As a suburb of Sydney, Parramatta is also a city in its own right. Known locally as “Parra,” the name of Parramatta is a derivation of the Aboriginal words Burramatta or Baramada, which translates to “the place where eels lie down” or “head of waters.” Parramatta Council’s logo, in fact, showcases an Aboriginal spearman hunting eels.
An English ship is juxtaposed in the background of this logo; Parramatta was settled by the British in 1788, and saw its agricultural contributions help to build Australia. As Parramatta Council absorbs growth from Sydney proper, this entity has become the economic base of Greater Western Sydney, and is one of the biggest central business districts in Australia. Westfield Parramatta, Australia’s second largest shopping centre, is located here; and shopping and dining options abound on Parramatta’s Church Street.
Parramatta Council has assumed a greater governmental role, too, with more administrative services housed in this district, such as police, water, and transportation. The administrative entity of Parramatta Council is drawn up from five wards, and each ward gains representation with three councillors. Councillors serve a four-year term; the Lord Mayor is chosen annually by the councillors.
Initiatives undertaken by Parramatta Council include “Liquid Cinema,” a free outdoor film screening set at riverside, which the Council hopes will help to recharge this locale. “The Better Neighbourhood Program,” which works to simultaneously provide urban renewal and create a distinct neighborhood identity, is another council initiative underway in a number of Parramatta city areas. Parramatta Council also oversees a city-wide recycling program, and even makes available to citizens “green” items like compost bins and worm farms–and a free workshop for those utilizing them.
Parramatta Council helps to administer the large amount of transportation which occurs throughout its jurisdiction; trains, buses and T-way buses each move through a transport interchange located in the city. The Council put an integrated traffic management plan into place in 2005, and is currently exploring park and ride options, as well as supporting an increase in cycling.
Sports and recreational opportunities provided by the Council include a golf course, skate parks, parks and reserves, cycle ways, walking tracks, sporting fields, swimming pools and tennis courts. The Parramatta Council also administers the Heritage and Visitors Centres, the library, other public halls and centres, and Art Centres.
And, given the diversity available in the city, it is fitting that Parramatta Council hosts several Australian Citizenship Ceremonies each year