Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sydney Suburbs continued: Auburn, Austral



  • Auburn is located 19 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD.
  • It is the administrative centre of the local government area of Auburn Council.
Name origin:
  • Auburn was named after Oliver Goldsmith's poem The Deserted Village, which describes 'Auburn' in England as “the loveliest village of the plain.”
  • It was so named by property speculators Mills and Pile, who subdivided and auctioned large land areas in 1878 after the coming of the railway in 1877 had boosted development. Originally proposed to be called Burford, that name was rejected as being too similar to the nearby suburb of Burwood.
  • The Auburn area was once used by Aboriginal people as a market place for the exchange of goods, a site for ritual battles and a 'Law Place' for ceremonies. 
  • The area was located on the border between the Darug inland group and the Eora/Dharawal coastal group. The Wangal and Wategoro, sub-groups or clans, are the groups most often recognised as the original inhabitants of the Auburn/Homebush Bay region.
  • Bennelong, one of the most famous Aboriginies of the time, was a member of Wangal, as was his wife, Barangaroo. Pemulwuy, who organised tribes to resist the white settlement of the Sydney region from 1790 to 1802 was also a member of the Wangal. The part of Darling harbour that was previously The Hungry Mile and which is now being developed as a prestigious waterfront commercial and residential suburb has been named after her, Barangaroo.
  • The first explorers of the area were Arthur Phillip, the first governor of the colony, and John Hunter, who subsequently succeeded him. On 5 February 1788, shortly after the arrival of the First Fleet, they followed the course of the Parramatta River to what is now Homebush Bay, where they camped for the night. The next day they explored a tributary which they named the Duck River, which now forms the western boundary of Auburn. This river was so named because they saw what they thought were ducks rising out of a reed-covered swamp, but which were actually Eastern Swamp hens. The name Duck River remained and the Eastern Swamp Hen featured prominently on the Council's Coat of Arms and is part of the Auburn City Council logo.

Auburn Council Coat of Arms

Auburn Council logo
  • Settlement began with the first land grants in 1806 but development of Auburn was slow until the coming of the railway in 1877. Subdivisions and large scale auctions took place in 1878.
  • The Auburn local government area as we know it today was formed in 1948, when Auburn and Lidcombe Councils merged into Auburn Municipal Council. The boundaries of this municipality were much as they are today.
  • The local government area of Auburn is bounded by the Duck River on the west, and the boundaries of Rookwood Cemetery and Homebush Bay on the east.
  • The area includes the extensive industrial lands that were converted in the late 1990s into Sydney Olympic Park.
  • It is one of the most culturally diverse areas in Sydney. 53% of residents are overseas-born and come from widely differing ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds with 50% of residents speaking a language other than English at home.
  • In 2012, Auburn was identified as the suburb with the highest number of drive-by shooting incidents in the Sydney Region, coming in at 34 incidents in the five years between 2007 and 2012.
  • Auburn has also been in the public eye recently because of the attention on, and actions of, Auburn Council's Deputy Mayor Salim Mehajer.


Auburn Road, Auburn, date unknown

Parramatta Rd near Lidcombe, looking west towards Auburn, 1927

Auburn Railway Station, 1920

Schoolboys at Auburn Railway Station, date unknown

Stan O'Brien's Farrier shop, corner of Queen & Marion Streets, Auburn, 1925

Exterior view of the Auburn Hotel, 1952, with men queuing outside for last drinks in the days of 6.00pm closing, known as “the Six O'clock Swill”

McIlrath's Grocery Store, Auburn, date unknown

McIlrath’s home delivery

Gallipoli Mosque, Auburn

Part of the interior ceiling, Gallipoli Mosque


  • 42 kilometres south-west of the Sydney CBD.
  • Located in the local government area of the City of Liverpool.

Name origin:
  • The area that now constitutes the suburbs of Austral was a parcel of land in West Hoxton purchased by the Austral Banking and Land Proprietary. 
  • When residents pushed for a second public school in the Hoxton Park area in 1891, Austral Banking and Land Proprietary donated 3 acres (12,000 m2) of its land for the site and, in return, the school was named Austral Public School. 
  • The name of the school became synonymous with the area although it wasn't officially recognised until 1972. 
  • Austral Post Office opened on 7 February 1894


Yugoslav Club at Austral NSW, date unknown

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