Quakers Hill, New South Wales
Sydney, New South Wales
Quakers Court shopping centre
|Population||26,166 (2011 census)|
|Location||40 km (25 mi) NW of Sydney CBD|
|LGA(s)||City of Blacktown|
Quakers Hill is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is 40 kilometres (25 mi) west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Blacktown. Quakers Hill is part of the Greater Western Sydney. Quakers Hill is colloquially known as 'Quakers'.
The first recorded use of the name Quakers Hill was in an 1806 report of the area by government surveyor James Meehan. The origin of the name is unclear and the next references are more than sixty years later when Thomas Harvey used it for his property in what is now western Quakers Hill. When the railway station was built in 1872, it was called Douglas' Siding for over thirty years. The catalyst for the name change came with the subdivision of Harvey's Quakers Hill property in 1904. The residents of the newly forming village preferred that name and in 1905, the name of the railway station was changed to Quakers Hill.
Postal services began in 1907 and the first post office was built in 1915. A school opened in the Presbyterian church hall in what is now Marayong in 1911 and Quakers Hill Public School took its first students in 1912. During the 1920s, the population grew dramatically, a number of shops opened in the area around the station and a public hall, the Empire Theatre, opened in 1925, screening movies and hosting dances. The village became a centre for the surrounding farms.
In the 1960s, Sydney's suburban sprawl reached the Quakers Hill area and the five acre farms surrounding the village began to be subdivided. In 1994, HMAS Nirimba, a naval training property on the western side of the suburb, was decommissioned and converted into an educational precinct. In 1996, a new development in the north-east of Quakers Hill was converted into a new suburb, Acacia Gardens.
Nursing home fire
On 18 November 2011 an early morning fire at Quakers Hill Nursing Home killed 11 elderly residents, seriously injured others and caused the evacuation of up to 100 people. Three people died in the fire, and a further eight residents of the home died later in hospital from their injuries. The fire started in two places and was regarded by police as suspicious.
On 2 November 2012 the 36-year-old accused nurse pleaded not guilty to eight counts of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and eleven counts of murder. He had wished to plead guilty to manslaughter, but that was rejected by the Crown. He did plead guilty to two larceny charges relating to theft of prescription painkillers from the nursing home. He stood trial in the Supreme Court in May 2013. On 27 May 2013, Dean pleaded guilty to eleven counts of murder, and on 1 August 2013 he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
In September 2014 an inquest into the deaths opened, and its results were released on 9 March 2015. After finding that the nursing home operators Domain Principal Group (now known as Opal Aged Care) didn't look into Dean's past before employment, Hugh Dillon, the NSW deputy coroner recommended: a database of healthcare workers be created with details of their background; that workers be trained to recognise signs of co-workers abusing drugs; and that nursing home door and corridors be constructed to allow beds to be moved rapidly during emergencies. Dillon also suggested that two fire-fighters receive bravery awards.
Public Transport to and from Quakers Hill is provided by train and a number of bus services by Busways. Quakers Hill railway station is on the Richmond branch of the North Shore, Northern & Western Line of the Sydney Trains network.
Quakers Hill has experienced much road development over recent years including the construction of a new road leading directly to the education precinct, bypassing the town centre. The Westlink M7, which links the suburb directly to all major routes in and out of the greater Sydney region, opened in December 2005. Following this opening the road overpass for the Quakers Hill Parkway has been widened from two to four lanes, improving toll-free traffic flow between Richmond and Sunnyholt Roads. The Quakers Hill Parkway bridge (going over the train line) was recently widened from two to four lanes.
Quakers Hill has a blend of old and new developments. There are some Housing Commission Houses on the older (southern) side of Quakers Hill, mainly near Marayong. The western side of the railway line predominantly has houses on standard residential blocks, some built when HMAS Nirimba was an active naval base, others through the 1960s and 1970s. The eastern side of the railway line consists of dwellings constructed since the 1980s, with a high proportion of high density homes or townhouses.
Quakers Hill is home to numerous schools and educational institutions. The oldest is Quakers Hill Public School, opened in 1912. Two other public primary schools (Barnier and Hambledon) were opened in the 1990s to cope with suburb's growing population. High schools in Quakers Hill are split between Quakers Hill High School, catering to Years 7-10, and Wyndham College, years 11-12. There is also a Catholic primary school (Mary Immaculate) and high school (Terra Sancta College). Post-secondary education is serviced by Nirimba TAFE College and the University of Western Sydney, Blacktown Campus. Four of these facilities (UWS, Nirimba TAFE, Wyndham and Terra Sancta) are located together in the Nirimba Education Precinct.
Quakers Hill has become a fairly populated suburb, experiencing major growth in recent years. In 1991, the population was approximately 14,630 (1991 ABS Census) and in 1996, the population had grown by more than 4,000 people to 18,759 (1996 ABS Census). By 2006, the population of Quakers Hill had risen to 25,015.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Quakers Hill (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- Sharpe, Alan: Pictorial History - Blacktown & District, page 84-87. Kingsclear Books, 2000 ISBN 0-908272-64-2
- Sharpe, Alan: Pictorial History - Blacktown & District, page 87-89. Kingsclear Books, 2000 ISBN 0-908272-64-2
- Sharpe, Alan: Pictorial History - Blacktown & District, page 2,90. Kingsclear Books, 2000 ISBN 0-908272-64-2
- Glenda Kwek; Stephanie Gardiner; Saffron Howden; with AAP and Rachel Browne (18 November 2011). "A firefighter's worst nightmare' as multiple deaths confirmed after fire breaks out in nursing home". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
- "Nursing home tragedy claims 10th victim". smh.com.au. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- "Further fire victims named - Strike Force Westall" (Press release). NSW Police Force. 30 November 2011.
- Browne, Rachel (19 November 2011). "Fatal fire:Male nurse refused bail on four counts of murder". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 November 2011. (Updated 20 November 2011)
- AAP (20 November 2011). "Quakers Hill nursing home fire claims sixth life". NineNews. NineMSN. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Dale, Amy (2 November 2012). "Accused Quakers Hill nursing home arsonist Roger Dean on 11 counts of murder charges in court". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "Roger Dean pleads guilty to murder over nursing home". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 May 2013.
- Sutton, Candace (8 September 2014). "Man who murdered 11 people in nursing home fire 'frothed at the mouth' from drugs and 'put nails in tyres and poured paint' over boss's car, inquest hears". The Daily Mail (Australia). Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- "Big changes at Domain Principal Group". agedcareguide.com.au. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
- "Quakers Hill nursing home fire inquest: Owners should be held accountable, friends and relatives say". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 9 March 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
...none of the information relating to the circumstance or termination of Dean's employment was ever communicated to anyone at Quaker Hill nursing home and no inquiries made. (Deputy coroner Dillon)
- "Quakers Hill Public School". NSW Department of Education. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- "Barnier Public School". NSW Department of Education. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- "Hambledon Public School". NSW Department of Education. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- "Quakers Hill High School". NSW Department of Education. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- "Wyndham College". NSW Department of Education. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- "Mary Immaculate Primary". Diocese of Parramatta. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- "Terra Sancta College". Diocese of Parramatta. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- "Nirimba Education Precinct". NSW Department of Education. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Quakers Hill (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
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