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Timeline

Timeline

Time immemorial – Aboriginal occupation of Australia
Aboriginal occupation of Australia.

1642: First whispers
Dutch mariner Abel Tasman, sailing from the west, is the first European to land on the eastern coast of Australia and names it Van Diemen's Land. Hears human sounds but sees no one.

1682: The Quaker model
William Penn, a Quaker with a charter from King Charles II, negotiates the Treaty of Shackamaxon with Tamanend, the Lenape Chief and thereby founds Pennsylvania.

1697: A first meeting
William Dampier lands on the west coast of Australia and encounters Aboriginal people.

1770: Cook lands
James Cook, sailing from the east, lands at Stingray Bay (Botany Bay).

26 January 1788: To Sydney Cove
First Fleet shifts from Botany Bay to Sydney Cove. Convicts, marines and sailors bring ashore animals including sheep, cattle, horses, rabbits, turkeys, geese, ducks, chooks and greyhounds. Governor Phillip is empowered to grant land to individuals he considers worthy.

21 January 1801: Batman is born
Birth of John Batman at Parramatta.

January 1802: Naming Port Phillip
Lieutenant John Murray, sailing south from Sydney, names Port King after the Governor of NSW. Governor King renames it Port Phillip after his predecessor Arthur Phillip.

9 October 1803: Buckley and young Fawkner
The Calcutta arrives at Port Phillip and establishes a camp at Sorrento, on board are the Commandant David Collins, a convict William Buckley and a child about to turn 11, John Pascoe Fawkner.

27 December 1803: Buckley bolts
Buckley and two other convicts abscond as the Port Phillip settlement is abandoned for Hobart Town.

1803: They move to Hobart
A settlement is established at Risdon Cove, on the Derwent River. It soon moves to Sullivans Cove and is named Hobart Town.

1807: Wool sold
First bale of Australian wool arrives in England on the Dart. It was grown by the Macarthurs using convict labour.

1821: Batman arrives in Van Diemen's Land
John Batman arrives in Van Diemen's Land and takes up a selection at Kingston in the north-east, near Ben Lomond.

October 1824 to January 1825: Overland to Port Phillip
Hume and Hovell undertake the first European expedition overland to Port Phillip.

1825: Batman meets Wedge
Van Diemen's land surveyor, John Helder Wedge, meets John Batman while surveying his land grant.

17 March 1826: Batman's captive
Batman captures bushranger, Mathew Brady.

September 1826: Boundaries and squatters
Governor Darling defines the boundaries of authorised colonial settlement in an attempt to contain squatting in NSW.

January 1827: Land calculations
Batman and Gellibrand write to NSW Governor Sir Ralph Darling applying for land near Port Phillip.

March 1827: The ambiguities of power
Darling replies to Batman and Gellibrand that the grant of land near Port Phillip was not in his power.

September 1829: Limits to settlement
Governor Darling again attempts to control the limits of settlement by proclaiming 19 counties surrounding Sydney.

1830: Wool booms
Selling for up to 4 shillings per pound, Australian wool exports reach 2 million pounds (908,000 kilograms), an increase from 1.1 million pounds in 1826 (500,000 kilograms), and 175,400 pounds (97,000 kilograms) in 1821.

1830: Grant or purchase
The National Colonization Society is formed in England to argue that colonial lands, including in NSW, ought to be sold by government, not granted. The society was instrumental in establishing South Australia in 1836.

February 1832: The Quakers arrive
Quaker missionaries, Backhouse and Walker arrive in Van Diemen's Land. Their knowledge of William Penn and the Shackamaxon Treaty is shared.

8 May 1833: The Quakers meet Batman
James Backhouse and George Washington Walker visit John Batman at (Kingston) Buffalo Plains, to the south-west of Ben Lomond.

4 July 1834: A million sheep
Governor Bourke writes to Lord Stanley in London that squatters had spread, with perhaps a million sheep 'in every direction', to the Monaro plains (now Canberra), the Murrumbidgee River, Twofold Bay (Eden) and across the Liverpool Plains. Government policy to concentrate settlement is failing.

Christmas 1834: Hatching the scheme
Batman hosts lunch at Kingston for William Sams, Henry Arthur, JH Wedge and Anthony Cottrell. A plan to settle Port Phillip is discussed.

1835: Wool boom continues
Australian wool exports to England reach nearly 2 million kilograms, in a battle for supremacy with wool from Saxony (eastern Germany). By 1839 Australian exports are 4.5 million kilograms. In the global textile trade, the woollen mills of Leeds, Bradford and Halifax in Yorkshire are the centre of spinning and weaving and rival the more mechanised Lancashire cotton mills, supplied mostly by the slave states of the American south.

May 1835: The Gellibrand draft
Gellibrand drafts the prototype deed as the model for the Dutigallar and Geelong deeds.

9 May 1835: On the Rebecca
Rebecca cleared to sail from Launceston to Port Phillip with John Batman, James Gumm, Alexander Thompson, William Todd and seven NSW Aboriginal people, Pigeon, Joe the Marine, Bill Bullets, Jo Bangett (Bungett), John Stewart, Old Bull and Macher. They are stalled by bad weather at George Town.

29 May 1835: Batman lands
The Batman party land near the present town of St Leonards, at Indented Head.

3 June 1835: A river
Batman's party leave the Rebecca on the west bank of the Maribyrnong River.

4 June 1835: Leaving the boat
The party leave the boats, following the river and crossing plains, naming Gumms Corner, now Horseshoe Bend near Keilor.

5 June 1835: Camp fires sighted
At Mt Iramoo (probably now Mt Kororoit) Batman records in his journal that he 'sighted smokes', the fires of Aboriginal camps.

6 June 1835: Treaty
Batman, travelling eastwards, meets Aboriginal people and makes the 'Treaty'.

7 June: Sunday - Making copies
Batman writes in his journal, 'Detained this morning some time drawing up triplicates of the Deeds.'

13 June 1835: Back to Launceston
Batman arrives back in Launceston. A version of the trip is published in the Cornwall Chronicle suggesting the site of the settlement at the head of Port Phillip be called Batmania.

25 June 1835: Report to Arthur
Batman writes a report to Governor Arthur and lies about the dates of his journey.

27 June 1835: Pleading with Glenelg
Thirteen Members of the Port Phillip Association write to Lord Glenelg pleading for the British Government to accede to the land claim.

29 June 1835: Forming the Association
The Port Phillip Association is formed.

3 July 1835: Not persuaded
The Colonial Secretary in Hobart Town, John Montagu, writes to Batman to acknowledge that Governor Arthur had received Batman's report. Montagu tells Batman that, 'Port Phillip is not within the jurisdiction of this government' and that the Treaty appears to be a departure from the principles the British Parliament had sanctioned for the settlement of land.

4 July 1835: Batman denounced
Governor Arthur in Hobart Town writes to Governor Bourke in Sydney, denouncing Batman's scheme.

6 July 1835: Buckley walks in
William Buckley walks into Todd's camp at Indented Head.

6 August 1835: Next wave
Henry Batman (John Batman's brother) and Wedge, with others, arrive at Port Phillip, near Indented Head, in the Rebecca.

9 August 1835: Wedge writes to Simpson
Wedge writes to James Simpson that the Aborigines 'wander about in families, and there is no such thing as a chieftainship, but this is a secret that must, I suppose, be kept to ourselves or it may affect the deed of conveyance, if there be any validity in it'.

10 August 1835: The Wedge letter
Wedge writes to Batman asking for more supplies for the natives and to encourage him to pressure the government for a pardon for Buckley, who would be of essential service to the Association.

16 August 1835: Rivals
John Pascoe Fawkner's advance party under John Lancely arrives at Port Phillip.

25 August 1835: Buckley pardoned
Governor Arthur issues a pardon for William Buckley.

26 August 1835: Plans dashed
Governor Bourke issues the Proclamation voiding the Batman Deed. It has 'no effect against the rights of the Crown'.

1 September 1835: Treaty void
Colonial Secretary of NSW, Edward Deas Thomson, informs Arthur in Hobart that the Treaty is void, 'any bargain or contract made with the Aboriginal natives of New Holland for the possession of any land within the limits of the Government of NSW will be held to be null and void as against the rights of the Crown'.

5 September 1835: Batmania
Launceston newspaper, the Cornwall Chronicle mocks 'the independent Colony of Batmania'.

10 October 1835: Port Phillip colonised
Bourke writes to Lord Glenelg in London to tell him that the early official occupation of Port Phillip would proceed.

October 1835: Fawkner mocks 'King John'
Fawkner takes up residence at Port Phillip, ridicules Batman as 'King John the First of Port Phillip'.

13 April 1836: Glenelg approves
Lord Glenelg approves of Governor Bourke's plan for official settlement of Port Phillip, especially maintaining the rights of the Crown.

20 May 1836: Glenelg, duped?
Lieutenant Governor Arthur in Hobart Town writes to Governor Bourke in Sydney, 'I earnestly hope that Lord Glenelg will not be misled by the golden bait these gentlemen have thrown out.'

1 June 1836: Costs increase
Petition to the Government of NSW for a resident Magistrate at Port Phillip.

29 August: 1836: Explorers out there
Thomas Mitchell's official expedition to western Victoria meets, to his great surprise, the Henty's camped at Portland.

1 September 1836: A civil administration
Governor Bourke brings Port Phillip under government control. Captain William Lonsdale appointed commandant and police magistrate, instructed to protect Aboriginal people of the district from wrong-doing.

12 November 1836: Little compensation
Bourke informs Glenelg that the Government of NSW has refused the Port Phillip Association's attempt to acquire land, offering £7000 in compensation.

28 December 1836: South Australia is born
The Province of South Australia is proclaimed under Governor John Hindmarsh.

3 March 1837: 'Melbourne' it is
Governor Bourke arrives in the Rattlesnake at Port Phillip. At a dinner attended by Batman and Fawkner he proclaims the name of the settlement 'Melbourne'. Bourke inspects the site of a 'missionary establishment for the civilisation of the Aboriginal natives'.

1837: Gellibrand dead
Gellibrand and Hesse are killed by Aboriginal people exploring the hinterland from Geelong. Believed to have been killed by Aboriginal people.

5 April 1837: Selling Melbourne
Preparation for government land sales at Melbourne.

1 June 1837: Batman and Fawkner buy up
First land sale. Batman and Fawkner both purchase blocks.

1 November 1837: Sales continue
Second land sale at Melbourne.

24 June 1838: Aboriginal protection
Glenelg's despatch arrives in NSW announcing a Protector scheme for natives at Port Phillip. George Augustus Robinson, the Conciliator of the Tasmanians, is appointed.

13 September 1838: Sales continue
Third land sale at Melbourne.

6 May 1839: Batman dead
Death of John Batman.

21 May 1839: Defining the colony
Governor Gipps proclaims nine new districts for settlements, extending the limits of the colony, including Port Phillip. The prior official limits of the southern boundaries are very vague.

1 July 1851: Self government
Victoria established as a separate self-governing colony with a Legislative Council to advise the Governor.

13 November 1855: A constitution for a colony
The new Constitution of Victoria is adopted. The Parliament meets for the first time a year later.

1869: Protecting Aboriginal people
Act for 'Protection and Management of Aboriginal Natives' is passed in Victoria.

4 September 1869: Fawkner dead
Death of John Pascoe Fawkner.

1 January 1901: A constitution for a nation
Federation of the colonies under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Parliament sits at Melbourne until 1927.

10 June 1935: Celebrations in the Depression
Several days of celebrations of the centenary of Melbourne conclude with a pageant, re-enactments and fireworks. Australia remains in the grip of the Depression.

1956: The world comes to Melbourne
Melbourne hosts the Olympic Games.

1967: Counting Kooris
A referendum succeeds, giving the Commonwealth responsibility for Aboriginal affairs and to permit the inclusion of Aboriginal people in the Census. The 'Yes' vote is 92 per cent. The office of Aboriginal Affairs is created as part of the Prime Minister's Department.

1976: Land Rights Now
The Commonwealth passes the Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act. State governments begin to legislate on land rights issues over the next few years.

1985: Batman, a forgotten figure
The Victorians, a three volume history, is commissioned for the sesquicentenary celebrations of the state in 1985. In over 900 pages, John Batman is mentioned fleetingly: just three times. Seemingly he is out of favour.

May 1988: Prior occupation
The first item of business in the New Parliament House in Canberra is a motion acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the original occupants of Australia.

3 June 1992: Native Title
The High court finds in the Mabo case that Native Title is not necessarily extinguished by the British settlement of Australia. Legislation and more court cases follow to apply Native Title principles.

17 September 1997: Apology from the Parliament of Victoria
An apology is made to the Aboriginal people of Victoria on the motion that: 'This house apologises to the Aboriginal people on behalf of all Victorians for the past policies under which Aboriginal children were removed from their families and expresses deep regret at the hurt and distress this has caused and reaffirms its support for reconciliation between all Australians.'

2001: See Melbourne grow
Melbourne's population of 3,203,088 is nearly 70 per cent of the population of Victoria. The indigenous population of Victoria is estimated to be 28,000 or 0.6 per cent.