OUR History

Built in 1962, Beatty Park Leisure Centre was used for the VIIth British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

Beatty Park was purpose-built as the major aquatic venue for the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, held in Perth from 22 November to 1 December, 1962. Beatty Park was originally known as the City of Perth Aquatic Centre, or more colloquially as Beatty Park Pool, even though there were in fact three pools. It comprised of two 50 yard pools, a diving pool, extensive spectator seating and press rooms.

Three days after the Games finished, Beatty Park Aquatic Centre opened for public use on 4 December 1962.

Watch our 'Sixty Years of Beatty Park' videos

Throughout its history, Beatty Park has played a prominent role in the development of swimming and aquatic sports in Western Australia, both in education and at an elite level. In 1963, large numbers of school children enrolled for swimming lessons at Beatty Park, and the Public Schools Association began holding their inter-school swimming carnivals here.The first State Championship Swim Meet in the newly opened venue took place in the evening on 14 December 1962. Shortly after in February 1963, the venue hosted the first National Swimming Championships.

Diving exhibitions were a regular feature, particularly during royal visits. Her Royal Highness the Queen Mother visited Beatty Park in March 1966, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon in 1972 and Prince Philip in 1973, 11 years after he opened the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. 

In the 1960s and 70s, Beatty Park was used as a venue for many local events including graduation ceremonies, beauty pageants (Miss West Coast and Miss Western Australia) and concerts, at a time when Perth was without any other venue of suitable size to host some of the world's biggest names of music. Visiting musical artists included:

  • 1968: The Seekers
  • 1971: Daddy Cool, Deep Purple, The Bee Gees, The Kinks
  • 1972: Roy Orbison
  • 1973: The Jackson 5, Santana
  • 1974: Suzi Quatro

Following the construction of Challenge Stadium (previously Superdrome), much controversy surrounded the decision to redevelop Beatty Park Leisure Centre. Feasibility studies and a series of public consultations were conducted in an effort to ensure that the new facility would meet the needs of the existing users and the broader community. 

A total refurbishment took place in 1993 with the best of the old being combined with an exciting new facility. Beatty Park Leisure Centre re-opened in July 1994 and comprised a 50 metre 8-lane outdoor pool, a 30 metre dive pool, a 25 metre indoor lap pool with adjoining water playground, water slides, diveboards, free-form pool, sauna/spa/steam room, gymnasium, aerobics room, circuit gym, retail shop, café, crèche, office space and a series of activity rooms, and spectator seating for approximately 5,000 people.

A further $17 million dollar redevelopment was completed in 2013, when a brand new two-level building was constructed on the eastern side of the complex, overlooking Beatty Park Reserve. The new features included a new entrance, foyer, reception and offices, a lift between floors of the gym, two new group fitness studios and a brand new gym. The heritage-listed façade of the complex was not affected.

In 2021, upgrades to the tune of $2.9 million were undertaken in the indoor pool area. The upgrades included new tiling featuring laser-engraved Aboriginal artwork, installation of a giant tipping bucket, water spray arches and water fountains, on-deck showers, changing cubicles and a new water treatment system. 

The Centre is unique in that it has maintained its historical links to the past, yet has become one of Western Australia's premier indoor and outdoor leisure facilities. It is a valued resource for the people within the City of Vincent and surrounds.