European Exploration: DutchFirst Europeans to travel to Australia were the Dutch (Netherlands) in 1606, but they didn`t settled there. The Dutch made one landing, were attacked by the Aborigines, and then abandoned further exploration.
European Exploration: BritishCaptain James Cook sailed around Australia. Cook named the area New South Wales. He ignored the Aborigines living there and claimed the land for England. Sailors also mapped the coast eastern Australia Tasmania.
The First FleetBritish ships called "The First Fleet" left England with convicts to establish a prison colony.
Prisoners in AustraliaIn 1788 British prisoners settled in Australia.
New South WalesNew South Wales was officially a penal (prison) colony consisting mainly of convicts, marines(guards), and the marines families. Only 20% of the convicts were women. British transported prisoners until 1868. By this time many free immigrants were settling there. They built businesses, trading posts, farms, etc.
Port Arthur, Tasmaniauntil the 1850s, 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 addition, Port Arthur had some of the strictest security measures of the British penal system.Some tales suggest that prisoners committed murder just to escape the desolation of life at the camp.The Island of the Dead was the destination for all who died inside the prison camps.
Commonwealth of AustraliaMajor coastal settlements became 7 independent colonies
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.
White AustraliaOriginally, Australia promoted a policy called “White Australia”
They would not allow non-Caucasians to immigrate to Australia.
That has since changed…
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, non-discriminatory policy and is home to people from more than 200 countries!
Aborigines1967: federal government began to pass legislation to help the Aborigines
It was widely seen as affirmation of the Australian people’s wish to see its government take direct action to improve the living conditions of Aborigines
In March, striking Aboriginal farmers changed political history by extending a demand for equal wages to a declaration of their rights of ownership of traditional lands.
This became one of Australia’s first successful land claims by its indigenous people.
Australia Today1986: Australia Act -- all legal ties with the British Empire were severed
Today, Australia is a parliamentary democracy (constitutional monarchy) with Elizabeth II as queen
1999: 55% of voters rejected the idea of becoming an independent republic.