Western Australia (abbreviated WA) is a state occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. The nation's largest state and the second largest subnational entity in the world, it has 2.1 million inhabitants (10% of the national total), 85% of whom live in the southwest corner of the state. The people of Western Australia are often colloquially referred to as sandgropers, the common name of an insect found on sand dunes around Perth.
The state's capital and largest city is Perth. With a population of 1,650,000 (2009), Perth ranks fourth amongst the nation's cities, with a growth rate consistently above the national average. The city was founded on 12 June 1829 by Captain James Stirling as the political center of the free settler Swan River Colony. It has continued to serve as the seat of Government for Western Australia to the present day. Perth is ranked 4th on The Economist's 2008 list of the World's Most Livable Cities. It became known worldwide as the "City of Lights" as city residents lit their houselights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth in Friendship 7 in 1962. The city repeated its feat as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in 1998.
The coin is part of a delightful series celebrating Australia’s eight mainland States and Territories. These eight colorful dollars comprise the Celebrate Australia Program. Each coin commemorates one of the eight Australian states and territories. The artistic and skillfully rendered design of each coin encompasses three distinct elements unique to each state or territory:
- An iconic animal of that state or territory;
- The official floral emblem;
- A significant landmark or monument
Celebrate Australia Capital Territory $1 packageThe eight different states and territories represented include:
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia