You are in: BankstownTo Places
Traditionally the land of the Eora Aboriginal people, Bankstown was first surveyed for a town in 1795 after Governor Phillip sent George Bass and Matthew Flinders down the Georges River in search of good land for further settlement of the colony. The land they found would be called Bankstown in honour of the First Fleet botanist Joseph Banks.
With the first land grants given to marines, former convicts and free settlers, the fledgling Bankstown struggled to grow as a lack of accessible roads leading to the nearby market towns of Parramatta and Sydney made settlement in nearby villages more attractive. It wasn't until Governor Macquarie identified the need for more roads linking Sydney to its outer townships in 1810 that the town began to flourish. With the Great North Road linking Sydney with Liverpool and running through Bankstown opening in 1813, significant numbers of farmers, graziers and market gardeners settled in the region.
The 1850s proved a difficult decade for the fledgling suburb with the gold rush and suburban railway extensions bypassing the town significantly, which in turn depleted the town's population. However, those left in the town lobbied for its survival and in the 1890s an effort led by James Joseph Cooper organised a petition to avoid Bankstown being absorbed into the neighbouring Auburn or Enfield municipalities, having it declared a town in 1895.
With very little sustainable industry beyond the railway workshops established in nearby Chellora after the line was extended to Bankstown in the early 1900s, the Great Depression hit Bankstown particularly hard. It wasn't until the Post World War II industrial revolution of the 1940s that Bankstown started to come into its own with 112 manufacturing companies choosing Bankstown for their factory sites.
Today Bankstown is a proudly multicultural suburb, popular with families wishing to escape the city and manufacturing remains a key industry in the town. The Bankstown Airport is home to several flight companies and is a popular local attraction whilst the nearby Georges River National Park provides natural respite from the suburban surrounds.