Quiet Riverina wheat town and service centre
Located 51 km south of Weethalle and 578 km west of Sydney via the Great and Mid Western Highways, Barellan is a quiet Riverina wheat town characterised by the distinctive silos and a feeling that it has seen better times when wheat was more labour intensive. It is a typical service centre supplying agricultural equipment and food for the surrounding area. The most distinctive building in town is the Commercial Hotel, a typically large and rather gracious hotel with an impressive upper verandah which was built in 1924.
The town's one great claim to fame is that the great Australian Aboriginal tennis player, Evonne Goolagong (now Evonne Cawley), was born here and attended Barellan Primary School before leaving to go to Sydney where she developed her tennis-playing skills and went to Willoughby Girls High School.
Cawley's memory of the town in the 1950s (she was born in 1951) and early 1960s is affectionate. She can recall no racial prejudice although she does admit that as the Goolagongs were the only Aboriginal family in the town she knew very little about her Aboriginality until she was an adult.
The Big Tennis Racquet
Barellan celebrated its centenary in 2009 with the construction of The Big Tennis Racquet. In 1909 a railway line ventured across the plains to give birth to the small rain-growing community carved from the mallee scrup. The town was half a century old when its townsfolk pitched in to help make Evonne Goolagong Cawley a champion. They lent her tennis racquets, drove her to tournaments, donated clothes and raised money for coaching.
The $40,000 Big Racquet is to honour Goolagong Cawley's remarkable achievements.
Barellan NSW 2665
Telephone: (02) 6963 9249
Trish & Col's Coffee Shop
Barellan NSW 2665
Telephone: (02) 6963 9394