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Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett

West Australians Urged To Celebrate Together

Victor P Taffa

  • Premier officially launches WA Day celebrations
  • Celebrations include 25 community events across WA
  • New Lotterywest funding for Aboriginal consultation
  • Search for WA’s official marine emblem

Premier Colin Barnett has launched WA Day celebrations, urging all West Australians to come together and celebrate what makes the State great.

Premier Barnett said 25 official events were planned throughout the State across the long weekend to bring West Australians together to enjoy the spirit of WA.

The three-day celebrations include the announcement of the Western Australian of the Year, community barbecues and music festivals at metropolitan and regional centres.

The Premier said WA Day was a focal point to celebrate WA’s achievements and enviable way of life.

“The WA Day weekend events are all designed to bring West Australians together to celebrate what we have already achieved together.” Premier Barnett said.

“We should never lose sight of the fact that we have a lot to celebrate, and all West Australians should take pride in where our State stands in the world today.”

WA Day was originally known as Foundation Day, marking the founding of the Swan River colony 184 years ago, but renamed in 2012 to acknowledge Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of the land and to unite people from all over the world who have made WA their home.

Premier Barnett also announced that a Lotterywest grant of $114,600 would be invested in a consultation program with Aboriginal leaders across the State to find out how they might more meaningfully engage in WA Day.

“It important to ensure that this significant State celebration is genuinely inclusive.” Premier Barnett said.

The Premier also used the start of WA Day celebrations to launch the search for an official State marine emblem.

“Most of us are familiar with the black swan as WA’s bird emblem and it is now instantly recognisable, around the world as a symbol for our State. The striking kangaroo paw is the Western Australian floral emblem and we also have the numbat as the fauna emblem, representing WA’s unique marsupials.” Premier Barnett said.

“Now we want to find a marine animal that signifies the Western Australian ocean environment, and helps to trigger some community interest in the ocean and the creatures that live in it.”

“WA primary school students will be invited to present submissions to determine our official marine emblem and I am really looking forward to seeing some of the suggestions they come up with.” Premier Barnett said.

Further details of the competition will be available through schools.

Premier Barnett said WA Day celebrations would continue to grow under the direction of Celebrate WA.

Fact File

  • WA Day marks foundation of the Swan River Colony on June 1, 1829
  • Perth was founded on August 12, 1829
  • Between June and December 1829, 18 vessels arrived at Swan River
  • By the end of 1830, the Swan River colony’s population had grown to 1,500 people, excluding military personnel
  • Key WA Day events include:
  • Announcement of the Western Australian of the Year on Saturday, June 1
  • Running of the WA Plate at Belmont Racecourse
  • State of the Art Music Festival at Perth Concert Hall, featuring performances from 30 WA bands
  • Perth Cultural Centre to host activities for children, as well as one of six Coles community barbecues
  • Community barbecues to also be held at Ellenbrook, Belmont, Subiaco, South Hedland and Geraldton
  • Perth Zoo has given away 5,000 tickets for free entry on the Monday public holiday
  • Perth Museum has given away 1,000 free tickets for entry to the Secrets of the Afterlife exhibition
  • For the first time, West Coast Eagles will host Richmond at a special WA Day match, kicking off on June 3 at 5.40 pm at Patersons Stadium
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