Australian Timeline

  • European Exploration: Dutch

    European Exploration: Dutch
    The very first Europeans to sail to Europe were the Dutch (Netherlands) In 1606, but they didn't settle there, when they made the landing, the Dutch were attacks by Aborigines, and they abandoned further exploration.
  • Prisoners as Colonists.

    Prisoners as Colonists.
    The American Revolution (1765-1783) forced the British to stop sending prisoners to Georgia, which was a penal colony at the time. Now Great Britain needs to find another place to send its prisoners, and Australia seemed like a good choice. There was no chance of escape, no colonies around it, and very few indigenous people lived there.
  • European Exploration: British

    European Exploration: British
    Captain James Cook sailed around Australia, Cook named the area "New South Wales". James ignored the Aborigines and claimed the land for England. Sailors also mapped the coast eastern Australia & Tasmania.
  • 1787-1788

    1787-1788
    In 1787, British ships called the "First Fleet" left England with convicts to establish a prison colony. A year after that, in 1788, British Prisoners were settling in Australia
  • New South Wales

    New South Wales
    From 1788 to 1832, New South Wales was officially a penal colony, consisting mainly of convicts, guards, and the marines’ families. The British transported prisoners to Australia until 1868, By this time, many free immigrants were settling there, they built businesses, trading posts, farms, and other things too.
  • Port Arthur, Tasmania

    Port Arthur, Tasmania
    From 1833 until the 1850's, it was the destination for the hardest of convicted British and Irish criminals, those who were secondary offenders having re-offended after their arrival in Australia. In some tales, It suggests that some prisoners committed murder, which during that time period is an offence punishable by death, just to escape the desolation of life at the camp.
  • The Perfect Colony

    The Perfect Colony
    Great Britain saw that Australia was a good location to base its navy in the South Pacific Ocean, It's location would make it possible for British ships to make repairs and get supplies. It also could create many opportunities for trade with Asia and the Americas.
  • Commonwealth of Australia

    Commonwealth of Australia
    Non-prisoner colonization continued, and Major coastal settlements became 7 independent colonies. In 1861, government officials created boundaries for the colonies that are still in place today. January 1, 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia was established, Melbourne served as the national capital until Canberra was completed in 1927.
  • Aborigines

    Aborigines
    Aborigines went through stages of being conquered through an invasion and taking of their lands, European settlers often separated Aborigines from society. European settlers also separated Aborigines from their families and they were put in institutions, others were killed. During the 1900s, separation was an official government policy which lasted for many decades Today, many Aboriginal people do not know their origins.
  • "White Australia"

    "White Australia"
    During this time period, Australia promoted a policy called “White Australia”, meaning that they would not allow non-Caucasians to immigrate to Australia. Fortunately, that has since changed, The Immigration Restriction Act of 1901 restricted migration to people primarily of European descent, this was dismantled after the Second World War. Today, Australia has a global, on-discriminatory policy and is home to people from more than 200 countries.