Profiles Of The Month: Walk For Julian - 20th May 2008 Kym Patricia Coon

Dubbo is a city in the Central West Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is the largest population centre in the Central West/Orana regions with a population of over 34,000 at the time of the 2006 census, having grown more than 60% since 1976 and serves a catchment of 130,000. It is located at the intersection of the Mitchell, Newell and Golden highways. Dubbo is located approximately 275 m (902 ft) above sea level, 416 km (258 mi) west-north-west of the state capital Sydney and is a major road and rail freight hub to other parts of New South Wales. Dubbo is considered the cross-roads of New South Wales. From there you can drive north to Brisbane, south to Melbourne, east to Sydney and Newcastle, and west to Broken Hill and Adelaide.


Evidence of habitation by Indigenous Australians dates back approximately 40,000 years.

John Oxley was the first European to report on the area now known as Dubbo in 1818. The first permanent settler in the area was Robert Dulhunty, described as one of the wealthiest citizens in the Australian colony at the time. There are records of squatters being given permission to set up large sheep and cattle stations in the area in 1824 but these were not maintained. 1828 is commonly held to be the year that Dulhunty arrived and named the area "Dubbo" but some reports place his arrival between 1829 and 1833.

Dulhunty showed an affinity with Indigenous Australians, his party included some 40 Aborigines and he favoured using Aboriginal names for properties, including Dubbo. Dubbo is now thought to be a mispronunciation of the local Wiradjuri word "Thubbo" but because of a lack of precise records from Dulhunty at the time and an incomplete knowledge of the Wiradjuri language today there is some conjecture over the word's meaning. A popular current theory is the word means "red earth," consistent with the local landscape. It is also possible that Thubbo is Wiradjuri for "head covering" - a theory put forward to support this name is that the shape of Dulhunty's house may have looked like a hat to the local people.

Dundullimal Homestead is a farmhouse from that period, built around 1840 by John Maugham on his 26,000 acre sheep station. The building is one of the oldest homesteads still standing in western NSW and today is open to visitors.

The settlement was gazetted as a village in November 1849 with the first land sales taking place in 1850. Population growth was slow until the Victorian gold rush of the 1860s brought an increase in north-south trade. The first bank was opened in 1867. Steady population growth saw the town proclaimed a municipality in 1872, when its population was 850. The coming of the railway in 1881 resulted in another boom period and by 1897 Dubbo had a general store, Carrier Arms, a slab courthouse, a gaol and a police hut. Dubbo was officially proclaimed a city in 1976.


The city's largest employer is the Fletcher International Exports[citation needed], which exports lamb to the world. Other local industries reflect the city's status as a regional base in an area whose economic backbone is agricultural.

Its second largest employer is the Dubbo Base Hospital, and "health services" are the local area's largest employer, as the town provides medical services to the surrounding region.


Dubbo is also considered a major shopping centre for the surrounding rural areas in the Central and Far West of New South Wales. Dubbo has many shopping districts including, but not limited to, the large Orana Mall (East Dubbo), Macquarie and Talbragar Streets (City Centre), Centro Dubbo and Tamworth Street local stores (South Dubbo). The major department stores of Target, Myer, Big W and Harvey Norman, supermarkets and smaller specialty shops service customers from up to 500 km away.


Tourism is also a significant local industry. Dubbo features the open-range Western Plains Zoo, which is home to various species of endangered animals, including the White, Black and Indian Rhinoceros', and runs a successful breeding program for a number of endangered species. The zoo is home to numerous specimens from around the world in spacious open-range moat enclosures, grouped according to their continent of origin. Other town attractions include the historic Dundullimal Homestead and the historic Old Dubbo Gaol in the middle of the commercial centre of Macquarie Street. The recently opened Western Plains Cultural Centre includes four gallery exhibition spaces, two Museum exhibition spaces and a Community Arts Centre.


There are 20 schools and secondary colleges including the Dubbo school of distance education. Dubbo is home to one of the four main campuses of Charles Sturt University which is located next the Dubbo College Senior Campus.


The Macquarie River runs through Dubbo, as does Troy Creek.

Notable people

Jean Emile Serisier was Dubbo's first businessman and the leader. He held many important positions including Post Master, Justice to the Gaol and was Magistrate from 1862 [5]. He is also credited with works to advance the town including schools, Catholic Church, bridge (named after him) and Hospital.


Dubbo has several fine examples of Victorian civic architecture including the (second) Courthouse (1887), the Lands Office with its use of timber and corrugated iron cladding, and the striking railway station. Towards the centre of the city the older residential areas contain numerous examples of red brick houses built in the "California Bungalow" style of the early 20th century, together with Victorian terraced houses (Mostly in the Darling Street area) and a few Edwardian semi-detached homes.


Dubbo is served by the daily CountryLink XPT train service, which runs to Sydney. Dubbo also has its own recently upgraded airport, Dubbo Airport, with daily flights to Sydney (Qantas, REX, Airlink), Broken Hill (REX and Airlink), and other small out back New South Wales towns (Airlink). Buses also service Dubbo, with major runs to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.


Local print media include:

* The Daily Liberal
* The Weekly Dubbo Photo News
* The Weekly Mailbox Shopper

Dubbo is home to the Rural Press Central West Regional Hub, which prints many of Rural Press’s local newspapers from across the state in the city. Regional Business magazine is also printed locally.

Radio is served well in the city boasting 3 commercially licensed radio stations:

* Star FM FM Pop/Hit Music Station which broadcasts on FM 93.5
* 2DU Local heritage AM station which broadcasts on AM 1251.
* Zoo FM FM Rock Music Station which broadcasts on FM 92.7

Dubbo has 4 ABC Radio stations; ABC Local, ABC Radio National, Triple J and ABC Classic FM. The city also has narrowcast stations on 90.3 FM Racing Radio, a tourist radio station and a country music station. The city has a sole community station, Rhema FM which broadcasts jukebox Christian music.

Dubbo has 5 Television Stations:

* Prime TV – an affiliate of the Seven Network
* WIN TV – an affiliate of the Nine Network
* Southern Cross Ten – an affiliate of the Ten Network

Dubbo has 2 providers of subscription television; both via satellite:

* Austar
* SelecTV

Sport and Recreation

Rugby League is popular in Dubbo. Two teams compete in the Group 11 Rugby League - the Dubbo CYMS Fish Eaters and Dubbo Macquarie.

The city also has an Australian Rules football team, the Dubbo Demons who were premiers in the Central West Australian Football League in 2007.

There are also two rugby union teams, the Dubbo Kangaroos(Roos) and the Dubbo Rhinos, which compete in the Central West Rugby competition.

Dubbo has a turf club, which incorporates a Pony Club, horse racing and organises shows and gymkhana.

Annual events

Dubbo Show

The annual agricultural "Show", held around April/May of each year, is a major event for Dubbo and surrounding areas. This event is held at the local Dubbo showgrounds.

Dubbo National Steer Show

This event is the annual domestic steer and heifer (cattle) hoof and hook show. Each year over 100 beef carcase cattle are judged live (hoof) as led or un-led and dead (hook). It is also the annual young judges, auctioneers and paraders competition. These events are very popular among the schools and colleges of the New South Wales area.

Dubbo City Eisteddfod

The Dubbo Eisteddfod is held annually at Dubbo Civic Centre, with students from Dubbo as well as surrounding regions including Wellington, Orange, Gulgong, Narromine and Bathurst competing in the various sections.This involves Speech, Drama, Instrumental & Dance. The Eisteddfod runs from May until July each year. (Credit: Wikipedia).


Dubbo City Development Corporation

Dubbo City Council

Dubbo Tourism


Regional and Rural Directory