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Abandoned Wilcannia Convent

The river port township of Wilcannia sits on the edge of Outback NSW. The traditional home of the Barkindji or Paakantyi people, the Darling River runs parallel to this small desert precinct.

Hidden amongst the townships’ criss-crossed urban space are the ruins of The Sisters of Mercy Convent. Built in 1894 from locally sourced sandstone, a decline in population resulted in the closure of the facility in the 1920's.

Severely dilapidated, years of no maintenance and abandonment has filled the once religious space with pigeon faeces and rotted floorboards. A crumbled wooden staircase ascends to a second story level, revealing a series of empty roofless rooms.

In 2012, the structures owner formed a restoration working group with the Central Darling Shire and Heritage NSW to reconstruct the building. However, given the Convent still remains in a state of ruin in the Wilcannia’s back streets, it appears the initiative has long since stalled.


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