Education and Learning



Bronte St, East Perth

When Governor Stirling arrived in the Swan River Colony in 1829, one of his first acts was to set aside land for public needs including the practical requirement of a cemetery. In November 1829, land was allocated for public burial grounds on what became known as Cemetery Hill. Today this is a part of East Perth.

East Perth Cemeteries are significant today because they were the main burial grounds for the Swan River Colony from 1829 to the end of the 19th century. The site is a remnant of what originally comprised seven independently owned and managed cemeteries. It has been estimated that there were 10,000 burials in the East Perth Cemeteries. To date some 800 graves have been identified.

Visiting East Perth Cemeteries will bring to life the experience of death in the early days of the settlement of Western Australia. Your students will learn about the history of the site, discover the graves of early settlers and pioneers and explore the symbolism of headstones.

Before your visit, look at our Adopt-a-Grave website to get background information on some of the significant - and not so significant - early settlers to WA.

Bronte Street has pay parking. Apply to City of Perth for free bus bay outside the main gate.

Students' Comments
It was a great place to explore. Sophie
It was amazing to see that John Septimus Roe was buried there. Harry
I thought it was very interesting because one of my relatives was buried there.  My favourite grave was the one with the angel on top. Grace
I thought the grave yard was a great excursion to go to. Liam
I thought it was going to be really creepy but in the end it wasn’t at all. Daniel

Try one of the following programs

year 5 Australian Curriculum History course

READING ROCKS for years 2 - 7


ADOPT–A-GRAVE for secondary students


Teachers of S&E for years 8 to 12 should contact the National Trust to discuss curriculum specific needs.

Bookings essential. Please allow at least 1.5 to 2 hours for your visit.

Booking Fees and to Request a Booking click here


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suitable for year 5

The colonisation of the Swan River region of Western Australia began with a visit by Captain James Stirling in 1827. Two years later on 1 June, Stirling returned as Governor of a new settlement in the Parmelia. By the end of that year five hundred colonists had arrived.
This course explores the settlement of the region between 1827 and the 1890s and beyond, within the context of British colonial expansion, the daily lives of free settlers, some significant people of the time and the impact on Aboriginal people.
Take me to the Course


suitable for years 2 to 7
Gravestones can give us a great deal of information about specific periods of history.
At East Perth Cemeteries students will learn about the history of Perth and the Cemeteries site in the early days of the Swan River Colony. They will be given a tour of the Cemeteries and use the Reading Rocks Trail workbook to discover more about the people buried there.
Download Reading Rocks Trail

suitable for years 5 to 10
Students are introduced to the historical and heritage significance of this site and St Bartholomews Chapel. They will explore the cemeteries and graves. Extend your visit with an art or drama activity. Resources are available for students to continue their introduction to one of Australia's last remaining Colonial Cemeteries in the classroom.

for students in years 9 to 12
Adopt-A-Grave brings together the skills of research and website technology with gardening and maintenance.
Students taking part in the program are given the opportunity to research and interpret an important person, period or theme of local history and are empowered to present this information in a meaningful way to their peers and others.
They are introduced to East Perth Cemeteries by expert guides, trained in maintenance of the graves by curatorial and heritage staff, taught research skills at the State Library of WA and finally create web site information pages that are made available to the public through the National Trust website.
ADOPT–A-GRAVE  - view students' work

With heritage as a central theme and using Western Australian history as a base, teachers are able to engage students in a variety of fun activities. The curriculum linked activities in the Webquest relate to Tranby, The Old Mill and East Perth Cemeteries. They are suitable for primary students and relate to the Tour Through Time CD resources to supplement teaching and learning.

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