Our history

The origins of the Office of the Auditor General of Western Australia date back to May 1829. Captain James Stirling, still aboard the Parmelia en route to the west coast of what was then called ‘New Holland’, issued an order to Colonial Secretary Peter Broun to set the necessary arrangements for the administration and control of the settlement.

In August that year WA’s first audit office was ‘open for despatch of business’ with three auditors in charge – an Acting Treasurer, Harbour Master and Storekeeper. Through Broun, Stirling issued the following orders to the three:

“The accounts now referred to you will not be found strictly according to the rules which are to be followed in all future cases; with reference to these therefore the Lieutenant Governor requires to imply that you shall certify that you have examined them and found them correct, or in what parts deficient, and that the Head of each Department has exhibited to you a proper warrant for every issue or expenditure and a receipt from the Parties to whom issues are stated to have been made, and that in case of stores purchased they have been duly vouched for and carried to account. You shall have appended a certificate to this effect together with the receipts required, and you are to transmit the account so made up to the Lieutenant Governor.”

Since then, Western Australia has had 18 Auditors General:

Peter Broun

1831 Capt. Mark John Currie
1832 John Lewis
1844 Peter Broun
1846 William Knight
1872 Edward Lane Courthope
1891 Fred Spencer
1904 Charles Samuel Toppin
1936 Sydney Arnold Taylor
1945 William Robert Nicholas
1954 Constantine Paul Mathea
1962 Clifford Charles Press
1968 Ormond Bowyer
1969 Will Adams
1975 Alan Elliott Tonks
1982 William Frederick Rolston
1987 Allan Smith
1991 Des Pearson
2007 Colin Murphy