This suburb's name traces back to James Oatley, watch-maker and engineer extraordinary who was transported to Botany Bay for life in 1815. Two years later, however, Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted Oatley a conditional pardon and appointed him overseer of the Town Clock for his work in installing the clock at Hyde Park Barracks.
Thus when a group gathered in Oatley Park in December, 1959, to form a bowling club it was inevitable that the founding members should choose a clock as the club emblem. The hands on the clock were set at 15 minutes after 10 - the precise time the first meeting of the Oatley Bowls Club was opened.
Water sports and recreation are a way of life in the peninsula suburb of Oatley whose eastern, southern and western boundaries are formed by the Georges River and its bays.