Australia Brief History

According to areacodesexplorer, Australia, Oceania, to the surface the world’s sixth largest country, has several different habitat types within the country’s borders; from tropical areas with large coral reefs to snorkel in, to snow-capped mountains with the opportunity to ski. For those who want to swim and surf, Australia offers unlimited opportunities.

A trip to Australia has long attracted me to come here and experience some of the exotic wildlife that exists in the country. Unique animal species such as kangaroo, koala, wombat, platypus and dingo live here. Exciting animals if you come in contact with them, which can be difficult because they are mainly nocturnal. In several national parks there are beautiful hiking trails and untouched nature.

If you read tourist brochures that describe the country, you often come across names like Sunshine Coast, Surfers Paradise, Daydream Island, etc., which says quite a lot about what Australia stands for, in my opinion.

I deliberately limited geographically my four-week round trip in Australia to have time to go “deep” in the areas I planned to visit and therefore did not come to places like the Great Barrier Reef or Alice Springs. Instead, I chose to have Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne as bases for travel to surrounding areas. I spent a week of the trip in Tasmania.

Through this arrangement, I covered a smaller part of the country, but instead had the opportunity to stay a little longer in the places I visited.

Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra were nice cities to visit, but I probably thought the highlights were the week in Tasmania and the hikes in the Blue Mountains, which is a unique natural area included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

It was interesting to visit Australia, but I do not share the enthusiasm that several travelers I spoke to expressed for the country. For me, Australia was too modern and organized and it was often very far to the beautiful natural areas. The fees to the national parks were often very high and participating in organized excursions or other events was also well paid for. Entrance fees to attractions such as the aquariums in Melbourne and Sydney were also very high. By the way, traveling in Australia was not particularly expensive. Maybe it was the wrong season I chose to visit Australia? I was here in the early fall and then it was very dry and tanned.

The Australians I met were, with a few exceptions, always nice, easy going and helpful.

Australia history in brief

The country’s modern history, which began with European immigration in the early 19th century, is very short, which seems to make the rulers a little frustrated in their attempts to give Australia its own history. The history of the indigenous people, which stretches back more than fifty thousand years, is taken into account in the writing of history, which is also evident in the treatment of the Aborigines, Australia’s original settlers. Unfortunately, this is not unusual in the footsteps of the white colonizers. Around the world, people are still living in poverty and oppression that can be traced to Europeans’ takeovers several hundred years ago.

Archaeological finds show that the ancestors of today’s Aborigines came to Australia from Southeast Asia, via New Guinea, probably as early as about 50,000 years ago. They were primarily hunters who spread around the continent. From the 1,000s BC, there were resident groups who subsisted on fish farming and agriculture, especially on the east coast.

The Aboriginal social system and way of life survived until the beginning of the 19th century when the colonization of Australia began in earnest. The arrival of the Europeans had catastrophic consequences for the Aborigines who perished as a result of the consequences of the brutal colonization, bloody massacres, diseases they had never encountered before and alcohol.

Some important years in Australia’s history


The Spaniard Torres sailed through the strait between Australia and New Guinea which now bears his name


The Dutchman Abel Tasman came during a voyage to the island named after him, Tasmania


The Australian mainland was explored by the British explorer James Cook. His client, the British Crown, decided to use the country as a place of exile for prisoners after the colonies in America became independent

18th century, end – 1868

During these years, a total of about 160,000 prisoners were taken to Australia, but at the same time there was also voluntary immigration


When New South Wales became a penal colony, hundreds of thousands of Aborigines lived in Australia, but even in modern times, the European-born inhabitants have cultivated the myth that the continent was uninhabited, terra nullius, when their ancestors arrived.


Were the free immigrants more than the prisoners

1840 – 1890

During these years, rapid economic development took place thanks to the wool and mining industry


The British colonies New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland gained autonomy with their own constitutions


Western Australia became self-governing. The colonies developed independently of, and partly in competition with, each other and protective tariffs existed for a long time between them

18th century – 1921

Until this year, the number of Aborigines decreased from several hundred thousand to about 60,000 due to massacres, diseases and alcohol. The Aborigines who survived were forced into the country and deprived of their cultural and economic base and therefore ended up in social misery. In Tasmania, the indigenous people were completely exterminated


The discovery of gold in New South Wales and Victoria gave further impetus to immigration and development. In ten years, the population tripled


At the time of the census, Australia had four million inhabitants, indigenous peoples were not included


Falling prices for wool led to economic depression in the colonies and forced them to tear down their customs walls


The colonies merged into one federal state, the Commonwealth of Australia. The federal state became an autonomous member of the British Commonwealth


Canberra was declared the capital, but the states retained extensive autonomy


At the Battle of Gallipoli, Turkey, the Australians suffered heavy losses.


After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States became an ally of Australia when it became apparent that the British could not provide sufficient support. The United States took over Britain’s role in Australia’s defense


Australia, the United States and New Zealand formed the so-called ANZUS Pact for Common Defense in the Pacific

1949 – 1972

Australia was governed by bourgeois coalitions and the country developed well economically


The government passed to the Labor Party under the leadership of Gough Whitlam, partly as a result of the bourgeois government’s support for the United States in the Vietnam War. A number of reforms were implemented and the social safety net was strengthened. The Papua New Guinea colony gained its independence


However, the economy did not cope with all the reforms and government spending doubled, which is why Parliament rejected Whitlam’s budget proposal and the Governor – General made the unique decision to remove the Prime Minister. The government was replaced by a coalition between the Liberals and the National Party


Dissatisfaction with economic policy led to the Labor Party regaining power under the leadership of Bob Hawke


During the first half of the 1990s, Aboriginal rights were strengthened, but the Howard government, which took office in 1996, took a more cautious approach to the indigenous people. Contributions to Aborigines were reduced and the government restricted Aboriginal land rights after the courts extended them. Mr Howard also refused to apologize for historical abuses against indigenous peoples

In the late 1990s, contributions to Aborigines and, above all, increasing immigration from Asia were heavily criticized by populist politicians. One of them was Pauline Hanson, whose party, A Nation, was successful in the 1998 election, but later lost much of its popularity.

1996 This year’s election was a difficult loss for Labor, the party lost over a third of its seats in the House of Representatives and Keating left the party leadership post. The Liberals gained their own majority in the House of Representatives, but still formed a coalition government with the National Party

Australia Brief History