups, scaleups and local businesses in Western Sydney, and will play a key role in building the local innovation ecosystem of the Westmead Health and Innovation District.
Following best practice heritage conservation and adaptive re-use, three sensitively restored buildings of the Heritage Core will provide a series of unique spaces for entrepreneurs and the community, including 1,500m² of co-working space, a café and shared event space. Sensitive upgrades to the surrounding public realm will also be undertaken.
The WSSH will be industry agnostic and will welcome startups, scaleups and SMEs. Pending approvals, the WSSH is expected to be fully operational by late-2021.
The NSW Government remains committed to retaining ownership of the Parramatta North Heritage Core with a Business Case currently being prepared that proposes a program of conservation, renewal and activation within the precinct, to achieve the Place Vision developed with the community in 2018. Ongoing funding will allow protection of the national heritage listed site into the future, through essential conservation and activation efforts.
The NSW Government will consider the business case in mid-2021.
The Program team recognises that strategic planning across the Heritage Core is essential to guide ongoing, future management of the site. Strategic planning is currently underway and includes the preparation of a Heritage Masterplan and Interpretation Strategy, site-specific Tenancy and Activation Strategies and a Social Enterprise Strategy. Following detailed archaeological testing, the approved Parramatta North Conservation Management Plan has been updated and submitted to Heritage NSW for consideration. Strategies are also being developed with Sydney Living Museums on museum opportunities.
Work is currently underway to deliver essential conservation works and site improvements across the Heritage Core, including restoration of the historic clock tower and Fleet Street palisade fence, removal of intrusive and insignificant building structures, building repairs, service upgrades and improvements to green space. This builds upon the work undertaken between 2016 and 2018 to restore the Norma Parker Centre to its original form, along with four other key buildings across the site.