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Northam

(4/5 based on 150+ reviews for 5 attractions)
Things to do: nature, museums
Northam is a town in Western Australia, situated at the confluence of the Avon and Mortlock Rivers, about 97km north-east of Perth in the Avon Valley. At the 2011 census, Northam had a population of 6,580. Northam is the largest town in the Avon region. It is also the largest inland town in the state not founded on mining.HistoryThe area around Northam was first explored in 1830 by a party of colonists led by Ensign Robert Dale, and subsequently founded in 1833. It was named by Governor Stirling, probably after a village of the same name in Devon, England. Almost immediately it became a point of departure for explorers and settlers who were interested in the lands which lay to the east.This initial importance declined with the growing importance of the other nearby towns of York and Beverley, but the arrival of the railway made Northam the major departure point for fossickers and miners who headed east towards the goldfields.Northam was the focus of nationwide media attention in 2009 after its police arrested and detained a 12-year-old Aboriginal boy on charges of receiving stolen goods after he had been given a Freddo Frog, a small chocolate snack, stolen from a shop. After missing a court date in connection with the matter, the boy, who had no previous convictions, had been arrested and held for several hours in a police cell. The boy's lawyer, Peter Collins from the Aboriginal Legal Service, suggested that the same action would not have been taken against a "non-Aboriginal kid from an affluent Perth suburb with professional parents". The police denied this, and said the boy had come to their attention in the past. The charges were subsequently dropped, and an order for legal costs of one thousand Australian dollars was made in the boy's favour.
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