Elizabeth, South Australia

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AdelaideSouth Australia
Clock Tower Elizabeth City Centre.JPG
Clock tower at Elizabeth City Shopping Centre with the Windsor building to the left of the picture.
Elizabeth is located in South Australia
Coordinates34°43′12″S 138°40′23″E / 34.720°S 138.673°E / -34.720; 138.673Coordinates: 34°43′12″S 138°40′23″E / 34.720°S 138.673°E / -34.720; 138.673
Population1,033 (SAL 2021)[1]
Location24 km (15 mi) N of Adelaide city centre[2]
LGA(s)City of Playford
State electorate(s)Elizabeth
Federal division(s)Spence
Suburbs around Elizabeth:
Edinburgh North Elizabeth North Elizabeth Park
Edinburgh Elizabeth Elizabeth East
Elizabeth South Elizabeth Grove Elizabeth East

Elizabeth is an outer northern suburb of the Adelaide metropolitan area, South Australia, 24 km north of the Adelaide city centre. It is located in the City of Playford. At the 2016 census, Elizabeth had a population of 1,024.

Established in 1955, it was the seat of the former local government body, the Old City of Elizabeth, which included Elizabeth as well as the immediately adjacent suburbs on all sides except the west. Although the City of Elizabeth no longer exists, having been amalgamated into the much larger City of Playford in 1997, the term "Elizabeth", in the context of Adelaide, typically refers to the historic municipality and the distinct community therein.[3]


Before the 1950s, most of the area surrounding today's suburb of Elizabeth was farming land.[citation needed] After the end of the Second World War with its shortage of materials, the state government decided that South Australia needed to grow and become industrialised. A satellite city was planned for northern metropolitan fringe of Adelaide between the existing townships of Salisbury and Smithfield. The South Australian Housing Trust initiated a housing development program in the area, with a purchase of 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) at the site of the present suburb.[citation needed]

The township (now suburb) of Elizabeth was established on 16 November 1955, being named after Queen Elizabeth II, former queen of Australia, and inaugurated by Sir Thomas Playford, who was then premier of South Australia.[4]

In 1958, Playford negotiated with General Motors to build a Holden factory in Elizabeth, known as the Holden Elizabeth Plant, which employed thousands of people and drew more people to live here. Queen Elizabeth visited the suburb in 1963.[5]

The town council was briefly renamed the District Council of Salisbury and Elizabeth on 22 August 1963. On 13 February 1964, a new local government body, the municipality of Elizabeth, later called City of Elizabeth, was created by severance from the District Council of Salisbury.[6]

In 2017 the Holden factory closed down, causing a rise in unemployment and increased disadvantage in the suburb.[5]


Elizabeth is the seat of the Playford local government area and thus acts as a central business district for the surrounding suburbs. It lies mostly between the Gawler railway line and the hills face. DSTO Edinburgh is located to the west of Elizabeth.[7]


The 2016 Australian census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics counted 1,024 persons in the suburb of Elizabeth on census night. Of these, 543 (52.9%) were male and 483 (47.1%) were female.[8]

The majority of residents 657 (65.2%) were born in Australia, while 81 (8.0%) were born in England.[8]

The median age of Elizabeth residents was 38. Children aged 0–14 years made up 16.7% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 14.8% of the population.[8]

Afghanistan was third as place of birth and parents' birth after Australia and England, overtaking Scotland, and Hazaraghi was the language next most frequently spoken at home after English.[8]

The rate of unemployment was 22%, and only 39% of residents worked full-time. The most common occupation in Elizabeth was labourers (21.4%), while professionals made up 12.6%, technicians and trades workers 12.2%, community and personal service workers 11.9%, clerical and administrative workers 11.9%, sales workers 11.9%, machinery operators and drivers 10.5%, and Managers 6.5%. Nearly 43% of households earned less than A$650 gross weekly income, compared with nearly 24% for the whole of South Australia.[8]

Character and reputation[edit]

The suburb had a reputation as being a tough place to grow up in, and Jimmy Barnes reported a gang culture.[9] However in recent years there has been a kind of ownership of the "shitty character" of the suburb.[5]

In 2018, the City of Playford was one of the most socially disadvantaged local government areas in Australia, with youth unemployment measuring 59%, and in 2020, the Adelaide Advertiser called it "Adelaide's most dangerous suburb" because of its crime rates. However, both current and former residents report that it has a good community spirit.[5]


Elizabeth had a strong music scene, from its establishment in the 1950s through until the 1990s, providing a home for Jimmy Barnes,[10][11][9] John Swan,[12] Bernard "Doc" Neeson and Glenn Shorrock,[13] who played in the bands Cold Chisel, The Angels, and Little River Band respectively.[5]

In 2007, Northern Sound System was established at 71 Elizabeth Way.[14][15] The centre has offered programs, courses and workshops in various skills, including DJ, hip hop music, youth choir, gaming and animation; songwriting and music production, and it also includes recording studios, a live music venue, and rehearsal spaces.[14]

Facilities and attractions[edit]

City of Playford civic centre, Elizabeth, in 2017

The City of Playford civic centre houses the council chambers, the Elizabeth branch of the Playford Library and the Shedley Theatre.

Westerly adjacent to the civic centre is the Elizabeth Shopping Centre at the heart of the suburb.[7] Formerly known as Elizabeth Town Centre, it has been progressively expanded since the 1960s. In its early days it featured open-air malls, but today it comprises a single storey undercover mall. A major renovation and extension was completed in 2004.


Dauntsey Reserve is located between Winterslow Road and Woodford Road. Ridley Reserve is located on the suburb's southern boundary. There are other parks and reserves in the suburb.[7]


Playford International College (formerly Fremont-Elizabeth City High School) is on Philip Highway. Kaurna Plains School is on Ridley Road.[16]


Elizabeth is the home of the Central District Bulldogs, an Australian rules football team in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL). The team hwon nine SANFL premierships in the period from 2000 to 2010. They play all of their home games at Elizabeth Oval (currently[when?] named "X Convenience Oval").

Elizabeth also has an association football club (soccer), the Playford City Patriots, who play in the South Australian State League. However, their home stadium is Ramsay Park in Edinburgh North, westerly adjacent to Elizabeth.



Elizabeth is serviced by Main North Road, connecting the suburb to Adelaide city centre, and by Philip Highway.[7]

Public transport[edit]

Elizabeth is serviced by public transport run by the Adelaide Metro.[17]

The Gawler railway line passes beside the suburb. The closest station is Elizabeth.[17]

Elizabeth is serviced by buses run by the Adelaide Metro.[17]


The local newspaper was the now-closed News Review Messenger. The Bunyip newspaper also covers the Elizabeth area in its Playford Times section.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Elizabeth (Suburb and Locality)". Australian Census 2021 QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b "Elizabeth, South Australia (Adelaide)". Postcodes-Australia. Postcodes-Australia.com. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  3. ^ Odenwalder, Lee (6 July 2017). "Elizabeth". Hansard. Parliament of South Australia. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017. We have to be mindful about what we are talking about when we say Elizabeth. We are not so much talking about the existing physical suburb; indeed, Elizabeth proper these days means the few square kilometres around the Elizabeth City Centre. It has been subsumed physically and administratively by the City of Playford and by the unbroken urban sprawl which extends to the small green belt before you get to Gawler. For anyone who grew up in Elizabeth and anyone who has lived in Elizabeth for a long time, there is a very distinct physical and psychological place called Elizabeth. It is not Salisbury, it is not Munno Para, and for a lot of people it is not even the City of Playford, whose borders spread far beyond what anyone understands to be Elizabeth. For those of us who grew up there, and for those of us who live there, it is very clear where Elizabeth is. It is in many ways hard to define, but it is culturally different from other parts of the metropolitan area.
  4. ^ "E" (PDF). Place Names of South Australia. State Library of South Australia. p. 11. Retrieved 9 August 2017. On 16 November 1955, at a site on the Adelaide Plain, 17 miles north of Adelaide, a new town was inaugurated by Sir Thomas Playford, GCMG, Premier of South Australia
  5. ^ a b c d e Kelsey-Sugg, Anna (16 August 2022). "Elizabeth is one of Australia's most disadvantaged suburbs but its community spirit is strong". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Local Government Act, 193401963: Portion of District Council of Salisbury and Elizabeth Severed and the Municipality of the Town of Elizabeth Constituted" (PDF). South Australian Government Gazette (7 ed.). Government of South Australia. 13 February 1964. p. 269. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Adelaide and surrounds street directory (47th ed.). UBD. 2009. ISBN 978-0-7319-2336-6.
  8. ^ a b c d e "ABS Elizabeth". 2016 Census quick stats. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Jimmy Barnes", ABC Television: Talking Heads, 24 March 2008, archived from the original on 12 July 2016, retrieved 2 August 2017, I grew up in Elizabeth, on the outskirts of Adelaide. Which, for a kid, it was a pretty good life. I mean, coming from Glasgow, where there was hardly any trees, and then suddenly getting to Elizabeth, with lots of open fields and trees and birds and football fields everywhere. Ah, we had a ball, we had a really good time. [...] Growing up in Elizabeth,... it was a wild place, but a great place for kids, Elizabeth. But when you became teenagers, there was nothing to do. So basically we got involved in gangs. There was lots of street fighting, and really all the sort of trouble you could get yourself into, was available there in Elizabeth... I grew up in Elizabeth, There was a lot of Scots, a lot of Poms, we were very proud of our Scottish heritage... I was in the pipe band.
  10. ^ "My plea to South Australians". AdelaideNow. 27 April 2008. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  11. ^ Barnes, Jimmy (11 October 2004). "Jimmy Barnes". ABC Television: Enough Rope (Interview). Interviewed by Denton, Andrew. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 5 September 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  12. ^ Barnes, Jimmy; Swan, John (10 December 2007). "Jimmy Barnes and John Swan". ABC Television: Enough Rope (Interview). Interviewed by Denton, Andrew. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 17 August 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  13. ^ Thompson, Peter (17 May 2010). "Glenn Shorrock transcript". ABC Television: Talking Heads. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 5 March 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  14. ^ a b "About". Northern Sound System. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  15. ^ "Northern Sound System". MusicSA. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  16. ^ "Australian Schools Directory". Australian Schools Directory. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  17. ^ a b c "Public Transport in Adelaide". Adelaide Metro official website. Dept. for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure, Public Transport Division. 12 January 2011. Archived from the original on 26 April 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  18. ^ "Home page". The Bunyip. 9 September 2022. Retrieved 9 September 2022.

External links[edit]