Blacktown is a suburb in the City of Blacktown, in Western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Blacktown is located 34 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district and is the administrative centre of the local government area of City of Blacktown. Blacktown is also the largest of any suburb or township in New South Wales.
Prior to the arrival of the First Fleet
, Blacktown was inhabited by different groups of the Darug people
including the Warmuli, based around what is now Prospect
, and their neighbours the Gomerigal from the South Creek
area and the Wawarawarry from the Eastern Creek
area. It is estimated that fifty to ninenty percent of the Darug died of smallpox
and other introduced diseases within a few years of the British arrival. Governor Arthur Phillip
began granting land in the area to white settlers in 1791, a process that was reversed slightly in 1819 when Governor Lachlan Macquarie
granted land to two indigenous men, Colebee and Nurragingy. A few years later in 1823, the Native Institution (a school for Aboriginal children) was moved from Parramatta
to the site where Richmond Road meets Rooty Hill Road North (this intersection is now in the suburbs of Hassall Grove
and Quakers Hill
). Although the institution closed in 1833, the road heading out to it became known as the Black Town Road
. In 1860 the Railway Department gave the name of Black Town Road Station to the railway station at the junction of the railway and the Black Town Road, with the name shortening to Blacktown by 1862
The arrival of the railway led to the formation of a town around the station. A post office was opened in 1862 and a school in 1877. In 1906, the Shire of Blacktown was formed and in 1930, electricity was introduced to the town. The population in 1933 was then around 13,000. In the 1950s and 60s, there was a large amount of suburban development both in the current suburb of Blacktown and the new suburbs that sprung up around it. This led to civic development in the town centre with the hospital opening in 1965, the courthouse and police station in 1966, the library in 1967 and the TAFE college in 1969. In 1973, the Westpoint shopping centre opened which was soon followed by the cinema complex.
The Blacktown Commercial Business District is located close to Blacktown railway station
. Westpoint Blacktown
is a major shopping centre
in Blacktown. Blacktown has many restaurants and bars. The Blacktown CBD features the following landmarks:
- Blacktown City Council corporate head office
- Blacktown Courthouse and Police Station
- Max Webber Library - Blacktown City Council's newly completed central library
- Blacktown Hospital
According to the 2006 census, the most common way of getting to work from Blacktown was by car (74%) with public transport used by just under twenty percent. Most public transport was done by train (17%) with five percent catching buses for all or part of their journey.
The first school in the area was opened in 1877. While no longer in use as a school, the heritage listed building in Flushcombe Road is now used as a Visitor Information Centre. There are, however, a large number of schools in the suburb. Government run primary schools in the area include: Blacktown North Public School, Blacktown South Public School, Blacktown West Public School, Lynwood Park Public School, Marayong South Public School, Shelley Public School, and Walters Road Public School. Public high schools include: Blacktown Boys High, Blacktown Girls High, Evans High and Mitchell High. There is also the Coreen School, which caters to older children with learning difficulties.
There are two Catholic primary schools, St Michaels and St Patricks, and two Catholic high schools, Nagle College for girls and Patrician Brothers Blacktown for boys. Tyndale Christian School is a private school covering children from kindergarten to year 12.
- There are four Catholic churches in Blacktown: St Patricks on Allawah street, St Raphael (German) on Reservoir Road, St Michaels on Orwell Street and Our Lady (Croation) on Douglas Road.
- St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church is situated on Balmoral Street. It is the spiritual home to thousands of Orthodox Christians (mainly of Greek heritage) living in the Blacktown City Council area.
- St. Pokrovski (Holy Protection of the Mother of our Lord) Russian Orthodox Church on Kildare Road.
- St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church is on Second Avenue. There is a large community of Serbian Orthodox Christians in the Blacktown area.
- Christ Church is an Anglican Church in Richmond Road.
- St Marks Coptic Catholic Church is on Reservoir Road, opposite Prospect Reservoir
Sport and recreation
- Fairfax Community Stadium (Football and Rugby League) 7,500 capacity (1,200 seated)
- Blacktown Baseball Stadium (Baseball) 5,000 capacity (1,200 seated)
- Blacktown Softball Stadium (Softball) 5,000 capacity (1,100 seated)
- Blacktown Showground (fesitvals and cultural events/activities)
- Francis Park (Rugby League, Football and Athletics)
- Blacktown International Ice Arena - home of the Western Sydney Ice Dogs of the AIHL
- Alpha Park
According to the 2006 census
conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics
, Blacktown had a population of 38,914 making it one of the largest suburbs in the country. In many respects, the residents were typical of the Australian national profile. Most families were couples with children (48%). Most dwelling were freestanding homes (75%). The median family income of $1080 per week was a little lower than average. The median housing loan repayment of $1588 per month was a bit higher than average. The number of people born overseas (40%) was a statistic substantially higher than the national average (22%) with the greatest numbers of people born in the Philippines
(2.4%) and New Zealand