In the western suburbs, about 30km west of Sydney’s CBD, Smithfield is mainly a light industrial and residential area these days, and this inheritance was predicated early in the colony’s history.
When a railway was constructed out this way in the 1850s, the forest lands were opened up to timber cutters and there was a saw mill at just about every station along the railway line.
When the timber ran out, orchardists and vignerons moved in, along with the tanners who, in the 1880s, set up their smelly enterprises alongside Smithfield's Prospect Creek which still flows past modern industrial establishments today.
The Aborigines of the Western Cumberland Plain on which Smithfield stands referred to themselves as the Darug, which may also be spelt Dharug, Daruk, Dharuk, Dharuck or Dharruk.
The impact of white settlement was disastrous for the Darug, with competition for land and resources and the devastation of European diseases. While numbers declined, there has always been an Aboriginal presence in this area, and today this association is reflected in the name of the City of Blacktown and its suburb Dharruk.