Chronography of Australia & Antarctic
Page last modified 19/1/2022
Antarctica � See Appendix One
2/1/2020, In Australia, ongoing catastrophic fires burned over 40,000 square kilometres, destroyed 1,500 homes and killed at least 17 people, in a drought and temperatures reaching high into the 40s C.
7/12/2017, The Australian Parliament legalised same-sex marriage, a month after a referendum showed strong support for the move.
7/2016, The conservative Liberal-National coalition Prime Minister Turnbull defeated Labor by a vary narrow margin in early General Elections.
6/2015, Economic development plan for Northern Australia announced,
1/10/2014, Gough Whitlam, former Labour Prime Minister of Australia from 1972, died aged 98. He extricated Australian troops from Vietnam, ended conscription, set up commissions into equal pay, Indigenous land rights and school funding, set up State-funded healthcare, liberalised abortion laws, introduced votes at 18 and free university education. He also gave Papua New Guinea independence, and forged closer relations with China.
9/2013, The conservative Liberal-National coalition won elections by a� large majority.
1/2006, Australia siged a deal with Timor L�Este over oil and gas rights in the Timor Sea. Australia began to suffer from a� severe drought and farm output plummeted.
13/12/2005, Major race riots in Sydney, Australia, involving up to 5,000 youths.
9/10/2004, In Australian elections, the ruling Liberal Parity-National Party coalition led by PM John Howard defeated the opposition Labour Party, led by Mark Latham. Howard began his 4th consecutive term in office.
2003, Australia deployed troops in the Gulf, rousing protests against Liberal Party Prime Minister, Howard.
20/8/2003, In Australia, Pauline Henson, leader of the Right-wing and anti-immigration One Nation Party, was sentenced to 3 years prison, along with the Party�s co-founder David Ettridge, for electoral fraud. However they were released on appeal in 11/2003 on the grounds that their jailing had been politically-motivated.
19/1/2003, Bushfires in the suburbs of Canberra, Australia killed 4 and forced the evacuation of 2,500 people.
16/1/2002, Asylum seekers at a camp in Woomera, South Australia, began a hunger strike. They were protesting at living conditions and at the suspension of processing their claims.
2000, The Olympic Games were held in Sydney.
2/3/1996, In Australia the Labour Party finally lost an election, having won the previous five contests, in 1983, 1984, 1987, 1990 and 1993. John Howard, Liberal Party, became Prime Minister.
26/1/1994, In Australia, David Kang fired 2 blank shots at Prince Charles as he was handing out Australia Day awards in Sydney. He said he was highlighting the plight of the Cambodian boat people. Sentenced to 500 hours community service, Kang later became a barrister specialising in criminal and medical law.
9/1/1993, Sir Paul Hasluck, Governor General of Australia died (born 1/4/1905).
1992, Paul Keating replaced Bob Hawke as Labour Prime Minister. He announced a �turning towards Asia� policy.
19/12/1991, Paul Keating challenged Australian Labour Party Prime Minister Bob Hawke for Party leadership. Keating subsequently won the contest.
10/12/1990, Australia�s oldest newspaper corporation, the Fairfax Group, went into receivership with debts of Australian $ 1,500 million.
9/5/1988, The new Australian Parliament building in Canberra was inaugurated.
30/4/1988, The World Expo 1988 opened in Brisbane, Australia.
26/1/1988, Australia celebrated its bicentennial.
2/3/1986, The Queen signed a formal proclamation giving Australia legal independence from Britain. Britain first shipped convicts to Australia in 1788; Australia had been self-governing since 1901.
8/3/1983, The Australian Dollar was devalued 10%.
5/3/1983. Labour politician Bob Hawke won elections in Australia and became Prime Minister. He succeeded Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, who had been in office for seven years.
3/1971, William McMahon became Prime Minister.
15/10/1970, In Melbourne, Australia, the West Gate Bridge collapsed, killing 33.
10/1/1968, John Grey Gorton became 20th Prime Minister of Australia.
14/6/1967. Australian and New Zealand woolgrowers expressed concern over the effects of the mini skirt on wool prices, which were down 6d a pound on the last season.
1966, Australia adopted decimal currency.
1966, The blue asbestos mine at Wittenoom, Western Australia, was closed, due to falling profits. Mining had begun in 1938 and the company town of Wottenoom was built in 1947. Blue asbestos is the most toxic variety of the mineral, and the health disaster was only realised in the 1970s.. By the 1950s the mine was losing out to South African competition, with cheaper asbestos from there. In 2006 the town of Wittenoom, which had a population of 20,000 before the mine closed, was taken off the national electricity grid, and officially ceased to exist in 2007.
25/1/1966, Harold Holt became Prime Minister of Australia, succeeding Robert Menzies.
20/1/1966, Robert Menzies retired as Prime Minister of Australia. He had served since 1949.
29/4/1965, Australia began contributing troops to the US war effort in Vietnam.
3/3/1960, Raymond Gordon Hopper, Austraian politician, was born.
1956, Olympic Games held in Melbourne.
23/11/1955, Britain handed over the Cocos Islands to Australia.
13/4/1954, Vladimir Petrov of the Soviet Embassy in Australia was granted asylum when he defected, in Canberra.
3/2/1954, Queen Elizabeth II made her first visit to Australia; large crowds turned out to greet her in Sydney.
28/1/1953, James Scullin, 13th Australian Prime Minister from 1929 to 1932, died.
1952, The large iron ore deposits at Hammersley Range were discovered by Lang Hancock.� In the 1960s large quantities of this ore were exported to Japan, making that country an industrial giant.
1/8/1950, Australian Prime Minister Sir Robert Gordon Menzies promised to send troops to assist US forces fighting in Korea.
1948, Australia began encouraging immigration from Europe. Many arrived from the UK, Italy Germany and Greece.
1944, The Australian Liberal Party was formed, from the old United Australia Party, after a Labor elerctoral landslide. However the voters rejected Labor in 1949 elections due to its widespread nationalisation plans, and the Liberal party held power 1949-72 and 1975-83.
1942, Fall of Singapore to Japan; Japanese invasion of Australia seemed imminent. Australia appealed to the US for assistance.
For Pacific events of World War Two see China, Japan, Korea
26/7/1939, John Howard, Australian Prime Minister, was born.
17/12/1937, Kerry Packer, Australian media and sports magnate, was born.
23/10/1937, In Australia, Labour lost in general elections to the United Australia and Country Parties.
2/1/1936, Sir Francis Newdegate, Governor of Tasmania, died aged 73.
8/4/1933, Western Australia, irritated by federal taxation, voted to seceded from the rest of Australia.
21/5/1930, Malcolm Fraser, Australian Liberal Prime Minister, was born.
9/12/1929, Bob Hawke, Australian Labor Prime Minister 1983-91, was born.
1928, Australia�s Flying Doctor service began in Queensland, to provide medical services in the Outback.
1927, The ACTU, Australian Council of Trades Unions, was formed. It assisted in settling labour disputes, and representing trades unions before the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. By 1986, 162 Unions were affiliated to the ACTU, representing 2.6 million workers. In 1983 the ACTU and the Australian Labor Party sighed an accord on economic policy, which was implemented when the Labor Party gained power in elections.
9/5/1927. Parliament House, Canberra, opened. Canberra became the new capital of Australia, replacing Melbourne.
12/3/1923, The foundation stone of the Australian Federal Parliament Building at Canberra was laid.
2/2/1923, In Australia, Prime Minister Hughes was forced to resign. Stanley Bruce formed a coalition Government from the Nationalist and Country Parties.
30/8/1922, Lionel Murphy, Australian Judge, was born.
20/12/1917, A second vote in Australia on conscription went against the idea.
28/10/1916, In Australia, a proposal to introduce compulsory military conscription was narrowly rejected in Parliament.
11/7/1916, Gough Whitlam, Australian Prime Minister, was born.
1915, Opal mining began at Coober Pedy.
11/3/1914, John Mackay, Australian explorer and founder of the city of Mackay, Queensland in Australia, died.
12/3/1913. Canberra (founded 1911) became the federal capital of Australia.
See also Scandinavia 1912 for Amundsen, Oates, Scot and race to South Pole
11/4/1910, Labour won the Australian general elections.
5/8/1908, Harold Holt, Australian Prime Minister 1966-7 who backed US intervention in Vietnam and sent Australian troops there, was born.
23/2/1908, Sir William McMahon, Australian Liberal and 25th Prime Minister, was born.
12/7/1907, Sir Edward �Weary� Dunlop, surgeon who provided medical care to Allied PoWs in Japan during World War Two, was born in Australia.
16/10/1906. British New Guinea became part of Australia.
30/3/1904, By-election in Melbourne, Australia, caused by electoral irregularities in the 1903 General Election.
13/12/1901, British geologist J.W. Gregory began his expedition to the fossil beds of Lake Eyre in South Australia, Eyre would later write of his findings in his book The Dead Heart of Australia.
29/3/1900, John McEwen, 18th Prime Minister of Australia 1967-68, was born in Chiltern, Australia (died 1980)
9/10/1896, Ferdinand Muller, explorer of Australia, died (born 30/6/1825).
20/12/1894, Robert Menzies, Australian Prime Minister, was born.
1891, The Australian Labor Party was founded, following the defeat of the trades unions in the 1890 maritime strike.
8/8/1880, Earl Page, Australian Prime Minister, was born.
20/8/1877. Arthur Kennedy, the new governor of Queensland, gave assent to a Bill drastically cutting Chinese immigration into Queensland, after the previous governor refused to pass it.
8/5/1876. The last Tasmanian aborigine, Truganini, died. She was 4 foot 3 inches tall, in her sixties, and was known as the Queen of the Aborigines. She saw her mother stabbed to death by white men and at 16 was herself raped by white convicts. She took to hanging around work camps, selling herself for a handful of tea and sugar. Then she met a white man whom she helped to record tribal customs. The coffin lowered into her grave was empty; the authorities feared body snatchers and buried her elsewhere.
4/3/1876, Sir Richard Hanson, Chief Justice of South Australia, died (born 6/12/1805).
2/12/1875, Charles Latrobe, British colonial Governor of Australia, died
6/10/1873, Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki, explorer of Australia, died.
21/7/1873, In Australia, English explorer William Gosse announced his discovery of the world�s largest monolith, which he named Ayers Rock, after South Australian Prime Minister William Ayers. In 1985 it was returned to the Mutitjulu Nation and regained the name Uluru.
6/9/1870. The last British troops serving in Australia were withdrawn.
16/6/1869, Charles Sturt, British explorer who ventured into the Australian interior to discover the Darling and Lower Murray Rivers, died aged 74 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
7/12/1860, Joseph Cook, Prime Minister of Australia, was born.
23/4/1860, The explorer James Sturt reached the centre of Australia.
1859, Landowner Thomas Austin introduced English rabbits onto his Australian estate for shooting sport. However they multiplied rapidly and ate more grass than the sheep,becoming a major nuisance.
1859, The South Australia Government offered a prize for the first person to cross the unexplored continent from south to north. Robert O�Hara Burke and William Wills set out from Melbourne in 1860 and almost reached te north coast but turned back and died on the way home in 1861. In 1861 John McDonell Stuart set out from Adelaide and (after two previous attempts) reached Darwin in the north in 1862.
6/7/1859, Queensland, Australia, was formed into a separate colony.
1858, The UK passed the Australian Colonies Act, which gave the four Australian colonies (New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria) virtual autonomy in self-government (see 9/7/1900).
26/11/1857, The Legislative Assembly in Victoria, Australia, proclaimed universal� male suffrage, the first in Australia.
22/4/1857, The Parliament in South Australia first opened.
27/8/1856, The first Australian parliamentary election held by secret ballot took place in Victoria, Australia.
7/2/1856, The Tasmanian Parliament became the first in the world to pass legislation� (Electoral Act 1856) providing for elections by a secret ballot.
1855, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania gained self government. Queensland gained self government in 1859 and Western Australia gained self government in 1860.
5/10/1855, Sir Thomas Mitchell, Scottish explorer of Australia, died (born 16/7/1792).
22/2/1855, 13 gold diggers were acquitted of rioting and manslaughter in Melbourne, Australia after fighting broke out at the Eureka gold mine. In 1854, at the Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, New South Wales, armed gold prosepctors fought with a combined military and police force; 30 gold miners and 5 policemen died. Miners objected to an expensive licence imposed by the Australian Government, Public opinion went behind the miners, and juries refused to convict them, causing the Government to back down over the issue. See 3/12/1854.
3/12/1854, The Eureka Stockade incident. 150 gold miners, or �diggers�, resisted the military behind a wooden stockade. See 22//2/1855.
1853, Transportation from Britain to Tasmania ceased. However Transportation was used to provide labour in Western Australia, 1853-67.
12/2/1851, The Australian Gold Rush began, after Edward Hargreaves discovered gold at Summerhill Creek, 20 miles north of Bathurst, New South Wales.
7/7/1850, Scottish explorer, Edward Eyre arrived in Albany, Western Australia, having crossed the Nullarbor Plain, the first White man to do this.
18/1/1849, Sir Edmund Burton, the first Prime Minister of Australia in 1901, was born in Glebe, Sydney.
22/8/1847, Sir John Forrrest, explorer and surveyor of Australia in the 1870s, was born.
1836, Colony of South Australia was founded.
27/7/1836, The city of Adelaide, Australia, was founded; it is named after the wife of King William IV of Britain.
29/8/1835. The city of Melbourne was named in Australia. Melbourne was founded by John Batman who wrote in his diary in 1834 �this will be the place for a village�, referring to a 270,000 hectare site on the Yarra River. The land was then purchased from the Doutgalla tribe for an annual supply of trade goods worth around �200. The site was named after Lord Melbourne, then British Prime Minister. The city, designed by Robert Russell, was laid out on a rectangular grid, with wide streets and many parks and gardens. It is known as the �Garden City�.
2/8/1834, The South Australian Association gained a Charter to found a colony.
30/11/1832, Sir James Dickson, Australian politician, was born (died 10/1/1901).
9/2/1830, The source of the River Murray, Australia, was discovered by the explorer Charles Sturt. See 16/11/1824.
1829, Colony of Western Australia was founded.
20/4/1827, Copper ore was discovered in Tasmania.
19/4/1827, George Higinbotham, Chief Justice of Victoria, Australia, was born (died 1893).
1825, Colony of Van Diemen�s Land (now Tasmania) was founded,
30/6/1825, Ferdinand Muller, explorer of Australia, was born (died 9/10/1896).
16/11/1824, The Murray River, Australia, was discovered by the explorer Hamilton Hume. See 9/2/1830.
5/8/1815, Edward John Eyre, English explorer, colonial administrator and Governor of Jamaica, who discovered lake Eyre, was born.
24/5/1815, The Lachlan River in Australia was discovered by the explorer George William Evans.
19/7/1814, Matthew Flinders, the explorer who surveyed and mapped the coast of Australia, died aged 40.
16/3/1774, Matthew Flinders, English explorer who gave his name to the Flinders River and mountain range in Australia, was born.
1813, The Blue Mountains, formerly an unexplored barried dividing Sydney, Australia, from the interior, were crossed by surveyors Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth.
9/12/1813, The Macquirie River in Australia was discovered by the explorer George Evans.
9/10/1804. Hobart, Tasmania, was founded.
5,000 BCE, Indigenous Australians began using boomerangs.
7,000 BCE, The New Guinea land bridge began to disappear.
10,000 BCE, The separation of Tasmania from Australia began as sea levels rose.
45,000 BCE, The first humans are believed to have reached Australia.
Appendix One � Antarctica
1998, A 50-year ban on mineral extraction in Antarctica was agreed.
7/1/1978, Emilio Palma was born in Antarctica; he was the first baby born on this continent.
14/6/1963, Carl Skottsberg, Swedish Antarctic explorer, died aged 82.
1962, The British Antarctic Territory was constituted. It comprises a number of isdlands, as far north as 60 degress South.
1/12/1959. Twelve countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Jaoan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, UK, USA, USSR) signed an agreement to preserve Antarctica for peaceful scientific research. All territorial claims were suspended. This agreement was renewed and extended in 1991.
14/12/1958, The Antarctic �pole of inaccessibility�, the point furthest from all coasts, was reached by a Soviet tractor traverse.
2/3/1958, The British Trans-Antarctic Expedition, led by Dr Vivian Fuchs, completed the first surface crossing of Antarctica. The group of 12 travelled 2,158 miles from Shackleton Station on the Weddell Sea to Scott Station on the Ross Sea in 99 days.
3/1/1958. Sir Edmund Hillary, with a party from New Zealand, reached the South Pole � the first man to do so since Captain Scott.
26/5/1933, Australia claimed a third of Antarctica.
7/2/1933, The Australian Antarctic Territory was created.
30/7/1923, The Ross Dependency in Antarctica was created, under New Zealand rule.
5/1/1922. The British explorer Ernest Shackleton died on the island of South Georgia. He was on an expedition to Enderby Land, Antarctica.
10/5/1916, Shackleton reached South Georgia (see 9/4/1916).
9/4/1916, Shackleton and his crew left the ice floe in small boats. They reached Elephant Island on 12/4/1916 (see 10/5/1916).
13/6/1909, Shackleton arrived back in Dover after his Antarctic expedition.
16/1/1909. The magnetic south pole was found by Sir Ernest Shackleton, who was knighted later the same year.
5/5/1882, Douglas Mawson, British Antarctic explorer, was born.
15/2/1874, Sir Ernest Shackleton, British Antarctic explorer, was born in born in Kilkee, County Clare, Eire.
16/7/1872, Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer who was the first to reach the South Pole in 1911, was born in Borge.
6/6/1868, Robert Falcon Scott, British explorer of the Antarctic, was born near Devonport, Devon.
3/4/1862, James Ross, English explorer who gave his name to the Ross Barrier, Ross Island and Ross Sea, Antarctica, died.
1/1/1841, James Ross first crossed the Antarctic Circle.
1840, France claimed a slice of Antarctica, called Adelie Land.
19/1/1840. American explorer Charles Wilkes discovered the coast of Antarctica.
27/2/1831, Captain John Briscoe discovered Antarctica. Captain Briscoe, in the ship Tula, commissioned by the London shipping company Enderby, sighted the mountains of what is now known as Enderby Land. The mission was partly exploratory, but also commercial, to find and harvest seals for their fur. Whales were also desired, and sea elephants for their oil.
18/3/1826, Joseph Bellot, Arctic explorer, was born in Rochefort (died 8/1853).
18/11/1820, Russian explorer, Thaddeus von Bellingshausen, became the first European to sight Antarctica. Captain of a US sealing ship, the Hero, he had sailed south in search of more hunting grounds.
15/4/1800, Sir James Clark Ross, Antarctic explorer, was born in England.
30/1/1774, Captain Cook turned his ship back at 71 degrees south, 105 degrees west, due to heavy mist, having failed to sight any land of the �southern continent�. In fact he was just 75 miles off the coastline of Antarctica.
17/1/1773. Captain James Cook�s ship Resolution became the first ship to cross the Antarctic Circle.