The Australian Monument to the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852) is located at the Hyde Park Barracks, on Macquarie Street, Sydney, Australia. The monument was inspired by the arrival in Australia of over 4,000 single young women, most of whom were teenage orphans. They arrived under a special emigration scheme designed to resettle destitute girls from the workhouses of Ireland during the Great Famine. The Great Irish Famine Commemoration Committee (GIFCC) have broadened their activities to commemorate all who left their homes seeking a new life in the colonies and States of Australia but these workhouse orphan girls, and the historical links back to Ireland, remain the focus of this project and only young women from the workhouses under Earl Grey's Orphans scheme appear in the database.
This website introduces you to the monument itself, to this particular emigration scheme which operated between 1848 & 1850, to the women themselves and the ships on which they travelled. It is designed to be an motivating and rewarding experience for anyone interested in Irish history and genealogy or the broader issues related to famine, displacement and immigration no matter where in the Irish 'diaspora' you may reside.
This website is in gradually being updated. We gratefully acknowlege funding assistance from the Irish Government's Emigrant Support Programme in 2011 and 2013
Gathering in 2014 will be Sunday 31 August 2014
Our orator is former Irish Ambassador Richard O'Brien, one of the movers and shakers who helped build the memorial
Brendan Graham's song, 'Orphan Girl', will be launched on CD with his two other songs, 'The Whitest Flower' and the unforgettable 'You Raise Me Up' - for sale on the day for $10 and afterwards via this website
Our award to a student at Macquarie University and a donation to the Refugee Programme at Mamre House at St Mary's in Western Sydney will be presented by Tom Power OAM
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