History

Top part and front facade of Parramatta Town Hall

Prior to colonial settlement, Parramatta was home to successive generations of Aboriginal peoples for thousands of years. As Australia’s first inland European settlement, Parramatta is often described as the ‘cradle of the colony’. Successive waves of migration and historical movements have helped to shape Parramatta’s rich and compelling history.

The City of Parramatta is committed to managing and preserving the objects, artefacts, structures, spaces and practices which are of historical significance to the community and enduring value to future generations.

The City of Parramatta celebrates and shares the city's heritage in the following capacities:

  • Curation of archives, maps, newspapers, photographs and documents (since 1791)
  • Recognising the Traditional owners of the land by flying the Aboriginal flag in front of Town Hall
  • Establishing a database of Aboriginal sites in the local governmental area (see also NSW Public Registers - Aboriginal Places)
  • Sourcing Aboriginal artwork and symbols in its corporate identity to promote the significance of Parramatta’s lengthy Aboriginal history
  • Consulting with the community and conducting research into shared histories, including the ‘Waves of People’ report

  • Employing local Darug Aboriginal artist Kerrie Kenton to illustrate playground facilities for children with disabilities at Lake Parramatta
  • Establishing the Arrunga Bardo Bush Tucker Garden and Sorry Day Garden at Lake Parramatta
  • Creating the Urban Indigenous Artist Exchange Program – a partnership between Canada Council for the Arts, Arts NSW and Parramatta’s Artists’ Studios - which enables an Australian Indigenous artist to travel to and live and work in Canada for three months
  • Fostering an ongoing relationship with the HMAS Parramatta - the first ship built for the Royal Australian Navy and also the first Australian naval vessel to sink a German submarine during World War I