Over the years the Society has been the recipient of a number of grants to help it with meeting administration costs and to undertake the work of managing its important Museum, Library and Photograph Collections. Examples of recent grants include:

  • Community Heritage Grant 2017, Preservation Needs Assessment
  • Lotterywest Grant 2018,  "Professional Fees - Towards a feasibility plan/business model for the future sustainability and accommodation and accommodation requirements" for the proposed new building, .
  • Lotterywest Heart Grant,  2020, for cabinet and defibrillator.
  • Lotterywest grants for travel and accommodation costs for Affiliated Societies' delegates to attend the Royal Western Australian Historical Society's Annual State History Conference of Affiliated Societies, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 (subsequently extended to 2022).
  • Lotterywest Grant, 2020 towards loss of revenue due to the COVID crisis.
  • National Library Community Grant, 2021 toward conservation needs report for the Museum collection.
  • Lotterywest Grant, 2022 for redesign of the website and updating the CollectiveAccess database software.

Public Campaigns

The Society supports the preservation of movable and built heritage in many ways.  As part of this activity it has participated in successful public campaigns.  These include:

  • the establishment of the State Archives and the J S Battye Library of West Australian History within the Library and Information Service of Western Australia (now the State Library of Western Australia)
  • the retention of the Old Mill, South Perth
  • the defence of the Barracks Arch, Perth
  • the preservation of the Palace Hotel in Perth
  • the recognition of the heritage values of the East Perth Cemeteries
  • the retention of the Round House, Fremantle.
  • the burnt historic Guildford Hotel restoration
Old Mill, South Perth (date unknown)
Old Mill, South Perth, 1890, RWAHS P1999.2228








Other important achievements

  • Published over 15 volumes of annual parts of the publication of Early Days: Journal of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society
  • An annual memorial service to honour early settlers buried in the East Perth Cemeteries has been held since 1953
  • The placement of memorials, frequently in partnership with local government, across the State to provide information and recognition of many facets of Western Australian history of special interest for tourists
  • It was largely because of the growing response in the 1950s to heritage issues such as the Old Mill and the Barracks Arch, that the Society supported the formation of a local branch of the National Trust of Australia. This support is recognised in the relevant legislation establishing the branch and granting the Society permanent representation on the Council of the Trust. The formation of the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) has relieved the Society of some heritage responsibilities and thus enabled our members to concentrate on the vital role of cataloguing, collating and conserving historical documents and artefacts
  • The Society is represented on important historical organisations, namely:
    • Federation of Australian Historical Societies Inc.
    • Historical Records Rescue Consortium that obtained 2 Lotterywest grants to undertake digitising Western Australian historical newspapers.
    • History Council of Western Australia Inc.
    • National Trust of Australia (Western Australia


The  Society believes it is important to remember the contributions that individuals, families, community groups and official agencies have made to the shaping of Western Australian economic and social life before and after European settlement.  Accordingly, the Society periodically commemorates iconic individuals and events to remember the important role they have played in the history of Western Australia.  These commemorations may be undertaken by the Society acting alone or in partnership with other like-minded organisations.  Some examples are as follows:

  • The Society's Memorial Service in the East Perth Cemeteries Chapel, inaugurated in 1953, each year commemorates a different individual or group buried in the cemetery.  The public is invited to these services but descendants of the person being commemorated are invited  to participate by contributing in some way to the preparation of the citation
  • The  Society, the Western Australian Museum and Museums Australia (WA) presented the Lotterywest-funded 'Remembering Them: A Centenary of Services' project.  In all 32 such exhibitions were produced by historical societies across the State during the period 2014-2018.
  • During 2016 the Western Australian community commemorated in a variety of ways the 400th year anniversary of the landing on 25 October 1616 of members of the Endracht's crew at the north end of what is now known as Cape Inscription on Dirk Hartog Island.  They left a record of their visit inscribed on a flattened pewter plate nailed to an oak post and placed upright in a fissure on the cliff top.  This was the second European group to land in Australia and the first to leave behind an artifact to record the visit.  The Society's contribution, a major exhibition, 'Western Land - a journey if discovery and rediscovery', is still on display.