Head south-east out of Perth’s CBD along the Albany Highway and 20km later you’ll arrive at the residential suburb of Thornlie. While, at first glance, Thornlie might appear typically suburban, let it be known that it supports an innovative, fully-equipped, state-of-the-art performing arts centre. An initiative of the City of Gosnells, of which Thornlie is a part, the Lotteries Commission of WA, the Don Russell Performing Arts Centre accommodates a number of weekly classes and provides performance space for local theatre, music and dance groups. It also presents many first-class professional productions, including artists from the WA Opera Company. The Gosnells area was first settled by Europeans in 1829, with the loam soils and abundant waters of the Canning River attracting the pioneer farmers.. The City of Gosnells is roughly the same size as Paris - about at 127 square kilometres - and continues to grow rapidly, with about 45 per cent of the city area remaining to be developed. Projects worth $1.8 billion have been earmarked for the city over the next 10 years.