Thornlie makes up part of the City of Gosnells, and is a well-established suburb 14kms from Perth city centre. Since the 1950s the suburb has developed in approximately five stages; north-east Thornlie (1950s-60s), south Thornlie (1970s-80s), Crestwood (1970s), Castle Glen (1980s) and Forest Lakes (1990s). The Canning River runs through the northern side of the suburb.
Captain Peter Pegus was the original settler of the area now known as Thornlie, which he had called ‘Coleraine’ when granted the land in 1829. Prior to this the area would have been used by the indigenous Noongar population.
The name Thornlie was derived from a farm “Thornlie Park”, established in 1884 by Frank and Amy James, who ran a productive dairy farm on the land.
Some of the first residential developments were aimed at inner city dwellers who might want to live in a more spacious semi-urban rural setting. It is one reason why Thornlie has typically large quarter-acre blocks and is often described as one of Perth’s leafy suburbs. Later development focused on providing affordable housing for new home buyers, generally young families.
Some semi-rural land in the western portion, mainly utilised for horse agistment and chicken-farming, was developed in the early 2000s. At one time there were several industrial activities taking place in the north-western portion. The last of these to close, about 2004, was the Ingham chicken-processing factory, the site of which was redeveloped for a residential estate.
In the 2011 Census the population of Thornlie was 22,965 with 49.7% being males and 50.3% females. The average age of the Thornlie population is 36 years of age, with 57.5% of people living in Thornlie being born in Australia. 32.4% of homes are fully owned, and 44.5% are in the process of being purchased by home loan mortgage. 19.9% of homes are rented.
The median rent in Thornlie is $320 per week and the median mortgage repayment is $1700 per month.
Thornlie has strong transport links, with Albany Highway connecting the suburb to the CBD, Roe Highway links it the regional road network, bus services are fairly frequent and a passenger rail service terminates at Thornlie railway station.
There are several schools to chose from, including Forest Crescent Primary School, Australian Islamic College (Thornlie), Thornlie Senior High, South Thornlie Primary School, Yale Primary School, Sacred Heart School and Thornlie Primary School.
Facilities are also in abundance, with Thornlie Library, Forest Lakes Forum, Thornlie Square Shopping Centre, Gosnells City FC, Thornlie Tennis Club, Leisure World, Thornlie Bowling Club and Thornlie Football Club just to name a few.
Barbagello Park, built in 2007, is the home of Perth Heat, a team in the Australian Baseball League.
Thornlie has two local papers distributed fortnightly, The Comment News and the Gosnells Examiner.
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