Inner West Council


The Local Government Area

The LGA of Ashfield is 8.29 square kilometres in size. Ashfield was proclaimed an LGA  under the name and style of the "Borough of Ashfield" on Friday 29 December 1871. Situated between six and nine kilometres to the west and south west of the central business district of Sydney, Ashfield is crossed by the transport arteries of Parramatta Road, the City West Link and the Hume Highway.

The LGA  includes Ashfield, Summer Hill, Haberfield, the eastern part of Croydon and the fringes of Croydon Park, Hurlstone Park and Ashbury.

The population of Ashfield is 39,667(ABS Census: 2006).  Ashfield is a desirable place to live due to its locations, proximity to public transport, affordable housing stock, pleasant natural environment, amenities and its infrastructure.

Ashfield is one of the most culturally diverse LGAs in Inner Sydney with 42.61% of the population born overseas.

For more demographic information about Ashfield visit our Community Profile and Community Atlas.

The Suburb

An historic suburb once home to former NSW Premier Henry Parkes, Ashfield is now a vibrant and culturally diverse suburb.  The bustling Town Centre, including Liverpool Road and Hercules Street, is home to the Council’s Civic Centre.  It also features a vibrant array of Chinese restaurants with a distinct Shanghainese influence and Asian grocery stores, making it a popular destination for shoppers and food lovers from all over Sydney.

Ashfield has a significant Chinese population, with more than 5,000 Chinese residents.

The delightful Ashfield Park, on the corner of Parramatta Road and Orpington Street, is home to the Ashfield Bowling Club and provides a haven for residents as well as opportunities for passive and active recreation.

Historic Pratten Park on Arthur Street is home to the historic Thirning Villa, Ashfield and District Historical Society, Ashfield Council’s Artist in Residence Program, Western Suburbs Lawn Tennis Association and the Pratten Park Bowling Club.

The Ashfield Aquatic Centre provides a range of opportunities for recreational swimming, lap swimmers, aqua aerobics, squad training and learn to swim.

The Major Shopping Centre in Ashfield is Ashfield Mall.   Ashfield Railway Station is on the Inner West Railway Line.

A number of State Government Departments are also located in Ashfield, including the Department of Housing and the Department of Community Services. See our Community Directory for more information about community organisations in Ashfield.

Visit for information about the Ashfield Business Chamber and local businesses.


Ashfield is proud of its rich heritage, from its Aboriginal heritage of the Wangal People to becoming the birthplace of multiculturalism in Australia.  Ashfield Council has designed a series of Heritage Walks for heritage enthusiasts.  Council’s Archives section or the Ashfield & District Historical Society are also a wealth of information on Council records and the history of the local area. 

A Brief History

Prior to the arrival of the First Fleet in Port Jackson in 1788, the area of land we now know as the LGA of Ashfield was the home of the Wangal people. From 1794 onwards Europeans settled the area.

On February morning in 1788, two weeks after the arrival of Captain Phillip at Sydney Cove, Captain John Hunter and Lieutenant Phillip Gidley King, RN, set out in a longboat to make an accurate survey of the harbour's western reaches. It was on this trip that the area, later to be known as Ashfield, was sighted.  The first man to officially make his home in the Ashfield district was Baron Augustus Alt, the colony's first Surveyor-General. In 1794, the year of his grant, a number of farms covered the Ashfield area already and had considerable value.

As the amount of traffic on the Sydney-Parramatta track and on the Liverpool Road increased, so too did the number of staging inns that were needed to service the mail coaches. With the inns came tradesmen such as blacksmiths, wheelrights, saddlers, and yardsmen creating the nucleus of a village community.

With the arrival of the railway in 1855, Ashfield soon ceased to be a village. It grew from 70 houses and 200 people in 1855, to 200 dwellings and approximately 1, 000 residents by 1866. Ashfield was proclaimed a Municipality under the name and style of the "Borough of Ashfield" on Friday 29 December 1871. The first Council Meeting was held on February 15 1872.

More information about the history of Ashfield can be found in Speed the Plough written by Sheena and Robert Coupe. This book is available to borrow at Ashfield Central Library.  Further information is also available in A Short Walk Through Ashfield's Past.

More information about the history of Ashfield can be found at the Ashfield and District Historical Society.