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People of note

Tommy Andrews 1890-1970

Cricketer who was born in Newtown and played for Petersham Cricket Club, based at Petersham Park. He played 16 tests for Australia, and is among a select few cricketers called for throwing the ball in major matches in Australia. He was primarily known, however, as a dashing right-hand bat and nimble field. In his 16 tests he scored 592 runs. The T. J. E Andrews Memorial Scoreboard at Petersham Park is named after him.

Tommy Andrews 

Kevin Berry OAM 1945-2006

Australian butterfly swimmer of the 1960s who won the gold medal in the 200m butterfly at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He set twelve world records in his career. After his swimming career ended, he became the Pictorial Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald and later the head of ABC Sport. Berry grew up in Marrickville and was the second of seven children.

Kevin Berry 

Euphemia Bridges Bowes 1816-19

Social reformer. Moved to Stanmore in 1880 when her husband retired from the Methodist ministry, where her talent for organisation was soon engaged in founding the first Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Sydney in 1882. Elected president in 1885, and president also of the subsequent New South Wales union. Became honorary life president in 1893.

While her major achievement was the creation of a network of unions throughout the colony, she also had some success in restricting licenses and Sunday trading. She also campaigned vigorously, but vainly, for the banning of barmaids. Opened a soup kitchen at the Mission Church in Sussex Street, and a home for inebriate women in 1892.

In 1886 helped form a ladies' committee that aimed to promote morality and to secure legislation for the better protection of women, notably the raising of the age of consent from 14 to 18, improvements in the law regarding affiliation, and measures against soliciting, child prostitution and brothels. An early advocate of votes for women.

Euphemia Bridges Bowes continued to run a 'ladies college' founded by her husband in their home, Auburn, at Marrickville, where she died on 12 November 1900, aged 85.

To learn more about Euphemia Bridges Bowes, visit the Australian Dictionary of Biography website.

Euphemia Bridges 

Nigel Butterley b.1935

Stanmore resident who is one of Australia's most respected living composers. He is an accomplished pianist as well as an experienced educator. 

Teaches composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and lectures for the Sydney University Centre for Continuing Education. He also works with senior composition students at secondary schools.

To learn more about Nigel Butterly read his full biography.

Nigel Butterley 

Dennis Condon b. 193

Australia's best-known collector of piano rolls, thanks in part to The Condon Collection, a series of ‘greatest hits’ re-recorded on a set of CDs. He has also staged live performances of his rolls using his reproducing pianos, including a Steinway grand.

He was an “inspiring and innovative” music teacher at Fort Street Boys High School for 12 years from 1959 until 1970.

Dennis Condon is long term resident of Newtown. He has the largest private collection of reproducing (player) pianos in the Southern Hemisphere.

Denis Condon  

George Dempsey 1905 – 1985

Dulwich Hill champion cyclist, former amateur and professional champion of Australia. Migrated to USA, and rode all his successful races on a bicycle built in Marrickville. 

Eliza Emily Donnithorne 1826-1886

Recluse and eccentric. It was reported that on her 1856 wedding, with the wedding guests assembled and herself dressed for the ceremony the bride groom did not turn up. It is rumoured that from this fallout her 'habits became eccentric'. She never again left the house, finding solace in books and opening the door only to the clergyman, physician and solicitor. The wedding breakfast remained undisturbed on the dining table and 'gradually mouldered away until nothing was left but dust and decay'. Whether the wedding story is true or not, Eliza was a recluse who lived in a house in Camperdown. She died in the house on 20 May 1886 and was buried in the same grave as her father at Camperdown cemetery where a headstone was later placed in his memory. Eliza's estate, including land and houses in Sydney, Melbourne and Britain, was valued at £12,000. 

Eliza's tragic story was used by Charles Dickens as the original for Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (1861). The identification of the Sydney personality and the Dickensian character is circumstantial but the chronology presents no inconsistencies and impossibilities. His Household Words contained many anecdotes about Australia in 1850-59 and the characters of Abel Magwitch and villainous Compeyson in Great Expectations indicate some knowledge of life in New South Wales. On the other hand Sydney people, after reading the novel, may have created the tradition by identifying Eliza with Miss Havisham.

To learn more about Eliza Emily Donnithorne, visit the Australian Dictionary of Biography website.

Fanny Durack

Fanny Durack’s swimming career is as notable for her athletic achievement as it is as a symbol of change in attitudes towards women in Australia during the start of the twentieth century. Only five years after Annette Kellerman was arrested at Revere Beach, Massachusetts, for indecency, Sarah ‘Fanny’ Durack and Wilhelmina ‘Mina’ Wylie became the centre of a public controversy over what constituted modesty and decency for women swimmers.

Sarah Frances Durack was born on 27 October 1889 to Thomas and Mary Durack.

Thomas was a publican in Leichhardt of Irish background who operated, amongst other hotels, the Newmarket Hotel in Campbell Street, Sydney. Regularly called by the nickname ‘Fanny’, she learned to swim breaststroke at Coogee. First at Mrs. Page's Coogee Baths, exclusively for girls and women, and then later at St. George Baths, Cleveland Street, Sydney. Running in the same circles, Durack inevitably met Wilhelmina ‘Mina’ Wylie. Wylie’s father, Henry Alexander Wylie, owned Wylie Baths, Coogee, and it was there that the two future Olympians came to perfect their sport.

Competitive swimming for women was in its infancy when Fanny Durack first took to the sport. Annette Kellerman opened the first wave of pos-sibilities with her international career. Durack quickly became adept at breaststroke, and in 1906, at the age of 17, she won her first title. Over the coming years she would come to dominate the female swimming scene. By 1908 she had taken up the Trudgen stroke to improve her times, and over 1910/1911 season she and Wylie came to perfect the front ‘Australian’ crawl style, an early variation of the stroke now often referred to as freestyle. Wylie won the 100 yard breast-stroke and 100 and 220 yard freestyle events, ahead of Durack, at the Australian Swimming Championships at Rose Bay.

Given her successes in amateur competitions, there was considerable public demand for Fanny Durack and Mina Wylie to go to the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. This, however, was met with opposition from the Australian Olympic Committee and the New South Wales Ladies Swimming Association.

Fanny Durack 

Bill and Viv Farnsworth

Pioneer rugby league footballers of the 1910s, and first brothers to play Test football for Australia.

Bill played rugby union with Newtown before making the move to play with the Newtown Club in the NSW Rugby Football League in 1910. Viv played for Petersham Rugby Club before also joining Newtown.

They were both integral members of the 1910 Premiership winning side. Bill made his international debut against the touring British Lions in 1910, and Viv the following year when both were selected for the 'Australasian' Kangaroo tour of Britain in 1911–1912. Both also headed to England at the end of 1912 to join the Oldham club. However, at the commencement of World War I both enlisted for service signalling an end to Bill’s playing career. Viv returned to Newtown for the 1919 season, and moved to Wests in 1920 before participating in the ashes Ashes tour where he suffered a career ending injury. Bill coached Newtown for part of 1924 when they finished last on the table. Viv Farnsworth had died 13 years before. Bill Farnsworth died in 1966.

Bill Farnsworth 

Frank ‘Bumper’ Farrell

Premiership winning and national representative rugby league footballer.

A prop forward, his long club career was with the Newtown Bluebags from 1938 to 1951, with four Test appearances for the Australian national side between 1946 and 1948. He captained the club to their third, and last, premiership in 1943 winning the grand final against North Sydney 34-7. Outside of football he was a policeman in the New South Wales force; he rose through the ranks and was stationed in Sydney's tough inner-city suburbs, where he earned a reputation as feared and revered detective in the Vice Squad. He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 1976.

Jeff Fenech b. 1964

Retired Australian boxer, a three-weight world champion and a boxing trainer who was born and grew up in Marrickville and is nicknamed the ‘Marrickville Mauler’. 
Following a burgeoning amateur career he represented Australia at the 1984 Olympic Games at Los Angeles before launching into his professional career winning his first eleven fights in the Bantamweight division by knockout. Amongst these was his knockout win against world champion Shatoshi Shingaki. This win made Fenech the third fastest boxer to become world champion.

In 1987 Fenech became super bantamweight champion, after a fourth round knock-out against Samart Payakaroon, and the following year took the vacant featherweight title after a tenth round knock-out against Victor Callejas.

Moving up a division in 1991 Fenech twice challenges title holder Azumah Nelson, with a draw the first match and suffering his first loss via knock-out in the second. He retired in 1996 with a record o 28 wins, 3 losses and 1 draw. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Molly Flaherty 1914 – 1989

Dulwich Hill resident who played Test cricket in the 1930s and 40s. She was known as the ‘Demon’ for her pace bowling, during the 1937 test series against England she captured 6 wickets and conceded only 166 runs. After her retirement from cricket she moved into golf, winning a number of titles in this sport as well.

Amy Hudson and Molly Flaherty 

Tom Foster

Former Mayor of Marrickville and Alderman of the City of Sydney Council who campaigned for a centre in Newtown. The name was chosen after direct representation from citizens of Newtown. The name was resolved by resolution of the Council in October 1963. 

At the opening of the Centre, Foster was quoted as saying that he had experienced loneliness and could well appreciate the loneliness suffered by many older people living alone. 

Foster had worked for 18 years as an employee of the City of Sydney Council, resigning in 1956 to stand as an alderman for Newtown. He served until the City wards were split up in 1966. Part of Newtown was then incorporated into the Marrickville Municipality in 1968. Foster then stood as an alderman for the Enmore Ward of Marrickville Council. He was elected in 1968 and served until 1974. Tom Foster was Mayor of Marrickville from 1969 to 1971.

Lilian Fowler 1886 – 1954

Elizabeth Lilian Maud Fowler, known as Lilian Fowler, became the first woman alderman in NSW and the first woman Mayor in Australia.

Lilian Fowler was born at Cooma on 7 June 1886, daughter of Charles and Rebecca Gill. According to one story, the young Lilian decided on a career in politics when the local Inspector of Nuisances confiscated her marbles when she was playing with them on a public footpath.

Ms Fowler moved to Newtown in 1911 after her marriage to Albert Fowler, a bootmaker. In 1928, Lilian was elected to Newtown Municipal Council. Fowler served as an Alderman on Newtown Municipal Council from 1928 to 1931 and from 1934 to 1948.

When elected Mayor of Newtown on 7 December 1937, Lilian Fowler became the first woman Mayor in Australia. In recognition of this achievement the Australian Labor Party presented her with an illuminated address signed by former NSW Premier Jack Lang.

On the 27th of May 1944, she was elected to the State seat of Newtown and was the third woman to enter the NSW Legislative Assembly. She served as the Member for Newtown until 22 May 1950. She was awarded the Member of the British Empire (MBE).

Lilian Fowler died at Camperdown on 11 May 1954 and was buried at Rookwood Cemetery.

Lilian Fowler 

Dame Mary Gilmore 1865-1962

Prominent Australian socialist, poet and journalist. Born near Goulburn. After passing her teachers' examination, she eventually transferred to Stanmore Superior Public School in May 1891. 
In about 1890 she began a relationship with Henry Lawson which ended after an unofficial engagement. She became involved in the increasing radicalism of the day, supporting the maritime and shearers' strikes, and being co-opted to the first executive of the Australian Workers' Union.

On 31 October 1895 she resigned from teaching and sailed to Paraguay as part of William Lane’s New Australia movement, eventually relocating to England with her husband and son.

Back in Australia, she began her journalism career. In 1910 her first collection of poems was published, and in 1922 her first book of prose was published.

To mark the considerable public acclaim for her literary and social achievements, she was appointed D.B.E. in 1937. She died on 3 December 1962 (Eureka Day) and was given a State funeral. She has now passed into Australian legend.

To learn more about Dame Mary Gilmore, visit the Australian Dictionary Biography website.

Mary Gilmore 

Gerald Halligan 1821 – 1886

The First Mayor of Marrickville.

Gerald Halligan was born in Ireland in 1821. He migrated to Australia in 1848 and quickly obtained a job as Clerk in the Colonial Secretary’s Office. Halligan worked in the NSW Public Work’s Department from 1859 to 1882, rising to the position of Chief Clerk.

Halligan was the leading figure in the establishment of the Municipality of Marrickville.

Marrickville was proclaimed a Municipality on 5 November 1861 with a population of six hundred people and one hundred and thirty buildings.The first election was held on 9 December 1861. Gerald Halligan was unanimously elected as the first Chairman and held the position from 1861 to 1863 and again in 1866. He served as a Councillor from 1861 to 1872.

Gerald Halligan arrived in Marrickville in 1856 and purchased a large property on the corner of Victoria and Meeks Road. The property was named Geraldine.

Halligan died in 1886, aged 65 years and was buried in the Balmain Cemetery. Halligan’s obituary described him as “a very old and respected civil servant and a resident of Marrickville for over thirty years”. He was survived by his wife, Mary (known as Maud) and twelve adult children.
Gerald Street and Gerald Lane are named after Gerald Halligan. Maud Street is named after his wife.

Gerald Halligan 

Amy Hudson 1916 – 2003

All-round Australian Test cricketer who attended Petersham High School. Toured England in 1937 with the Australian women's team, and was successful as a slow bowler. Played A grade cricket in Sydney for many years.

Annette Kellerman

A Marrickville-born swimmer, aquatic performer and actress, who at one point held all of the world’s records for women’s swimming. The Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre, located in Enmore Park, was named in her honour.

Annette Kellerman 

William Kendrick

Alderman and the Mayor of the former St Peters Council in 1944. Kendrick Park is named after him.

Henry Lawson 1867-1922

One of Australia’s most famous writers, he has many connections to the Marrickville area. His best loved poem, Faces in the Street, was largely written at Petersham Railway Station in 1888, when he was just 21.

Lawson's writing is so enduring because he celebrated the ordinary. He was a champion of the working class.

When Lawson was buried there were hundreds of wreaths, one of which said ‘To Australia’s Poet, from the Faces in the Street’.

Lawson’s life ended at the tragically early age of 55 after years of ill health and alcoholism. His death was registered at the Petersham Births Deaths and Marriages office. He lived for a time in Dulwich Hill with his wife, her sister and his brother-in-law Jack Lang who went on to become Premier of NSW. Lawson’s mother Louisa lived in Marrickville.

Lawson also had connections to Petersham’s White Cockatoo Hotel, which was then the Lord Carrington.

For more information on Henry Lawson, visit the Australian Biography Dictionary website.

Henry Lawson 

Louisa Lawson 1848 – 1920

Mother of famous Australian writer Henry Lawson, and social reformer, feminist and writer.

She was at the forefront of the battle for women’s rights and a fierce campaigner in New South Wales for votes for women. She edited the publication The Dawn (1888-1905). Louisa lived for a time in Marrickville.

In 1997 Marrickville Council commissioned public artist and mosaic specialist Cynthia Turner to create a large mosaic as a tribute to her. The mosaic was installed in the Louisa Lawson Reserve in Harnett Avenue, Marrickville South. As part of Council’s Public Art Program, the mosaic was restored in 2008.

Louisa Lawson 

Edward Mackey

Alderman on Marrickville Municipal Council from 1918 to the early 1930s and Mayor during 1926, moved to the area in 1903 residing at ‘Holmwood’. In 1906 he moved to ‘Laurel-Bank’ which he had built next door. The house remained in the Mackey family until 1939 when the present owner took up residence.

Mackey Park is named after him.

Douglas Marr

Marrickville Council Mayor in 1936, the year of Marrickville Council's 75th anniversary. President of Marrickville Hospital 1945-7.

Marr Playground is named after him.

Douglas Marr resized 

W. L. Maundrell d. 1941

Alderman of Petersham Municipal Council for 22 years, and a Mayor of Petersham on three occasions. Patron of the Petersham Cricket Club.

Maundrell Park is named after him.


Richard Watson W. McCoy

Mayor of Marrickville in 1896 and MLA for Marrickville from 1901 till 1910. Established one of Sydney’s - and Australia's - oldest legal practices, first practising in Marrickville and shortly after that in Castlereagh Street. The firm McCoy Grove & Atkinson is still in existence today.

Resided for a time at ‘Ardath’ 6 Hastings Street Marrickville. Along with his neighbours at numbers 8 and 10, he was a founding member of the Marrickville Bowling Club.


Claude McNeilly

Alderman of Marrickville Municipal Council in 1922-1931.

McNeilly Park is named after him.

Claude Neilly 

Richard Meale 1932-2009

One of Australia’s most distinguished composers, he was also a noted lecturer, broadcaster, conductor and pianist, and was instrumental in bringing the ideas of the international music avant garde to Australia.

Born in Marrickville, attended Marrickville West Primary, Erskineville Opportunity, and Canterbury Boys’ High. A foundation member of the Recorded Music Group at Marrickville Municipal Library. His best known work is ‘Voss’, based on the novel by Patrick White.

Richard was a grandson of former Marrickville Mayor Benjamin Richards.


Frederick Moorhouse d. 1924

Prominent Sydney architect who resided for a time at ‘Beverly’ 10 Hastings Street Marrickville. Designed the Marrickville Bowling Club, and was a founding member.

Architect for a number of important buildings in both Sydney and Melbourne, including the Menzies' Hotel and the Royal Bank in Melbourne, and the Australian Woollen Mills and the Globe Worsted Mills at Marrickville. He also designed the chapel of the King's School, Parramatta, and the development on the west side of Manly’s Corso with his architecture partner at the time, Richard Loweish.


H. J. Morton

Mayor of Newtown Municipal Council. Elected to Council in 1917 and served as mayor on five occasions. Morton Park in Petersham is named after him.

H.J Morton Mayor 

J. T. Ness, MLA 1871 – 1947

Local politician. Born in Young to shipbuilder Thomas Ness and Isabella, née Sellars. After attending public schools and farming wheat at Temora (circa 1894 to 1904) he became a produce and fuel merchant, later establishing John Ness, Son & Co.

He married Bertha Mary Ann Matuschka in New Zealand and had four children.

From 1909 to 1934, president of the Dulwich Hill School of Arts, and served from 1908 to 1922 on Marrickville Council (mayor 1915–17 and 1918–19). In 1922, elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as a Nationalist member for Western Suburbs. With the reintroduction of single-member districts in 1927 he was elected to represent Dulwich Hill. Defeated in 1930, he was re-elected in 1932 as a United Australia Party candidate.

Ness served until 1938. He attracted publicity as the victim of a brazen robbery in October 1935 when an “audacious thief” forced opened the back door of the Ness home in Dulwich Hill, entered the bedroom where Ness and his wife were asleep and stole £45 in bank notes, a gold watch worth about £25 presented by the Dulwich Hill Masonic Lodge, a gold railway pass, wireless licence, motor driver's licence, other papers, and a wallet. Also attracted publicity in January 1938 when he was injured in a car accident on Kingsway Miranda when he crashed into a telegraph pole.

Ness Playground is named after him.


Ernie O’Dea 1889–1976

Trade unionist, politician and Lord Mayor of Sydney. In 1896 hard times forced the family to move from Armidale to Camperdown. Ernie attended the Christian Brothers' school at Newtown until he was 14. Married Elsie May Remfry (d.1927) in 1909, and Johanna Ellen Gleeson, née Elliott (d.1960) in 1927.

In 1910 O'Dea joined both the State branch of the Shop Assistants' and Warehouse Employees' Federation of Australia and the Camperdown Labor Electoral League, rising rapidly through the union's ranks.

Elected to the Legislative Council for twelve years in December 1942 and again in November 1954.

Served as a Labor alderman (1924-27 and 1930-65) on Sydney Municipal (City) Council. In December 1948 O'Dea was elected lord mayor of Sydney. He revelled in the trappings of his office and entertained such visitors as the archbishop of Canterbury and the film star Maureen O'Hara. His insistence on wearing the robes of office, in defiance of Labor Party practice, earned him the epithet 'Ermine Ernie'. One of his first acts was to ban the use of the Sydney Town Hall by left-wing unions and political groups.

In 1966 he shared first prize of $200,000 in the Sydney Opera House lottery.

O’Dea Reserve in Camperdown is thought to be named after him.

To learn more about Ernie O'Dea, visit the Australian Dictionary of Biography website.


Hazel Pritchard 1913 – 1967

Australian woman Test cricketer.

Stylish batter who played in the first women’s cricket Test series and toured England in 1937 when she had a Test average of 51. Also represented NSW in basketball. Holds the distinction of facing the first-ever ball in a women’s Test.

Attended Newtown High School.

Charles Richardson 1847-1926

Organ builder, was born in London and trained with London firms William Hill & Son and Henry Willis & Sons, and in Paris with Charles Barker. He and his family arrived in Sydney in October 1882, establishing an organ building business first at Womerah Avenue Darlinghurst, and eventually in Trafalgar Street Stanmore in 1913.

The number of organs known with certainty to have been built by Richardson is over thirty, but a realistic estimate of his output might exceed forty-five. In 1903 he was appointed to tune and maintain the organ in Sydney Town Hall. 

Richardson died at Stanmore on 22 May 1926. His instruments that remain, with a few of his letters and remarks reported in newspapers, show him to have been an artist of integrity—educated, articulate and gentlemanly. He was one of Australia’s most important organ builders.

The author of ‘Historic Organs of NSW’ Graeme D. Rushworth said Richardson’s importance “cannot be overestimated.”

To learn more about Charles Richardson, visit the Australian Dictionary of Biography website.

Warren Cook Richardson 1888 – 1972

Alderman of Marrickville Council. Born in Marrickville on 4 December 1888 to Robert Richardson and Sophia Floyd Jenkins. Warren Cook married Myrtle Harrison and had five children. 

After WWI, when The Warren was demolished, the site was left abandoned until Warren Cook Richardson led a campaign to revitalise the park. It was renamed Richardson's Lookout in his honour in 1936. He passed away on 24 October 1972 at Glenfield Masonic Home.


Dudley Seddon 1902 – 1978

Captain of Petersham Cricket Club, played Centre for Newtown Rugby league, represented the state at both cricket and League.

A cricket administrator for 60 years, and an Australian cricket selector from 1954 – 1967.

The D. Seddon Memorial Grandstand at Petersham Park is named after him.


Jack Shanahan

Marrickville Council independent Councillor from 1968 until 1995. He was also the proprietor of a Newsagency in Dulwich Hill.

Jack Shanahan Park in Dulwich Hill is named after him.

Jack Shanahan 

Bob Simpson b. 1936

Test Cricketer. Born to Scottish immigrants from Falkirk, Simpson grew up in Marrickville. He graduated from Tempe High School. 

Played for New South Wales, Western Australia and Australia, captaining the national team from 1963–64 until 1967–68, and again in 1977–78. He later had a highly successful term as the coach of the Australian team. After ten years in retirement, he returned to the spotlight at age 41 to captain Australia during the era of World Series Cricket.

He showed early leadership skills, captaining Marrickville West Primary School and later Tempe Intermediate High School. He captained 14-year-olds at the age of 12.

In his early years, Simpson was also a talented golfer, baseballer and soccer player, and was known for being a confident and tenacious competitor. He raised money to buy his first set of golf clubs by collecting lost balls from Marrickville Golf Course and selling them second hand.


Betty Spears 1926 - 2012

Trailblazer and campaigner in the areas of equal pay and family rights.

Betty Spears was educated at St Brigid’s Marrickville and worked for the Department of Labour and Industry from 1942 to 1947.

She became a clerical worker for the vehicle builders union in 1954, where she worked until 1988.

Ms Spears joined the Australian Labor Party Dulwich Hill branch in 1954 where she started campaigning for family working rights and equal pay for women.

In 1956 she represented the Federated Clerks' Union of Australia on an equal pay committee established by the NSW Labor Council. She was a foundation member of the Women's Trade Union Commission and was instrumental in the ACTU committing to supporting equal pay campaigns, promoting equal opportunity for all, and eradicating anomalies relating to equal pay.

In 1979 Betty Spears received an order of Australia.

In 1984 Betty Spears was instrumental in securing a grant from the Federal and State governments to establish a long day care centre in Tempe, which still exists and is thriving. Betty Spears has a playground in Dulwich Hill named after her. Image courtesy of the United Service Union.


James Steel

Businessman and Alderman of Marrickville Municipal Council in 1914-1928.

James Steel was a resident in the district since the 1890s, and after selling his interest in the Balmain Company he established James Steel Engineering on Victoria Road. This company produced a range of production and secured a number of lucrative contracts with Newcastle Steel Works and Penang Tin Mining Co, for which it constructed one of the largest dredges produced in Australia. He was part of the first council elected in the new Town Hall on 2 December 1922. He would eventually have Steel Park named after him.

James Steel

William Webster 1860-1936

Quarryman and politician.

Webster Bros, the quarrying firm he founded at Marrickville, was among the first in New South Wales to observe an eight-hour day and standard wage.

A member of Marrickville Municipal Council from 1887, Webster surmounted the legal technicalities of the case arising from a disputed election to the Petersham Council in 1890 to act successfully as his own counsel. When a new election was ordered, he was returned with an overwhelming majority.

Defeated in the 1890s when he stood for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seats of Canterbury, Petersham and Wickham, he withdrew his candidature for Marrickville during the 1893 depression when his building business collapsed. Webster then moved to Narrabri, where he returned to quarrying. He became member of Moree for the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1901 and federal member for Gwyndir in 1903.

He died in Wentworthville 8 October, 1936.

To learn more about William Webster, visit the Australian Dictionary Biography website.

William Webster

John Henry Albert Weekley d. 1941

Alderman on Petersham Municipal Council for 29 years (1909-1937).

John Henry Albert Weekley, of Durham Street Stanmore, served as mayor twice (1916-1918 and 1926). He married Charlotte Bray in 1879.

Weekley Park in Stanmore is named after him.

John Henry Albert 

Nadia Wheatley b 1949.

Award winning Australian writer of children’s fiction and non-fiction, adult non-fiction and biographies, and newspaper and journal articles. Her works often focus on "the difficulties faced by Aborigines or non-English-speaking newcomers to Australia”.

Wheatley was born in Sydney. In 1975 she went to Greece to live, returning to Australia to live in Newtown in 1978.

She has based a number of her books on the Marrickville area. My Place, set in the Newtown-St Peters area, won the 1988 Children’s Book of the Year. Another book, The House That Was Eureka, was also based in the same location. Her highly acclaimed first novel Five Time Dizzy (1983) concerned a Greek family who move to Newtown. SBS filmed the 12-part TV series in Newtown.

Nadia Wheatley was a special guest at Marrickville Library’s National Year of Reading event in February 2012.


William Henry Wicks

Alderman of Marrickville Municipal Council from 1917 to 1935. Mayor in 1925.

Wicks was an executive of the Australasian Tobacco Company.

He resided at ‘Caversham’ at 3 Anderton Street Marrickville until his death in the 1940s.

Wicks Park is named after him.


Frank Broome Wright 1886 – 1946

Mayor of Marrickville in 1932 and 1941. Mr Broome Wright was also the son-in-law of former Mayor, Joseph Graham. Local teacher who became principal of the newly created Boys’ Junior Technical School on Illawarra Road.

Key figure in Marrickville’s vigorous musical culture and a leading light in the Floral Pageant Committee. Active in his support of local sporting institutions. Awarded an MBE in 1939.


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Page last updated: 13 May 2021