Investigation 4

Who were some influential citizens in Western Australia in the late 1800s?

The colony of Western Australia was made up of people from many backgrounds. Some had been born and raised in the colony, while others had come from other parts of Australia or overseas. Occupations were varied too. Some people worked in farming or mining, while others were involved in businesses based in Western Australian towns. Some people provided the wide range of services that towns and more remote locations needed.

In all of these groups there were individuals who were strongly committed to working for the good of the community. They helped to improve the lives of Western Australians in many ways.

Your Task

Investigate four influential Western Australians around the time of Federation and the contributions they made to their communities.


  1. As a class, read the four biographies. List the contributions each person made to his or her community.
  2. Choose one person’s biography to examine closely. Circle the actions the person took to help or support others in their community. Beside each action, write what might have motivated the person to act in the way they did. You could consider the nine Values for Australian Schooling at the Values Education Australia website. Then, click on ‘National’, followed by ‘National Framework: Nine Values for Australian Schooling’.
  3. Imagine you are the person you have examined. Write a letter to a friend. Consider the following things to include in your letter:
    • the people you have helped and how they have benefited from your actions;
    • what motivated you to help;
    • what changes you would like to make in your community;
    • what your vision is for the future of Western Australia, and how you will work towards it; and
    • the possible advantages and disadvantages of Federation for Western Australia.