Smithfield, New South Wales facts for kids
Sydney, New South Wales
Smithfield is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Smithfield is located 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government areas of the City of Fairfield and Cumberland Council. The suburb is in the Greater Western Sydney region.
Smithfield's altitude ranges from 21 to 48 m (69 to 157 ft) above sea level (towards the west, around Brenan Park, are the relatively highly elevated places). Geologically, the suburb sits on the Cumberland Plain. The suburb is a mix of residential, industrial and commercial areas, but is mostly characterized by low-density housing.
Aboriginal people from the Cabrogal tribe, a sub-group of the Gandangara tribe, have lived in the Fairfield area for over 30,000 years.
White settlement began in the area in the early 19th century. Smithfield was originally known as Chilsholm's Bush. In 1867, Smithfield was a semi-rural settlement populated by vine growers, gardeners, wood timber cutters, orchards and tanneries. Early settlers were attracted to Smithfield by its good soil, dependable water supply and easy access to the Colony's established towns. Some of the best farming land was in the district to the west and southwest of the Smithfield area.
In 1803, homeless children were becoming a problem after convicts turned their children out into the streets. As a consequence, Governor Philip Gidley King, put aside a large area of 12,300 acres (50 km2) for a Male Orphan School. By 1836, some of this land was offered for sale by the colonial government of the time. John Ryan Brenan (1798–1868), an attorney who was appointed Police Magistrate in 1836, bought 1,650 acres (7 km2) here.
Brenan planned to make money with a meat market and a cattle saleyard. He subdivided the estate and named it Smithfield after the meat markets of London and Dublin. Saleyards opened in 1841 but the project to establish a village around the yards failed. Despite this, Smithfield did become a thriving commercial centre and remains a significant employment centre in south-western Sydney as part of the Wetherill Park/Yennora industrial block.
Smithfield still has the street patterns Brenan planned and the street names he chose. In the subdivision, Brenan offered an extra adjoining allotment to any buyer who built a cottage with a brick chimney and enclosed the property with a fence. The public school opened in 1850 and by the 1880s Smithfield was well provided with churches, many of which still remain today as important relics of Smithfield's rich local heritage.
The Horsley Drive is the major road which runs through Smithfield. Other major roads include Polding Street, Brennan Street and Victoria Street. Bus services are provided by Transit Systems Sydney. The closest train station is Fairfield train station, on the Airport, Inner West & South Line and Cumberland line. There are bus links to that station. There is a cycle way that runs through the suburb, which is part of the Western Sydney Regional Park recreational route.
Places of worship
- St James Anglican church is on the corner of The Horsley Drive and Justin Street
- St Benedicts Catholic Church is in Justin Street
- Smithfield Uniting Church is on The Horsley Drive
- St Mary's Church, an Assyrian church is in Polding Street
- Smithfield mosque, established by Bosnian immigrants in the early 1970s, is located in Bourke Street. It was named Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque in memory of a historical figure of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Named after John Ryan Brenan, Brenan Park is a 20-hectare recreational area. It features six tennis courts and soccer fields, two cricket practicing nets, baseball and softball diamonds, children's playgrounds and picnic areas. The park is floodlit and can be used at nights. It was established in 1980, when it was a garbage dump prior to that. Vegetation in the park include Melaleuca quinquenervia, Casuarina, Bottlebrush, Paperbark, Acacia, Lomandra and Eucalyptus bosistoana. A community hall is located in the park.
Roseford Street Reserve is a 20 hectare open parkland in the northern skirts of the suburb which features a large sports grounds, long cycling and walking tracks, native woodland areas to the north, and a picnic shelter. Prospect Creek winds through the northern edges of the Reserve, creating the border between Fairfield City and Cumberland Council. The park adjoins Long Street Park, which is situated in Cumberland Council section of Smithfield and features a soccer field. The vegetation surrounding the creek has been identified by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) as a Cumberland Plain Endangered Ecological Community (CPEEC). The woods are dominated by Eucalyptus amplifolia and Eucalyptus tereticornis.
According to the 2011 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population, there were 11,019 persons usually resident in Smithfield. The median age of people in Smithfield was 37 years. Children aged 0–14 years made up 20.6% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 16.0% of the population. Smithfield had an unemployment rate of 8.4%.
- Country of birth
Of the people in Smithfield, 48.7% of them were born in Australia. 21.9% of people had both parents born in Australia and 69.8% of people had both parents born overseas. The other common countries of birth were Iraq (9.9%), Vietnam (5.9%), Italy (4.2%), Lebanon (2.1%) and New Zealand (1.9%).
- Ethnic diversity
The most common ancestries in Smithfield were Australian (13.1%), English (11.0%), Italian (9.2%), Vietnamese (6.5%) and Assyrian (5.7%). 39.6% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Arabic 10.2%, Vietnamese (8.0%), Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (6.1%), Italian (5.9%) and Spanish (5.1%). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 1.2% of the population.
Separate housing dominates the area, comprising 84.3% of total occupied private dwellings. The majority of dwellings are owned (62.2%). 33.2% of dwellings are rented, of these 17.6% are in private rental and 8.6% in public rental. The occupied private dwellings (5.9%) had 1 bedroom, 13.1% had 2 bedrooms and 51.2% had 3 bedrooms. The average household size was 2.9 people. 46.8% were couple families with children, 28.3% were couple families without children and 22.5% were one parent families. 18.0% of single parents were male and 82.0% were female.
Smithfield, New South Wales Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.