http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Australia From wikipedia: "The first European to visit Western Australia was a Dutch explorer, Dirk Hartog who on 26 October 1616 landed at what is now known as Cape Inscription, Dirk Hartog Island. For the rest of the 17th century there were many other Dutch travellers who also, usually unintentionally, encountered the coast. By the late 18th century, British and French sailors had also begun to explore the Western Australian coast. The origins of the present state began with the establishment of a British settlement at King George Sound in 1826 (later named Albany from 1832). The settlement was founded in response to British concerns about the possibility of a French colony being established on the coast of Western Australia.
Population growth was very slow until significant discoveries of gold were made in the 1890s around Kalgoorlie. In 1887, a new constitution was drafted, providing for the right of self-governance and in 1890, the act granting self-government to the colony was passed by the British House of Commons. John Forrest became the first Premier of Western Australia."