Parramatta is a suburb lying about 23 Km to the west of Sydney CBD. It sits on the bank of the Parramatta River, It is known locally as ‘Parra’. Parramatta is a major urban centre of New South Wales; and the sixth largest central business district in Australia.
A Little Bit of History
The local Aboriginal people called the Darug people had lived in the area for many generations because it was seen by them as an area rich in food from the river and forests. They called the area Baramada or Burramatta (‘Parramatta’) which means “the place where the eels lie down”. To this day there is a plentitude of eels and other aquatic life which are attracted to this area by the nutrients created by the ocean saltwater meeting the freshwater of the Parramatta River. The local and highly successful rugby team, the Parramatta Eels, have taken their name from the Aboriginal roots of the city’s name.
Parramatta was founded in 1788. This was the same year as the first British Colony, which had arrived in January 1788 on the First Fleet at Sydney Cove. These first arrivals had only enough food to support themselves for a short time and the soil around Sydney Cove was too poor to grow the amount of food that 1,000 convicts, soldiers and administrators needed to survive. After searching for suitable lands after the First Fleet’s arrival in 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip chose Parramatta as the best place for a productive farm as it was the furthest navigable point inland from the poor soil along the coast on the Parramatta River and also the point at which the saltwater ended and the river became freshwater and therefore useful for farming. In 1791 Governor Philip named the new settlement, Parramatta, roughly using the name used by the local Aboriginal People.