appeared in the August edition of the Cockburn Soundings newsletter, with the new and improved author picture!
The name Jandakot was recorded in 1844 as the Aboriginal name of a lake in the area – now Forrestdale Lake – said to mean ‘place of the whistling eagle’.
Before the gold rush boosted the colony’s economy Jandakot had been mostly unused land but once new settlers started arriving in droves in the 1880s, Premier John Forrest was looking for a reason to entice them to stay.
Under his plan to develop the south-west as farming land, the Jandakot Agricultural Area was created in 1890, allowing settlers to select plots of land close to Fremantle and its produce markets. The scheme was a great success and Jandakot soon became a thriving market garden and dairy community that fed the skyrocketing population of Fremantle and Perth. It gained a Roads Board and a railway, but the advent of electricity in other suburbs meant that Jandakot fell behind in the 1920s. It was to go without power for another thirty years.
The Jandakot Roads Board was disbanded in 1923, and farming in the area went into decline. It has remained a largely rural and industrial suburb and is home to Jandakot Airport, opened in 1963, which became a weather observation station in 1972.