Parramatta: A Community of Communities
Parramatta is a place where global citizens live alongside each other making it an ideal location for a multicultural broadcaster like SBS. Half of the population of Parramatta was born overseas, speaking over 140 languages between them. The population is young with a median age of 32.1 years old and well educated with more than two-thirds of the population with a post-school qualification.
The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) is undertaking a feasibility study to consider a move to Western Sydney and has been granted $1 million by the Albanese government to fund the study. The City of Parramatta is keen for SBS to join the many multi-national organisations and the ABC in Parramatta with Lord Mayor Donna Davis calling on the broadcaster to move its headquarters to Parramatta at a recent business event.
By locating in Parramatta, SBS will have access to all that the area has to offer and the communities it serves, as they continue to grow and evolve.
Speaking at the launch event, Helal Shmeissem, CEO, Film & Television Agency said “for us, it's been the land of opportunity and I see that it would be exactly the same thing for SBS, but it's more about who's here and why they're here. How this city is growing should be an overarching message, and it's the reason SBS should be here too,” he said.
At the same event, former Director of News at the ABC, Gaven Morris (now with Bastion) said he didn’t believe it was possible to tell the story of western Sydney without being part of the community.
“You can't tell a story of what's going on in our education sector, or our health sector, or the innovation sector, or the creative sector without taking it from a Western Sydney perspective.
“That's why I'm happy to support this idea that the cultural stories of Australia need to be told by the media being alongside the communities that are forming the cultures and where the stories are derived from,” said Morris.
Embracing global citizens
Parramatta is a place where global citizens live alongside each other making it an ideal location for a multicultural broadcaster like SBS.
Half of the population of Parramatta was born overseas, speaking over 140 languages between them. The population is young with a median age of 32.1 years old and well educated with more than two-thirds of the population with a post-school qualification.
The City of Parramatta is also growing. The population forecast for 2022 is 283,339 and is forecast to grow to 469,247 by 2041.
Gaven Morris believes that a broadcaster needs to be working within a community to really tell its story saying, “you can't talk about the texture of our community and the influence immigration has had on that without telling it from a genuinely western Sydney perspective.
“We want collaborations in these places between all of these sectors and Parramatta gives a great opportunity to do that in a way that is brilliant, and what you see in Parramatta now is a miracle….[it is] where the people's stories are formed and told, and has got to be in the centre of this conversation,” said Morris.
Ambitious & highly educated
With more than nine university campuses, colleges and graduate schools, the City has a strong culture of education, research and development.
Parramatta is home to five universities — Western Sydney University, University of Sydney, University of New England, Swinburne University of Technology and Charles Sturt University, and it’s set to grow when UNSW Sydney opens a local campus shortly. More than 25,000 university students are currently enrolled across the City’s campuses.
“We have all the elements to enable success. Parramatta also boasts the second-highest number of PhDs per capita in the Sydney area. And this means SBS will have direct access to a local talent pool through Parramatta's strong culture of education,” said Councillor Davis.
A city after dark
Parramatta is working towards a thriving 24-hour economy that aims to expand, preserve and cultivate the rich cultural and creative diversity that is unique to Western Sydney. With such a diverse community comes a vibrant cultural scene that attracts people from all over Sydney.
Parramatta is the second-largest night-time economy by turnover in Greater Sydney and third largest in NSW, valued in 2020 at approximately $1.03 billion.