On 12th August, 1829, the felling of a tree a few metres from the present Perth Town Hall marked the official foundation of Perth. Relations between the new settlers and the Noongar people, traditional owners of the land, were at first amicable. However, as the settlers adopted traditional hunting grounds as farmland and blocked access routes, tensions rose, which escalated into conflict. Many Noongar people were displaced from traditional lands and faced great hardship, while the settlers grew fearful and mistrusting of the native people. This, combined with the settlers struggle to farm the difficult land, illness, isolation and shortages of everyday items must have made life very hard for those who had made the long journey from the UK.
In 1850, transportation of convicts to the Swan River Colony began in order to address the labour shortage that was restricting the growth of the settlement. The convict period, which lasted until 1868, saw approximately 10,000 male convicts arrive in Western Australia. As a result, some of Perth’s most significant buildings including Government House, the Perth Town Hall and St Mary’s Cathedral were constructed during this period.