In 2012, the State Parliament voted to rename ‘Foundation Day’ as ‘WA Day’ in recognition of the non-inclusive nature of a holiday that hitherto had only recognised the founding British Settlers of the Swan River Colony and totally ignored, amongst others, the Indigenous peoples of the vast State who’d been here pretty much since time immemorial.
The Western Australia Day (Renaming) Act 2012 explained at its outset –
A. The 1st of June in 1829 was the day when the first European settlers, under the command of Captain James Stirling RN, Lieutenant Governor, arrived from Britain to settle the Swan River Colony; and
B. Foundation Day is celebrated on the first Monday of June each year to mark this important event for Western Australians; and
C. Foundation Day acknowledges our indigenous people as the original inhabitants and traditional custodians of the land and unites all who have made Western Australia their home,
it is, 182 years later, now appropriate that Foundation Day be known as Western Australia Day.
And so now we celebrate WA Day.
And yesterday, at the Fishing Boat Harbour WA Day Festival, all sorts of entertainments kept folk smiling. Our Deanna Shanahan was there, camera in hand, to capture all the fun. Here’s her gallery.
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