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Icons of Influence Trail, Perth - WA

Perth's powerful people and places in history

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When John Septimus Roe, naval officer, surveyor and Explorer, first laid out the city of Perth in 1829, he envisioned a powerful city at the centre of a strong economy. St Georges Terrace was the focus of this design, a broad avenue running parallel to the shores of the majestic Swan River. St Georges Terrace continues its central role as the city's powerhouse today.

Perth Town Hall
The Perth Town Hall was designed by Richard Roach Jewell and James Manning. It took 3 years to build, using convict labour and had it’s formal opening on 1st June, 1870. Jewell designed many other important Perth buildings including the Wesley Church and the Treasury building adjacent to the Town Hall. The Perth Town Hall was designed on an impressive scale to reflect its important role in the administration of the colony, as well as serving a number of practical purposes. The undercroft of arches formed a covered marketplace that operated for a few years before it became too costly. The area space was later used to house the city’s fire fighting equipment, including a 12- man fire carriage. Aside from these practical uses, many important ceremonies and balls were held in the Perth Town Hall. The man who became known as ‘Father of the Kimberley’, Alexander Forrest, was sworn in as Mayor of Perth at the Town Hall in 1892 and held office for six years (1892-95 and 1897-1900). Forrest had extensive business interests in gold mines, newspapers, timber, retail, butchering and cattle.
One of the more unusual uses of the Perth Town Hall was as a camel stable! Explorer Ernest Giles used the undercroft as a resting place for his
camels and party on his epic journey from South Australia in 1875, creating much excitement among Perth’s residents.

Central Government Offices
The Central Government Offices or Treasury Group is a group of three buildings including the original General Post Office (1889), the Lands Department (1893) and the Titles Office (1897), which reflect the 19th century custom of keeping government departments centrally located. The Titles Office, designed by George Temple Poole, was built in 1897 and has been described as one of Australia’s finest and most dramatic Free Classical buildings. Across the road is Council House. There is a plaque in the pavement at the corner of Cathedral Avenue and St Georges Terrace.
This marks Point Zero, the point from which all measurements of distance from Perth are still taken.

St George's Cathedral
Completed in 1888 this was where many of Perth’s prominent people worshipped on Sundays.
Next to the Cathedral is Burt Memorial Hall,
a gift from the family in 1917 in memory of two sons of Septimus Burt who were killed in World War 1. The Burt family played an important role in Perth’s history - the first Chief Justice was Sir Archibald Burt and a hundred years later, so was his descendent, Sir Francis Burt.

The Deanery
This romantic style gothic house was built in 1859 by ticket-of-leave men for the colony’s first Dean and was home to the Anglican Deans of Perth
until 1953. The Deanery was funded by Western Australia’s first Bishop, Bishop Hale, who also built the Cloisters (see later) and an impressive house for himself. Before the Deanery was built, public stocks and a whipping post were located here to discourage the people from crime.
Following this, it was the site for Perth’s first gaol, which was replaced by the gaol that now forms part of the Western Australian Museum.
Midgegooroo, the leader of his tribe and the father of famous Nyoongah warrior Yagan, was executed by firing squad at this site in 1833. The initial
friendliness and cooperation between the natives of the Swan River region and the white settlers deteriorated as both groups began to feel their
way of life was threatened by the other. A statue of Yagan, who was killed by bounty hunters soon after his father’s execution, can be seen on Heirisson Island.

Government House
This magnificent building was completed in 1864 to the delight of the new Swan River colonialists. The heritage listed building replaced the previous
Government house which was deemed inadequate as Governor Stirling drafted official letters under an umbrella to prevent being drenched by the leaky roof! The current building is set across 3.2 hectares of beautiful gardens, lawns and trees. The Governor hosts open days at Government House three to four times a year. The Government House site has been in continuous occupation as the principal vice-regal residence in Western Australia since the city was founded in 1829. The current building is a big improvement on the canvas tents occupied by Governor Stirling and his family for the first 4 years of settlement, from 1829 until 1832.

Stirling & Supreme Court gardens and Francis Burt Law Education Centre
As you enter Stirling Gardens, you are met by the statue of Alexander Forrest.
This statue was sculpted by a young Italian sculptor, Pietro Porcelli, to commemorate Forrest’s life.
Stirling Gardens was first used by colonial botanist James Drummond as an acclimatisation garden in the 1830s, when plants including fruit trees were grown. The reserve then opened as a botanical garden in 1845, and was used by residents of the city for recreation, much in the way that it is used by city workers today. The oldest building in the City of Perth is located in the Supreme Court Gardens.
Now known as the Francis Burt Law Education Centre, this was the only building suitable for public meetings when it opened in 1837 and it functioned as a church, a law court and as the Perth Boy’s School until 1850.

Weld Club
In 1892 this building was completed to house the Weld Club. Named after Governor Frederick Weld in 1871, the Club offered a place for Perth’s
powerful and influential men to gather in a social setting, play billiards and discuss current affairs. Fifty foundation members, of whom two-thirds
were government employees, made up the original membership of the club, which still operates today. The Working Men’s Institute, for the less influential members of Perth society, was located in a squalid area near the Perth Gaol.

Karrakatta CLub
This 1937 Art Deco building is the current home of Australia’s oldest and first women’s club. The wives of Perth’s influential men founded the Karrakatta Club in 1894, with the intention of allowing members to prepare papers and share information on matters of social and political importance. It clearly succeeded in its purpose, because in 1921 one of the founding members of this club became Australia’s first female Parliamentarian. Edith Dircksey Cowan was an extremely productive member of Perth society. An orphan by the time she married at 18, Edith Cowan was an active member of fifty community groups and organisations in her lifetime, served as a Justice of the Peace and was elected to the Western Australian Parliament at the age of 60, She was only the second woman in the British Empire to be elected as a Member of Parliament. A
vocal campaigner for the rights of women and children with an underlying philosophy of community service, Edith Cowan donated her parliamentary salary to charity. The clock tower located at the entrance to Kings Park was built in her memory in 1934, two years after her
death. A university was also named after this influential campaigner.

The Western Australian Club
A year after the Weld Club building was completed on Barrack Street another exclusive men’s club, the Western Australian Club, was formed. The
discovery of gold in Western Australia encouraged strong growth in the colony, creating an affluent and influential group of men who demanded more “networking” opportunities. Perth needed more than one club to meet this demand, although many of the new club’s members were also members of the Weld Club! As a reflection of the changing role of women in Perth’s commercial life, the Western Australian Club began to allow women as associate members in 1970 but not as full members until 1997.

Perth Boys School
Perth Boys’ School was the city’s first purpose built school, constructed by convicts in 1854. The building was built in the gothic style to look like a
church to impose a sense of duty, attentiveness and obedience on its students. Enrolments in the Government run school were abundant during
the gold boom from the 1880’s to 1890’s and the building could no longer accommodate the school, which then shifted to James Street in Northbridge. A lack of educational facilities in the early years of the colony led the newspapers to warn that Western Australia was in danger of becoming a “degraded society”. In the end, the threat posed by the increasing popularity of Roman Catholic schools from 1846 led the Anglican Church to incite the Government to establish this school, whose programme of study was based on the teachings of the Anglican Church.

Forrest House Replica
A replica of Forrest House, the home purchased by Alexander Forrest on St Georges Terrace in 1895, has been created in the Forrest Centre and houses a popular bar, Rigby’s. When Perth was originally laid out, the price of a block of land on St Georges Terrace was £200 - double the price of any blocks on the streets behind. Alexander’s neighbours on the Terrace included many of Perth’s influential people such as Lionel Samson who secured the first liquor license in the State and started a merchant liquor business, George Shenton who was the first chemist in Perth and Walter Padbury a pioneer pastoralist, merchant and humanitarian.

Parterre Gardens to Bishop’s House
Bishop Hale was the first Anglican Archbishop of WA and arrived in 1858. He was the son of a wealthy English landowner, who had left him an
impressive fortune. He won the confidence of people in all classes and his generous and fatherly character earned him the title of ‘the Good Bishop’. By the time Bishop Hale left the colony in 1875, he had built a number of grand buildings along St Georges Terrace which are still in use today, including this private residence for his family.

Barracks Arch
This is the “top end” of the Terrace. Barracks’ Arch is all that remains of the Pensioner Barracks.
The Barracks were constructed in 1863 to house the Pensioner Guards, ex-soldiers employed to guard the convicts. Although convict transportation ended in 1868, some Pensioner Guards remained in the Barracks until it was taken over by the Public Works Department. Public protest stopped the Barracks from being demolished in
1902 to clear the view for the parliamentarians at the new Parliament House, but the accommodation wings were eventually removed to make way for the Kwinana Freeway in 1966, with the Arch preserved as a compromise to the public.

Parliament House
Located at the “top end of town”, Parliament House was designed to be the head of an imposing vista. The foundation stone was laid in 1902 and the building opened in 1904. Although a national competition was held for the design of the parliament, it was never completed to specifications because it was too expensive. When construction of the western façade cost £16,000 more than estimated, no more work took place to complete the eastern façade which faces down town until 1958. This resulted in two distinctly different façades, built in the styles of their time.
From here you get a splendid view back down St Georges Terrace.

The Cloisters
The Cloisters were designed by Richard Roach Jewell to house Bishop Hale’s School. The “Good Bishop” financed and built this school in 1858,
and was responsible for educating many sons of the colonial elite, including Alexander and John Forrest. The graduates from this school formed the
core of the governing group in Western Australia to the turn of the century and beyond, reinforcing the ties between the Anglican Church and the powerful residents of St Georges Terrace. The school closed at this site in 1872, moving to a number of different city locations until 1961, when it moved to its current campus in the suburb of Wembley Downs. Today the school is known as Hale School.

Trinity Church and Congregational Chapel
Two buildings of the Trinity Church are found at this location. Richard Roach Jewell designed the first building, now known as the Trinity Congregational Chapel, in 1865. The chapel is now concealed from St londGeorges Terrace by the newer Trinity Church (1893), built in a more ornate style to reflect the new found prosperity brought by the gold boom. The Trinity Church housed the Congregationalist denomination - many of whom were ‘small business people’ - artisans, shopkeepers and other members of the skilled working class. The chapel was a popular venue. Its uses included operating as a Sunday school and Hall – the Karrakatta Club held its first meeting there in 1894.
Trinity Arcade, built in 1923, connects St Georges Terrace to the Hay Street Mall.

The fountains below are just outside the train station. They alternate which 'side' comes on, to create a great game for children to play

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