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Key Facts

  • Founded on 12 June 1829 by Captain James Stirling, Perth has continued to serve as the seat of government for Western Australia up to the present day. Fremantle, its port is a city in its own right and slightly older than Perth.
  • Fourth largest city in Australia in terms of population.
  • The population of Perth is approximately 1.5 million people.
  • For its role as the administrative centre for business and government, it dominates the Western Australian economy, despite the major petroleum, mining and agricultural export industries situated elsewhere in the state.
  • Time Zone +8 (UTC)
  • Co-ordinates: 31°57′8″S 115°51′32″E

Perth is the capital city of the Australian state of Western Australia and is the fourth most populous city in the country with an estimated population of 1.5 million people. The city was founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829 and has continued to become the business and administration centre of the state. Perth is the location of Central Park, the seventh tallest building in Australia. Fremantle, its port is slightly older than the city itself.

Perth is a classic example of a Mediterranean climate wherein summers are generally hot and dry with sporadic rainfall and short-lived thunderstorms from December to March, while winters are relatively cool and wet throughout the rest of the year. A sea breeze known as 'The Fremantle Doctor' blows from the south-west, providing some relief from the generally hot summer afternoons.

Perth is the location of four public universities: the University of Western Australia which is renowned for its leading research institutions, Curtin University which has the largest student population, Murdoch University which is the largest campus in geographical area, and Edith Cowan University which incorporates the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. The only private university in Perth is the University of Notre Dame.

Perth hosts several cultural festivals such as the Perth International Arts Festival; and is home to the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Western Australian Museum, Alexander Library, and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. Because of Perth's distance from other Australian cities, foreign artists often exclude the city from their tours. However, this has led to the development of a strong local music scene leading some to call it the 'New Seattle'.
Perth is also known as the City of Light when the residents of the city lit their house lights and streetlights when the American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while in earth's orbit aboard Friendship 7 in 1962.

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