Westmead is a suburb in Sydney located 26 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD. It belongs to the local government area of Cumberland Council. Additionally, it is part of the Greater Western Sydney region.
With a total land area of around 2.9km2, Westmead is bounded by the Parramatta River, Toongabbie Creek and Finlayson Creek in the north. On its east are Parramatta Park, the Parramatta Golf Club, Amos Street and Good Street and to its west are Bridge Road, the railway line and Finlayson Creek. It is bounded by the Great Western Highway to the south.
The name Westmead was used when the governor’s domain was first subdivided in 1859. Westmead was originally part of the domain of Government House during the British settlement of Parramatta. The Northern Meadow and Western Meadow of the domain were split off and called Northmead and Westmead, respectively. Presently, Parramatta Park forms what is left of this domain.
Orchards were established by many new settlers including George Oakes, Nat Payten and William Fullagar among many others.
Westmead recorded a population of 16,309 at the 2016 census. The average household size was 2.8 people. The median age was 33 years, which is lower compared to the national median of 38 years. Children aged under 15 years made up 22.3% of the population which is higher than the national average of 18.7%. People aged 65 years and over made up just 8.9% of the population.
Roughly a quarter of residents were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were India 36.3%, China 4.8%, Sri Lanka 4.2%, Philippines 2.0% and Nepal 2.0%. At their homes, 20.8% of residents exclusively spoke English. Other languages spoken at home included Hindi 10.1%, Tamil 8.7%, Gujarati 7.5%, Telugu 6.8% and Mandarin 4.5%.
The most common religious affiliations were Hinduism 40.8%, Catholic 12.3% and No Religion 11.3%.
With large public hospitals for both adults and children, many residents find employment in the healthcare sector. Westmead has a mental health hospital, a private hospital and three medical research facilities. These institutions include:
- CareFlight, an adult medical retrieval service
- Children’s Medical Research Institute
- Cumberland Hospital, a psychiatric hospital
- NETS, an intensive care service for neonates
- The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
- Westmead Centre for Oral Health
- Westmead Hospital, a major University of Sydney teaching hospital
- Westmead Medical Research Foundation
- Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research
Westmead Hospital located on the junction of Darcy and Hawkesbury Roads provides a full range of tertiary medical and dental services. Paediatrics is serviced by the adjacent Children’s Hospital, which relocated from Camperdown to Westmead in 1995.
Home to around 2,000 students, the University of Sydney Westmead campus has close to 1,000 staff members and affiliates. Also located in the suburb are the Western Sydney University (WSU) and WSU College Westmead Campus.
Westmead Public School was established in 1917. With over 900 children and many professional teachers and staff, it is currently regarded as one of the best primary schools in NSW. It boasts of high academic, sporting and art achievements.
Parramatta Marist School was established by Fr. John Therry in Parramatta in 1820, making it the oldest Catholic school in Australia. The school was later transferred to the site of the present junior school in 1837 and entrusted to the Marist Brothers in 1875. Located on the same campus as Parramatta Marist High School is the all-girls school, Catherine McAuley Catholic High School.
Established at the site of Essington House in 1983, Westmead Christian Grammar School provides a Christian education for students from Kindergarten through to Year 6. The Sacred Heart Primary School is another Catholic school in Westmead that caters to K-6 students.
The Western railway line from Parramatta to Blacktown was built through the suburb in 1861 after a successful petition by local residents. In April 1893, a railway station at Westmead was opened. The station is on the North Shore & Western Line of the Sydney Trains network.
The North-West T-way bus services Westmead from both Parramatta and The Hills District.
Public transport services in the works include a light rail and a metro. Announced in 2015, the planned two-line Parramatta Light Rail project will operate to Carlingford and Sydney Olympic Park, with Westmead being the terminus of both lines. In 2018, Westmead was also announced as a terminus of the Sydney Metro West line.
More than two-thirds of occupied private dwellings were flats, units or apartments. Separate houses comprised 17% of the total and 11.3% were semi-detached such as row or terrace houses, townhouses, etc. The median mortgage payment in Westmead is $2,000 per month, compared to the national median of $1,755.
Westmead is considered as one of the best suburbs in Western Sydney where families feel safe and benefit from a lot of services. Good schools around the area and proximity to good hospitals keep the value of the suburb up and increasing.