Documenting Democracy
Australia's Story
Choose a pathway
The documents you will find on this pathway are the first British claims to territory in Australia and the original blueprints of the initial institutions for law and government.

Each document is a legal instrument, stating the authority by which Britain claims land, or establishes institutions.

Follow this trail of documents to see how British law and government was originally 'planted' in Australia.

Painting by George Pitt Morrison entitled 'The Foundation of Perth'.
Taking possession
This painting by George Pitt Morrison entitled 'The Foundation of Perth' commemorates the ceremony on 12 August 1829 when the new town was founded. The Colony of Western Australia had been proclaimed by Lieutenant-Governor James Stirling two months before. From 1929 copies of this well-known painting were distributed to all Western Australian schoolchildren to mark the centenary of the founding of the State.