In November 1964, the Shire of Canning
proposed this area be named Burtsdale after Septimus Burt who
purchased the land in 1882. The name Willetton was proposed for
the adjoining Postal District, the bulk of which was in Canning
Location 21 assigned to Henry Willett in June 1832. In August
and September 1965, the Shire suggested that the name Lynwood
replace Willetton and the name Willetton replace Burtsdale.
These amendments were approved in December 1965.
Willetton's name derives from Henry Willett of Willett & Co, who
was granted Canning Location 21 (roughly the location of modern
Lynwood and Parkwood) and settled in the area in June 1832. In
November 1964, the Shire of Canning proposed the names "Burtsdale"
and "Willetton" for Willetton and Lynwood/Parkwood respectively,
the name Burtsdale honouring Septimus Burt, who purchased the
land in 1882. In August 1965, developers at Lynwood requested
the name "Clovercrest Estate", but finally agreed to "Lynwood".
The name Willetton was shifted westwards and gazetted in
December 1965 within its present boundaries.
The original subdivision was opened in the early 1970s under the
developer's name "Burrendah Heights". (The name survives as
Burrendah Boulevard and Burrendah Primary School). The section
to the east of Vahland Avenue was developed in the 1980s under
the unofficial name "Rostrata". Most housing and infrastructure
was completed in the 1990s.
Willetton is located about 15 kilometres south of the Perth CBD.
It is built on a section of flat sandy coastal plain which was
originally covered with open Banksia woodland and stands of
Paperbark trees marking the edges of shallow seasonal swamps.
Willetton is bounded by Karel Avenue to the west, Leach Highway
and High Road to the north, Willeri Drive to the east and South
Street and Roe Highway to the south. Vahland Avenue runs
north-south through the suburb.
At the ABS 2001 census, Willetton had a mostly average-income
population of 17,571 people living in 6,300 dwellings, nearly
all of which are detached houses on single lots. The ABS
reported that almost 20% of the suburb's population were of
East, Southeast or South Asian origin. Retail trade (1,515),
property and business services (1,118), manufacturing (944),
education (911), and health and community services (904) were
the key occupations of Willetton's residents.
Willetton contains the Southlands Boulevarde shopping centre,
with two levels and businesses including two supermarkets, Hoyts
cinemas and a food court. A light industrial area exists in the
north of the suburb near Leach Highway and High Road, containing
a Bunnings, pool shops and various trades. Three small
neighbourhood shopping centres offer local services in the
corners of the suburb.
Adjacent to Willetton on High Road, the Riverton Leisureplex, a
large facility with sporting, fitness and recreation facilities
first opened on 9 November 2001, is operated by the City of
Canning and includes the council's largest library. The
Willetton Library is located near Southlands Boulevarde.
Willetton contains the Castlereagh, Burrendah, Willetton,
Rostrata primary schools and Orana Catholic Primary School, as
well as Willetton Senior High School, the largest public high
school in Western Australia with nearly 1,850 students.