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Originally inhabited by the Dharug Tribe, the area that would become the suburb of Blacktown had land grants dating back to the 1790s, however significant settlement in the area did not occur until the 1830s. Blacktown derives its name from the area's 'Native Institute' which had the suburb colloquially referred to as 'Blacks Town'. A Government initiative established in the 1820s, the Native Institute aimed to assimilate the native Aborigines to the ways of the white colonisers, with its projects eventually abandoned in 1833. The relative isolation and proliferation of wealthy settlers in the area had Blacktown frequented by bushrangers during the 1820s, including the infamous Jack Donohue who would be immortalised in the Australian folk song The Wild Colonial Boy.
With the railway line extended to Blacktown in 1860, the following decade would see a village grow around the station with a Post Office, produce stores including a butcher, public schools and churches being built to service the growing population of Blacktown. With a strong service centre in its village and factories in neighbouring suburbs including the Riverstone Meatworks and Woodstock Fruit Cannery, residential growth in the suburb was strong through to the 1920s. The post war period of the 1950s was a period of significant growth in Blacktown with an increase in residential development and several migrant communities from Eastern Europe choosing the well connected suburb for their home with a Russian Orthodox Church being built in 1959 on Kempsey Street.
Wonderland, Sydney's first major fun park was built on an area of Blacktown parkland in 1985 and was a popular holiday destination for Sydneysiders until its closure in 2004 when the land was rezoned and used by the owners for residential development. This would be part of substantial housing development carried out in the suburb following Sydney's population explosion of the 1990s. Blacktown's large land blocks, shopping centre and accessible transport routes has cemented the suburbs residential profile and have attracted migrants with significant Arabic, Filipino and Indian communities living in Blacktown.
Blacktown is a truly diverse community, home to the largest Indigenous Australian, Egyptian born and German born populations in NSW. The suburb also ranks highest for speakers of German, Dutch and Hindi languages respectively. In addition, a high percentage of the population are affiliates of the Catholic religion. Blacktown also has the highest participation rate in technical (TAFE) or further studies, the highest rate of female and male lone parents that corresponds with the highest rate of unpaid childcare and domestic work by males, recorded in the state. Blacktown also ranks highest in the 'need for assistance' category, indicating a high number of people with a profound or severe disability, long term health condition (lasting six months or more), or vulnerable elderly people.