Around 50,000 years ago, a small group of humans landed in north Australia, arriving on a primitive boat or raft. These Aborigines first migrated out of Africa to east Asia, roaming Asia and then migrated to Australia.
Discovery of Australia by Captain Cook
On the 22nd of August, 1770, Captain Cook 'discovered' the south east coast of Australia, landing in Botany Bay. He claimed the whole of the east coast of Australia, naming eastern Australia New South Wales.
Arrival of the first fleet and first encounter with aboriginals
The first fleet, captained by Arthur Phillip, arrived in 1788 and came into contact with local aboriginals. The people of the first fleet did not understand the ways of the local indigenous people. The diaries and journals from the people of the first fleet revealed that many members of the first fleet lacked respect for a large number of the indigenous people.
1788 - 1868
From 1788-1868 more than 160,000 convicts were transported to Australia. There were 608 convict ships which transported convicts to Australia. Convicts were transported to Australia as America refused to accept anymore convicts, so England had to send their prisoners elsewhere.
1793 - 1850
Between 1793-1850, almost 200,000 free settlers chose to migrate to Australia to begin a new life. Most of these people were English agricultural workers, Irish and Scottish migrants or domestic servants. These migrants formed the basis of the early Australian society.
Chinese on the goldfields
By the early 1850's news of gold being found in Australia had reached Southern China causing an influx in Chinese migration to Australia. Approximately 7,000 Chinese people migrated to Australia during this period.
Victorian Gold Rush
The first gold rush in Australia began in May/June, 1851 and was discovered in Ballarat. This gold rush attracted more than half a million people to Victoria to search for gold.
The Eureka Stockade is considered the birthplace of Australian democracy. The Eureka Stockade was caused by a disagreement over what gold miners felt were unfair laws of their work by the government. Miners were unable to claim the land on which they worked, which then risked miners being relocated at any time. These unfair laws then caused conflict between diggers, miners and the government as miners were defending their rights.
Convict transportation comes to an end
On the 9th of January 1868, the convict transport Hougoumont arrived at the port of Fremantle. On board were 269 convicts, the last to be sent to western Australia.
Federation of Australia
Australia became a nation on the 1st of January 1901, when the British parliament passed legislation enabling the six of Australia's colonies to unite as one nation, now known as the Commonwealth of Australia.