The name Girraween is an Aboriginal word for "the place where flowers grow". Girraween first became settled in the early 1900's. Prior to that the area formed part of what was known as Major Wentworth's Farm. Dr. D'Arcy Wentworth arrived as the surgeon on the Second Fleet convict transport "Neptune" in 1790 and was one of the early settlers. He received land grants amounting to 2,750 acres which extended over most of Toongabbie, Girraween, Pendle Hill, Wentworthville and some of Greystanes.
Development as an independent suburb began in 1910 when land was subdivided and sold by real estate developer Arthur Rickard. The initial lots sold rapidly, some were later sold at much higher prices. Girraween was originally a street name in that subdivision, which had been named Toongabbie Park, but when the post office opened, it took the name of Girraween, which also became the suburb's name.
The School of Arts was founded in 1918 and it played an important part in the social life of Girraween. The Anglican and Catholic Churches held their first services in it. Girraween School also held their first classes there.
Girraween is serviced by buses that connect it to other local areas. There is no railway station although it is a short walk through Civic Park, to Pendle Hill railway station.