The Burwood and District Historical Society acknowledges the original inhabitants of the area, the Dharug-speaking Wangal clan, whose land stretched along the southern shore of the Parramatta River from Darling Harbour to Parramatta and south to the Cooks River. The Society was formed in 1978 to preserve the heritage of Burwood, NSW, Australia. Our aims are:
  • To encourage the study of our history and heritage, both of the Burwood District and Australia.
  • To promote the local heritage by encouraging members of the community to preserve and enhance aspects of our environment for ourselves and future generations.
  • To carry out and assist research and education to broaden the knowledge of local history and conservation.
  • To facilitate the collection, preservation and display of historical documents, photos and other materials.
  • To organise activities to attract and motivate members, raise funds and further our objectives.
  • To identify and work for the conservation of buildings, landmarks and our natural environment important for our cultural past, present and future.
  • To co-operate with other community groups and organisations and advise authorities on matters relating to our objectives.
The Society is a not-for-profit local community group and meets at 8 pm on the 2nd Wednesday of the month (except for January) at: The George Street Centre, on the corner of George and Elsie Streets, Burwood. The entrance is in George Street, on street level just up from the entrance to the Council car park, where free parking is available after 6:00 pm.

Burwood - Snapshots of Our History

The story of Burwood begins with the original owners of our island nation – the Wangal people from the Eora nation – long before Australia’s convict history and early European settlement from 1788.   

Settlement in the Burwood area began with the building of the road to Parramatta in about 1791.  The Burwood/Concord area was a good overnight resting place for the convict gangs working on the road, as it was about half way between Sydney and Parramatta.

The Government started to give out land grants for farming in this area in the late 18 century to increase the food production for the Colony. These grants were given initially to serving military personnel. One exception was Sarah Nelson, a free settler who arranged her own passage to Sydney in 1791 after her husband, Isaac Nelson, was convicted and sentenced to seven years penal servitude. Sarah was granted 15 acres of land in 1794 for a tiny farm situated on the spot now called Malvern Hill. This farming area gradually developed into the Municipality of Burwood. 

The selection of photos in this brochure tells us a very small part of Burwood’s history. The brochure also includes a map showing the location of the places in the photos, or where they once stood, if you would like to visit the sites. 

We hope you find this interesting and you will want to learn more about Burwood’s past.

Attached are copies of  of the Chinese translated material as a pdf.