The story of the City of Stirling dates back to 1871, when it formed part of a 647 square kilometre area governed by the Perth Road Board. At that time, the total population across Western Australia accounted for just 25,000 people. The area managed by the Perth Road Board was either rural or completely undeveloped and included land areas that would later become the cities of Wanneroo, Bayswater and Belmont.
The Local Government Act 1960 was passed in July 1961 with road boards becoming shires and uniform legislation put in place to govern cities, towns and shires. That same year, the Perth Road Board became the Shire of Perth with a population of approximately 84,000 people.
A decade later, the Shire of Perth was renamed the City of Stirling in 1971 with its population almost doubled to 160,000 people. The change to become a City was introduced in conjunction with the 100th anniversary since the establishment of the original Perth Road Board.