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Featured moments

Defining Moments in Australian History

WARNING: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


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The 'featured moments' below provide a wealth of information about the events in question.

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    Agriculture

    merino sheep
    Merino sheep introduced
    1797: Introduction of the merino sheep to Australia
    1859: Introduction of rabbits
    Rabbits introduced
    1859: Rabbits successfully introduced into Australia
    Three men tilling the soil in large paddox while two others look on from other side of a fence. Saplings have been planted in the paddock in long rows.
    Murray River irrigation
    1887: Chaffey Brothers introduce irrigation on Murray River

    ‘Federation’ wheat
    1903: William Farrer begins distribution of ‘Federation’ wheat
    1935: Cane toads introduced into Australia to control pest beetles in Queensland’s sugar cane crops
    Cane toads
    1935: Cane toads introduced into Australia to control pest beetles in Queensland’s sugar cane crops

    Arts

    1880: The Bulletin
    The Bulletin
    1880: The Bulletin established
    Portrait of Tom Roberts
    9 by 5 exhibition
    1889: 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition
    cropped image of poster - ‘The Story of the Kelly Gang, commencing Saturday Nov 26, Anderson’s Olympia Theatre’
    World's first feature film
    1906: World’s first feature-length film The Story of the Kelly Gang produced in Victoria
    Sydney Opera House opens
    Sydney Opera House
    1973: Sydney Opera House opens

    Colonial

    White bust of Cook against a blue background. Cook is shirtless and hatless with curled hair, in the manner of an ancient Greek hero
    Cook claims Australia
    1770: Lieutenant James Cook claims east coast of Australia for Britain
    1788: Convict cargo
    Convict cargo
    1788: Captain Arthur Phillip establishes a convict settlement at Sydney Cove
    1792: Pemulwuy
    Pemulwuy
    1792: Aboriginal warrior Pemulwuy leads resistance against Sydney colonists
    Convict uprising at Castle Hill 1804
    Castle Hill Rebellion
    1804: Convict uprising known as the Castle Hill Rebellion (or the Battle of Vinegar Hill) put down by New South Wales Corps
    1813: Blue Mountains
    Blue Mountains
    1813: Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth cross the Blue Mountains

    The Black Line
    1830: The ‘Black Line’ – settler force attempts to corral Aboriginal people on the Tasman Peninsula
    Australian Aborigines Slaughtered by Convicts, by Phiz, The Book of Remarkable Trials, 1840; Chronicles of Crime V. II, 1841
    Myall Creek massacre
    1838: Myall Creek massacre, New South Wales
    First railway line
    First railway line
    1854: Australia’s first railway line opens in Victoria
    Daguerreotype of white-haired, bearded man in dark suit.
    Secret ballot introduced
    1856: Secret ballot introduced and all adult men given the vote
    A colour-tinted drawing of a parade watched by crowds of people.
    Eight-hour day
    1856: Melbourne building workers win an eight-hour day
    1868: Convict transportation
    Convict transportation
    1868: Convict transportation to Australia ends
    sepia-toned photograph of a large three-storey white building
    Free education introduced
    1872: Free, compulsory and secular education introduced in Victoria
    1894: Women's suffrage
    Women’s suffrage
    1894: Legislation introducing women’s suffrage, South Australia

    First Australian Olympian
    1896: Edwin Flack becomes Australia’s first Olympian
    1906: Papua New Guinea
    Papua New Guinea
    1906: Australia takes control of Papua as an ‘external territory’

    Crime

    Timber sailing vessel at sea with lower sails catching the wind. The Dutch flag sails from the bowsprit.
    Wreck of the Batavia
    1629: Dutch vessel Batavia wrecks off western Australia resulting in mass murder and the marooning of two men on the mainland
    Convict uprising at Castle Hill 1804
    Castle Hill Rebellion
    1804: Convict uprising known as the Castle Hill Rebellion (or the Battle of Vinegar Hill) put down by New South Wales Corps

    Port Arthur massacre
    1996: Port Arthur massacre leads to tighter gun laws
    burnt-out remains of vehicles
    Bali bombings
    2002: Bali bombing kills 88 Australians

    Culture

    1861: Melbourne Cup
    Melbourne Cup
    1861: First Melbourne Cup
    Young man or boy standing in front of tall stands of sugar cane. He is holding a piece of sugar cane. His face is expressionless
    Islander labourers
    1863: South Sea Islanders brought to Queensland as indentured labourers
    1880: The Bulletin
    The Bulletin
    1880: The Bulletin established
    cropped image of poster - ‘The Story of the Kelly Gang, commencing Saturday Nov 26, Anderson’s Olympia Theatre’
    World's first feature film
    1906: World’s first feature-length film The Story of the Kelly Gang produced in Victoria
    man in red singlet with Yamaha printed on it paddles a surf ski.
    First lifesaving club
    1907: Australia’s first lifesaving club established at Bondi, Sydney
    An elderly couple and two young women or girls sit around a radio the size of a bar fridge
    Start of the ABC
    1932: Formation of the Australian Broadcasting Commission
    Post-war immigration drive
    Postwar immigration drive
    1945: Australian Government announces postwar immigration drive
    Wooden boat with refugees in Darwin harbour
    Vietnamese refugees
    1976: First arrival of Vietnamese refugees by boat
    1978: First Gay Mardi Gras march, Sydney
    First Gay Mardi Gras
    1978: First Gay Mardi Gras march, Sydney
    two men sitting in a radio studio in front of microphones. They are smiling and clearly in conversation. The present is wearing a top saying ‘We’re talking your language on 3EA’
    SBS established
    1978: Special Broadcasting Service established

    Disaster

    1974: Cyclone Tracy
    Cyclone Tracy
    1974: Cyclone Tracy hits Darwin

    Port Arthur massacre
    1996: Port Arthur massacre leads to tighter gun laws
    burnt-out remains of vehicles
    Bali bombings
    2002: Bali bombing kills 88 Australians

    Black Saturday bushfires
    2009: ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires kill 173 people in Victoria

    Environment

    about 12,000 years ago: Separation of Tasmania
    Separation of Tasmania
    about 12,000 years ago: Sea level rises, separating Tasmania from the mainland
    about 5000 years ago: Arrival of the dingo, Australia's first domesticated species
    Arrival of the dingo
    about 5000 years ago: Arrival of the dingo, Australia's first domesticated species
    merino sheep
    Merino sheep introduced
    1797: Introduction of the merino sheep to Australia
    1859: Introduction of rabbits
    Rabbits introduced
    1859: Rabbits successfully introduced into Australia
    First national park thumbnail
    First national park
    1879: Australia’s first national park created – (now Royal) National Park, Sydney
    View of Broken Hill, 1888–91
    Founding of BHP
    1885: BHP begins mining silver, lead and zinc at Broken Hill in New South Wales
    Three men tilling the soil in large paddox while two others look on from other side of a fence. Saplings have been planted in the paddock in long rows.
    Murray River irrigation
    1887: Chaffey Brothers introduce irrigation on Murray River

    ‘Federation’ wheat
    1903: William Farrer begins distribution of ‘Federation’ wheat
    Steam ship in front of an ice shelf
    Mawson in the Antarctic
    1911: Douglas Mawson leads Australasian expedition to Antarctica
    Trans-Australian Railway
    Trans-Australian Railway
    1917: Completion of Trans-Australian Railway linking Western Australia and the eastern states
    1935: Cane toads introduced into Australia to control pest beetles in Queensland’s sugar cane crops
    Cane toads
    1935: Cane toads introduced into Australia to control pest beetles in Queensland’s sugar cane crops
    Extinction of Thylacine
    Extinction of thylacine
    1936: Tasmania’s thylacine becomes extinct
    1960: Australian Government lifts restrictions on export of iron ore
    Iron ore exports
    1960: Australian Government lifts restrictions on export of iron ore
    1974: Cyclone Tracy
    Cyclone Tracy
    1974: Cyclone Tracy hits Darwin
    Aboriginal man standing in front of tent holding up sign saying ‘We want land not handouts’. He is surrounded by a dozen or so other protesters.
    Aboriginal Land Rights Act
    1976: Australian Government passes Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act
    Young people squatting or standing on a dirt road holding the Australian flag and various banners.
    Franklin Dam and the Greens
    1982: Protests against Franklin Dam in Tasmania lead to formation of the Greens
    3 June 1992: High Court Decision in Mabo Case recognises Native Title
    Mabo decision
    1992: High Court decision in Mabo case recognises native title

    Black Saturday bushfires
    2009: ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires kill 173 people in Victoria

    Exploration

    Etching showing a 17th-century vessel just off the coast.
    First contact
    1606: Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon becomes first European to map parts of the Australian coast
    1616: Dutch navigator Dirk Hartog lands on the island off western Australia that now bears his name
    Dirk Hartog lands off WA
    1616: Dutch navigator Dirk Hartog lands on the island off Western Australia that now bears his name
    White bust of Cook against a blue background. Cook is shirtless and hatless with curled hair, in the manner of an ancient Greek hero
    Cook claims Australia
    1770: Lieutenant James Cook claims east coast of Australia for Britain
    1788: Convict cargo
    Convict cargo
    1788: Captain Arthur Phillip establishes a convict settlement at Sydney Cove
    1813: Blue Mountains
    Blue Mountains
    1813: Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth cross the Blue Mountains
    Steam ship in front of an ice shelf
    Mawson in the Antarctic
    1911: Douglas Mawson leads Australasian expedition to Antarctica

    Gold

    1851: Gold rushes
    Gold rushes
    1851: Gold rushes in New South Wales and Victoria begin
    1854: Rebellion of goldminers at the Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, Victoria
    Eureka Stockade
    1854: Rebellion of goldminers at Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, Victoria

    Indigenous

    at least 52,000 years ago: Evidence of first peoples
    Evidence of first peoples
    at least 52,000 years ago: Archaeological evidence of first peoples on the Australian continent

    Boomerang in Australia
    about 20,000 years ago: Earliest evidence of the boomerang in Australia
    about 5000 years ago: Arrival of the dingo, Australia's first domesticated species
    Arrival of the dingo
    about 5000 years ago: Arrival of the dingo, Australia's first domesticated species
    Etching showing a 17th-century vessel just off the coast.
    First contact
    1606: Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon becomes first European to map parts of the Australian coast
    About 1700: Trade with the Makasar
    Trade with the Makasar
    about 1700: Beginning of trade links between Aboriginal people of northern Australia and Makasar from Sulawesi
    1788: Convict cargo
    Convict cargo
    1788: Captain Arthur Phillip establishes a convict settlement at Sydney Cove
    1792: Pemulwuy
    Pemulwuy
    1792: Aboriginal warrior Pemulwuy leads resistance against Sydney colonists

    The Black Line
    1830: The ‘Black Line’ – settler force attempts to corral Aboriginal people on the Tasman Peninsula
    Australian Aborigines Slaughtered by Convicts, by Phiz, The Book of Remarkable Trials, 1840; Chronicles of Crime V. II, 1841
    Myall Creek massacre
    1838: Myall Creek massacre, New South Wales
    photo collage of Aboriginal cricketers
    Aboriginal cricket team
    1868: Aboriginal cricket team tours England
    1915: Aborigines Protection Act
    Aborigines Protection Act
    1915: NSW Government gains power to remove Aboriginal children from their families
    Aboriginal man, smiling, stands facing the camera, a hat set at jaunty angle on his head.
    Formation of the AAPA
    1924: Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association formed
    1938: Day of Mourning
    Day of Mourning
    1938: Sesquicentenary and Aboriginal Day of Mourning
    Wave Hill walk-off
    Wave Hill walk-off
    1966: Gurindji strike (or Wave Hill walk-off) led by Vincent Lingiari
    The seven people named stand in front of a wood-panelled wall in what looks like Old Parliament House.
    Indigenous referendum
    1967: Indigenous referendum
    four young men sit in front of a beach umbrella at night holding up signs
    Aboriginal Tent Embassy
    1972: Aboriginal Tent Embassy established in front of Parliament House, Canberra
    Aboriginal man standing in front of tent holding up sign saying ‘We want land not handouts’. He is surrounded by a dozen or so other protesters.
    Aboriginal Land Rights Act
    1976: Australian Government passes Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act
    3 June 1992: High Court Decision in Mabo Case recognises Native Title
    Mabo decision
    1992: High Court decision in Mabo case recognises native title
    2008: National apology
    National Apology
    2008: National Apology to the Stolen Generations

    Industry and work

    1851: Gold rushes
    Gold rushes
    1851: Gold rushes in New South Wales and Victoria begin
    1854: Rebellion of goldminers at the Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, Victoria
    Eureka Stockade
    1854: Rebellion of goldminers at Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, Victoria
    First railway line
    First railway line
    1854: Australia’s first railway line opens in Victoria
    A colour-tinted drawing of a parade watched by crowds of people.
    Eight-hour day
    1856: Melbourne building workers win an eight-hour day
    View of Broken Hill, 1888–91
    Founding of BHP
    1885: BHP begins mining silver, lead and zinc at Broken Hill in New South Wales
    1885: Victoria Employers’ Union founded
    Victorian Employers’ Union
    1885: Victorian Employers’ Union formed
    1890–91: Depression and strikes; formation of the Labor Party
    ALP forms
    1890–91: Depression and strikes; formation of the Labor Party
    Henry Bourne Higgins
    Harvester Judgement
    1907: Justice HB Higgins hands down ‘Harvester Judgement’
    1908: Age and invalid pension
    Age and invalid pensions
    1908: Legislation introducing national age and invalid pensions
    Trans-Australian Railway
    Trans-Australian Railway
    1917: Completion of Trans-Australian Railway linking Western Australia and the eastern states
    1920: Qantas established
    Qantas
    1920: Qantas established
    Four men walking towards the camera dressed in shabby clothes. Most are carrying swags and bill cans
    Great Depression
    1932: Height of the Great Depression, with 32 per cent unemployment
    Photo taken from a second-storey window showing hundreds of men proceeding down a main street.
    Unemployment insurance
    1945: National introduction of sickness and unemployment benefits
    1948: Holden launch
    Holden launch
    1948: Australia’s first locally made car, the Holden 48-215, launched
    1960: Australian Government lifts restrictions on export of iron ore
    Iron ore exports
    1960: Australian Government lifts restrictions on export of iron ore
    Prince Phillip speaking at a lectern with Holt and Menzies seated. Other dignitaries and their wives are also present. Behind them is the main door of the Mint.
    Decimal currency
    1966: Switch to decimal currency
    Equal pay for women
    Equal pay for women
    1972: Conciliation and Arbitration Commission grants equal pay for men and women
    Sydney Opera House opens
    Sydney Opera House
    1973: Sydney Opera House opens
    1983: Australian dollar floated
    Australian dollar floated
    1983: Floating of the Australian dollar
    Vaile and Zoellick pose for the cameras shaking hands and smiling. Behind them are a series of Australian and US flags along with a man and a woman smiling and clapping
    US free trade agreement
    2004: US free trade agreement

    International

    photo collage of Aboriginal cricketers
    Aboriginal cricket team
    1868: Aboriginal cricket team tours England
    1906: Papua New Guinea
    Papua New Guinea
    1906: Australia takes control of Papua as an ‘external territory’

    Founding of the UN
    1945: Australia plays a leading role in founding United Nations
    1951: Australia signs ANZUS Treaty with New Zealand and the United States
    ANZUS Treaty
    1951: Australia signs ANZUS Treaty with New Zealand and the United States
    Port Hedland Immigration Reception and Processing Centre, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, June 2002.
    First detention centre
    1991: Port Hedland immigration detention centre opens
    'Tampa affair'
    ‘Tampa affair’
    2001: Australian troops take control of Tampa carrying rescued asylum-seekers
    burnt-out remains of vehicles
    Bali bombings
    2002: Bali bombing kills 88 Australians
    Vaile and Zoellick pose for the cameras shaking hands and smiling. Behind them are a series of Australian and US flags along with a man and a woman smiling and clapping
    US free trade agreement
    2004: US free trade agreement

    Media

    A black and white photo taken in the 1920s of a man who has climbed up to the top of a pole
    Overland telegraph
    1872: Completion of the Overland Telegraph from Darwin to Port Augusta, South Australia
    1880: The Bulletin
    The Bulletin
    1880: The Bulletin established
    cropped image of poster - ‘The Story of the Kelly Gang, commencing Saturday Nov 26, Anderson’s Olympia Theatre’
    World's first feature film
    1906: World’s first feature-length film The Story of the Kelly Gang produced in Victoria
    An elderly couple and two young women or girls sit around a radio the size of a bar fridge
    Start of the ABC
    1932: Formation of the Australian Broadcasting Commission
    1956: Television introduced in time for Australia’s first Olympic Games, Melbourne
    TV and Melbourne Olympics
    1956: Television introduced in time for Australia’s first Olympic Games, Melbourne
    two men sitting in a radio studio in front of microphones. They are smiling and clearly in conversation. The present is wearing a top saying ‘We’re talking your language on 3EA’
    SBS established
    1978: Special Broadcasting Service established

    Migration

    1851: Gold rushes
    Gold rushes
    1851: Gold rushes in New South Wales and Victoria begin
    1854: Rebellion of goldminers at the Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, Victoria
    Eureka Stockade
    1854: Rebellion of goldminers at Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, Victoria
    Young man or boy standing in front of tall stands of sugar cane. He is holding a piece of sugar cane. His face is expressionless
    Islander labourers
    1863: South Sea Islanders brought to Queensland as indentured labourers
    this 28mm-high badge has the words ‘Australia for the Australians’ stamped on the rim and the words ‘White Australia’ stamped on silver-painted representation of the Australian continent in the middle.
    White Australia policy
    1901: White Australia policy enshrined in law
    Post-war immigration drive
    Postwar immigration drive
    1945: Australian Government announces postwar immigration drive
    1966: White Australia policy dismantled
    White Australia policy ends
    1966: End of White Australia policy
    two men sitting in a radio studio in front of microphones. They are smiling and clearly in conversation. The present is wearing a top saying ‘We’re talking your language on 3EA’
    SBS established
    1978: Special Broadcasting Service established
    Port Hedland Immigration Reception and Processing Centre, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, June 2002.
    First detention centre
    1991: Port Hedland immigration detention centre opens
    'Tampa affair'
    ‘Tampa affair’
    2001: Australian troops take control of Tampa carrying rescued asylum-seekers

    Nationhood

    at least 52,000 years ago: Evidence of first peoples
    Evidence of first peoples
    at least 52,000 years ago: Archaeological evidence of first peoples on the Australian continent
    White bust of Cook against a blue background. Cook is shirtless and hatless with curled hair, in the manner of an ancient Greek hero
    Cook claims Australia
    1770: Lieutenant James Cook claims east coast of Australia for Britain
    Young man or boy standing in front of tall stands of sugar cane. He is holding a piece of sugar cane. His face is expressionless
    Islander labourers
    1863: South Sea Islanders brought to Queensland as indentured labourers
    man in red singlet with Yamaha printed on it paddles a surf ski.
    First lifesaving club
    1907: Australia’s first lifesaving club established at Bondi, Sydney
    Steam ship in front of an ice shelf
    Mawson in the Antarctic
    1911: Douglas Mawson leads Australasian expedition to Antarctica
    1913: Foundation of Canberra
    Founding of Canberra
    1913: Foundation of Canberra as the national capital
    Royal Australian Navy
    Royal Australian Navy
    1913: The newly created Royal Australian Navy's 'fleet unit' sails into Sydney Harbour
    1915: Australian troops land at Gallipoli
    Gallipoli landing
    1915: Australian troops land at Gallipolli
    Conscription referendums
    Conscription referendums
    1916–17: Conscription for military service overseas defeated in two referendums
    1938: Day of Mourning
    Day of Mourning
    1938: Sesquicentenary and Aboriginal Day of Mourning
    1942: Japanese Imperial Army invades Singapore
    Fall of Singapore
    1942: Japanese Imperial Army invades Singapore
    Post-war immigration drive
    Postwar immigration drive
    1945: Australian Government announces postwar immigration drive
    1954: Queen Elizabeth 11
    Queen Elizabeth II
    1954: Visit of Queen Elizabeth II, the first by a reigning monarch
    Sydney Opera House opens
    Sydney Opera House
    1973: Sydney Opera House opens
    Wooden boat with refugees in Darwin harbour
    Vietnamese refugees
    1976: First arrival of Vietnamese refugees by boat
    2008: National apology
    National Apology
    2008: National Apology to the Stolen Generations

    Politics and legislation


    Bourke Churches Act
    1836: Governor Richard Bourke funds Protestant and Catholic churches in New South Wales on equal basis
    A colour-tinted drawing of a parade watched by crowds of people.
    Eight-hour day
    1856: Melbourne building workers win an eight-hour day
    Daguerreotype of white-haired, bearded man in dark suit.
    Secret ballot introduced
    1856: Secret ballot introduced and all adult men given the vote
    Young man or boy standing in front of tall stands of sugar cane. He is holding a piece of sugar cane. His face is expressionless
    Islander labourers
    1863: South Sea Islanders brought to Queensland as indentured labourers
    sepia-toned photograph of a large three-storey white building
    Free education introduced
    1872: Free, compulsory and secular education introduced in Victoria
    First national park thumbnail
    First national park
    1879: Australia’s first national park created – (now Royal) National Park, Sydney
    1885: Victoria Employers’ Union founded
    Victorian Employers’ Union
    1885: Victorian Employers’ Union formed
    1890–91: Depression and strikes; formation of the Labor Party
    ALP forms
    1890–91: Depression and strikes; formation of the Labor Party
    this 28mm-high badge has the words ‘Australia for the Australians’ stamped on the rim and the words ‘White Australia’ stamped on silver-painted representation of the Australian continent in the middle.
    White Australia policy
    1901: White Australia policy enshrined in law
    1902: Commonwealth Franchise Act gives women the vote in federal elections
    Franchise Act
    1902: Commonwealth Franchise Act gives women the vote in federal elections
    Henry Bourne Higgins
    Harvester Judgement
    1907: Justice HB Higgins hands down ‘Harvester Judgement’
    1908: Age and invalid pension
    Age and invalid pensions
    1908: Legislation introducing national age and invalid pensions
    Maternity leave introduced
    Maternity allowance introduced
    1912: Australian Government introduces a maternity allowance
    1915: Aborigines Protection Act
    Aborigines Protection Act
    1915: NSW Government gains power to remove Aboriginal children from their families
    1916: Soldier settlement
    Soldier settlement
    1916: Federal–state agreement for soldier settlement
    Conscription referendums
    Conscription referendums
    1916–17: Conscription for military service overseas defeated in two referendums
    Black and white photo of men and women
    Country Party
    1920: Country Party founded
    An elderly couple and two young women or girls sit around a radio the size of a bar fridge
    Start of the ABC
    1932: Formation of the Australian Broadcasting Commission
    Four men walking towards the camera dressed in shabby clothes. Most are carrying swags and bill cans
    Great Depression
    1932: Height of the Great Depression, with 32 per cent unemployment
    Two well-dressed women entering Parliament House in Canberra.
    First women in Parliament
    1943: First women elected to Australian Parliament
    1944: Formation of Liberal Party of Australia
    Liberal party forms
    1944: Formation of Liberal Party of Australia
    Photo taken from a second-storey window showing hundreds of men proceeding down a main street.
    Unemployment insurance
    1945: National introduction of sickness and unemployment benefits

    Founding of the UN
    1945: Australia plays a leading role in founding United Nations
    Post-war immigration drive
    Postwar immigration drive
    1945: Australian Government announces postwar immigration drive
    Election of Menzies Government
    Election of Menzies
    1949: Election of the Menzies government – the longest serving in Australian history
    1951: Australia signs ANZUS Treaty with New Zealand and the United States
    ANZUS Treaty
    1951: Australia signs ANZUS Treaty with New Zealand and the United States
    1955: Split within ALP
    ALP split
    1955: Split within Australian Labor Party; formation of the Democratic Labor Party
    1960: Australian Government lifts restrictions on export of iron ore
    Iron ore exports
    1960: Australian Government lifts restrictions on export of iron ore
    1961: The Pill
    The Pill
    1961: Introduction of the oral contraceptive pill
    Prince Phillip speaking at a lectern with Holt and Menzies seated. Other dignitaries and their wives are also present. Behind them is the main door of the Mint.
    Decimal currency
    1966: Switch to decimal currency
    1966: White Australia policy dismantled
    White Australia policy ends
    1966: End of White Australia policy
    The seven people named stand in front of a wood-panelled wall in what looks like Old Parliament House.
    Indigenous referendum
    1967: Indigenous referendum
    Equal pay for women
    Equal pay for women
    1972: Conciliation and Arbitration Commission grants equal pay for men and women
    Aboriginal man standing in front of tent holding up sign saying ‘We want land not handouts’. He is surrounded by a dozen or so other protesters.
    Aboriginal Land Rights Act
    1976: Australian Government passes Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act
    Young people squatting or standing on a dirt road holding the Australian flag and various banners.
    Franklin Dam and the Greens
    1982: Protests against Franklin Dam in Tasmania lead to formation of the Greens
    1983: Australian dollar floated
    Australian dollar floated
    1983: Floating of the Australian dollar

    Sex Discrimination Act
    1984: Australian Parliament passes Sex Discrimination Act
    1984: Medicare system
    Medicare
    1984: Introduction of Medicare
    Port Hedland Immigration Reception and Processing Centre, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, June 2002.
    First detention centre
    1991: Port Hedland immigration detention centre opens
    3 June 1992: High Court Decision in Mabo Case recognises Native Title
    Mabo decision
    1992: High Court decision in Mabo case recognises native title

    Port Arthur massacre
    1996: Port Arthur massacre leads to tighter gun laws
    'Tampa affair'
    ‘Tampa affair’
    2001: Australian troops take control of Tampa carrying rescued asylum-seekers
    Vaile and Zoellick pose for the cameras shaking hands and smiling. Behind them are a series of Australian and US flags along with a man and a woman smiling and clapping
    US free trade agreement
    2004: US free trade agreement
    2008: National apology
    National Apology
    2008: National Apology to the Stolen Generations

    Science and Technology

    A black and white photo taken in the 1920s of a man who has climbed up to the top of a pole
    Overland telegraph
    1872: Completion of the Overland Telegraph from Darwin to Port Augusta, South Australia
    1935: Cane toads introduced into Australia to control pest beetles in Queensland’s sugar cane crops
    Cane toads
    1935: Cane toads introduced into Australia to control pest beetles in Queensland’s sugar cane crops
    1945: Penicillin
    Penicillin
    1945: Florey, Fleming and Chain win Nobel Prize for developing penicillin
    1961: The Pill
    The Pill
    1961: Introduction of the oral contraceptive pill

    Social Change

    Daguerreotype of white-haired, bearded man in dark suit.
    Secret ballot introduced
    1856: Secret ballot introduced and all adult men given the vote
    sepia-toned photograph of a large three-storey white building
    Free education introduced
    1872: Free, compulsory and secular education introduced in Victoria
    1890–91: Depression and strikes; formation of the Labor Party
    ALP forms
    1890–91: Depression and strikes; formation of the Labor Party
    1902: Commonwealth Franchise Act gives women the vote in federal elections
    Franchise Act
    1902: Commonwealth Franchise Act gives women the vote in federal elections
    Black and white photo of men and women
    Country Party
    1920: Country Party founded
    1944: Formation of Liberal Party of Australia
    Liberal party forms
    1944: Formation of Liberal Party of Australia
    Election of Menzies Government
    Election of Menzies
    1949: Election of the Menzies government – the longest serving in Australian history
    1961: The Pill
    The Pill
    1961: Introduction of the oral contraceptive pill
    Equal pay for women
    Equal pay for women
    1972: Conciliation and Arbitration Commission grants equal pay for men and women
    Wooden boat with refugees in Darwin harbour
    Vietnamese refugees
    1976: First arrival of Vietnamese refugees by boat
    1978: First Gay Mardi Gras march, Sydney
    First Gay Mardi Gras
    1978: First Gay Mardi Gras march, Sydney

    Sex Discrimination Act
    1984: Australian Parliament passes Sex Discrimination Act
    1984: Medicare system
    Medicare
    1984: Introduction of Medicare
    Port Hedland Immigration Reception and Processing Centre, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, June 2002.
    First detention centre
    1991: Port Hedland immigration detention centre opens

    Port Arthur massacre
    1996: Port Arthur massacre leads to tighter gun laws

    Sport

    A football match: Carlton v. Melbourne, The Australasian Sketcher, 18 June 1881.
    Australian Rules football
    1858: First organised game of Australian Rules football
    1861: Melbourne Cup
    Melbourne Cup
    1861: First Melbourne Cup
    photo collage of Aboriginal cricketers
    Aboriginal cricket team
    1868: Aboriginal cricket team tours England

    First Australian Olympian
    1896: Edwin Flack becomes Australia’s first Olympian
    The first Australian Kangaroos side, 1908
    Creation of rugby league
    1907: Rugby league splits from rugby union
    man in red singlet with Yamaha printed on it paddles a surf ski.
    First lifesaving club
    1907: Australia’s first lifesaving club established at Bondi, Sydney
    1932-33: Bodyline
    Bodyline
    1932–33: English cricket team on ‘Bodyline’ Ashes tour
    1956: Television introduced in time for Australia’s first Olympic Games, Melbourne
    TV and Melbourne Olympics
    1956: Television introduced in time for Australia’s first Olympic Games, Melbourne
    A yacht and crew
    America’s Cup win
    1983: Australia II wins the America’s Cup

    Vehicles and transport

    Timber sailing vessel at sea with lower sails catching the wind. The Dutch flag sails from the bowsprit.
    Wreck of the Batavia
    1629: Dutch vessel Batavia wrecks off western Australia resulting in mass murder and the marooning of two men on the mainland
    Trans-Australian Railway
    Trans-Australian Railway
    1917: Completion of Trans-Australian Railway linking Western Australia and the eastern states
    1920: Qantas established
    Qantas
    1920: Qantas established
    1948: Holden launch
    Holden launch
    1948: Australia’s first locally made car, the Holden 48-215, launched

    War

    Royal Australian Navy
    Royal Australian Navy
    1913: The newly created Royal Australian Navy's 'fleet unit' sails into Sydney Harbour
    1915: Australian troops land at Gallipoli
    Gallipoli landing
    1915: Australian troops land at Gallipolli
    1916: Soldier settlement
    Soldier settlement
    1916: Federal–state agreement for soldier settlement
    Conscription referendums
    Conscription referendums
    1916–17: Conscription for military service overseas defeated in two referendums
    Kokoda Trail
    Kokoda Trail
    1942: Japanese bomb Darwin but are halted on Kokoda Trail
    1942: Japanese Imperial Army invades Singapore
    Fall of Singapore
    1942: Japanese Imperial Army invades Singapore
    Wooden boat with refugees in Darwin harbour
    Vietnamese refugees
    1976: First arrival of Vietnamese refugees by boat

    Women

    1894: Women's suffrage
    Women’s suffrage
    1894: Legislation introducing women’s suffrage, South Australia
    1902: Commonwealth Franchise Act gives women the vote in federal elections
    Franchise Act
    1902: Commonwealth Franchise Act gives women the vote in federal elections
    Maternity leave introduced
    Maternity allowance introduced
    1912: Australian Government introduces a maternity allowance
    Two well-dressed women entering Parliament House in Canberra.
    First women in Parliament
    1943: First women elected to Australian Parliament
    1961: The Pill
    The Pill
    1961: Introduction of the oral contraceptive pill
    Equal pay for women
    Equal pay for women
    1972: Conciliation and Arbitration Commission grants equal pay for men and women

    Sex Discrimination Act
    1984: Australian Parliament passes Sex Discrimination Act
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