Friday, 3 February 2012

2150 Parramatta

With almost five weeks holiday still ahead of us it was hard to imagine that Max and I were struggling for some 'suburb time' Well, one day during the holidays was all we managed and here it is... Parramatta! I know it's a big place but as I walked around I soon realised there was a lot more to photograph than we had time for. This is the best I could do in the time given (and with a wonky camera) so I hope I've managed to capture enough to tell the story of this historical place. From the origin of it's name derived from the Burramattagal people to the river running through it that bought First Fleet settlers in 1788 in search of fertile land for crops. From the sandstone history and contemporary architecture that live side-by-side throughout this city, to the multicultural face of the geographical centre of Sydney. Hitting this commercial hub in the post Christmas sales enlivened this bustling suburb and reminded me of why I've always enjoyed being in this place.
From All Walks of Life

The head of the Parramatta River was home to the Burramatta clan whose name means  'the place where eels lie down' 

Parramatta... A River Runs Through It

Old Government House is Australia's oldest surviving public building and home of the first ten Governors. From it's doorstep you can see some of Parramatta's newest buildings rising in a glassy-blue shimmering reflection.

Vanes and Cranes

Tudor Gatehouse 

Parramatta Gaol has undergone many transitions since it's opening  on 2nd January 1842. It's walls now stand silent as Australia's oldest serving correctional centre closed it's gates on 9th October 2011.
Lock, Rock and Skin Tearing Razor Wire!

Westflied's humble beginnings in Blacktown, with Frank Lowey at it's helm, has now expanded beyond all recognition. For a long time Westfield Parramatta laid claim to being the largest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere. That crown has since been passed on but in Sydney at least, it still remains a feature that attracts people to this suburb.
What's in a name? Westfield was so called due to its location. West, because it was in the western suburbs of Sydney and field because it was built on subdivided farmland. Interestingly there is no Westfield in Blacktown, the suburb which gave rise to this huge  shopping empire!

Lake Parramatta was a very recent discovery for our family. We couldn't believe this little piece of lakeside beauty and tranquility existed amongst the urban sprawl of Parramatta.

Our day came to an end at St Johns Cemetery, the oldest European cemetery in Australia and final resting place for many of those that came over on the First fleet. While many notable people are buried here such as D'Arcy Wentworth (Wentworthville), John Harris (Harris Park), Mary Kelly (Kellyville), Mary Pymbal (Pymbal) and John Thorn (Thornleigh), it was this headstone that captured my imagination. What peculiar family trials caused Sarah to die of a broken heart on 1st April?


  1. NIce, love your B&W street photography. NIce shots of Parramatta.

  2. Arpana these are fantastic! - I think some of your best work yet - even if your camera was wonky!! From the colourful opening shot which really shows the 'life' of Parramatta to the end shot of Sarah's headstone "the end"- the photos create a beautiful symmetry and really show off the highlights, history and now of Parramatta. (It is Andrea - I could only sign in with Andrew's google account!)

  3. Well congratulations on getting them posted. Love the 'all walks of life' pic, the backdrop so unique. The Westfield collage works really well. Love the link of the sale bag in the hands on the girl at the crossing. Seems like forever ago we were in the post Christmas sales. The focus in your barb wire is razor sharp!!! I especially love the contrast between inked girls and their counterparts. And yes poor Sarah, I wonder if she would have approved of the remark permanently engraved on her headstone. See you next time in postcode to be revealed... poss Fairfield?

  4. The second B&W shot on this page, the two young women in the foreground and the two veiled women in the background is just great - really captures the diversity of the area.