Council Photoboards Online

The South Perth Council has gone through many changes over the years starting from its early beginnings as a Road Board District after branching off from the City of Perth in 1892. This was followed by its establishment as a:

  • Municipality from 1902-1922,
  • Road Board again from 1922-1956,
  • Municipality again from 1956-1959,
  • City in 1959.

The Council’s Photoboards are a record of the Chairmen, Town Clerks, Mayors, Council Officers and Councillors who have served the South Perth Council since its inception.

South Perth Municipal Council 1915-1916

– South Perth Municipal Council 1915-1916.

Until now, the 39 original photoboards that have survived have been safely stored in the City’s Local History Archive Collection, while a select few have been on display in the Council’s Reception Room.

In 2013, the City supported Local History in providing an opportunity to digitise 27 of these photoboards for preservation purposes and in order to make them available online.

This newly launched online collection of Council Photoboards highlights the growth of the Council through its numerous transitions over the years and can now be viewed on the web through Picture South Perth:

Council Photoboards Online

Stay tuned for more information about an upcoming exhibition to see some of the original photoboards!

Open House – South Perth

OpenHousePerthAs part of Open House Perth, iconic destinations around Perth open their doors to the public for touring free of charge over the course of a two-day weekend. This is an exciting opportunity to explore some really great spaces in W.A.

This year Open House Perth has incorporated some of South Perth’s most iconic locations in its 2014 program.


Open House Perth will take place on Saturday 1 November and Sunday 2 November 2014.

Visit the pages below for some of South Perth’s featured destinations and a bit of background information:





The City of South Perth Historical Society will be hosting the Open House events at Heritage House Cultural Centre, Old Mill Theatre and South Perth Bowling Club. Visit those spaces on November 1-2 to see the Society in action!

Talking ’bout my generation – entries close 26 Sept. 2014

With just under a month left to submit your stories & memories to the City of South Perth’s Local History Award, it’s time to get writing!

What do you love about your suburb? What do you remember seeing and doing over the years? Have a favourite business, shop, or local spot you are fond of?

We would love to hear your stories!

For details on how to enter and go in the draw for some great prizes, click the image below:

Talking bout my Generation - Enter today!

Some of our entries from 2012 shared some great memories with us…

  • “My favourite thing about South Perth is — its proximity to the beautiful Swan River and the wonderful memories I have experienced during my 88 years of living in South Perth and Como. …” [Adult]
  • “My favourite place is the South Perth Foreshore because it is always peace and quiet. I remember the time when my family and I were having a picnic there nine years ago. ….. ” [Upper Primary student]
  • “… Whilst in the Swan Street neighbourhood, I was also fascinated by the rifle range at Wesley College, the location now used for tennis courts. … Can you imagine a rifle range in downtown South Perth today? The city fathers would be freaking out.” [Adult]
  • “The suburb I live in is Kensington which is in South Perth. … I like to explore the suburb. Every now and then I go out with friends and find the little alleyways around Canning Highway.” [Upper Primary student]
  • “… I have not had a lot of memories in South Perth. But, there are some activities that made me happy, namely, a walk with my family. …. I am so happy with South Perth. Although I’m still new, I intend to stay and experience here. I think South Perth is an exciting place. There are many trees there, so I feel calm during the day. … ” [Lower Secondary student]


Picture South Perth has doubled in size

Since its launch in April 2014, library staff have been busy processing more images from the Local History Collection to be shared on Picture South Perth.

Images dating from the mid-1950s up until the 2000s have now been released to the online collection making it double in size to a total of 1600 images!

The new images include some exciting photographs of families, houses, businesses and Council events over the years. Demolition and construction are also recurring themes, showing how the City has evolved over recent decades.


So have a look and see if you can find your house, or your business, or even yourself pictured on Picture South Perth!

And if not, we invite you to contribute pictures from your personal collections by getting in touch with the Local History Librarian at South Perth Library on 9474-0800 or at We can scan your photographs and return them to you.

New Release – Sir James Mitchell (Biography)

Local author Bruce Devenish recently published the first definitive biography of one of the State’s most notable historic figures.

Sir James Mitchell : Premier & Governor of Western Australia will soon be available for loan at both the South Perth and Manning Libraries.

Sir James Mitchell Premier & Governor of Western Australia by Bruce Devenish


Sir James Mitchell Park

An iconic park located on the South Perth foreshore, Sir James Mitchell Park was developed in the 1950s after the closure of the Chinese Market Gardens.

Towards the eastern end of the foreshore, the main early activities were recreational (horse racing), dairying, and pig farming.

Since then, the park has become a popular recreational spot south of the river, with playground equipment, skate parks, cycle and walking paths, barbecue areas and a very popular picnic spot.

Sir James Mitchell Park, 1994.

Sir James Mitchell Park, 1994.

Sir James Mitchell

The park was named after Sir James Mitchell (1866-1951) who served as the 13th Premier of Western Australia, serving on two occasions, the Lieutenant-Governor of Western Australia for 15 years and 22nd Governor of Western Australia.


If interested in purchasing a copy of the biography, see this form for details on how to order.

After the Event: Caring for your family photographs

We were joined by Paul Malone, Director of Preservation Services, this week, who shared his extensive knowledge of photograph preservation in a 2-hour workshop at the South Perth Library.


After going through different types of photographs that were developed over the last two centuries (see here for an overview), we learned that the first step is to have an understanding of why photographs deteriorate, and that the biggest culprits are light and atmospheric conditions.

Some of Paul’s tips for storage of those precious family photo prints were to avoid anything with acidity (as it will cause deterioration). Look for acid-free materials. He also recommended we avoid displaying photographs near UV light sources which will accelerate deterioration. Check the light bulbs in your home, particularly the ones located near your framed photographs.

Avoid UV light.

Avoid UV light.

Good materials for storage of your prints include polypropylene, polystyrene, and even polyester. Paul recommended looking for these when purchasing negative and print sleeves and photo albums. Tyvec was recommended for storing glass negatives.

Polypropylene albums


The Royal Western Australian Historical Society, located in Nedlands, are a good source of archival storage materials in Perth. Visit their website here for more information: