Western Australia was originally inhabited by the Aboriginal Australians who are believed to be one of the oldest living creatures on the Earth. The European settlers came much later in Western Australia and it was not before 1500ís that Portuguese sailors appeared on Western Australian land. Thereafter the Dutch followed in 1600ís. However, the official European settlement started in 1826 when Albany became a military outpost. Western Australia saw a huge growth in population after gold was discovered in several areas during the 1890ís and it was on 2 January 1901 that Western Australia became a part of the Commonwealth of Australia. It is one of the fastest growing regions of the Australian continent.
The Red and Green Kangaroo Paw was made the official floral emblem of Western Australia on 9 November, 1960 by a Proclamation of the Western Australian Parliament. The floral emblem is integrated in the armorial bearings of Western Australia which was granted by Royal Warrant on 17 March 1969. The emblem of Red and Green Kangaroo Paw is used by various community groups. The Numbat is the official faunal emblem of Western Australia and is one of the most attractive marsupials of Western Australia. It is generally found on the south-western parts of Western Australia.
The current flag of Western Australia was officially adopted in 1953. The Western Australian flag has the Blue Ensign with the State badge. The State badge comprises of the native Black Swan within a yellow circle, with the swan facing towards the hoist. The black swan has been one of the most traditional symbols of Western Australia.
The present Coat of Arms of Western Australia was granted by Queen Elizabeth on 17 March 1969. Before that, the Black Swan was the unofficial Coat of Arms. The present Coat of Arms has two Red Kangaroos, each holding a boomerang, supporting a shield which has the black swan on a base of rippled wave of blue and silver color. On top of the shield is the Imperial Crown on a black and gold wreath between two Kangaroo Paw flowers.
The Western Australian Parliament follows the Westminster system from 1829. The Legislative Council was formed on 7 February 1832. In 1870, Western Australia was granted the right for representative government, however, it did not gain the right of responsible government until 1890. In 1989, a new reform was introduced and all members of the Legislative Council were appointed for a period of four years. The Western Australian Parliament sits at the Parliament House in Perth. The major political parties of Western Australia include The Greens, Australian Labor Party and Pauline Hansonís One Nation.
The present Governor of Western Australia is His Excellency Dr. Ken Michael AC who was sworn in on 18 January, 2006.