Collie was named after Dr Alexander Collie RN, a ship’s surgeon aboard the HMS Sulphur, who explored the region and in 1829 discovered the river from which Collie took its name. The area was originally recognised as being ideal as pasturelands and for timber production, however with the discovery of coal in 1883, Collie's direction was set.
The town was formally declared a townsite in 1896 and from its humble beginnings Collie grew to become an important West Australian town supplying the State with coal, the all-important resource for power production in railways, shipping and the generation of electricity.
Suggested reading for those looking for more information on Collie and its history:
- "100 Years of Collie Coal" edited by Catherine Stedman
- "One Day in Collie" by H.W. Williams
- “A Rich and Diverse History; a Snapshot of Collie from 1898 – 2010” by John Bird.
- "Fallen Timber": A History of the Worsley District by John Bird.
These publications may be purchased from the Collie Visitor Centre.
A memorial to Dr Alexander Collie is located on the lawns of Forrest Street in Collie.