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Early to mid 19th century

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.


Early to mid 19th century

1801–03: Matthew Flinders circumnavigates continent, which he names ‘Australia’
1804: Convict uprising known as the Castle Hill Rebellion (or the Battle of Vinegar Hill) put down by New South Wales Corps
1813: Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth cross the Blue Mountains
1830: The ‘Black Line’ – settler force attempts to corral Aboriginal people on the Tasman Peninsula
1833: Convict transportation to Australia peaks when nearly 7000 people arrive in one year
1836: Governor Richard Bourke funds Protestant and Catholic churches in New South Wales on equal basis
1838: Myall Creek massacre, New South Wales
1851: Gold rushes in New South Wales and Victoria begin
1854: Rebellion of goldminers at Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, Victoria
1854: Australia’s first railway line opens in Victoria
1856: Secret ballot introduced and all adult men given the vote
1856: Melbourne building workers win an eight-hour day
1858: First organised game of Australian Rules football
1859: Rabbits successfully introduced into Australia
1861: First Melbourne Cup
1863: South Sea Islanders brought to Queensland as indentured labourers