Foundation Day

The History Council supports the retention of the name Foundation Day for commemoration of the settlement of the Swan River Colony (later Western Australia) on 1 June, either on its own or as part of a wider WA Week celebration.

From a longer paper by former Councillor and well-known local historian, Mrs Ruth Marchant-James:

We need to ensure that Foundation Day continues to be marked as a day of significance. It marks a turning point in all our histories. Foundation Day as a name recognises a beginnning, but also marks a change, in a way that WA Day cannot. Let us retain Foundation Day, and look to a revived WA Week. To dismiss the State’s history, for whatever reason, is to deprive future generations of an understanding of the past regardless of one’s origins. As one former editor of the West Australian pointed out:

In any measure of progress there has to be a starting point. Choosing the day that 100 men, women and children on board the Parmelia first saw their new world after 111 days at sea is appropriate. That their ship’s entry to Cockburn Sound was perilous was symbolic of the days ahead.

History Council Advocacy position –

Foundation Day is the traditional name for the commemoration on 1 June.

Foundation as a term draws attention to contentious issues, and enables questions, discussions and debate.

Foundation Day can form part of a wider celebration, such as WA Week.