Main Births etc

New South Wales, Australia

Strathfield Raw Square 2.JPG
Recent apartments in the commercial area
Population: 20,482
Established: c.1868
Postcode: 2135
Location: 14 km (9 mi) west of Sydney CBD
LGA: Municipality of Strathfield, City of Canada Bay, Burwood Council
State District: Strathfield
Federal Division: Reid, Watson
Suburbs around Strathfield:
Homebush North Strathfield Concord
Rookwood Strathfield Burwood
Belfield Strathfield South Enfield

Strathfield is an Inner West suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia 14 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district. It is the administrative centre of the local government area of the Municipality of Strathfield. A small section of the suburb north of the railway line sits in the local government area of the City of Canada Bay, while the area east of The Boulevard, sits within the Burwood Council. North Strathfield and Strathfield South are separate suburbs, to the north and south respectively.

History[edit | edit source]

The history of the Strathfield started with the Wangle Indigenous Australians, but then involves the first disastrous white settlement at Liberty Plains. After this settlement failed the land became part of the Redmire estate and was subdivided and sold into lots of land. A house called Stratfield Saye was built and it is from this that the Strathfield area derives its name. In 1887 Strathfield council was formed and after many mergers and threats of amalgamation the Municipality of Strathfield was formed.

Aboriginal history[edit | edit source]

The Municipality of Strathfield area was once home to the Wangal clan who were part of the Turuwal tribe, whose country was known as Wanne. Although knowledge of life in Sydney prior to European settlement is limited, there is evidence that Indigenous Australians were living in the Sydney Basin for at least 20,000 years prior to 1788.

European settlement in "Liberty Plains"[edit | edit source]

European settlement began in 1793 when the first free settlers were granted land to establish farms in the area then known as "Liberty Plains". Eventually there were 63 settler farmers in the area, however they were largely unsuccessful in their efforts. Governor Hunter wrote to the Duke of Portland in August 1796 complaining that the English settlers had arrived in the colony with high expectations and unfounded reports of government assistance without any real understanding of the level of work they would have to undertake to develop the land. Further, Governor Hunter complained that "the settlers have more than once killed what they received from the Government – every reduction of the ration of animal food occasioned the destruction of what might then have been in their possession." The settlers soon exhausted their own resources and were living on credit. In March 1798 Samuel Marsden, following a visit to the settlement with D'Arcy Wentworth, found them in a dire situation. They had run out of "seed wheat" and he wrote that "should a ship arrive with any articles of consumption, they can't raise a single pound in the two districts [Concord and ?? areas]." Most of the settlers eventually moved away from the area. However, Edward Powell returned and successfully established a Halfway Hotel on Parramatta Rd [now site of the Horse & Jockey Hotel]. Assistant surgeon D'Arcy Wentworth settled in what is now the North Homebush area.

Birth of Strathfield[edit | edit source]

On 31 October 1903 a subdivision of the Redmyre Estate was auctioned. The pamphlet shows it was billed as "The Railway Station Estate, Strathfield".

Frank Smith was granted 243 acres (1 km²) of land by Governor Macquarie in 1808 [regranted 1810] following representations from Lord Henden, a relation by marriage of Wilshire. Ownership was transferred in 1824 to ex-convict Samuel Terry. The land became known as the Redmire Estate, which Michael Jones says could either be named after his home town in Yorkshire or could be named after the "red clay of the Strathfield area".[1] Subdivision of the land commenced in 1867. An early buyer was one-time Mayor of Sydney, Walter Renny who built in 1868 a house they called Stratfieldsaye, possibly after the Duke of Wellington's mansion near Reading, Berkshire. It may have also been named after the transport ship of the same name that transported many immigrants – including Sir Henry Parkes – to Australia, though the transport ship was probably also named after the Duke's mansion as it was built soon after his death and was likely named in his honour. A plaque marking the location of Stratfield Saye can be found in the footpath of Strathfield Avenue, marking the approximate location of the original house [though some of the wording on the plaque is incorrect]. According to local historian Cathy Jones, "ownership of [Stratfieldsaye] was transferred several times including to Davidson Nichol, who shortened the name to ‘Strathfield House’, then ‘Strathfield’."[2][3]

Strathfield Saye Plaque

Strathfield was proclaimed on 2 June 1885 by the Governor of NSW, Sir Augustus Loftus, after residents of the Redmyre area petitioned the New South Wales State government. Residents in parts of Homebush and Druitt Town [now Strathfield South] formed their own unsuccessful counter-petition. It is possible that the region was named Strathfield because the Redmyre land was sold as "Strathfield" land, and the naming was an attempt to avoid the rivalry between Homebush and Redmire. At the time of incorporation the population of the Strathfield municipality was estimated at 600 (thus satisfying the 1867 Municipalities Act's requirement of a minimum of 500 residents in an area before a municipality could be established) and the net revenue was £1,210. The area at that time was only about 1/3 of the size of today's municipality with boundaries at Homebush Crescent and the railway in the north, the Boulevard in the east, Liverpool Road and the Cooks River in the south and undeveloped land in the west.

Strathfield Council[edit | edit source]

Strathfield council chambers (c. 1915)

Strathfield Council Chambers present day

Strathfield Municipal Council opened their Council Chambers along the corner of Redmyre and Homebush Roads in October 1887. The building was a reasonably expensive undertaking for the newly formed council. The Council Chambers was designed by architectural firm Sulman and Blackmann, however the design is credited primarily to John Sulman who was a resident of Strathfield. The Chambers provided limited space for community activities. In 1923, the Strathfield Town Hall was built, designed by architect Harry C. Kent. Soon after the Council Chambers were opened, however, the council was scandalised when they discovered that the town clerk, Bennett, had embezzled £635, which was at this time, a third of the Council's assets. The clerk refunded the money and was dismissed and evicted from the council cottage he had been living in.

Strathfield Council soon started expanding its boundaries. The Flemington district was unincorporated and was annexed by Strathfield in 1892 and increased the area of the Strathfield Municipality by about 50%. The council was further divided into three separate wards soon after: the Flemington ward, the Homebush ward and the Strathfield ward. These wards were abolished in 1916.[4][5] Following the introduction of the Local Government Act in 1919, the Municipality was one of the first to proclaim the major part of its area a residential district by proclamation in 1920. The proclamation excluded any trade, industry, shop, place of amusement, advertisements or residential flats and largely stayed in place until 1969 when the proclamation was suspended by the Strathfield Planning Scheme Ordinance.

Amalgamations[edit | edit source]

In 1898, Strathfield council was threatened by a forced amalgamation into a greater Sydney council. Heading the push was Strathfield Alderman George Christie who outlined the scheme in his pamphlet "The Unification of the Municipal Council of Sydney and its Suburbs". Christie felt that local councils operated under severe limitations that constrained their own management and growth, as well as self-determination and proposed that 41 municipal councils be merged into the City of Sydney. The push to amalgamate the councils into one mega-council was known as The Greater Sydney Movement, and it had many supporters, but just as many opponents. Supporters included Sidney Webb, who visited Sydney in 1898, as well as John Daniel Fitzgerald, who was a journalist, editor, barrister, and politician and who was deeply involved in municipal affairs. When Fitzgerald became the State Minister for Local Government in 1916 he pushed for a bill to create a Greater Sydney area. This was energetically opposed by Strathfield and other local councils who did not wish to be amalgamated. A petition was tabled in parliament in August 1914 opposing such a push. Bills to amalgamate councils were brought raised in parliament in 1912, 1927 and 1931 but each time they failed to gather any support, mainly due to campaigning by most local councils in Sydney.

In May 1947, the Municipality of Homebush voluntarily amalgamated with Strathfield and in January 1949 the west ward of the former Municipality of Enfield was added. As this doubled the population that was managed by Strathfield local council the threats of amalgamation after the Second World War ended subsided. However, in 1974 C. J. Barnett wrote a Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Local Government Areas and Administration in New South Wales and recommended that Strathfield be amalgamated with Ashfield.[6] In 1983 it was further recommended by the State Boundaries Commission that Strathfield be amalgamated into Burwood. A great deal of uproar greeted this plan and a circus tent was erected for a town meeting in which 2,000 people attended (from a population of 26,000) after the plan was announced. The then Mayor, Clarrie Edwards, spoke at the meeting and after seeing the tremendous opposition to the merger the then New South Wales Premier, Neville Wran finally decided that a merger would not be in anyone's best interest.

In 1992, a section of the northern part of the Municipality which included parts of Bicentennial Park and the State Sports Centre was transferred to the Auburn Council area, in order that this area (the future Sydney Olympic Park) could be consolidated under one local government area. In return, the area of and between Boundary Creek and the railway line, occupied by the former Ford factory building, was transferred from Auburn Council to Strathfield Council.

Alleged corruption[edit | edit source]

On 20 December 2004, Strathfield council's mayor, Alfred Tsang stepped down over allegations of corruption. Pictures had been published in The Australian of him accepting a wad of $100 bills from a developer, Michael Saklawi. However, it was not clear why the money was given to him, though it was alleged that he was talking to Mr Saklawi about the redevelopment of an 800 m2 council-owned carpark.[7] Mr Tsang had previously released a statement that "Councils need to take leadership roles in this area, we simply cannot continue to support unsustainable development, for the sake of our children, grandchildren and the future environment, we need to make changes now."[8] According to the Australian he was heard to have said that "Basically, we get it for nothing," Mr Tsang says. "I am making Strathfield a better place ... I am doing it for the area."[7] Strathfield council soon afterwards released a press statement that it "will not and does not" tolerate misconduct.[9][10] The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is currently investigating whether claims developers were given inside information about land rezoning proposals put to Strathfield Council have any substance and the pictures taken by The Australian were handed to them for further investigation.[11][12]

According to Anne Davies, who reports for The Sydney Morning Herald, "behind the Strathfield saga is a ferocious battle among developers for sites.[13] These developers are not from the big end of town; they are locals - many are Lebanese - who regard the inner west as their development playground." She has alleged that more corruption may be revealed as the new year progresses. (Davies, SMH, pg. 4). As the inquiry has progressed, former Mayor John Abi-Saab has also been investigated.

Schools and churches[edit | edit source]

Independent schools[edit | edit source]

Trinity Grammar 1930

  • St Patrick's College is an independent, day school for boys. Founded as a Christian Brothers school in the tradition of Edmund Rice in 1928, the college currently caters for approximately 1430 students from Years 5 to 12.[14]
  • Santa Sabina College is a Roman Catholic, Dominican, day school for girls K-12 and boys K-4. The primary school is known as Santa Maria Del Monte. Established in 1894, Santa Sabina has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1,400 students, with co-education from Kindergarten to Year 4, and girls only from Years 5 to 12.[15] The College is a school of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.[16]
  • Meriden Anglican School for Girls is an independent, Anglican, day school for girls. Founded in 1897 by Mrs Jane Monckton, the school has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 850 students from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12.
  • Sydney Adventist College is an independent, co-educational, Seventh-day Adventist, day school is colloquially known as SAC or Sydney Adventist. Established in 1919 at Burwood, Sydney Adventist College is open to students from all religious and cultural backgrounds.
  • Trinity Grammar School Preparatory School campus is on The Boulevarde and has classes from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 6.[14][17]
  • St Martha's Primary School

State schools[edit | edit source]

Santa Sabina College

  • Strathfield Girls High with classes from (7-12) opened as Homebush Intermediate High School, founded in 1926. In 1953, it was established as Strathfield Girls High School, and became a languages high school (due to the rich cultural diversity and backgrounds of its students) in 1990. Over 85% of its students are from non-English speaking backgrounds.
  • Strathfield South High School - Co-educational secondary school for years 7-12.[18]
  • Homebush Boys High with classes from (7-12) is one of the academically best-performing comprehensive schools, and has, in the past, been ranked above selective schools on the Higher School Certificate results.
  • Chalmers Road Public School (state government school for students aged four to eighteen years with moderate or severe intellectual disabilities)

Tertiary institutions[edit | edit source]

Churches[edit | edit source]

St Anne's Anglican Church

  • Carrington Avenue Uniting Church[19]
  • St Anne's Anglican Church[20]
  • St David's Presbyterian Church[21]
  • St Martha's Catholic Church[22]
  • Sts Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Cathedral[23]
  • Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church of the Protection of the Theotokos[24]
  • Strathfield Korean Uniting Church
  • Sydney Chinese Seventh-day Adventist Church[25]
  • Trinity Uniting Church[26]

Residential landscape[edit | edit source]

Glen Luna in Carrington Street,
has become apartments

Strathfield’s residential landscape is extremely varied, ranging from country-style estates to high-rise apartments. Many styles of architecture have been employed over past decades, with dwellings having been constructed in Victorian, Federation, Interwar period architecture, Californian Bungalow and contemporary periods. In the early 1900s, grand mansions were constructed here as the country homes of wealthy merchants, many of which have been recognised for their historic value. Some examples include 'Bellevue' in Victoria Street and 'Radstoke' in Malvern Crescent, as well as Helikon, built in 1893 and designed by Charles Slayter, which is now listed on the Register of the National Estate. Since the mid-1990s, a construction boom has seen the redevelopment of many of Strathfield’s more modest homes, typically Californian Bungalows built during the 1930s and 1940s. Primarily these have been replaced by modern, multi-million dollar mansions, although Strathfield has retained its wide avenues and most of the extensive natural vegetation. Streets such as Victoria Street, Llandillo Avenue and Kingsland Road predominantly feature older mansions, while Agnes Street, Newton Road and Barker Road are common locations for new homes. Additionally, decreasing land sizes through subdivision has led to an increase in residential densities, reflecting the outward expansion of Sydney's inner city. A large proportion of Strathfield’s population now dwells in apartments with the area immediately surrounding Strathfield railway station dominated by high rise residential towers. Smaller apartment buildings are located in other areas within the suburbs, were mostly built during the 1960s and 1970s. In the last century a number of grand Strathfield homes have become private schools:

Commercial area and transport[edit | edit source]

The Boulevarde

Strathfield is known as a regional centre for education and Strathfield railway station is a major transport hub. Strathfield town centre contains Strathfield Plaza shopping centre and a small strip of shops, restaurants, cafes and a Police shopfront. Strathfield railway station is a major interchange on the CityRail network and for buses serving the inner west. The M4 Western Motorway begins at Strathfield and heads west to Parramatta, Blacktown and Penrith. Parramatta Road links Strathfield east to Burwood and the Sydney CBD and west to Parramatta.

Demographics[edit | edit source]

According to the 2006 census, Strathfield had a total population of 20,482 people. It has become one of the most culturally diverse suburbs in Sydney, particularly so in the high-density housing regions around Strathfield railway station. Overall 51.5% of people were born overseas, with migrants born in South Korea (8.6%), China (8%), India (7.8%), Hong Kong (2.6%) and Sri Lanka (2.4%). Of residents born in Australia, only 22% have Australian parents. Overall, common ancestries (by country of birth parents) include China (18%), UK (8.3%), India (8.2%), Italy (5.6%), Lebanon (4.8%), Ireland (4.6%) and Greece (2.7%).[32]

Notable residents[edit | edit source]

The Strathfield Catholic Institute was built in 1891 as the Institute for Blind Women and designed by Harry Kent


Architecture[edit | edit source]

Business[edit | edit source]

Law[edit | edit source]

Medicine[edit | edit source]

Music[edit | edit source]

  • The Bee Gees; music group, who lived in Redmyre Road

Politics[edit | edit source]

Religion[edit | edit source]

Science[edit | edit source]

Sport[edit | edit source]

Culture[edit | edit source]

Whilst perhaps not boasting the significant cultural contributions of neighbouring Burwood (the suburb in which The Easybeats and AC/DC were formed and cricketing legend Don Bradman was married), Strathfield has made a contribution to Australia's cultural landscape. Strathfield has made an impact on the indie rock and indie pop scene, producing bands such as Prince Vlad & the Gargoyle Impalers, The Upbeat, Lunatic Fringe, The Mexican Spitfires and Women of Troy. It has also inspired pop songs such as The Mexican Spitfires's song "Rookwood" about Rookwood Cemetery and the legendary Blitzkrieg punk rock of Radio Birdman's classic mid-1970s "Murder City Nights". Indie pop legend Grant McLennan of The Go-Betweens also called Carrington Avenue, Strathfield home for a few years in the 1990s.

Climate[edit | edit source]

Climate data for Sydney Olympic Park
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28.3
Average low °C (°F) 19.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 91.2
Source: [35]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Jones, Michael (1985). Oasis in the West: Strathfield's first hundred years. North Sydney: Allen & Unwin Australia. ISBN 0-86861-407-6.
  2. ^ Jones, Cathy (2004). Strathfield - origin of the name. Retrieved 4 October 2004.
  3. ^ Jones, Cathy [2005], A [very] short history of Strathfield, Strathfield District Historical Society Newsletter.
  4. ^ Reps, John W. Fitgerald, Critique of Capital City Plans. Cornell University.
  5. ^ Fitzgerald, John Daniel (27 July 1912). The Capital plans, the city of the future. The Sydney Morning Herald.
  6. ^ Barnett, C. J., 1974. Report of the Committee of lnquiry into Local Government Areas and Administration in New South Wales. Sydney: NSW Government Printer.
  7. ^ a b .,5744,11737987%255E601,00.html. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Tsang, Alfred (2004). Message from the Mayor of Strathfield, Cr Alfred Tsang
  10. ^ "Mayor stands down over cash wad claim". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 December 2004. 
  11. ^ Sexton, Jennifer (20 December 2004). Video cash mayor steps down. The Australian.
  12. ^ Mayor stands down over cash wad claim (20 December 2004). The Australian.
  13. ^ Davies, Anne (21 December 2004). Design rules for developments won't block out ground-floor corruption. Sydney Morning Herald.
  14. ^ a b "Australian School Choice- St Patrick's College". Retrieved 27 June 2007. 
  15. ^ "Overview". About Us. Santa Sabina College. 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2007. 
  16. ^ "Directory of Schools for the Archdiocese of Sydney". Our Parishes. Archdiocese of Sydney. Retrieved 11 December 2007. 
  17. ^ "Trinity Grammar School". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  18. ^ Schools in Strathfield Strathfield Council
  19. ^ Strathfield History - Carrington Avenue Uniting Church
  20. ^ Strathfield History - St Anne’s Anglican Church, Strathfield
  21. ^ Strathfield Presbyterian Chuch
  22. ^ [2]
  23. ^ Strathfield History - The Parish of Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church
  24. ^ Strathfield Ukrainian Church
  25. ^ Sydney Chinese SDA Church
  26. ^ Strathfield History - Trinity Uniting Church
  27. ^ Strathfield History - Holyrood
  28. ^ Strathfield History - Brunyarra
  29. ^ Strahfield History - Lauriston
  30. ^ a b c Strathfield History - Schools
  31. ^ Strathfield History - Somerset
  32. ^ 2006 Census
  33. ^ [3] Retrieved 28 August 2012
  34. ^ Kearys Corner at Strathfield Heritage
  35. ^ "Sydney Olympic Park". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 3 November 2009. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 33°52′51″S 151°04′59″E / -33.88081, 151.08308

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