In 1963, Frances Charteris, Chief Librarian of Marrickville Library (1955-83), founded the Marrickville & District Historical Society. The society folded in 1981 but when a Marrickville Heritage Study was commissioned by the Department of Environment & Planning and Marrickville Council, interest in Marrickville’s past was rekindled.
At the study’s launch during Heritage Week 1984, people were invited by Peter Arnett, Council’s Chief Town Planner, to form the Marrickville Heritage Society. A meeting took place on 28 April 1984 where an executive committee was formed under president Dr Barbara Little (later Le Maistre). The society was affiliated with the Royal Australian Historical Society.
The founding principle was to promote the study, research and documentation of the heritage, history, and environment of our locality and to encourage an appreciation of our diverse cultural inheritance.
At the time, ‘our locality’ meant the area under the Marrickville Municipal Council Local Government Area. This included the suburbs of Dulwich Hill, Enmore, Lewisham, Marrickville, Petersham, St Peters, Stanmore, Sydenham, Tempe, and parts of Camperdown, and Newtown. The society has decided to remain dedicated to the areas it covered at its formation.