City of Subiaco



The City of Subiaco is a
local government area A local government area (LGA) is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are gen ...
Western Australia Western Australia (commonly abbreviated as WA) is a state of Australia occupying the western percent of the land area of Australia excluding external territories. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Southern Ocean to th ...
. It covers an area of approximately 7 km² in inner western metropolitan
Perth Perth is the list of Australian capital cities, capital and largest city of the Australian states and territories of Australia, state of Western Australia. It is the list of cities in Australia by population, fourth most populous city in Aust ...
and lies about 3 km west of the Perth CBD. The City includes the historically working-class suburb of Subiaco centred around Rokeby Road. Since the 1990s the area has been extensively redeveloped and gentrified.


A group of Benedictine monks settled in Subiaco in 1851. They called their monastery New Subiaco after the birthplace of the Benedictine Order – Subiaco, Italy. 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. The Subiaco Progress Association was established in 1896. They lobbied for the formation of the Subiaco Road District, which was then created on 10 April 1896. The first chairman of the Subiaco Road Board was Charles Hart, who was Secretary of the Subiaco Progress Association. By the end of 1896, the population of the Subiaco Road District was above 2000, allowing the Road Board to apply to become a municipality. The government granted the request, and so the Municipality of Subiaco was gazetted on 26 March 1897. In 1899, a permanent building for the Municipal council was constructed, on a site next to the primary school. The block this building was on later became known as Civic Square, due to the congregation of civic services such as a post office and fire station. In 1909, the council moved to a newer and larger building, still in Civic Square. Around 1905, the Municipality was given of endowment land to use, located north of the railway line and south of Salvado Road. The council held a competition for the design of a subdivision on the land. Architect George Temple Poole won the competition. The land then became an industrial area. The land was first leased in 1905, and factories were subsequently built on the land, including a timber and construction materials factory, and a foundry and ironworks. By 1906, 4500 street trees had been planted by the municipality, establishing Subiaco as one of Perth's leafiest suburbs. This was initiated by the inaugural Town Clerk and Engineer Alexander Rankin. Ken Spillman wrote in his book that Rankin has a "near-obsession with beautifying the municipality". Following World War I, the council and its residents entered into financial hardship. In November 1922, the council began construction on a World War I memorial clock tower. Despite initially being conceived as mostly community funded, the Subiaco council funded the majority of the memorial, after fundraising efforts did poorly. This made the financial situation at the council even worse. It was officially opened on 25 November 1923. In 1927, the Subiaco post office relocated from Civic Square to a larger building on the corner of Rokeby Road and Park Street. This led to the council establishing a library in the old post office. By the late 1940s, the Municipality of Subiaco had reached a high enough population that it was eligible to become a city. Under the ''Municipal Corporations Act 1906'', a municipality can become a city if its population is greater than 20,000, and its annual revenue is greater than £20,000. The municipality's population in 1952 was 20,100. Thus, on 8 February 1952, the City of Subiaco was gazetted. In celebration of becoming a city, a parade was staged along Hay Street and Rokeby Road on 20 September 1952. It started at Kitchener Park and ended at the corner of Rokeby and Heytesbury roads. Thousands of people from Subiaco and across Perth attended; Mayor Joseph Abrahams said that it was "the greatest assembly of citizens Subiaco has seen". A new council building opened in 1968. The original, 1899 council building was demolished. On 1 September 1968, the Subiaco Library was made free to use. It was paid for by the council. The following year, the library joined the
State Library of Western Australia The State Library of Western Australia is a research, education, reference and public lending library located in the Perth Cultural Centre in Perth, Western Australia. It is a portfolio agency of the Western Australia Department of Culture and t ...
's public library system. In 1975, the City of Subiaco had the first elected woman mayor in Western Australia, when Evelyn Helena Parker was elected mayor. She is also the second woman mayor in Australia, after Ella Stack, who was elected Lord Mayor of Darwin in the same year. She was honoured with the naming of the Evelyn H Parker Library in 1990.


The town is divided into 4 wards, each with three councillors. The mayor is directly elected. * North Ward * South Ward * Central Ward * East Ward


The Mayor of Subiaco since October 2021 is David McMullen after former Mayor Penny Taylor chose not to recontest. McMullen defeated Julie Matheson, the founder of the
Western Australia Party The Western Australia Party is a regional political party active in Western Australia. The party was founded in 2016 by Julie Matheson, a councillor with the City of Subiaco as Julie Matheson for Western Australia to contest the 2017 state ...
and long time councillor for the City of Subiaco.


The suburbs of the City of Subiaco with population and size figures based on the most recent
Australian census The Census in Australia, officially the Census of Population and Housing, is the national census in Australia that occurs every five years. The census collects key demographic, social and economic data from all people in Australia on census nig ...
: * These localities are only partially contained within the LGA boundary.


*The City of Subiaco was reduced in size from 7 to 5.6 square kilometers from the 2016 to the 2021 census

Heritage-listed places

As of 2021, 791 places are heritage-listed in the City of Subiaco, of which 33 are on the
State Register of Heritage Places The State Register of Heritage Places is the heritage register This list is of heritage registers, inventories of cultural properties, natural and man-made, tangible and intangible, movable and immovable, that are deemed to be of sufficient ...
, among them the Subiaco Hotel,
King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women (KEMH) is a hospital located in Subiaco, Western Australia, Subiaco, Western Australia. It is Western Australia's largest maternity hospital and only referral centre for complex pregnancies. It provides ...
and the Regal Theatre.

Sister cities

* Subiaco, Arkansas *
Subiaco, Italy Subiaco is a town and ''comune'' in the Metropolitan City of Rome, in Lazio, central Italy, from Tivoli, Italy, Tivoli alongside the river Aniene. It is a tourist and religious resort because of its sacred grotto (Abbey_of_Saint_Scholastica, ...

See also

* AmpFest, a Youth and music festival overseen by the City of Subiaco


External links

* {{Coord, -31.949, 115.827, type:adm2nd_region:AU-WA, format=dms, display=title Subiaco