Parramatta Girls

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Riverside Productions

Parramatta Girls

Venue Lennox Theatre
Dates 01 May - 07 May 2014

A stellar cast and a powerful story making for a piece of unforgettable theatre.

Eight former inmates return to the notorious Parramatta Girls Detention Centre for a reunion forty years later. For some it’s a way to find healing, for others it’s a way to dispel the ghosts, for all of them it is a way to share the pain. This vibrant, confronting and often very funny play explores the defiance, endurance and psychological legacy of being branded a home girl. Interspersed with songs and story telling, this is a tribute to the mischief and humour in the face of hardship suffered by countless girls, forgotten Australians who were victims of this harsh juvenile detention centre.

Award-winning Playwright Alana Valentine has woven together the true stories of women who were once Parramatta Girls into a masterful tribute to their courage, humour, strength and optimism. Under the direction of Tanya Goldberg, eight extraordinary actresses bring this powerful work to audiences in Parramatta as part of the anniversary that marks 40 years since the closure of the institution.

Q&A sessions with the cast will follow each performance. Q&A’s with the real Parramatta Girls as well as tours of the actual site will also be available following some performances.

Parramatta Girls contains strong language and adult themes

WRITER: Alana Valentine
DIRECTOR: Tanya Goldberg
DESIGNER: Tobhiyah Stone Feller
PRODUCER: Camilla Rountree
STARRING: Christine Anu, Holly Austin, Annie Byron, Vanessa Downing, Anni Finsterer, Sandy Gore, Sharni McDermott, Tessa Rose


From the Education Coordinator…
The history of the Parramatta Girls Home is so vitally important for students of Western Sydney, or indeed all students no matter where they are from, to be aware of. There is no better time to learn and to remember than now – on the 40th Anniversary of its closure. Not only is this an important play, and a fantastic example of verbatim theatre, but the opportunity for your students to see it performed by this amazing cast paired with the opportunity to tour the site of the home AND meet some of the real Parramatta Girls makes this production truly not one to be missed. If you bring students to see nothing else all year- make SURE you bring them to Parramatta Girls.

Dates & Times:

11:00am, Thursday 1 May – SOLD OUT
11:00am, Friday 2 May -SOLD OUT
11:00am, Wednesday 7 May – SOLD OUT

7:30pm, Saturday 3 May
7:30pm, Thursday 8 May
7:30pm, Friday 9 May
2:15pm, Saturday 10 May
7:30pm, Saturday 10 May
7:30pm, Thursday 15 May
7:30pm, Friday 16 May
2:15pm, Saturday 17 May
7:30pm, Saturday 17 May

For more information on site tours, please contact us on 8839 3308.

Show Only: Student/Additional Teacher $25*
Show + Site Tour: Student/Additional Tour $30*
*Transaction fees may apply


STEP 1. Download & Complete Booking Form

Secondary Education Booking Form

All bookings require a completed Booking Form. Risk assessments and education support materials (where provided) are available online. If you are from a Priority Funded School, please contact us regarding possible ticket subsidies that may be available to you.

STEP 2. Send your Booking Form to Us

Fax or e-mail your booking form to Riverside Education:

Fax: 02 9683 3267
Scan and E-mail:
Mail: Amy Matthews, Riverside Education, PO Box 3636, Parramatta NSW 2124.

N.B. Please do not send any payments with your booking form. Riverside will confirm your booking and then forward an invoice for your deposit. Bookings are made in strict order of receipt of booking form.

STEP 3. Riverside will Confirm your Booking

Riverside will confirm your booking and invoice the school for a $125 deposit. Teachers receive complimentary seating on a 20:1 ratio (unless otherwise specified). Once you have paid your deposit, your booking is secure. You can request changes to student numbers up to 4 weeks prior to the performance.

STEP 4. Final Payment

Riverside will invoice you for the balance, payable 4 school weeks before your performance or workshop date. At that stage student numbers are final. Bookings cannot be held if your final payment is not received and the deposit is forfeited. An increase of numbers is possible after the final payment day and is subject to availability.

STEP 5. Final Information Sent to Schools

A letter of confirmation will be issued instead of individual tickets if you attending a performance that has been allocated as a schools matinee. For other general public performances, you will be issued with tickets which you will be required to collect from Box Office before the performance. Prior to your visit, we will send you detailed information via email to ensure you have a hassle-free excursion. This will include updating you on any possible changes to times or more detailed information as it emerges from the rehearsal process. Please ensure you have given a valid email address on your booking form.

STEP 6. Attend and Enjoy!

Seating at schools performances is general admission and schools will be asked to enter the theatre as a group. We advise arriving at the theatre approximately 30 mins prior to your performance.

Terms and Conditions

The following Terms and Conditions apply for each Riverside Education performance booking:

  • A non-refundable deposit of $125 is to be paid within 14 days of the booking being confirmed by Riverside;
  • Changes to student numbers must be in writing and no later than school 4 weeks prior to the performance;
  • Final payment is due 4 school weeks prior to the performance;
  • Any changes to student numbers after this time are at the discretion of Riverside and subject to availability;
  • The booking is made on behalf of the school and the school accepts liability to make payments on the due dates.

Please note all school bookings made within 4 school weeks of a performance date must be paid in full within 1 week of confirmation and are final. There are no refunds or changes to numbers or dates on these bookings. If you have concerns about meeting the terms and conditions, please contact the Community Relations & Education Coordinator on 8839 3308.

Please find a range of helpful teaching resources related to Parramatta Girls, below:

Parramatta Girls – Curriculum Links

Parramatta Girls Teachers Notes

60 Minutes Story

AM with Tony Eastley – ABC Radio
Royal Commission begins hearings into NSW government-run girls’ homes
Listen to the program here

Sydney Morning Herald
Inmates at Parramatta Girls Home subjected to ‘state-sanctioned rape’
Read the full article here

Haunting: Bonney Djuric, left, and Christina Green at the former site of controversial detention centre Parramatta Girls Home.

Courier Mail
Government-run institution for girls was run like a concentration camp Royal Commission hears.
Read the full article here

Daily Telegraph
It’s the proximity more than anything. The knowledge that these events weren’t in another country unfolding in a different time — it was right in the here and now. And that gives the play Parramatta Girls, which opens tonight at Riverside Theatres, a real emotional punch.
Read the full article here

Sunday Telegraph
Christine Anu wanted to hug her kids tighter than ever while rehearsing Parramatta Girls.
Read the full article here

Daily Telegraph
Exclusive look into the dungeon of Parramatta Girls School
Read the full article here

Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney’s dark past: Christine Anu performs in Parramatta Girls
Read the full article here


“A moving and challenging piece of theatre…about our nation’s past.” – Dinner and a Show

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Approximately 2 hours, plus Q&A (Excluding site tour)

Ticket Prices

Show + Tour $30
Show Only $25

Transaction fees apply

Phone $4.60
Web $3.60
Counter $2.60
Screen $1.65
School Bookings $4.00