Balcatta, Western Australia
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Perth, Western Australia
|Population||9,991 (2011 census)|
|• Density||1,369/km2 (3,545/sq mi)|
|Area||7.3 km2 (2.8 sq mi)|
|Location||10 km (6 mi) NNW of Perth CBD|
|LGA(s)||City of Stirling|
Balcatta is a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. Its local government area is the City of Stirling. It is a primarily middle-class suburb made up of mainly Italian, Greek and Macedonian families, as well as many families from other European countries. It is also one of the largest suburbs in the northern part of the Perth metropolitan area. Much of Balcatta is a commercial and industrial area.
Balcatta's name was derived from the Aboriginal words "Bal" meaning "his" and "Katta" meaning "hill".
The area became popular with Southern European migrant families, since it was one of the few areas that had not been settled and many migrant families wanted to build their own homes in their distinctive style, many complete with plaster figurines of lions and romanesque style columns adorning the front verandah and entry. Similarly, other European immigrant families had already settled in nearby suburbs such as Osborne Park, who made their living as market gardeners.
The area was especially popular with Macedonian families, leading to the establishment of Macedonian Cultural Centre 'Ilinden' on Grindleford Place. Balcatta was also a popular area among other peoples from the Balkans.
As many of the older families pass on and others choose to update by building a newer home further north, the area is becoming increasingly popular with those of Asian cultural background, perhaps attracted by the central location of the suburb and generous block sizes, which has also led to some parts of Balcatta being subdivided into small units or villas.
Some corporations have their headquarters in Balcatta, most noticeably Videlli Limited (formerly ERG).
Areas of Interest
The longest street in Balcatta. Winding through the locality, Jones Street has had repeated work done by the local council to resurface it out and make it safer for both pedestrians and motorists. A number of new round-abouts have been constructed in order to slow down traffic at various points on the road. Jones Street also runs past Takari Primary School and ends at Delawney Street behind the Water Corporation Depot and Stirling Recycling Plant.
This hilly street runs east to west through Balcatta. It also goes past one side of Balcatta Senior High School.
Balcatta Senior High School (BSHS)
This is the only high school in Balcatta and a large percentage of its students are from non-Anglo Australian backgrounds. The school has specialist programs in the Arts, such as Dance and Drama. BSHS was opened in 1967 and at the time was the northernmost school in the Perth metropolitan area.
Jones Paskin Reserve
A large oval mainly utilised in the summer as a cricket oval and for general use by the local community. This is the home ground of the Balcatta Cricket Club. A strange, large man by the name of Striker can often be found here rolling his arm over in the hope of improving his 10-pin form. He is said to enjoy multiple beverages mid-pitch and shouts obscenities at the local community when approached.
A local attraction in the form of a bowling team named after Charles Burns, a ten-pin bowler who was considered a long standing joke amongst locals of the suburb. So called striker due to consistently placing the ball in the gutter despite all his best efforts (or in other words he would "Strike" out) and that he'd never achieved a strike. The league had attempted to put him in a team but given his track record, the other teams were reluctant to accept him. An idea however was stumbled upon by Mr J. Prickett to incorporate the disabled members of the community so as to allow them to socialize with locals. Thus the team Striker's Pavilion was created. Young Burns was also placed in the team due to his insistence on bowling and soon grew fond of the team. This lead to locals coming to support the team despite their awful record and generally poor all round performance.
In the winter of 2008, Striker managed to finally knock all the pins down in one go (or in other words achieve a strike) but a foot fault was declared.