City of Subiaco - History of Subiaco
iconSubiaco WA – 17.3˚
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History of Subiaco

nullSubiaco and its surrounding suburbs of Daglish, Jolimont and Shenton Park share a unique history and sense of community.

History of Subiaco

The area now known as Subiaco was the homeland of the Nyungar people long before the first European settlers came to the area.

A group of Benedictine monks settled in the area in 1851 and called their monastery New Subiaco after the birthplace of the Benedictine Order – Subiaco, Italy.

The monks planted olive trees and fruit orchards in the neighbourhood for their use. An olive branch is symbolised on the City of Subiaco coat of arms and is an integral part of the city's identity. The city continues to plant olive trees to acknowledge their historical significance.

When the Perth to Fremantle railway opened in 1881, the name Subiaco was adopted for a railway station near the monastery and later for the cluster of houses and businesses that became the present Subiaco. More European settlers followed, as land was cheaper compared with Perth, and the railway encouraged light industry and retail.

Subiaco was proclaimed a municipality in 1897 and became the City of Subiaco in 1952.

Subiaco has a sister city relationship with two overseas cities:

  • Subiaco, Italy
  • Subiaco, Arkansas, United States of America.
For a comprehensive history of Subiaco, please download the General history of Subiaco document (PDF, 578KB)

Subiaco street names

The origins of the city's street names convey much about the history of Subiaco.

Street names reference an array of government figures, sporting identities, business people, flora and industries, as well as people and places that are reminders of distant homelands.

Research is ongoing to fully document the origins of the streets.

Read the City of Subiaco street names report (PDF, 522KB).

Where to find more information about Subiaco

The Subiaco Library and Subiaco Museum collections contain a wealth of information regarding the history of Subiaco.