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about 60000 BP the first Aborigines Aborigines arrive in Australia coming across the land bridge from South-East Asia
1642 The Dutch Willem Janzoon searches for a sea route between Holland and Dutch India on behalf of the United East Indian Company. He lands on Cape York Peninsula
1642 the Dutch Abel Tasman discovers Van-Diemens-Land, which is later named after him: Tasmania
1688 the English pirate William Dampier visits Western Australia
1770 the seafarer Captain Cook occupies the Easern half of Australia in the name of the English King Georg III.
1788 Captain Arthur Philips reaches Australia's mainland with 736 prisoners on the First Fleet and he founds the first settlement called Sydney Cove. This happens on January 26th, which will later become national holiday
1789 mutiny on the Bounty. The expelled Captian Bligh becomes Gouvernor of the colony New South Wales New South Wales
1793 the number of voluntary immigrants searching for a new home is constantly increasing
1797 import of merino sheep from Cape of Good Hope
1798 by sailing round the seafarers Matthew Flinders and George Bass get evidence that Tasmania is and island (therefor the ocean area between the mainland and Tasmania is today called Bass Street)
1801-1803 Matthew Flinders rounds the continent and is the first to map out the whole coast line
1804 foundation of Tasmania's capital Hobart
1814 first mention of the name Australia by the English researcher Matthew Flinders. This name is generally accepted replacing the old name "New Holland"
1825 prisoners cultivate the land of today's city area of Brisbane Brisbane
1827 Western Australia is occupied by England's king
1829 foundation of Western Australia's capital Perth1839
1839 The fig cactus opuntia inernis - imported from Texas and first used as a potted plant in Queensland - was planted as a natural fence for paddocks. It propagated very quickly getting out of control and destroyed about 24 million hectars of grazing land until 1925! Controlling succeeded in 1936.
1840 last prisoners transported to New South Wales
1841 New Zealand severes from Australia and becomes an original colony
1850 the English Crown gives New South Wales New South Wales, Victoria Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia South Australia almost unlimited autonomy
1851 gold is found in New South Wales

the new colony Victoria originates at Port Philip Bay
1858 Australia reaches a population of one million
1859 Queensland Queensland is the fifth state getting almost unlimited autonomy by the English Crown
1862 John McDouall Stuart passes through the continent on the central route, which is nowadays called Stuart Highway
1864 first sugar production in Queensland
1872 laying of telegraph cables between Java(Indonesia) and Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia is thereby connected to the rest of the world
1876 Truganini Australia's last Aboriginal dies
1877 Australia reaches a population of two millions
1888 100-year anniversary and EXPO in Melbourne Melbourne
1889 Australia reaches a population of three millions
1859 the English Crown gives Western Australia almost unlimited autonomy
1894 installation of universal franchise for women in South Australia
1901 foundation of the Commonwealth of Australia
1905 Australia reaches a population of four millions
1913 Canberra Canberra becomes Australia's capital
1914 Norfolk Island becomes part of Australia
1918 Australia reaches a population of five millions
1927 the parliament moves from Melbourne to Canberra
1928 first flight of the Royal Flying Doctor Service Royal Flying Doctor Service
1932 opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Sydney Harbour Bridge1936
1936 With biological treatment the controlling of the opuntia inernis plague (since 1839) succeeded. The most effective insect was the caterpillar of the small Argentinean butterfly cactoblastis cactorum (phycitidae), that ate holes in the plant making way for rotting of the opuntias. In 1936 Queensland got rid of the plague and about 90% of the pastures in New South Wales could be used again.
1942 Australia is united with England during the war, Darwin suffers from Japanese attacks
1945 after WW II Australia becomes foundation member of the United Nations (UN)

start of the immigration programme Populate or perish increasing Australia's population from 7.5 million to 11 million within 20 years
1948 installation of forty hours work per week in whole Australia

production of the first Holden car
1951 opening of the School of the Air, which teaches pupils in the outback by radio
1952 foundation of the Pazific-Pact ANZUS for defence purposes consisting of the members Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America
1954 widening of the ANZUS-Pact to a South East Asia Treaty Organization SEATO with additional members France, United Kingdom, Pakistan, the Phillipines and Thailand with seat in Bangkok. The SEATO was disbanded in 1977.
1956 Olympic Summergames in Melbourne Melbourne
1959 Australia reaches a population of ten millions
1961 discovery of new mineral resources: ore in Pilbara (Western Australia) and oil in southwest Queensland
1962 right to vote for aborigines in Northern Territory Northern Territory
1966 the Australian Dollar replaces the British Pound as the national currency

turning away from the White Australia policy the state allows many Asian immigrants to settle down in Australia
1967 civil rights for aborigines
1974 cyclone Tracy destroys Darwin Darwin
1977 passing of the Land Rights Act, which for the first time lays down land rights of aborigines

Advance Australia Fair becomes the official national anthem national anthem
1981 Australia reaches a population of 15 millions
1982 economical depression and drought in the east
1985 Uluru (Ayers Rock) Ayers Rock and its surrounding area (Uluru/Kata Tjuta) become property of the aborigines
1988 200-year anniversary and EXPO in Brisbane Brisbane
1991 256.000 half- and pure blood aborigines are counted in a national census
1992 opening of the Harbour Tunnels in Sydney in order to ease the traffic across Sydney Harbour Bridge
1995 Australia reaches a population of 18 millions
1997 the construction of the Olympic Village starts three years before the Olympic Games 2000 in Sydney
1999 in a referendum the Australian people decide against the foundation of a republic but for keeping up the British Crown as their head of state
2000 Olympic Summergames in Sydney Sydney
2003 the most devastating bushfires of the last decades destroy a whole suburb of Australia's capital Canberra Canberra
2005 one of the Twelve Apostels Twelve Apostels collapses on July 4th due to weathering for 6.000 years
2007 75th anniversary of Sydney Harbour Bridge Sydney Harbour Bridge, more than 200.000 people have a party on the old coat hanger on March 18th
2008 In a historical speech Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says sorry to the Aborigines Aborigines. On February, 13th he apologises "for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians”. [...] "To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry. And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry."
2008 the 23rd World Youth Day takes place in Sydney from July 15th until July 20th. More than 400.000 pilgrims attend the final divine service hold by Pope Benedikt XVI.