At the time of British settlement at Sydney Cove it is estimated that 300,000 aboriginal people, speaking around 250 languages inhabited Australia.
On arrival, finding no obvious political structure, the Europeans took the land as their own. The Indigenous people were driven out of their homes and many killed. Various new European diseases spread rapidly amongst the indigenous people, killing many. The introduction of feral and domestic animals contributed to the destruction of natural habitats.
Fighting wiped out the Aboriginal population in Tasmania and greatly reduced the numbers in the rest of Australia.
During the early part of the 20th century legislation's were passed to segregate and protect Aboriginals. This involved restrictions on where they could live and work and families being broken up.
After World War II, assimilation became the governments aim. All rights were taken away from the Aboriginals and attempts made to 'Europeanise' them.
During the 1960's the legislation was reviewed and the Federal Government passed legislation for all Aboriginals to be given citizen status. However, it wasn't until 1972 that the indigenous people were given back limited rights to their own land. The situation has been steadily improving for Australia's Indigenous people, although many feel more needs to be done.
The First Fleet arrives at Sydney Cove under Captain Arthur Phillip to establish the first settlement in Australia. This was to be a penal colony - Sydney was founded. The date of his arrival, 26 January, went on to mark Australia Day.
1801 - 1899
The great age of exploration: coastal surveys (Bass, Flinders), interior (Sturt, Eyre, Leichhardt, Burke and Willis, McDouall Stuart, Forrest). Also the era of the bushrangers, overlanders, and squatters, and individuals such as William Buckley and Ned Kelly.
Mathew Flinders completes the first voyage around Australia in the 'Investigator'.
Castle Hill Rising by Irish convicts in New South Wales.
Barrier of the Blue Mountains Crossed.
Western Australia formed.
South Australia formed.
1840 - 1868
Convict transportation ended.
1851 - 1861
Victoria achieved government.
Western Australia achieved government.
Depression gave rise to the Australian Labor Party.
1899 - 1900
South African War - forces offered by the individual colonies.
Site for capital at Canberra acquired.
1914 - 1918
World War I - Anzac troops in Europe including Gallipoli. Australia experiences her first major losses in a war during in 1915 on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.
1939 - 1945
World War II - Anzac troops in Greece, Crete, and N Africa (El Alamein) and the Pacific. The Japanese bomb Darwin in 1942.
Curtin's appeal to USA for help in the World War marked the end of the special relationship with Britain.
Liberal party founded by Menzies.
1948 - 1975
Two million new immigrants, the majority from continental Europe
1950 - 1953
Korean War - Australian troops part of the United Nations forces.
1964 - 1972
Vietnam War - Comonwealth troops in alliance with US forces.
1966 - 1974
Mineral boom typified by the Posiedon nickel mine.
The ASEAN was established
Britain entered the Common Market, and in the 1970's Japan became Australia's chief trading partner.
Whitlam abolishes 'white Australia' policy.
Constitutional crisis; Prime Minister Whitlam dismissed by the governor general.
United Nations trust territory of Papua New Guinea became independent.
The Liberal Party under Malcolm Fraser comes to power.
Northern Territory achieved self-government.
Opening of uranium mines in Northern Territory.
Hawke convened first national economic summit - The Fraser Government is defeated in the election and the Australian Labour Party under Bob Hawke forms a government.
Australia celebrates its Bicentennial - 200 years since the first European settlement.
Paul Keating replaced Bob Hawke as Labour Party leader and Prime Minister.
|The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was established|
Labour Party ousted in general election by Liberal-National Coalition.
John Howard replaced Paul Keating as Prime Minister.
1901 - 1999
Australian Prime Ministers of the 20th Century