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Australian History: 1800s to Present

  • Second Major Settlement at Van Diemen's Land

    Second Major Settlement at Van Diemen's Land
    A second major settlement is established at Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania). This is where convicts were taken when they arrived in Australia to serve their transportation sentence (i.e. when they had committed a crime in the United Kingdom, they were sent to Australia for a certain number of years.)
  • Wool Export Begins

    Wool Export Begins
    The first commercial batch of wool is shipped from Sydney to England. By the year 2000, 80% of the world's supply of merino wool will come from Australia.
  • Bank of NSW Established

    Bank of NSW Established
    The Bank of New South Wales (which will eventually become Westpac) is established.
  • 'Australia' is Named

    'Australia' is Named
    Governor Macquarie suggests that the name 'Australia' is used to describe the continent, rather than 'New Holland' as it has previously been known. 'Australia' becomes the name used by everyone.
  • 2 Million Sheep

    2 Million Sheep
    There are now 2 million sheep in the country.
  • Aborigines Taken into Captivity

    Aborigines Taken into Captivity
    Between 1830 and 1834, many Aborigines are persuaded to come into captivity in exchange for food, clothing and protection. They are placed on Flinders Island, in Bass Strait, where disease and isolation quickly take their toll.
  • Melbourne Founded

    Melbourne Founded
    Melbourne is founded by John Batman and John Fawkner, both sons of convicts. He promises to pay the local Wurundjeri people in an annual sum of knives, axes, blankets, scissors, handkerchiefs, mirrors, shirts and flour.
    The British Government declare this agreement to be in disagreement with 'terra nullius', which states that there was no one who already owned land in Australia before European settlement.
  • Transportation to Mainland Ends

    Transportation to Mainland Ends
    Transportation to mainland Australia ends. Convicts are still taken to Van Diemen's Land, where they are forced to do hard labour.
  • Transportation Put on Hold

    Transportation Put on Hold
    Transportation to Van Diemen's Land is put on hold for two years because too many convicts are flooding into the colony. It does not have facilities to cope with them all.
  • Victoria Becomes Separate Colony

    Victoria Becomes Separate Colony
    Due to public pressure, the British Government agrees to separate Victoria from New South Wales by making it a new colony.
  • Gold Strikes!

    Gold Strikes!
    Gold is discovered in Australia, with major strikes near Bathurst in NSW and Ballarat in Victoria (although the town itself did not exist yet). People flock to the goldfields in search of a fortune, including many migrants from Europe, the UK and Asia.
  • Eureka Stockade

    Eureka Stockade
    In protest of unfair treatment by the Government, gold miners at Ballarat erect a wooden stockade and vow to fight to protect each other from the Government. They are swiftly crushed, but juries refuse to convict the men who are arrested because they are seen as incredibly brave.
  • Anti-Chinese Laws Passed

    Anti-Chinese Laws Passed
    White Australians are incredibly racist and uneasy about the number of Chinese migrants chasing gold in Australia. The first anti-Chinese laws are passed, but this doesn't stop the numbers increasing rapidly. The number of Chinese people in the Australian colonies reaches 50,000.
  • Men Given Right to Vote

    Men Given Right to Vote
    Men are given the right to vote - as long as they are white, own a home or are renting a property.
  • First Game of AFL

    First Game of AFL
    The first recorded game of AFL takes place.
  • First Melbourne Cup

    First Melbourne Cup
    The first Melbourne Cup race is run.
  • First Long Distance Railway

    First Long Distance Railway
    The first long distance railway is built from Echuca to Melbourne via Bendigo.
  • Transportation Ends

    Transportation Ends
    Transportation of convicts to Australia ends completely.
  • All Children Must Attend School

    All Children Must Attend School
    A law is passed to say that all children over the age of six must attend school.
  • Kelly Gang at Large

    Kelly Gang at Large
    The Kelly Gang are at their strongest over the next two years, committing major robberies and, finally, the murder of three police officers.
  • Aboriginal Protector Appointed

    Aboriginal Protector Appointed
    An Aboriginal Protector is appointed, who can force Aboriginal people to leave their homes and families to live on government reserves.
  • Chinese Hatred Grows

    Chinese Hatred Grows
    Chinese immigrants are prevented from coming ashore as anti-Chinese sentiment grows.

    Anti-Chinese legislation is passed which will become the foundation for the White Australia Policy.
  • Depression Grips Australia

    Depression Grips Australia
    Severe depression grips Australia between 1890 and 1893.
  • Federation Sentiment Grows

    Federation Sentiment Grows
    The Corowa Conference is held, and support for Federation grows.
  • Boer War

    Boer War
    The Boer War begins in South Africa. Around 12,000 Australians fight on behalf of Britain. Approximately 600 Australians are killed or die of disease between 1899 and 1902.
  • Federation

    Federation creates the nation of Australia.
  • Canberra Becomes Capital

    Canberra Becomes Capital
    Canberra becomes the nation's capital.
  • First World War Begins

    First World War Begins
    World War 1 begins. Australia immediately declares allegiance with the British Empire.
  • Gallipoli

    Australian troops land at Gallipoli. 7,594 Australian troops are lost.
  • World War One Ends

    World War One Ends
    World War One Ends.
  • Vegemite

    Vegemite is produced for the first time. However, it does not gain popularity until 1950.
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge

    Sydney Harbour Bridge
    Construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge begins.
  • Phar Lap

    Phar Lap
    Phar Lap wins the Melbourne Cup. He dies a year later from poisoning.
  • The Great Depression

    The Great Depression
    Australia is in the grip of the Great Depression, with one-third of the workforce now unemployed.
  • World War Two

    World War Two
    Australia's involvement in World War Two begins.
  • Darwin Bombed

    Darwin Bombed
    The first major attack on Australian soil occurs when Darwin is bombed as part of a Japanese air raid.
  • World War Two Ends

    World War Two Ends
    World War Two officially ends on 14 August 1949.
  • Olympics Held in Melbourne

    Olympics Held in Melbourne
    The Olympics are held in Melbourne, and television broadcasts begin in Australia.
  • Vietnam War

    Vietnam War
    Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War begins, and will last for the next 13 years. 60,000 Australians will partiicpate, and 521 will be killed.
  • Aboriginals Granted Full Rights

    Aboriginals Granted Full Rights
    Australian Aboriginals granted full rights as Australian citizens. More than 90% of Australians vote 'Yes' in the referendum.
  • Opera House Opened

    Opera House Opened
    The Opera House is opened by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Cyclone Tracy Hits

    Cyclone Tracy Hits
    On Christmas Eve, Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin. Over 80% of buildings are destroyed and 65 people are killed.
  • Vietnam War Ends

    Vietnam War Ends
    After thirteen years, the Vietnam War finally comes to an end.
  • Mabo ends 'Terra Nullius'

    Mabo ends 'Terra Nullius'
    The idea of 'terra nullius', which stated that the Australian land did not belong to anyone when the British arrived, is abolished. Aboriginal people are established as the native owners of the land.
  • Port Arthur Massacre

    Port Arthur Massacre
    35 people are killed by a lone gunman at Port Arthur in Tasmania.
    Guns become regulated in Australia.