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history:h_australia

brief history of Australia

Prehistory:

  • 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.
  • DNA studies in 2014-15 appear to show 11% of current aboriginal DNA is of Indian origin which suggests a wave of Indian people came by boat around 4,230 years ago and may have brought dingos with them as well as new plant processing and stone tool technologies, with microliths appearing for the first time.
  • 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 - 25,000yrs old.
    • Western Arnhem Land - Kakadu, NT - possibly even back to 60,000yrs ago
    • Kow Swamp - near Echuca, Vic - 1st Pleistocene Australians found in burial ground
    • 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.
  • early European sightings of Australia commenced around 1601

Timeline to Federation:

  • 1770: Capt. James Cook discovers Australia's east coast & claims it for England
  • 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 MacArthur
  • 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 Frederick Brabyn
  • 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
  • 1808: my great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Captain John Brabyn was one of 6 magistrates involved in the famous “rum rebellion” which imprisoned Gov. Bligh - Australia's 1st and only military coup of the government
  • 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 John & 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 seas.
  • 1829, Perth founded
  • 1830-50: era of the inland explorers - “The Overlanders” and the Squatters taking up farming runs
  • 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.1)
  • 1844-5, Sturt explores eastern border region of SA; Leichardt explores Qld & Gulf of Carpenteria coast; Mitchell explores inland NSW/Qld
  • 1845: copper discovered in Burra, SA leading to a mini-boom and became one of the greatest copper producing centres in the world for many years from 1848 onwards, which along with the Kapunda copper mine would help SA govt avoid bankrupcy. The mine was worked by the South Australian Mining Association and its secretary, Henry Ayers, did extremely well and eventually became premier of SA. The mine closed in 1877. 2)
  • 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 killed;
  • 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 in 1880
  • 1880, white population reaches 2.2m; bushranger 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.
  • 1888, Melbourne becomes the richest city in the world, and the only city to host the World Exhibition twice in the decade, but then general fears of a high influx of immigrants seeking the good life, turns back a boat load of Chinese immigrants leading to the “White Australia Policy” and along with the failure to maintain growth, and the global depression years which followed, soon stagnated for decades to come.
  • 1880's, falling export prices, over-borrowing for expansion, bank failures, & general depression leads to strikes & class bitterness which encourages labour parties into politics.
  • 1890's: 
    • 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 protectorates.
    • NSW once again gains ascendancy over Victoria & the new colony of Queensland. 
    • WA has a gold rush at Coolgardie attracting migrants mainly from the other colonies.
    • small gold mine started in Moppa, SA which helps locals avoid unemployment
  • 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:
history/h_australia.txt · Last modified: 2019/01/31 22:34 by gary1