Some Important Years In
Australia's History

 


Pre Colonial occupation by Indiginous Peoples believed to exceed 40,000 years

1606
Willem Jansz, a Dutch captain, is believed to be the first European to explore the Australian coast.
1890s
Saw the emergence of political parties and the movement toward the Federation of Australian Colonies into one nation.
1770
Captain James Cook, an English explorer, claimed eastern Australia for England.
1893
Electoral Reform. One man one vote was established for males only.
1788
The First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay and established a penal colony at what is now Sydney.
On the 11th. February the first Australian court sat to try three convicts for crimes committed on the colony's shores.
1900
Bubonic Plague was reported in both Adelaide and Sydney.
Resolution passed calling for the union of the colonies
1797
The first Merino Sheep were brought to Australia from South Africa.
1901
Federation: The Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed. The same year, the White Australia Policy was implemented. Sir Edmund Barton became Australia's first Prime Minister.
1804
Australia's first rebellion was a revolt of Irish convicts at Castle Hill near Parramatta, NSW.
1902
New South Wales Constitution Act consolidates earlier acts. Women given the right to vote. 
1806
Bligh took the office of Governor of New South Wales. Sydney.
1906
The first Director of Education in NSW, Peter Board, was the responsible for the Free Education Act, NSW.
1808
The Rum Rebellion: Officers of the NSW Corps arrest Governor Bligh and take control of the colony.
1914
Many Australians enlisted for service in World War I. However, enthusiasm for the war waned as the Australian economy suffered.
1810
Governor Macquarie arrives and restores the authority of Governor.
1915
Australian and New Zealand troops attack the Galipoli Peninsula in Turkey with devastating results.
1814
Civil courts established in New South Wales.
1918
Women able to stand for election to the Legislative Assembly. the Labor Party was formally named and established.
1823
NSW act passed establishing Legislative Council (of 5 appointed members) to assist Governor. Supreme Court established.
1920
W. Hudson Fysh and others started the Queensland and Northern Territory Arial Service Limited (Qantas) which was the first airline in eastern Australia.
1824
Government House hosts the first meeting of Legislative Council.
1921
Saw the formation of the Royal Australian Air Force.
1826
Australia's first street light was erected in Macquarie Place, Sydney. It operated on whale oil and was the only street light for over a year.
1926
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (the CSIRO) was established by the Australian Government.
1828
All current English common and Statute law adopted in New South Wales.
1928
Compulsory Voting introduced to New South Wales (except for Aborigines). The Flying Doctor Service began operating thanks to the persistence of Reverend John Flynn.
1829
The Legislative Council was expanded to 10 - 15 members and begin meeting in the Surgeon's wing of Sydney General Hospital ("The Rum Hospital"). The colony of Western Australia was founded at Perth, giving Great Britain control of the entire Australian continent.
1931
The Great Depression was made worse in much of Australia by deflationary government policies.
The Statute of Westminster - British Parliament no longer able to pass laws in respect to dominions unless specifically requested by them.
1835
John Batman purchased approximately 600 000 acres of land from local aborigines to create the basis for Melbourne.
1932
Gundagai, New South Wales, unveiled the 'Dog on the Tuckerbox' It was erected as a monument to the local farmers.
1836
The colony of South Australia established by George Fife Angus and others.
1934
Following the 1933 constitutional amendments the Legislative Council is no longer appointed but elected. The House now consists of 60 members with terms of 12 years.
1843
The Legislative Council was increased to 36 members (24 elected) as the result of the New South Wales' 1842 Constitution. Approximately 10% of adult males have the vote.
1942
Darwin was bombed repeatedly until Australian forces helped stop the Japanese advance in the Pacific during World War II.
1850
Transportation of British convicts to Sydney was abolished. However, it continued in Hobart, on the island of Tasmania, and in Western Australia for several years, allowing those colonies to grow quickly. The first gummed postage stamps were issued in NSW and Victoria.
1944
The Liberal Party was formed from the old United Australia Party.
1851
Gold was discovered in New South Wales and Victoria, and a new wave of immigrants soon moved to Australia. Melbourne and other cities prospered in the following decades. 
1962
Voting restrictions on Aborigines removed but voting not compulsory.
1852
The Legislative Council was expanded to 54 members with 36 elected. About 25% of adult male non-aboriginals have the vote.
1964
The military draft was introduced in Australia for the first time. Australian troops were sent to Vietnam the next year. 
1853
The Coach business Cobb and co. was established by Freeman Cobb and three other Americans.
1967
Australian Constitution amended to allow Commonwealth to make laws for Aborigines and include them in the census.
1854
Australia's most bitter and bloody civil battle occurred when miners fought against police and soldiers at Eureka.
1973
Voting age for all Australians reduced to 18.
1855
The NSW Constitution Act passed granting New South Wales responsible Government.
1978
NSW Legislative Council restructured. Now 45 members are elected by the whole state with one third being elected each election.
1856
Bicameral Parliament first meets with 54 members of an elected Legislative Assembly and 21 members appointed to the Legislative Council.
1981
Parliamentary term extended from three to four years.
1858
Electoral Reform: Secret ballot introduced with most non-aboriginal adult male residents receiving the vote.
1984
Enrollment and voting compulsory for all Australians.
1865
Colonial Laws Validity Act passed allowing, in most cases, the Australian Colonies to repeal or amend British law in Australia.
1986
Australia Act: Last legislative links with Britain cut. British Parliament can no longer pass or make judgment on Australian laws.
1869
The Welcome Stranger, the largest gold nugget ever discovered, was found in Victoria.
1988
Australia celebrated its bicentennial.
1870 The drought resistant 'Federation' variety of wheat was made available to farmers by its developer, William James Farrer 1991
Size of New South Wales Parliament reduced. The Legislative Assembly to 99 members and the Legislative Council to 42 with half elected each election.
1888
Thomas Alexander Browne (aka Rolf Bolderwood) had his most popular novel, Robbery Under Arms, published.
1999
The size of the NSW Legislative Assembly reduced from 99 to 93

 


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