Balcatta is a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. Its local government area is the City of Stirling. It is a primarily middle-class suburb made up of mainly Italian Catholic, Greek and Macedonian Orthodox families, as well as many families from other European Orthodox religions. It is also one of the largest suburbs in the northern part of the Perth metropolitan area. Much of Balcatta is a commercial and industrial area.
Balcatta’s name was derived from the Aboriginal words “Bal” meaning “his” and “Katta” meaning “hill”.
The area became popular with Southern European migrant families, since it was one of the few areas that had not been settled and many migrant families wanted to build their own homes in their distinctive style, many complete with plaster figurines of lions and romanesque style columns adorning the front verandah and entry. Similarly, other European immigrant families had already settled in nearby suburbs such as Osborne Park, who made their living as market gardeners.
As many of the older families pass on and others choose to update by building a newer home further north, the area is becoming increasingly popular with those of Asian cultural background, perhaps attracted by the central location of the suburb and generous block sizes, which has also led to some parts of Balcatta being subdivided into small units or villas.
Areas of interest
The longest street in Balcatta. Winding through the locality, Jones Street has had repeated work done by the local council to resurface it out and make it safer for both pedestrians and motorists. A number of new round-abouts have been constructed in order to slow down traffic at various points on the road. Jones Street also runs past Takari Primary School and ends at Delawney Street behind the Water Corporation Depot and Stirling Recycling Plant.
This hilly street runs east to west through Balcatta. It also goes past one side of Balcatta Senior High School.
Balcatta Senior High School (BSHS)
This is the only high school in Balcatta and a large percentage of its students are culturally and ethnically diverse. The school has specialist programs in the Arts, such as Dance and Drama. BSHS was opened in 1967 and at the time was the northernmost school in the Perth metropolitan area.
Jones Paskin Reserve
A large oval mainly utilised in the summer as a cricket oval and for general use by the local community. This is the home ground of the Balcatta Cricket Club.