Earl Grey Orphan Project


This project was funded by an Irish Government Emigrant Support Programme Grant which paid for an historian to supervise six students at Macquarie University doing a Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) unit as part of their degree during Semester 1, 2021.

The aim of the project was to research and add orphan girls’ information to the Orphan database; as well as exploring some orphan stories, the students did background research on the Irish Famine, the Earl Grey Scheme, Orphan Database, Hyde Park Barracks, the Famine Memorial and orphans who arrived on two ships to Tasmania.

One student digitised the two editions of “Barefoot& Pregnant?” and wrote a discussion paper on this process and the advantage of access to digitised material – especially during a pandemic lockdown when libraries were closed.

Overall, the students’ projects involved a range of research topics and expanded their awareness of this Irish-Australian history. Several descendants responded to an invitation to submit their orphan’s story.

For access to the students’ projects, please write to:

The GIFCC thanks the following for their assistance with this project:-
Dr Tanya Evans, Dr Patricia Curthoys, Dr Trevor McClaughlin, Dr Perry McIntyre

GIFCC is grateful to the Sydney Irish Consulate and the Irish Government for the ESP grant.