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Western Australia Day in Australia

Quick Facts

Foundation Day is a public holiday in the state of Western Australia to commemorate the founding of the first British colony in the state.

Local names

NameLanguage
Western Australia DayEnglish
Western Australia DayGerman

Alternative names

NameLanguage
Foundation DayEnglish
Foundation DayGerman

Western Australia Day 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

Western Australia Day 2015

Monday, June 1, 2015
List of dates for other years

On June 1, 1829, Western Australia's coast was first sighted from the merchant ship Barque Parmelia. This led to the establishment of the Swan River Colony, the first permanent British colony in Western Australia. Western Australia Day (formerly Foundation Day) is officially celebrated on June 1, but the public holiday is observed on the first Monday in June.

Foundation Day Australia Aboriginal art

Foundation Day celebrates the meeting of two cultures, one of them being Australia's Indigenous culture.

©iStockphoto.com/ron sumners

What do people do?

A range of events are organized either on June 1 or on the first Monday in June. These include a Western Australia Day breakfast hosted by the Governor of Western Australia. The invitations to this event come in form of competition prizes. Entrants in the competition are usually asked to describe why a given community is strong, vibrant and inclusive. Other activities celebrate modern communities and the lives of the early white settlers and those of Indigenous Australians who had lived there for thousands of years.

Public life

Western Australia Day on the first Monday in June is a public holiday in Western Australia. Schools and other educational establishments are closed, as are many businesses and other organizations. Stores are usually closed, although small and specialty stores may be open. There are normally some changes to public transport services within Western Australia. Some services, particularly early in the morning may be cancelled but there may be extra buses or trains later in the day.

In the other states and territories of Australia, the first Monday is June is not a public holiday. Schools, businesses, stores and other organizations are open as usual.

Background

The first Europeans to visit the Western coast of Australia were Dutch explorers in the 1600s. Later a French party also visited the area. However, many early visitors were not positive about the land's potential so they travelled further.

In 1826, the first British settlement, an outpost of the army, was established in Western Australia. During 1827, Admiral Sir James Stirling led a number of explorations along Australia's west coast and recommended that a permanent settlement should be established in the Swan River area. In 1829, he returned to the area with a navy vessel, HMS Challenger, and the merchant ship Barque Parmelia.

On June 1, 1829, Australia's west coast was sighted from the Parmelia, although the ship did not reach anchor until the following day. Later that year, more ships arrived in the area and Perth was officially founded. The area was known as the Swan River Colony until 1832, when it became known as Western Australia. In 1834, Stirling, who was now administrator of Western Australia, decided to hold an annual celebration to unite the settlers, masters, servants and Indigenous Australians within and around the colony. June 1 was the chosen date because it was the anniversary of the first sighting of Western Australia from the Parmelia and marks an important victory for the British navy over the French in 1794.

Foundation Day was renamed Western Australia Day in 2011.

Western Australia Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
MonJun 41990Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 31991Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 11992Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 71993Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 61994Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 51995Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 31996Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 21997Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 11998Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 71999Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 52000Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 42001Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 32002Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 22003Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 72004Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 62005Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 52006Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 42007Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 22008Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 12009Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 72010Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 62011Foundation DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 42012Western Australia DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 32013Western Australia DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 22014Western Australia DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 12015Western Australia DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 62016Western Australia DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 52017Western Australia DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 42018Western Australia DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 32019Western Australia DayLocal holidayWestern Australia
MonJun 12020Western Australia DayLocal holidayWestern Australia

Other holidays in June 2014 in Australia

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