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Parramatta

Sydney, NSW, Australia

 

Parramatta is a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is located in Greater Western Sydney 23 kilometres (14 mi) west of the Sydney central business district on the banks of the Parramatta River.

Parramatta is the economic capital of Greater Western Sydney and the sixth largest central business district in Australia. Since 2000, Parramatta has seen the consolidation of its role as a government centre with the relocation of agencies such as the New South Wales Police Force headquarters and Sydney Water, from the Sydney CBD. Simultaneously, major upgrades have occurred around the railway station with the expansion of Westfield Parramatta, the creation of a new transport interchange, and the ongoing development of the Civic Place local government precinct. It is sometimes called as Sydney's Second CBD.

The Darug people had lived in the area for many generations, and regarded the area as rich in food from the river and forests. They called the area Baramada or Burramatta ('Parramatta') which means 'head of waters' or 'the place where the eels lie down'. To this day there is a plenitude of eels and other sea creatures attracted to the profusion of nutrients created by the saltwater of Port Jackson meeting the freshwater of the Parramatta River's catchment. The eel has been adopted as the symbol of the Parramatta Eels Rugby League club.

Parramatta was founded in 1788, the same year as Sydney. The British Colony, which had arrived in January 1788 in the First Fleet at Sydney Cove, had only enough food to support itself for a short time and the soil around Sydney Cove proved too poor to grow the amount of food that 1,000 convicts, soldiers and administrators needed to survive. During 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip had reconnoitred several places before choosing Parramatta as the most likely place for a successful large farm. Parramatta was the furthest navigable point inland on the Parramatta River (i.e. furthest from the thin, sandy coastal soil) and also the point at which the river became freshwater and therefore useful for farming.

Parramatta has many buildings on the Register of the National Estate, including: Elizabeth Farm House, Experiment Farm Cottage, Lancer Barracks, Parramatta Town Hall, the former Post Office in Church Street, Centennial Clock, Lennox Bridge, St John's Cathedral, St John's Cemetery, St Patrick's Cathedral, Parochial School in Elizabeth Street, Arthur Phillip High School, Brislington in Marsden Street, Hambledon Cottage in Hassall Street, former King's School Group, Roman Catholic Cemetery in North Parramatta, Parramatta Psychiatric Centre (Cumberland Hospial), Parramatta Park including Old Government House, All Saints Church Group.