WA Day is held on the first Monday in June each year and is a holiday for all people who live and work in Western Australia.
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WA Day commemorates the foundation of the Swan River Colony near Perth by European settlers in 1829. It was previously known as Foundation Day but the name was changed in April 2012 to recognise the much longer history of the Aboriginal people of the land.
Events on the weekend of the public holiday include the WA Day Plate, a horse-racing event on the Saturday at Belmont Park; the WA Citizen of the Year Award for categories like Youth, Community, Business, Arts etc; and community BBQs around the state sponsored by local businesses.
Originally Albany, on the south coast, was to be the capital of WA but better resources for shipping and farming were found on the Swan River so Perth became the capital.
WA was settled as a free colony, unlike some other parts of Australia like New South Wales and Port Arthur. It was the only British colony in Australia established with land grants to settlers. The settlers were given land in proportion to the quantity of people and goods they brought to the colony and were only given the full title to their land when it had been improved enough to be considered established and sustaining.