A brief look at Australian History

Timeline created by bpsresearchers
In History
  • Jan 1, 1001

    PRE-HISTORY

    PRE-HISTORY
    Scientists believe the first people to settle in Australia arrived between 40,000 and 50,000 years ago. They were the ancestors of today's Indigenous Australians.
    According to traditional indigenous beliefs, Australia's first people were created by ancestral beings, who also created the land, its plants and its animals.
  • DUTCH EXPLORER

    DUTCH EXPLORER
    Willem Jansz maps 300 km of the west coast of Cape York Peninsula
  • NAVIGATION ERROR

    NAVIGATION ERROR
    Dutch explorer, Dirk Hartog, lands on an island off the west coast of West Australia, near present day Shark Bay.
  • VAN DIEMEN"S LAND

    VAN DIEMEN"S LAND
    Abel Tasman discovers the west coast of a land he calls Van Diemen's Land, now Tasmania.
  • ENGLISH EXPLORER

    ENGLISH EXPLORER
    William Dampier spends three months on the Australian north west coast in the vicinity of King Sound.
  • ROEBUCK

    ROEBUCK
    sailed by William Dampier reaches Dirk Hartog Island.
  • EAST COAST OF NEW HOLLAND SIGHTED

    EAST COAST OF NEW HOLLAND SIGHTED
    by Captain Cook and his crew.
  • PROCLAMATION

    PROCLAMATION
    Captain Cook takes possession of the whole eastern side of the continent, naming it NEW SOUTH WALES. Image ({{Information |Description=Animated Union Jack |Source=George Dingwall |Date=2008 |Author=George Dingwall |Permission=Creative Commons attribution |other_versions= }} )
  • AMERICAN REVOLUTION

    AMERICAN REVOLUTION
    forces Britain to look for a new destination for its convicts.
  • SIR JOSEPH BANKS

    SIR JOSEPH BANKS
    botanist from THE ENDEAVOUR suggests that convicts be sent to New South Wales.
  • A FLEET OF ELEVEN SHIPS (known as the FIRST FLEET)

    A FLEET OF ELEVEN SHIPS (known as the FIRST FLEET)
    depart from Portsmouth bound for New South Wales. On board were nearly 800 convicts and more than 600 crewmen, officers, marines and their families.
    "..AT 4 AM FIRED GUN AND MADE THE SIGNAL TO WEIGH, WEIGH'D AND MADE SAIL, IN COMPANY WITH THE HYAENA FRIGATE, SUPPLY ARMED TENDER, SIX TRANSPORTS AND THREE STORE SHIPS, AT 9 FIRED A GUN AND MADE THE SIGN'L FOR THE CONVOY TO MAKE MORE SAIL." recorded in the logbook of HMS Sirius.
  • LANDING AT BOTANY BAY

    LANDING AT BOTANY BAY
    8 months and one week after its departure, the First Fleet arrives in New South Wales. Forty people - mostly convicts - had died during the voyage. Captain Arthur Phillip learns that the bay is too shallow and unsheltered making it unsuitable for settlement.
  • PENAL SETTLEMENT ESTABLISHED

    PENAL SETTLEMENT ESTABLISHED
    at Sydney Cove in Port Jackson. Arthur Phillip believed he had found the 'finest harbour in the world.' The marines and convicts pitched tents and began the task of building the new settlement which Phillip named Sydney after Lord Sydney, Secretary of State of the Home Department.
  • NORFOLK ISLAND ESTABLISHED AS A PENAL SETTLEMENT

    NORFOLK ISLAND ESTABLISHED AS A PENAL SETTLEMENT
    to prevent it from falling in the hands of the French.When the First Fleet arrived at Port Jackson in January 1788, Phillip ordered Lieutenant Philip Gidley King to lead a party of fifteen convicts and seven free men to take control of the island and prepare for its commercial development. The penal colony was closed in 1855 and free settlers began ariving in 1856. Image Originally uploaded to Flickr as part of the Norfolk Island set by Steve Daggar.
  • NEW SETTLEMENT

    NEW SETTLEMENT
    Parramatta becomes the second English settlement in New South Wales. Image created by peacay on Flickr.
  • APPOINTMENT of ACTING GOVENOR

    APPOINTMENT of ACTING GOVENOR
    Lieutenant Francis Grose. The European population of New South Wales when Grose took over was 4,221, of whom 3,099 were convicts.
  • NEW GOVERNOR TAKES OFFICE

    NEW GOVERNOR TAKES OFFICE
    John Hunter who had helped select the site of Port Jackson becomes second governor. 59 per cent of the population of New South Wales when Hunter took charge of the government were convicts.
  • GEORGES RIVER TRACED

    GEORGES RIVER TRACED
    by George Bass and Matthew Flinders in the 'TOM THUMB'. During this trip they explored the land south of Sydney and found land suitable for settlement. Later (in 1789) they will spend three weeks mapping the north coast of Tasmania before they sail down the west coast and the Derwent River. They had proved that Van Diemen's Land was an island by sailing right round it. Flinders named the strait, Bass Strait. The discovery of this strait meant that ships could save days when sailing to England.
  • BANKSTOWN ESTABLISHED

    BANKSTOWN ESTABLISHED
    by Governor Hunter in 1797 in honour of botanist Sir Joseph Banks, Our picture shows th opening of the railway station
    Dated: 14/04/1909 Image from STATE RECORDS NSW set on FLICKR.
  • POPULATION HAS INCREASED

    POPULATION HAS INCREASED
    and there are now over 5000 white settlers and convicts in New South Wales. Phillip Gidley King, first governor of Norfolk Island, becomes Governor of New South Wales.
  • SURVEYOR GENERAL CHARLES GRIMES

    SURVEYOR GENERAL CHARLES GRIMES
    discovered the mouth of the Yarra River in the Port Phillip District. The site on which Melbourne now stands having been established initially as a sheep farm by John Batman. In June 1836, the New South Wales government began selling the land on which Melbourne was built.
  • ESTABLISHMENT OF SETTLEMENT ALONG BASS STRAIT

    ESTABLISHMENT OF SETTLEMENT ALONG BASS STRAIT
    established in Van Diemen's Land by Lieutenant-Governor David Collins. The new settlement was named Hobart Town after Lord Hobart - the British politician. In 1825 Van Dieman's Land officially becomes a separate colony.
  • CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF AUSTRALIA COMPLETED

    CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF AUSTRALIA COMPLETED
    by Matthew Flinders after two and a half years having circumnavigated Terra Australis Incognita, the Unknown South Land. In his journals he referred to the continent as Australia, which became its official name in 1824.
  • NEW PENAL SETTLEMENT CREATED

    NEW PENAL SETTLEMENT CREATED
    named Newcastle.This was a place for convicts who had committed crimes within the colony.
  • GOVERNOR WILLIAM BLIGH DISPOSED BY THE MILITARY

    GOVERNOR WILLIAM BLIGH DISPOSED BY THE MILITARY
    today it is referred to as THE RUM REBELLION
  • LACHLAN MACQUARIE

    LACHLAN MACQUARIE
    begins commission as Governor of New South Wales. He remains in this position for the next eleven years.
  • THREE MEN SET OUT TO CROSS THE BARRIER OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

    THREE MEN SET OUT TO CROSS THE BARRIER OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS
    Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth achieved this in 17 days.
  • CONVICTS STILL ARRIVING IN AUSTRALIA BY THE THOUSANDS

    CONVICTS STILL ARRIVING IN AUSTRALIA BY THE THOUSANDS
    so Lachlan Macquarie founds the penal settlement of PORT MACQUARIE, replacing Newcastle as the destination for convicts that had committed secondary crimes in New South Wales. This area had been explored by John Oxley.
  • ANOTHER PENAL SETTLEMENT ESTABLISHED

    ANOTHER PENAL SETTLEMENT ESTABLISHED
    at Moreton Bay, further along the New South Wales coast. Now the site of Brisbane. The area had been previously surveyed in 1823 by NSW Surveyor-General, John Oxley.
  • NEW COLONY OF FREE SETTLERS FOUNDED

    NEW COLONY OF FREE SETTLERS FOUNDED
    at Swan River on the continent's western coast. Western Australia became the name for the new colony and for the continent's whole western third. This area had earlier been explored by James Stirling who later became the first governor. The free settlers were brought to the area by Sir Charles Fremantle.
  • ANOTHER COLONY OF FREE SETTLERS FOUNDED

    ANOTHER COLONY OF FREE SETTLERS FOUNDED
    in South Australia by assisted migrants. This was the only colony settled completely by non-convicts. It had been surveyed by General Colonel William Light. This new colony attracted many German migrants who built settlements around Adelaide and the Barossa Valley.
  • TRANSPORTATION OF CONVICTS TO NEW SOUTH WALES CEASES

    TRANSPORTATION OF CONVICTS TO NEW SOUTH WALES CEASES
  • DISCOVERY OF GOLD IN AUSTRALIA

    DISCOVERY OF GOLD IN AUSTRALIA
    first near Bathurst, N.S.W. and six months later in the Port Phillip district. This brought a new wave of settlers hungry for Australia's riches.
  • NEW SOUTH WALES SPLIT IN TWO

    NEW SOUTH WALES SPLIT IN TWO
    and the distant northern region becomes the colony of Queensland, wih its own government based in Brisbane. Australia was now home to six British colonies.
  • FIRST CRICKET TEAM TOURS ENGLAND

    FIRST CRICKET TEAM TOURS ENGLAND
    the team consisted of 14 Aboriginal cricket players who toured between May and October.
  • SIX COLONIES COME TOGETHER

    SIX COLONIES COME TOGETHER
    to form a single nation, known as the Commonwealth of Australia. This was known as Federation and was celebrated across the nation. Edmund Barton becomes the first Prime Minister
  • CANBERRA NAMED

    CANBERRA NAMED
    as Australia's new capital. Parliament House opened in May 1927.
  • ANZACS LAND AT GALLIPOLI

    ANZACS LAND AT GALLIPOLI
    In August 1914, Prime Minister Cook announced that Australia had joined England to fight World War One. At 4.30 a.m.on 25 April 1915 the ANZACS landed at Gallipoli on the Turkish coast. More than 8000 Australian soldiers died. World War One ended on November 11 1918.
  • SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE OPENED

    SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE OPENED
    by Premier Jack Lang. Image from STATE RECORDS NSW set on FLICKR.
  • AUSTRALIA JOINS ENGLAND

    AUSTRALIA JOINS ENGLAND
    in the declaration of World War Two. This war was fought in Europe, Africa, The Pacific, New Guinea and Southeast Asia. The war ended on 14 August 1945. Image:
    http://www.soil-net.com/album/Places_Objects/slides/Poppy remembrance.html
  • SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE OPENED

    SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE OPENED
    by Queen Elizzabeth II. It had taken 14 years to build.
  • SYDNEY HOSTS XXVII SUMMER OLYMPICS

    SYDNEY HOSTS XXVII SUMMER OLYMPICS