From Model Farms To Booming Suburbs


Immediately after the end of World War II, Australia sought to increase its population due to manpower losses caused by two World Wars and the fear of possible Communist expansion in former European colonies in Asia. Mantras rang out across the nation such as “Populate or perish” and to protect the then British culture of a white Australia, the population and industry was urged by advertising posters and the print media to “Bring Out a Briton.” Refugees from war torn Europe were also generally welcomed and, as the economy expanded over time, refugees and migrants from other countries were encouraged to join the Australian community. This led to a demand for housing and vast areas of what was once farmland or other open space became subdivided into building blocks and whole new suburbs being created on the outskirts of Australian cities.

The area just north of Parramatta called Model Farms was one such location, due to farms in the area being used to demonstrate the variety of crops and other rural activities that could be promulgated in the Cumberland district. Developers and the government considered that would be ideal for creating new suburbs being close to existing commercial and industrial sites at Parramatta. During the early to mid1960’s L J Hooker, the largest real estate company in the country and one of the most prominent land developers at the time through it’s Hooker-Rex division, acquired a number of properties along Windsor Rd and started to develop the area. Searching for a name for the development they considered calling it “Churchill Hills” in honour of the former wartime British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, but later deciding on “Winston Hills”.

If you study a street map of Winston Hills, you will notice that the main entrance on the Eastern side of the suburb is called Churchill Drive. This was the first entrance to the new estate when driving north from Parramatta and on the corner was a wall emblazoned with the name of Winston Hills, the second entrance to the estate was Model Farms Rd where at the corner of Windsor Rd and Model Farms Rd once stood a railway platform and railway siding that farmers of the area had used to transport their wares to market. As you travel along Model Farms Rd you will note that a number of streets that run off Model Farms Rd bear the names of former British Prime Ministers such as Baldwin, Lloyd George, Asquith, Palmerston and Disraeli. This was one of the first areas of what is now Winston Hills to be developed and started a trend as further areas were developed. Other areas bore names of Scottish locations (Lomond, Clackmannan, Dornoch, Skye etc) Whilst another portion used the names of authors as a theme (Thackery, Twain, Defoe etc) and so it continued with names of poets, scientists etc. being used as themes for street names as the suburb grew. The last area of Winston Hills to be developed was the area along the southern side of Buckleys Rd due to its steep slope. This being developed in the 1980s and 90s.

What can you tell me of your suburb’s name? You can write to me at the address shown in this publication about your memories of times past. School days, Family history, your first car or moving into the district.


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