Perth is one of Australia's largest cities and is the capital of Western Australia. Perth comes in at number four in terms of population amongst all cities of Australia. Approximately 2.02 million individuals live in the city and it is part of Western Australia's South West Land Division. The city lies on the Swan Coastal Plain which is a tiny strip located between the Darling Scarp and the Indian Ocean. The central business district and Fremantle port have since been established on the shoreline. Perth has several local government areas and suburbs which stretch from Tow Rocks to Rockingham and The Lakes at various points. Perth was founded by Captain James Stirling in the year 1829 as an administrative centre for the Swan River Colony. Perth became a city in the year 1856 and a Lord Mayorality in the year 1929.
The city is named after Perth in Scotland as per the wishes of the former British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, Sir George Murray. The population of the city increased considerably due to the multiple gold rushes that took place in Western Australia and emigration from the eastern parts of the country. During the Second World War, Fremantle was a major base for submarines that operated in the Pacific Theatre. The US Navy Catalina flying boat arsenal was docked at Matilda Bay. Economic activity also witnessed a boost in Perth post several booms in the mining industry in the 20th and 21st centuries. Perth also steadily became the headquarters for several well known mining outfits of the state. The Supreme Court and Parliament of Western Australia are located in the city along with the residence of the Western Australia Governor, Government House. Perth is called the City of Light all over the world after the path breaking initiative when residents lit all their house lights and street lamps while American astronaut John Glenn passed above the city en route towards orbiting the earth in 1962. The same tradition was repeated once again for John Glenn when he passed above the city in the year 1998 on the space shuttle. Perth is one of the most liveable cities in the world according to global studies and reports.
The central business district is chiefly bounded by the Swan River and Kings Park. The Perth City Link has been built by sacrificing a portion of the railway line. This connects the central business district (CBD)and Northbridge. The Perth Arena is a landmark building in the city link region that has been the recipient of several prestigious awards for architecture. The St Georges Terrace is the premium and posh street in Perth and is home to a staggering 1.3 million square meters of office and commercial space in the CBD (central business district). Entertainment and retail arenas are mostly present at Murray Street and Hay Street in the Central Business District. Central Park is another landmark which is the tallest building in the city and the seventh tallest in Australia. There are several projects being developed in the CBD (central business district) including the acclaimed Brookfield Place, an 801 ft skyscraper for BHP Billiton, the leading mining company.
The economy of Perth is mainly fuelled by mining, agricultural export and petroleum in addition to government and other local businesses. Service industries have gained more prominence in Perth since the year 1950. Most services are related to resources industries along with agriculture. Ship building and maintenance are also well established industries in Perth along with power stations, steel rolling mills, oil refineries, blast furnaces and nickel refineries. Health, education, retail, manufacturing, trade, personal and community services and public administration have also been booming over the last few years and have created innumerable jobs every fiscal.
Since education has been made compulsory in Western Australia till the age of seventeen, Perth is home to several primary and secondary educational institutions along with colleges and universities. There are several schools that are managed and operated by the Department of Education of the state government along with numerous religious and private schools. The Western Australian Certificate of Education is the accreditation earned by all students upon successful completion of their Years 11 and 12 in school. Perth is home to the Curtin University, University of Western Australia, Edith Cowan University and the Murdoch University. The University of Notre Dame is also present here. The University of Western Australia is one of the foremost research institutions of Australia and is also a tourist hotspot. It was founded in 1911 and is the only Western Australian university to have churned out a Nobel Laureate in Barry Marshall who earned it jointly for medicine or physiology in 2005. Curtin University and Murdoch University are both quite popular with students while the TAFE colleges are also quite popular with the locals and offer vocational courses and other diplomas.
The Perth Cultural Centre is also a must visit for tourists and offers several attractions including the West Australian Museum, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Black Swan State Theatre Company, State Records Office, State Library of Western Australia and the Perth Theatre Company. The West Australian Ballet, Symphony Orchestra and Opera are all based in Perth. The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts is also located at the Edith Cowan University in Perth. There are several performance venues in the city including the Riverside Theatre within the aegis of the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, Perth Arena, Perth Concert Hall, Regal Theatre and His Majesty's Theatre. Outdoor venues include Kings Park, Quarry Amphitheatre, Russell Square and the Supreme Court Gardens.
Tourism contributes hugely to Perth's economy every year and there are approximately a million global visitors to the city annually along with more than 2 million domestic travellers. The Scitech Discovery Centre is a one of a kind interactive museum that conducts several demonstrations, shows and also manages the Horizon planetarium. This is one of the biggest attractions for tourists along with the Western Australian maritime museum, Army Museum of Western Australia and the Aviation Heritage Museum at Bull Creek. The city is also home to several heritage sites.