Eastwood NSW 2122 is a long-established residential area, which has seen great changes in the past 50 years. A conservative area, in the middle of “The Bible Belt”, it is home to mostly middle-income families. With its railway station, and a network of bus routes, it provides easy access to the city, to universities, and to the regional headquarters of technological development and multinational companies in nearby suburbs. Eastwood Brickworks has closed and its environs gentrified. Some small manufacturing operations still exist and social hubs, such as the 1923 Masonic Hall, now a heritage listed building in the main street, are still part of the community life. Since the late 1970s and the establishment of Macquarie University, there has been a large number of immigrants from Asia, attracted by these facilities. Eastwood School has weekend classes in Mandarin and Chinese languages. The local Christian churches have established multi-lingual programs in response to the changing ethnic patterns, and these are well-attended. A visit to the Eastwood shopping plaza, with nearby library, will demonstrate that Chinese people, in particular, like the thriving community life that it provides, with its attractive seating for families and friends to gather with their children and grandchildren. Sunny coffee shops and Asian restaurants have replaced the traditional retail businesses. Fresh food markets bring people from surrounding suburbs. The elderly participate in morning Tai Chi classes in the Plaza, and children are taken to book readings in the library. A very pleasant place to live.
Pictures & words by Heather Finch.