Portrait of Sir James Stirling, the first Governor of Western Australia.
Location: Mitchell Library
[State Library of New South Wales]
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.
Location: Art Gallery of Western Australia
Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 21 October 1890.
To Western Australian colonists, Proclamation Day on 21 October 1890 was the real beginning of self-government in Western Australia. The Acting Chief Justice, Sir Henry Wrensfordsley, read this document before an assembly including the newly arrived Governor, Sir William Robinson, proclaiming the coming into effect of Western Australia's Constitution Act. This had been passed by the Western Australian Legislative Council in 1889 and ratified by the British Parliament in an enabling Act, receiving the Royal Assent in August 1890.
Location: State Records Office of Western Australia
Proclamation Day was celebrated throughout the Colony; streets were lined with decorations, and events including sports, picnics and, in Perth itself, a 'Monster Tea'. At night fireworks and balls were staged. For many years after 1890 a public holiday known as Proclamation Day was celebrated on 21 October each year and in recent years ceremonies have been arranged on 21 October to commemorate the establishment of the State's Constitution. The first elections for the new Legislative Assembly were held in late November and early December 1890, and on 29 December the first Ministry was sworn in, with John Forrest as the Colony's first Premier. The new Parliament met for the first time on the following day.
Location: Constitutional Centre of Western Australia