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Traditionally inhabited by the Cadigal Aboriginal people, this hillside town on the banks of the Cooks River would not be named Dulwich Hill until the early 1900s. Initially referred to as Wardell's Bush or Wardells Hill in reference to the areas first key land owner Dr Robert Wardell, the area was also commonly known as South Petersham or Fern Hill. This riverside region would primarily comprise farm land estates throughout the 1800s with the subdivision of the Abergeldie estate owned by tobacco tycoon Sir Hugh Dixon in 1928 into 153 separate allotments providing the basis for the village of Dulwich Hill. It would be the final major subdivision in Marrickville Council area and confirmed the residential status of the suburb.
With a tram terminus and a railways station servicing the area, leafy Dulwich Hill was an attractive option when compared to neighbouring more industrial suburbs of Petersham and Marrickville. As a suburb which went through substantial development in the early 20th century, the areas array of popular federation housing architecture such as Californian Bungalows and large land blocks had Dulwich Hill more recently become popular with families and young people. With the Cooks River Parkland and Marrickville Golf Course running along its perimeters and a bustling hub of shops and eateries along New Canterbury Rd, Dulwich Hill offers residents a sense of community and a village atmosphere lacking in much of Sydney's inner suburbs.
Already a multicultural suburb with significant Portuguese and Greek communities coming to the suburb during the 1950s and 60s, the suburb also saw an influx of Vietnamese refugees to Dulwich Hill following the Vietnam War. Many of these families continue to live locally, maintaining the multicultural profile of the suburb today. In 2007, Dulwich Hill was singled out by the New York Times as a Sydney suburb worthy of international acclaim. Snubbing the nearby popular favourite Newtown, which the article dismisses as 'wall-to-wall restaurants and chichi boutiques', Dulwich Hill is applauded for its multicultural community. The New York Times article explores the variety of international food shops on the shopping strips along Marrickville and New Canterbury Rd.
SSC11315: Dulwich Hill