Download What is WA Day? handout
What is WA Day?
- WA Day takes place on the first Monday in June each year.
- It’s a day to celebrate all Western Australians, recognising our Aboriginal history, early European settlers and the many from all over the world who have made, and continue to make, Western Australia their home.
- It’s a day for each of us to reflect and celebrate all the great things about our people, our lifestyle, our culture and our potential.
What is the history of WA Day?
- Prior to 2012, the first Monday in June was known as Foundation Day, which marked 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.
- In April 2012 Foundation Day was formally changed to WA Day following bipartisan political support in the Western Australian Parliament.
- The legislation emphasised that the new ‘State Day’ was to be inclusive of all people no matter how long they have called themselves Western Australians.
What are the Western Australian of the Year Awards?
- The Western Australian of the Year Awards recognise Western Australians who demonstrate excellence in their field and make a positive contribution to our community.
- There are seven award categories – Aboriginal, Arts & Culture, Business, Community, Professions, Sport and Youth.
- The overall Western Australian of the Year is selected from the winners of these award categories.
What happens on the WA Day long weekend in June?
- Every year the WA Day long weekend kicks off with the Western Australian of the Year Awards presentation on the Friday night.
- Over the WA Day long weekend, everyone can join in celebrating all that makes our state great by attending the free WA Day Festival events held in metropolitan and regional areas state-wide.
- Find out what’s in store at each of the event locations around the state checking out the WA Day Festival page on this website.