Australia: History

  1. 1770

    Captain James Cook explores the east coast and claims it for Great Britain, naming it New South Wales.

  2. 1851

    Gold is discovered at several locations and the population increases three-fold over the next decade.

  3. 1901

    The six states in Australia unify, becoming the Commonwealth of Australia. An anti-immigration law is passed that only allows whites to move to the country.

  4. 1929

    The Great Depression hits Australia hard, causing high levels of unemployment and decreased demand abroad for Australian exports.

  5. 1942

    Australia passes the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act which formally establishes the country’s complete independence, although this had informally been the case for years.

  6. 1948

    The government begins programs to encourage immigration from Europe. This effort brings in over two million people during the next 3 decades.

  7. 1975

    Australia introduces new immigration laws, restricting the number of unskilled workers allowed into the country.

  8. 2006

    Australia and East Timor sign an agreement that will divide revenues from oil and gas reserves that are found in the Timor Sea.

  9. 2006

    Economic growth forecasts are decreased after the country is hit with its worst drought in a century. Farming output drops significantly.

  10. 2014

    Japan and Australia agree to a trade deal that will lower tariffs between the two nations.


BBC News