The first people here were the Aboriginies, who have been on the mainland for around 30,000 years or so.
The first Europeans were the Dutch (or possibly the Portugese, as speculated by some). The first recognised ship to come here was the Endracht, with Captain Dirk Hartog (Dutch) in 1616 landing at Shark Bay (half way up the coast). He left an inscribed pewter plate commemorating the visit, which is now in the Rijksmuseum in Holland, with copies around Australia.
Following this in 1618 was Jansz in the Mauritius (Dutch) landing on the North-West Cape, 1619 was Frederik de Houtman (Dutch) in the Houtman Abrolhos, and in 1622 came J. Brooke on the Tryal (English) who was wrecked on the Monte Bello Islands and an unknown Dutch Captain in the Leeuwin.
Up until Captain Stirling on the Parmelia and Sulphur and the establishment of the Colony in 1829, there were a further 8 Dutch, 6 French, and 8 English ships (in 207 years).
Captain James Stirling made his first journey to Western Australia and the Swan River at the beginning of 1828. Upon hs return to England, he applied for the establishment of a colony, but this was rejected. It was after his second application that he was given orders to take formal possession of what was then known as "The Western Side of New Holland", and then settle.
In Feburary 1829, the English Colonial Office issued the Regulations for the guidance of those who may propose to embark, as Settlers, for the new Settlement on the Western Coast of New Holland, which stated that there would be no convicts in the colony (unlike the rest of the colonies).
On 2/5/1829, Captain Fremantle on the Challenger took possession of Western Australia formally.
The colony was founded on the 18th June, 1829, and Perth was started on 12 August, 1829. Due to the hardships of establishing the City, convicts were required, and W.A. became a penal colony on 1/5/1849, with the first convicts arriving 1/6/1850 (thanks to jasonh_AT_gate-hal.psd.symbol.com).
Check out the Matritime Museum.
Western Australia became part of the Federated Australia on the 1st of January, 1901. The Australian coast of arms is shown here on the right.
One of the intersting historical sites around Perth is the old barracks, located in the western end of the city. The freeway now runs through it, and only the front section remains (as shown).
Today, the Western Australian Government is run from Parliament House, pictured right. The Freeway runs in front of it, and the old Perth Barracks (above) is just to the left of shot.
The parliament first sat in 1890, and consisted of 30 elected members in the Assembly and 15 in the Council. Today the Assembly consists of 57 people, and the Council numbers 34.