Parkes is a town in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia. It is the main settlement in the local government area of Parkes Shire. Parkes had a population of 11,224 as at 30 June 2018.
Parkes was founded in 1853 as the settlement Currajong, named for the abundance of kurrajong trees in the local area by the settlers, but was then known as Bushman's (from the local mine named Bushman's Lead). In August 1873, Henry Parkes (later Sir Henry) visited the area and in December 1873 the town was officially renamed Parkes in his honour (Sir Henry Parkes is recognised as having played an instrumental role in Australia becoming a unified and federated country). Bushman's Lead Post Office opened on 1 August 1872 and was renamed Parkes in 1873. In March 1883 the first local government, Parkes Municipal District (redesignated as Parkes Municipality March 1906), was proclaimed. In January 1981 it was amalgamated with Goobang Shire to create Parkes Shire. The railway from Molong via Parkes to Forbes, was officially opened on 18 December 1893. Parkes attracted significant attention during the gold rush of the 1870s onwards, and even to this day modern mining companies still have sites in the region. In 1939, Parkes became a sister city with Coventry in the United Kingdom. This was in honour of the fact Sir Henry Parkes was born in Coventry.