The Makings of a City History Conference 2010

Macquarie’s legacy

Lachlan Macquarie

Penrith City Council & Library’s History Conference was held on Saturday 6th March 2010 in the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Richard Bonynge Concert Hall. This year is the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Governor Lachlan Macquarie to our shores, so what better year to examine the legacy that Macquarie left on the area around Penrith. We examined Macquarie’s plans and for our district, asking also why he didn’t establish a government town along the Great Western Road he established from 1814.

We saw what impact his planned township of Castlereagh and Emu Plains Convict Farm made on the district and investigated what life was like in the Colony during the Macquarie era.


  • Keynote speaker: Historian Associate Professor Dr Carol Liston– ‘The impact of the Macquarie years’
    Dr Liston is a lecturer in history at UWS and is an expert on the history of the Western Sydney area. Her challenge this year was to give us a new perspective on Macquarie—the Governor, the Man and his legacy. Macquarie was our first military governor.
  • Historican archaeologist Dr Siobhan Lavelle OAM‘Castlereagh – the vanished Macquarie Town’
    Dr Siobhan Lavelle is an historical archaeologist who introduced us to Castlereagh – the first settlement in the Penrith area, as well as Lord Castlereagh, the man and his family and how they resonate in the streets of the now vanished town.
  • Historian Dr Anne-Maree Whitaker – ‘ Distracted Settlement: Sydney as Macquarie found it in 1810′
    Dr Anne-Maree Whitaker is a professional historian with a special interest in Australia’s Irish colonial history. Dr Whitaker examined the circumstances leading up to Macquarie’s arrival, the work of Joseph Foveaux and his relationhip with Lachlan Macquarie.
  • Architectural historian Dr James Broadbent – ‘William Cox and Lachlan Macquarie’
    Dr James Broadbent is an eminent and highly respected historian, curator and conservationist who shared with us some of his knowledge of William Cox and his family and the relationship of Cox, an ideal builder of Macquarie’s plans.
  • Historian Lorraine Stacker‘Emu Plains convict farm – success beyond sanguine hopes’Lorraine Stacker, Penrith City Library’s Information Librarian, visited the Emu Plains Government Agricultural Farm, established by Macquarie in 1819.
  • Additionally, Lorraine brought us up to date on the progress of The History of Penrith project, which is nearing the most exciting stage – publication!

2010 Conference proceedings are available on CD in two formats: CD – lectures in audio format to play on your CD player Cost: $25 (multiple disks) CDROM – presentation slides as well as lectures to play on a PC Cost: $15 (1 disk). (Postage & handling included)
Contact: Research Services at Penrith City Library, PO Box 60, Penrith NSW 2751, Phone: (02) 4732 7687 or email at
Previous years’ proceedings available: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006.

conference delegates

Conference delegates at registration

Stall holders

Conference delegates in the Richard Bonynge Concert Hall

Conference delegates in the Richard Bonynge Concert Hall


Introduction by Lorraine Stacker

Dr Carol Liston
Keynote speaker – Dr Carol Liston

Dr Anne-Maree Whitaker

Dr Anne-Maree Whitaker

Siobhan Lavelle

Dr Siobhan Lavelle OAM

Dr james Broadbent
Dr James Broadbent