Main Births etc

New South Wales, Australia

Camden is located in New South Wales
Population: 3,166 (Census 2006)[1]
Established: 1840
Postcode: 2570
Location: 65 km (40 mi) south-west of Sydney CBD
LGA: Camden Council
State District: Camden
Federal Division: Macarthur
Localities around Camden:
Ellis Lane Cobbitty Kirkham
Grasmere Camden Elderslie
Cawdor Camden South Spring Farm

Camden is a historic town of the Macarthur Region of Sydney in the state of New South Wales, Australia in Camden Council. Camden is located 65 kilometres southwest of the Sydney central business district, and is the administrative centre for the local government area of Camden Council. It lies on the fringe of the Sydney Metropolitan area and is close to the Sydney suburb of Campbelltown.


Indigenous people[]

The area now known as Camden was originally at the northern edge of land belonging to the Gandangara people of the Southern Highlands who called it Benkennie meaning 'dry land'. North of the Nepean River were the Muringong, southernmost of the Darug people while to the east were the Tharawal people. They lived in extended family groups of 20-40 members, hunting kangaroos, possums and eels and gathering yams and other seasonal fruit and vegetables from the local area. They were described as 'short, stocky, strong and superbly built' and generally considered peaceful. However, as British settlers encroached on their land and reduced their food sources, they turned to armed resistance which ended in 1816 after many of their number were massacred .[2]

European settlement[]

Explorers first visited the area in 1795 and named it 'Cowpastures' after a herd of cattle that had disappeared was discovered there. In February 1805, Governor King instructed (apparently reluctantly) a surveyor to measure 5000 acres (20 km²) for John Macarthur at Cowpastures, where Macarthur had been promised land by the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, Lord Camden. Macarthur named his property Camden Park in honour of his sponsor.[3]

As Macarthur's wool industry thrived, local citizens began pushing for the establishment of a town in the area to support the industry. Surveyor-General Major Thomas Mitchell suggested Macarthur surrender 320 acres (1.29 km2) of his land for the purpose to which he refused. Following his death in 1834, his children decided to subdivide the land and the first lots in the new town of Camden went on sale in 1840. By 1883, the population had grown to over 300 and a movement began to establish a local council which held its first meeting in 1889.


Between 1882 and 1962 Camden was connected to Campbelltown and Sydney by the Camden railway line. Camden is served by Camden Airport, which is mostly used by trainee pilots for flying schools, the Australian Air League, and other forms of general aviation.


Climate data for Camden Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.0
Average high °C (°F) 29.4
Average low °C (°F) 16.7
Record low °C (°F) 7.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 79.9
Source: [4]


Camden is the location of research facilities for the veterinary and agricultural schools of the University of Sydney. The local government area has two public high schools, Camden High School and Elderslie High School, as well as eight Catholic and three Anglican schools.


The Camden Show is an annual event which combines amusement park attractions with the elements of a state fair. Camden is served by two local radio stations, 2MCR and C91.3FM. Local newspapers are the Camden Advertiser, the District Reporter and the Macarthur Chronicle.

Camden Show 2011, main arena.

Traction engine, Camden Show

Camden_Show_2011, Cobb & Co. coach



In the 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census, the suburb of Camden had a population of 3,166 people. Most families are couples with children (42%) or couples without (36%) with a small number of single parent families (20%). They live in detached houses (73%) and are mostly Australian born (82%) with those not born in Australia primarily from English speaking countries such as England (6%), New Zealand (1%) or Scotland (1%).[1]

Notable residents[]

  • Steven Bradbury, short track speed skater who won Australia's first Winter Olympics gold medal
  • Rob Hirst, drummer with the band Midnight Oil
  • John Macarthur, father of the Australian wool industry
  • Mat Mladin, world motorcycle champion
  • Professor Graeme Clark, inventor of the Bionic Ear


Camden Council consists of nine councillors; three for each of the three wards. North Ward (Bringelly, Rossmore, Leppington, Cobbitty, Oran Park, Catherine Field, Harrington Park, Smeaton Grange, Currans Hill, Kirkham) is represented by Peter Johnson, David Funnell and Cindy Cagney. Central Ward (Mount Annan, Narellan, Narellan Vale) is represented by Fred Anderson, Rob Elliott and Debby Dewbery. South Ward (Ellis Lane, Grasmere, Camden, Elderslie, Spring Farm, Bickley Vale, Cawdor, Camden South) is represented by Chris Patterson, Eva Campbell and Fred Whiteman. Chris Patterson was elected mayor in 2006. Cindy Cagney was elected deputy mayor in 2007.

Camden is contained within the federal electorate of Macarthur and the state electorate of Camden. The state seat of Camden covers all of Camden Council, and parts of the City of Campbelltown.

The MLA for the Camden is Chris Patterson, first elected in 2011. The MP for Macarthur is Russell Matheson, first elected in 2010. Both are members of the Liberal Party of Australia.

Planning issues[]

On 27 May 2008 Camden Council rejected plans from the Qu'ranic Society to build a 1200-student Islamic school in the town on planning grounds. The issue received national[5] and international media coverage.[6] The proposal was opposed from within the local community, many expressing fear about the presence of Muslims in an area where relatively few Muslims live.[7] There were angry racially-based comments by a number of residents in Camden.[8] The Christian Democratic Party (CDP) opposed the proposal. Speaking at a public meeting in December 2007, CDP leader Fred Nile (present alongside Robert Balzola) said he opposed the school "because Islam opposed Christianity". A spokesman for the Qu'ranic Society said it was "absurd" to claim that Muslims are anti-Christian.[9]

In making its decision several council members, including Mayor Chris Patterson, said the school was inappropriate for the semi-rural area of Camden and likely to cause parking, traffic and other problems.[10] Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd indicated before the council decision that he wouldn't support the school on planning grounds.[11] The Qu'ranic Society said it will appeal the Council's decision in the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales.

In September 2008, a proposal to build a private Catholic school received media attention for not provoking the same sort of outcry as the previous proposal. News authority failed to note this school had already been located in Camden (Cobbity) for several years and was a special needs school. Some residents who were not supportive of the Islamic school now welcomed the Catholic school proposal. The Catholic school proposal is set in a different location, where it has been argued that such a development would be suitable.[12]

On Tuesday the 2nd of June 2009, The Land and Environment Court passed down the decision to reject the appeal by the Qu'ranic Society, with the court stating that the "development application was not suitable for the rural nature of the land."


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Camden (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  2. ^ "The History of Camden". Camden Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-06-14. 
  3. ^ "The History of Camden". Camden Council. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  4. ^ "Camden Airport AWS". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 3 November 2009. 
  5. ^ Camden locals oppose proposed Islamic school; Politicians, locals oppose Islamic school; Backlash over new Islamic school; Cops block mass Muslim protest; Camden Council rejects Islamic school; Anti-Islamic school Camden 'not racist'
  6. ^ Town moves against Islamic school; Australia Muslim school rejected; Australia Muslim school rejected.
  7. ^ Residents uneasy amid opposition to Muslim school; pigs heads staked at islamic-school-site
  8. ^ The Islamic school furor in Australia. Camden, Sydney
  9. ^ Nile party behind anti-Muslim school rally
  10. ^ Dart, Jonathon (2008-05-28). "Islamic school rejected". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax). Retrieved 2008-05-28. ; Lyons, John (2008-05-28). "Camden Council votes down Islamic school". The Australian (,25197,23770582-5013404,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-31. 
  11. ^ Rudd opposed to Islamic school
  12. ^

External links[]

Coordinates: 34°03′16″S 150°41′45″E / -34.05447, 150.69577

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Camden, New South Wales. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.