Wellard – once a group settlement township, now a suburb of Kwinana

The original town site of Wellard was established in 1923 as part of the post-First World War soldier and group settlement scheme (groups 50 and 54), the land having been transferred to the Crown in 1922 from a farmer and grazier Alexander Robert, known as Bob, Richardson who had purchased the land in 1898. It was situated on the south western side of what was known from 1923 as Richardson’s Swamp (although the correct name which appeared on maps from 1900 was Bollard Bulrush Swamp). The name of Wellard was first used for Wellard Road and commemorates a track used by Bob’s father-in-law, John Wellard, who owned Serpentine Farm in 1860 (the farm was later bought by Bob in 1876, who changed the name to “Lowlands”). The town flourished briefly and some buildings other than dwellings also appeared including a furniture factory, a hospital, a store, a post office and a hall. The hall had multiple uses including church services, a school and social activities such as silent movies, dances and fancy dress balls. As a young man, Sir Charles Court played the trumpet at the Wellard Hall. Ultimately the township declined as a result of the depression and farm failures, the hospital being removed to Esperance about 1930. The townsite was finally cancelled in 1960, but Wellard was approved as a suburb name for Kwinana in March 1978.