History of Australia
- see also:
- Australian history:
- it appears, Australia became separated from the super-continent of
Gondwanaland some 80 million years ago.
- the 1st Australians arrived by sea from the Ice Age subcontinent Sundaland,
in SE Asia, via the islands in between the two great land masses more than
40,000 yrs ago.
- it is thought that two racial groups migrated from SE Asia:
- the Australoids went to New Guinea, Australia & Melanesia
- the Mongoloids went to Micronesia & Polynesia
- the only migrating creatures believed to have preceded human arrivals are
bats & rodents.
- the Aboriginals:
- formed hunter-gatherer societies based on a complex network of kinship
throughout Australia including Tasmania
- as flint & similar fine-grained rocks were rare, they used quartz
or quartzite for most of the stone tools
- formed a profound spiritual relationship with land and sea manifested
in a system of beliefs called the Dreaming which encompassed the
past, present & future.
- they developed ways of managing the land such as controlled burning to
improve sustainable food supplies
- Australia's most important prehistoric Aboriginal sites:
- Kenniff Cave - central Qld - 16,000-19,000 yr old remnants
- Koonalda Cave - far western Sth Aust - markings 20,000-25,000yrs old
- Devon Downs - Murray River Sth Aust - 4,000 yrs old
- Puritjarra - NT - 22,000 yrs old
- Talgal - Darling Downs, Qld - 12,000yr old skull disc. in 1886 &
presented at a scientific meeting in 1914
- Cave Bay cave - NW Tas - 23,000yrs old
- Lake Mungo - western NSW - 40,000yrs old, world's oldest cremation -
- Western Arnhem Land - Kakadu, NT - possibly even back to 60,000yrs ago
- Kow Swamp - near Echuca, Vic - 1st Pleistocene Australians found in
- Macassan sites - northern coastline - abandoned sea slug processing
sites created by Indonesian fishermen over past 1000 yrs, indicating a
continuous flow of people, ideas & material items that have entered
Australia for tens of thousands of years.
- 1770: Capt. James Cook discovers Australia's east coast & claims it
- 1788: penal colony founded Sydney by Capt Arthur Phillip
- 1796: my great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Captain
John Brabyn brings a ship load of convicts to the new penal colony
- 1797: merino sheep introduced into Australia by John
- 1800: Napoleon, at the height of the war with England, in an attempt to
possibly claim the west part of "New Holland", sends Baudin to
lead a team of scientists. England responds in 1801 by sending Flinders to
circumnavigate "New Holland".
- 1801: Baudin reaching SW corner New Holland in winter, decided to go north
instead of facing the south coast in winter & navigates the west coast
of New Holland. Running out of water & developing scurvy, in August
1801, he is forced to head to West Timor, but his men then developed fatal
attacks of dysentery. After 3 months in Timor, he then continues back south,
unaware of passing Flinders, and by Jan 1802 reaches Van Dieman's Land,
after passing around its south, sailing up its east coast, he then turns
west to pass through Bass Strait where he is the 1st European to see the
southern coast of western Victoria & then encounters Flinders in Sth
Australia's Encounter Bay.
- 1801: Flinders, in a leaking ship, arrives on SW corner of New Holland
near where Baudin had reached, but as it is now summer, he heads east and
lands in Port Jackson colony. He then circumnavigated Australia
anti-clockwise in his deteriorating ship losing 11 men before reaching Port
Jackson again. Flinders, returning to Europe is shipwrecked and had to row
600 miles back to Port Jackson, before resuming his voyage.
- 1802: Murray discovers Port Phillip Bay with my great, great, great, great
grandmother's 13yr old brother, John
- 1803, Van Dieman's Land becomes a British penal colony & soon its
Aboriginal population is wiped out by guns & introduced diseases
- 1804, Hobart founded
- 1805, my great, great, great, great grandfather, Lieutenant
Peter Burnett French Mills comes to Australia with Captain Bligh who
was involved with the famous mutiny of the Bounty
- 1810, Flinder's finally gets back to England and refutes Peron's
account of Baudin's expedition and soon dies of ill-health;
- 1817-8, Oxley travels from east coast inland to region of Adelaide
- 1824, Brisbane founded
- 1825, WA boundary separates WA (the former New Holland) from NSW
- 1826, England claims all of New Holland under Flinder's suggested
name: Australia; penal colony at Albany
- 1826, my great, great, great grandmother, Eliza Sophia Mills' brothers
& Charles Mills, survive a treacherous voyage in a small boat
from Launceston, Tasmania to become the 1st settlers in Victoria (Port Fairy &
Portland) where they become whalers and farmers and develop a local legend for their
strength, seamanship and for saving lives from ship wrecks in rough
- 1829, Perth founded
- 1830-50: era of the inland explorers - "The Overlanders"
- 1828-30, Sturt explores central region of NSW, crossing the Great
Divide & discovering fertile plains which would stimulate a sheep
& wheat farming industry
- 1834, Portland, Victoria formally settled by the Henty brothers who
find Dutton looking after the whaler's huts belong to Mills and co.
- 1835, Melbourne founded
- 1835-6, Mitchell explores south-western region of NSW and travels
south to Melbourne region
- 1836, colony of Sth Australia & Adelaide founded
- 1838: Capt. John Hepburn is the 1st European settler in the Daylesford
region in Victoria.
- 1839: John
Brabyn Mills captains the 1st ship to sail from the United Kingdom
with immigrants direct to Melbourne instead of Sydney.
- 1839-41, Eyre travels from Adelaide to Albany
- 1840, white population reaches 0.2m
- 1842, the wheat-growing colony of Sth Australia of some 7,000 pop.
saved from bankruptcy by the discovery huge copper deposits at Kapunda.
- 1844-5, Sturt explores eastern border region of SA; Leichardt explores
Qld & Gulf of Carpenteria coast; Mitchell explores inland NSW/Qld
- 1847: Earl Grey signs paper abolishing the convict system in NSW.
- 1851: Irish immigrant John Egan finds alluvial gold in Daylesford, Vic
instigating a local gold rush, with the area becoming a municipality in
1859 with 3400 gold diggers.
- 1851, colony of Victoria founded, coinciding the gold rush which
resulted in 313,000 new settlers immigrating to Victoria, rapidly
outstripping NSW in population & development. In 1852 alone, 86,000
British migrated seeking their fortune.
- 1853: last consignment of convicts to Australia arrive in Van Diemen's
Land, although small numbers continued to arrive in WA until 1868 with
9,700 arriving between 1850-1868).
- 1854, the Eureka Stockade rebellion of 150 gold miners against armed
troopers in Ballarat, Vic. Victoria's 1st census showed 236,798 people
living in the colony, 97,943 of these were from England, the next
highest countries were Ireland and Scotland.
- Several major Victorian institutions were founded in 1854,
including the University of Melbourne, the State Library and the
National Museum of Victoria. The Age newspaper was established, and
a major international exhibition was held in Melbourne in a
purpose-built hall at the corner of William and LaTrobe Streets. The
first steam-powered passenger railway in Australia ran from
Sandridge (South Melbourne) to Flinders Street, and Railway Pier,
later to become Station Pier, commenced its role as the arrival
point for many thousands of immigrants.
- 1855: the Colony of Victoria passed Australia's first immigration act: the
Act to Regulate the Residence of the Chinese Population in Victoria.
- 1860, white population reaches 1.1m
- 1861: explorers Burke & Wills disappear exploring the outback
trying to find a route from Melbourne to northern coast.
- 1860's: South Australian Stuart makes six expeditions to finally get
to the northern coast from Adelaide to form a route to lay the
foundation for Todd's overland telegraph line.
- 1863: Pacific Island labourers recruited, mainly for cheap, indentured
labour on Qld sugar plantations, Australia's closest brush with slavery,
by 1904 when it ended, 62,000 had been recruited, mostly from Vanuatu
& Solomon Islands
- 1864: bushranger Frank Gardiner captured;
- 1865: bushranger 'Mad Dog' Daniel Morgan killed; bushranger Ben Hall
- 1868: end of convict transportation to Australia with final
tally of some 160,000 convicts since the First Fleet in 1788, most of
whom stayed in Australia as were not given the means to return to
England after the term of imprisonment was over.
- 1870, bushranger Capt Thunderbolt shot by troopers
- 1870's, the boom era of the paddle steamers transporting wool
from Darling-Murrumbidgee as far north as Qld border to Echuca
on the Murray River which became Australia's largest inland port and 2nd
largest port only to Melbourne as it was the closest the Murray came to
Melbourne and the Melbourne-Echuca railroad was the 1st to connect a
coastal port with the inland wool industry.
- 1872: Todd's overland telegraph line laid from Adelaide to the north
coast and for the first time wire communications with Europe via Java
could be achieved.
- 1879: bushranger Capt Moonlite's brief career ends in him being hanged
- 1880, white population reaches 2.2m; Ned Kelly hanged for murder of
Mounted Constable Thomas Lonigan;
- 1881, Daylesford, Vic. becomes a fashionable mineral springs spa
resort with the arrival of the railroad.
- 1880's, falling export prices, over-borrowing for expansion, bank
failures, & general depression leads to strikes & class
bitterness which encourages labour parties into politics.
- recession contributes to slowing down of immigration. Many Chinese
immigrants begin to return to China (some 100,000 arrived between
1840-90) as the gold rush ended & they became isolated with
Victoria introducing a poll tax on new arrivals & creating
- NSW once again gains ascendancy over Victoria & the new colony
- WA has a gold rush attracting migrants mainly from the other
- 1893, votes for women
- 1894, compulsory industrial arbitration
- 1898, old age pension
- 1899, Australia sends troops to Sth Africa for the Boer War
- 1900, white population reaches 3.8m
- 1901, Commonwealth of Australia founded; "Federation",
Barton 1st PM
- more Australian history: