Some History Facts

The human history of Western Australia commenced between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago with the arrival of Indigenous Australians on the northwest coast. The first inhabitants expanded the range of their settlement to the east and south of the continent. The first recorded European contact was in 1616, when Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog landed on the west coast, having been blown off course while en-route to Batavia, nowadays called Jakarta.

Although many expeditions visited the coast during the next 200 years, there was no lasting attempt at establishment of a permanent settlement until December 1826 when an expedition on behalf of the New South Wales colonial government, led by Major Edmund Lockyer,[1] landed at King George Sound. On 21 January 1827 Lockyer formally took possession of the western third of the continent of Australia for the British Crown. This was followed by the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, including the site of the present-day capital, Perth. The harsh conditions faced by the settlers resulted in population growth being minimal until the discovery of gold in the 1880s. Since the gold rush, the population of the state has risen steadily, with substantial growth in the period since World War II.

The Port of #Fremantle is integral to Immigration history. Situated at the mouth of the Swan River, it is the maritime gateway to Western Australia. Aboriginal people call this place ‘Manjaree’, meaning ‘gathering place’, where locals and visitors engaged in trade and cultural exchange before Europeans arrived. It has continued to be a place of meetings greetings and farewells.

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Chris
Congress Convener
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