Blacktown City Council

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History comes to the Fore

26 September 2016

Insights into the history of Blacktown have been revealed in the prize winning entries for the 2016 Mayoral History Prize.

“I really enjoy being involved in the History Prize, because each year I learn something new about our city and those who live in it,” the Mayor of Blacktown City, Councillor Stephen Bali said.

Topics covered in this year’s entries included the history of Rooty Hill School of Arts, the Grantham Heritage Parklands and the early Chinese immigrants to Blacktown.

This year’s joint winners were Pamela Smith, for her research into the ownership of Grantham between 1819 and 1917 and Les Tod for his history of the Rooty Hill School of Arts.

Loyola Senior High School students Ebonie Galea and Britany Sanchez were the joint junior prizewinners for their research into the changing landscape of Blacktown.

“Les Tod’s work highlighted the strong level of community that existed in the early 1900s,” Mayor Bali said.

“At a time when the population was only about 6,000, the residents built what was then one of the largest buildings in the area as a public hall.

“In the meantime it has been a venue for dances, church activities and a picture theatre venue and now, more than a century later, the School of Arts continues to be a vibrant community facility for residents of Blacktown City,” he said.

Pamela Smith’s work traces the changing uses for Grantham, from its beginning as a convict grant to its sale to the state government. “Pamela’s narrative illustrates that each successive owner had quite divergent interests and uses for the property,” Mayor Bali said.

Ebony and Britany have showed a great deal of scholarship in their work and are budding historians, he said. “A number of historic themes are presented in this work on the history of Blacktown including the custodianship of the land by the Darug people, initial colonisation by Europeans, and the role and significance of the railway in developing the area.

The 2016 Mayoral History Prize winning entries can be viewed here.

Coming Events

  • Baby Rhyme Time at Dennis Johnson Branch Library

    07 February 2017 - 15 December 2017

    Have fun singing, clapping and dancing with other parents and babies.

  • Baby Rhyme Time at Our Library @ The Mt Druitt Hub

    14 February 2017 - 14 December 2017

    Have fun singing, clapping and dancing with other parents and babies.

  • Blacktown Knitting Group

    02 February 2017 - 28 December 2017

    Beginners to experienced - all welcome