Australia has a rich and fascinating history that not everyone knows the finer intricacies of. From its first settlers to the ground-breaking 1967 referendum, this timeline will take you through some of the most important dates in Australian history. Let’s dive in!
1788 – The First Fleet Arrives in Australia
The First Fleet, made up of 11 ships carrying over 1500 people, arrives at Botany Bay after an eight-month journey from England. This marks the beginning of European settlement in Australia.
1851 – Gold is Discovered
Gold is discovered near Bathurst, New South Wales, sparking a gold rush that would last for several years and have a significant impact on the economy.
1856 – The Eureka Stockade
The Eureka Stockage rebellion occurs on December 3 in Ballarat, Victoria, when gold miners protest against unfair taxation and conditions imposed by colonial authorities. This event becomes an important symbol for democracy and representative government in Australia.
1901 – Australia Becomes a Nation
On January 1, 1901, six separate colonies unite to form the Commonwealth of Australia. The new nation is quickly recognised by other nations as an independent country and begins establishing diplomatic relations with many countries around the world.
1915 – World War I Begins
Australia enters World War I alongside Britain and its allies. Over 60,000 Australians are killed during the conflict and thousands more are injured or become prisoners of war.
1927 – Women Get Equal Rights to Vote
The Constitution Amendment Act 1927 grants women equal voting rights with men for federal elections and referendums throughout Australia.
1967 – The Referendum Passes with an Overwhelming Majority
The 1967 Referendum’s importance cannot be overstated. After months of campaigning from Aboriginal activists and their supporters, Australians overwhelmingly vote in favour of changing two sections of the Australian constitution which discriminated against Indigenous Australians in federal elections and census counts. This referendum is considered one of the most important moments in modern Australian history. On May 27, 1967, over 90% of Australians voted “yes” to amend two sections of the Australian Constitution which discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. After this referendum, Indigenous Australians were officially recognised as citizens for the first time ever; an incredibly significant moment in our nation’s history that has had long-lasting effects to this day.
Australia has come a long way over the years, decades and centuries
Australia has grown into a unique nation, with its own culture and identity that celebrates diversity and inclusion. From gold rushes to referendums, this timeline captures some of the most important dates that have shaped our nation’s history over the past two centuries – we hope you enjoyed learning about them today!