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Blacktown

Blacktown Suburb Pic.jpgBlacktown is located 34 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district and is the administrative centre of the local government area of City of Blacktown.

Prior to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, Blacktown was inhabited by different groups of the Darug people including the Warmuli, based around what is now Prospect, and their neighbours the Gomerigal from the South Creek area and the Wawarawarry from the Eastern Creek area. Governor Arthur Phillip began granting land in the area to white settlers in 1791, a process that was reversed slightly in 1819 when Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted land to two indigenous men, Colebee and Nurragingy.

In 1860 the Railway Department gave the name of Black Town Road Station to the railway station at the junction of the railway and the Black Town Road, with the name shortening to Blacktown by 1862.

The arrival of the railway in 1860 led to the formation of a town around the station. A post office was opened in 1862 and a school in 1877. In 1906, the Shire of Blacktown was formed and in 1930, electricity was introduced to the town. In the 1950s and 60s, there was a large amount of suburban development both in the current suburb of Blacktown and the new suburbs that sprung up around it. This led to civic development in the town centre with the hospital opening in 1965, the courthouse and police station in 1966, the library in 1967 and the TAFE college in 1969. In 1973, the Westpoint shopping centre opened which was soon followed by the cinema complex.

A major bus interchange is located next to the station and an underground bus station is at the entrance to Westpoint. There is a Blacktown to Rouse Hill Bus Transit way.

Busways provides services North (Rouse Hill, Castle Hill, Kellyville, Glenwood and Stanhope Gardens), west (Plumpton, Oakhurst, Quakers Hill, Dean Park, Woodcroft) and south (Prospect, Arndell Park, Huntingwood, Tallawong, Doonside, Blacktown Hospital), whilst Hillsbus provides services east (Macquarie Park, Seven Hills, Parramatta, Kings Langley) of Blacktown.

There are, a large number of schools in the suburb. Government run primary schools in the area include: Blacktown North Public School, Blacktown South Public School, Blacktown West Public School, Lynwood Park Public School, Marayong South Public School, Shelley Public School, and Walters Road Public School. Public high schools include: Blacktown Boys High School, Blacktown Girls High School, Evans High School and Mitchell High School. There is also the Coreen School, which caters to older children with learning difficulties.

There are two Catholic primary schools, St Michaels Primary School and St Patricks Primary School, and two Catholic high schools, Nagle College for girls and Patrician Brothers' College Blacktown for boys. Tyndale Christian School is a private school covering children from kindergarten to year 12.

Blacktown has a number of sporting arenas including Blacktown Stadium in Blacktown Olympic Park, Fairfax Community Stadium, Blacktown Baseball Stadium, Blacktown Softball Stadium, Blacktown Showground, Francis Park, Blacktown Aquatic Centre and Alpha Park which play host to a variety of sports.

According to the 2006 census Blacktown had a population of 38,914 making it one of the largest suburbs in the country.