Perth is the capital city and largest city of the Australia's Western Australia state and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan sector has an estimated population of 1.7 Million. The metropolitan area is situated in the south-west of the continent between the Indian Ocean and a low coastal escarpment known as the Darling Range. The central business district (CBD) and suburbs of Perth are situated on the Swan River. Shortly after the establishment of the port settlement of Fremantle, Perth was founded on 12 June 1829 by Captain James Stirling as the political centre of the free-settler Swan River Colony. As the business and administration centre for the resource rich state, Perth has grown consistently faster than the national average. Perth City became known worldwide as the "City of Light" when city residents lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth on Friendship 7 in 1962. The city repeated the act as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in year 1998. Perth City is tied for eighth place in The Economist's 2010 list of the World's Most Livable Cities.
Although the British Army established a base at King George Sound (later Albany) on the southern coast of western Australia in year 1826 in response to rumours that the area would be annexed by France, Perth was the first full-scale settlement by Europeans in the western third of the continent. The British colony would be officially designated Western Australia in 1832, but was known informally for many years as the Swan River Colony after the area's major watercourse. Sometime June 1829, newly-arriving British colonists had their first sight of the mainland, and Western Australia's Foundation Day has since been recognised by a public holiday on the first Monday in June each year. Captain James Stirling, aboard the Parmelia, said that Perth was "as beautiful as anything of this kind I had ever witnessed".
On 12 August that year, Helen Dance, wife of the captain of the second ship named Sulphur, cut down a tree to mark the founding of the town. It is clear that Stirling had already selected the name Perth for the capital well before the town was proclaimed, as his proclamation of the colony, read in Fremantle on 18 June 1829, ended "[g]iven under my hand and Seal at Perth this 18th Day of June 1829. James Stirling Lieutenant Governor", The only contemporary information on the source of the name comes from Fremantle's diary entry for 12th of August, whichever records that they" named the town Perth according to the wishes of Sir George Murray". Murray was born in Perth, Scotland, and was in year 1829 Secretary of State for the Colonies and Member for Perthshire in the British House of Commons. It is therefore often asserted that the town was named after the Scottish Perth, in Murray's honour.
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