Strathfield, New South Wales
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2013)|
||This article possibly contains original research. (August 2013)|
Sydney, New South Wales
Recent apartments in the commercial area
|Location||14 km (9 mi) west of Sydney CBD|
|LGA(s)||Municipality of Strathfield, City of Canada Bay, Burwood Council|
|Federal Division(s)||Reid, Watson|
Strathfield is a suburb in the Inner West of Sydney, Australia. It is 14 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district and 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Schools and churches
- 3 Residential landscape
- 4 Commercial area and transport
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Notable residents
- 7 Culture
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The history of the Strathfield started with the Wangal 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 incorporated.
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..
Birth of Strathfield
James Wilshire was granted 243 acres (1 km²) of land by Governor Macquarie in 1808 [regranted 1810] following representations from Lord Nelson, 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". 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'."
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 likely that the region was named Strathfield to neutralise 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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." 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." Strathfield council soon afterwards released a press statement that it "will not and does not" tolerate misconduct. 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.
According to Anne Davies, who reports for The Sydney Morning Herald, "behind the Strathfield saga is a ferocious battle among developers for sites. 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Meriden Anglican School for Girls is an independent, Anglican, day school for girls..
- Trinity Grammar School Preparatory School campus is on The Boulevarde and has classes from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 6.
- St Martha's Primary School
- Strathfield Girls High
- Strathfield South High School – Co-educational secondary school for years 7–12.
- Homebush Boys High
- Chalmers Road Public School (state government school for students aged four to eighteen years with moderate or severe intellectual disabilities)
- A campus of the Australian Catholic University, the former home of the Christian Brothers novitiate and Catholic Teachers' College.
- The Catholic Institute of Sydney, where priests for the Archdiocese of Sydney, and other theologians and ministers, are trained, is located on the site of the old Australia Post training centre.
- Carrington Avenue Uniting Church
- St Anne's Anglican Church
- St David's Presbyterian Church
- St Martha's Catholic Church
- Sts Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Cathedral
- Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church of the Protection of the Theotokos
- Strathfield Korean Uniting Church
- Sydney Chinese Seventh-day Adventist Church
- Trinity Uniting Church
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:
- Holyrood – Santa Sabina
- Brunyarra – Santa Maria Del Monte
- Lauriston – Santa Maria Del Monte
- Llandilo – Trinity Grammar School
- Somerset – Trinity Grammar School
- Milverton – Trinity Grammar School
- Lingwood – Meriden School
- Wadham – Wadham Preparatory School, later purchased by Meriden
Commercial area and transport
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.
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%).
- George Sydney Jones (1868–1927): architect of Trinity Congregational Church and the following Strathfield houses; Springfort (1894); Darenth (1895); Bickley (1894); Treghre (1899); and Luleo (1912).
- Harry Kent (1852–1938): prominent Sydney architect, alderman for the Municipality of Strathfield and architect of the Strathfield Town Hall
- Alfred John Bush (1878–1951): founder of A J Bush & Sons
- Edward Lloyd Jones (1844–1894): former head of the department store David Jones Limited, and his son;
- Edward Lloyd Jones (1874–1934): Shorthorn cattle breeder and former chairman of David Jones Limited, and his brother;
- Charles Lloyd Jones (1878–1958): former chairman of David Jones Limited and former chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission
- William Arnott: founder of Arnott's Biscuits 
- Lady McMahon (1932–2010): spouse of the 20th Prime Minister of Australia, was born in Strathfield.
- Earl Page (1880–1961): 11th Prime Minister of Australia
- Rev Professor Hubert Cunliffe-Jones (1905–1991): Congregational church minister, chair of the Congregational Union of England and Wales and a Professor at the University of Manchester was the son of the Rev Walter Cunliffe-Jones of the Strathfield-Homebush Congregational church (now Uniting Church – Korean Parish).
- Alan Davidson (born 1929): cricketer who played for Australia from 1953 until 1963
Strathfield has made an impact on the indie rock and indie pop scene, producing bands such as Prince Vlad & the Gargoyle Impalers, 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.
Media related to Strathfield, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons
- Australian Suburb Guide: Sydney Inner West Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- Jones, Michael (1985). Oasis in the West: Strathfield's first hundred years. North Sydney: Allen & Unwin Australia. ISBN 0-86861-407-6.
- Jones, Cathy (2004). Strathfield – origin of the name. Retrieved 4 October 2004.
- Jones, Cathy , A [very] short history of Strathfield, Strathfield District Historical Society Newsletter.
- Reps, John W. Fitgerald, Critique of Capital City Plans. Cornell University.
- Fitzgerald, John Daniel (27 July 1912). The Capital plans, the city of the future. The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Barnett, C. J., 1974. Report of the Committee of lnquiry into Local Government Areas and Administration in New South Wales. Sydney: NSW Government Printer.
- http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,11737987%255E601,00.html. Missing or empty
- [dead link]
- Tsang, Alfred (2004). Message from the Mayor of Strathfield, Cr Alfred Tsang
- "Mayor stands down over cash wad claim". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 December 2004.
- Sexton, Jennifer (20 December 2004). Video cash mayor steps down. The Australian.
- Mayor stands down over cash wad claim (20 December 2004). The Australian.
- Davies, Anne (21 December 2004). Design rules for developments won't block out ground-floor corruption. Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Australian School Choice- St Patrick's College". Retrieved 27 June 2007.
- "Trinity Grammar School". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
- Schools in Strathfield Strathfield Council
- Strathfield History – Holyrood
- Strathfield History – Brunyarra
- Strahfield History – Lauriston
- Strathfield History – Schools
- Strathfield History – Somerset
- 2006 Census
-  Retrieved 28 August 2012
- Kearys Corner at Strathfield Heritage