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Famine Memorial

The monument was inspired by the arrival in Australia of over 4,000 single young women, most of whom were teenagers. 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. The three images above the website link were supplied to Trevor McClaughlin in the 1990s and are Mary Ann Ryan per Elgin to Adelaide )left) and one of her children (right) with Ann Brady per Tippoo Saib in the centre.

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. The website was initially set up by Dr Trevor McClaughlin and we are grateful for him allowing us to use the information contained in his two volumes of Barefoot & Pregnant? Irish Famine orphans in Australia, Genealogical Society of Victoria, Melbourne, 1991 and 2001 and for the work he and Jennifer Bainbridge did on the first version of this website.

We acknowlege funding assistance from the Irish Government’s Emigrant Support Programme in 2011, 2013 and 2017

The Australian Monument to the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852) is located at the Hyde Park Barracks, on Macquarie Street, Sydney,

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Recent news

  • 2018 GIF Refugee Scholarship recipient’s Graduation

    First GIF Refugee Scholarship awardee, Negar Zarei, being presented with her Degree in Nursing by WSU Chancellor Peter Shergold at her graduation at Western Sydney University., on Tuesday 30th April 2019. The GIFCC is delighted that the WSU Scholarship Fund established in 2008 has come to fruition with this result....
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