Parramatta was built around the same time as Sydney on the banks of the Parramatta River. The aboriginals called the place Barramatta, or “place where the eels lie down”, due to the proliferation of eels in the area. Even today there are many eels around the river and they have become an emblem of the Parramatta Eels football team. Nowadays Parramatta is classed as a suburb of Sydney, even though it is 23 ks west of Sydney’s CBD.
When the early settlers arrived in Sydney food was limited and the soil around Sydney too poor and sandy for much in the way of agricultural pursuits. It was decided than that farms around Parramatta should be used to provide food for everyone. To this end a convict, James Ruse was given the task of establishing agricultural endeavours – which he did with quite a bit of success, establishing some of the first wheat fields in the area.
Nowadays Parramatta is almost a second CBD of Sydney, with many commercial buildings and it is also the centre for legal proceedings with major Commonwealth Law Court Buildings, Federal Magistrates Court, Parramatta Family Law and many other similar all on George and O’Connell Streets and more on nearby Marsden Street.
Parramatta is continuing to grow and expand as more high rise apartments are being built around the area which is expanding the population living within the suburb area.