‘Waves of People’: report on Parramatta

2018:
‘Waves of People’, a report on a history of Parramatta.
To read it, see: The ‘Waves of People’ (PDF,8MB)

This report, published in print and on-line by the City of Parramatta in 2017, demonstrates the rich indigenous and migration history of this region, and could be said to provide a strong argument for a better focus on the development of its own galleries and museums, telling Western Sydney’s own stories.

With principal authors Sarah Barns and Phillip Mar, the report was produced by researchers at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, for the City of Parramatta. It acknowledges that:

‘The City of Parramatta is very proud to support our local community to share stories of culture, heritage and connection. In 2017, Council worked with historians and researchers at Western Sydney University’s Institute for Culture and Society to explore stories of the movement of people in, through and around Parramatta. This publication documents just some of the stories – we know there are many more yet to uncover. It captures stories of the movement of Aboriginal men and women, as well as people who came from across the world as displaced people and migrants to make a new lives and homes for themselves here. This is just the start of bringing together stories of the waves of people who have moved through or settled in Parramatta, we look forward to revealing more in coming years.’ (p4)

And the Institute website adds: ‘Parramatta has a unique identity as a gathering place for many different cultures. It is the place where Aboriginal peoples lived through periods of intense change, including a period of colonization and massive disruption. As Australia’s first inland European settlement, Parramatta is often described as the ‘cradle of the colony’. Following the first arrival of Europeans, successive waves of migration have shaped the culture and identity of the city in vital ways. Parramatta is now home to many people with many different pasts. The research recounts the history of Parramatta’s inhabitants – from the generations of Darug families living along the Parramatta River and Australia’s first inland European settlement, to the waves of migrants and refugees from all over the world who made a home here.’ Read more