The island was the site of a convict gaol from 1839 to 1869 and a major shipbuilding and repair facility from 1857 to 1991, and dock workers supported the Allied powers during both World Wars. Additionally, between 1871 and 1911, the island hosted educational institutions for boys and girls. These included an industrial training school for girls, a reformatory for young women and nautical school ships for boys.
The island features heritage objects, landmarks and structures that offer insights into bygone times. Scroll to learn about the different layers to Cockatoo Island’s narrative and become acquainted with historical figures synonymous with the destination.