Parramatta Stories

The team at the City of Parramatta Heritage and Information Centre is continually adding new stories about people, places and events from Parramatta’s rich history.

You can explore the site by looking at the list of ‘Our Stories’ in the top menu bar, using the search field or subscribing to our site in the field at the bottom of the page to receive an alert every time a new research post is published.

Wild things: The history of Parramatta Zoo

Emus in the zoo at Parramatta Park, c. 1930s (photograph donated to City of Parramatta Community Archives by the family of S.Davies)   In September 2017 it was announced a new world-class zoo, overlooking Bungarribee Park in Blacktown, will be opening in 2018....

King of Thailand and His Connections to Parramatta

His Royal Highness Vajiralongkorn Mahidol in The King's School, Parramatta - Macarthur boarding house with other students (1970). Image from The King’s School Archive Collection His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun His Royal Highness...

Happy Diwali

Diwali Display @ Parramatta Heritage Centre Diwali is a five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the globe. Diwali night is the darkest night of autumn and diyas (lamps), candles, lanterns make the festival of light very...

Australia’s Retail History – Westfield Parramatta

Westfield Parramatta, September 2017. Image: Anna Namuren, Parramatta Heritage Centre The Westfield retail centre was launched in Parramatta in 1975 [1] in the same year that consumers were introduced to Bankcard, Australia's first credit card. [2] Westfield...

The Parramatta Eels

  'Go the Eels' banners adorn the Town Hall, 2001, City of Parramatta Cultural Collections, 2002.127 The connections between Parramatta and eels are strong and historic. [1] The word ‘eel’ derives from Old English and German, with similar pronunciations appearing in...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Victor Earle Brinkman

Victor was the eldest son of Mrs J. Brinkman of Guidlford New South Wales (Myrtle Cottage, Albert Parade, and later "Le Roy" Calliope Street). He was born in Cabramatta and was a Railway Porter when he joined the forces on 7 May 1915 at 22 years of age. He served with...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private Wallace R. McKenzie

Private Wallace McKenzie was a 20 year old shipwright from Sydney. He was the son of Mr J McKenzie and Mrs Jane McKenzie from Granville, New South Wales. He and his family were part of the Church of England. He enlisted on 17 August 1914. He was appointed as Corporal...

Perth House and Stables

Perth House, 85 George Street, Parramatta Perth House is aesthetically and technically significant. It is a single storey Colonial Victorian Georgian residence with a hipped roof to a central block with encircling verandahs. The verandah is paved with stone. It...

History Week 2017: Pop goes Parramatta

As part of History Week, hosted by the History Council NSW, the City of Parramatta Research and Collection Services team held an an open day - Pop goes Parramatta -  to collect your popular culture memories! Check out the details, and our Pinterest board showcasing...

Dragoon Horses For India – 1857

Colonial Secretary’s Office, Sydney, 11th September, 1857 DRAGOON HORSES FOR INDIA The following official communication from the Government of India, notify that an officer is about to be dispatched for Sydney for the purpose of selecting horses suited to carry men in...

Indians in Parramatta for Australian Horses – 1820s

'The new mode of shipping horses to India'- ramps were safer and faster than slings - wood engraving, 1880.  State Library of Victoria. Indian Australians are Australians of Indian Heritage. A study of DNA has found that Indian people may have come to Australia around...

India’s untold story in Australia

Let’s look back and explore the centuries old contributions of Indians to the development of Australia. Australia’s multicultural phenomenon is not a recent one. During 19th and 20th century people from Britain, Europe, China, India, Egypt and Turkey came to Australia...

Bushrangers in Parramatta – Part 1

Bushrangers’ Camp by S T Gill artist, (1818-1880), c. 1871 From the time of the establishment of the European settlement at Sydney Cove in January 1788, members of the largely convict population attempted to break free from government control and regulation. As early...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – William Dawson Fisk

William was the son of G.D. Fisk of Guildford, New South Wales. He was born in Inverell, New South Wales and was a 24 year old shop assistant when he joined the forces on 22 March 1915. He married Miss Ella Virtue (also of Guildford) on 8th April 2015 prior to...

Baludarri – A Significant Figure in Parramatta History

A significant figure in the history of Parramatta, Baludarri was a young Darug man who was living in the area when the Europeans colonists arrived in 1788. In early 1791, Baludarri befriended Governor Phillip, and joined the Governor’s expedition to the Hawkesbury, as...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Allan Colquhoun

Allan was the son of Geo. Colquhoun of Guildford and nephew of Mr and Mrs Andrew Colquhoun of Belmont Street, Loftus Park, New South Wales. He was a saddler, born in Glebe, New South Wales and was 18 years and 4 months when he joined the forces on 11 November 1915. He...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers -Sergeant John Jeffery

Sergeant John Jeffery, a labourer, enlisted on 24 August 1915 at the age of twenty one.  He came from the Hunter's Hill area.  He named his wife Marion as his next of kin.  At the time of his enlistment, he and his wife were living with her parents in Dixon Street,...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Elmore Aubrey Gane

Elmore was the son of Mrs Maude Gane of Guildford (Calliope Street), New South Wales, who was a 20 year old Telephonist when he joined the forces on 31 May 1916. He was serving with the 20th Infantry A.M.F. Unit at time of enrollment and was assigned immediately to...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Walter Williams

Walter was the son of Sidney Williams of Smithfield (Poland Street), New South Wales. He was born in Smithfield and was working as a Storeman, aged 23, when he joined the forces on 12 December 1915. He trained in England with the 36th Infantry Battalion before...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private Walter McLaren

Private Walter McLaren was a 22 year old labourer from Earley Street Parramatta. He was married to Alma McLaren. He enlisted on 17 August 1915. He embarked with his unit from Sydney aboard the HMAT Medic A7 on 30 December 1915. He was wounded in action, with a shell...

Cambria Hall – A Hidden Cornerstone of Epping History

The Cambria, Epping showing ‘The Foundling’ c.1917. Source: Hazlewood Collection, State Library of NSW Travelling down the busy main thoroughfare of Epping today, it’s easy to overlook the building at 46 Beecroft Road. Nestled in a strip of small commercial and food...

Chinese Settlement in New South Wales

Life for Chinese labourers in Australia before the 1850s. Image from National Museum of Australia  The history of Chinese Australians provides a unique chapter in the history of Australia. The earliest contact with Australia appears of searching the Australian...

Mak Sai Ying Aka John Shying

Private John Joseph Shying, Grandson of John Shying, Source: Sydney Living Museum Photo - Charles Picking Courtesy Winsome Doyle Chinese migration and settlement in New South Wales has a long history. Records show that about 18 Chinese settlers had immigrated to...

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