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New South Wales

New South Wales History Timeline

BC - 1700s
  • (50,000BC) Aborigines settled along the coast
  • (1770) Captain James Cook charted and took possession of the east coast of Australia, named the region "New South Wales"
  • (1788) Arthur Phillip arrived with First Fleet to found convict settlment at present-day Sydney
  • (1788) Parramatta founded as a likely place for a successful farm
  • (1790s) Coal discovered in Hunter and Illawarra regions; Merino sheep were imported into New South Wales
  • (1791) Toongabbie founded as a government farm and convict station to grow food for colonies
1800s
  • (1804) Town of Newcastle established as secondary punishment for convicts
  • (1804) In Castle Hill Rebellion, convicts rebelled against colonial authority in Castle Hill area (first and only major convict uprising in Australian history)
  • (1807) First export of wool to England
  • (1808) Rum Rebellion was act of rebellion against Governor Bligh, government overthrown by military coup
  • (1810) Lachlan Macquarie assumed office, military power ended
  • (1810 - 1821) Lachlan Macquarie established public works, bank, churches, charitable institutions, sought relations with Aborigines
  • (1812) Stuart Donaldson named first premier of New South Wales
  • (1812) Governor's Court and Supreme Court established
  • (1815) Road built over the Blue Mountains
  • (1820) Inland settlement established at Bathurst
  • (1824) New South Wales proclaimed a crown colony
  • (1825) Legislative Council appointed to advise Governor
  • (1825) Trial by jury introduced
  • (1825) Tasmania seceded from New South Wales, became separate colony
  • (1838) In Myall Creek Massacre, 11 stockmen killed 30 unarmed Australian Aboriginals
  • (1841) New Zealand, originally part of New South Wales, became separate colony
  • (1843) First elections held for the Legislative Council
  • (1851) Gold found near Bathurst sparked a gold rush
  • (1851) Victoria seceded from New South Wales, became separate colony
  • (1855) New South Wales granted responsible government by British
  • (1858) New gold rush in far north
  • (1858) Universal male suffrage granted by Parliament
  • (1858) Secret ballot introduced

1800s continued

  • (1859) Queensland separated from New South Wales
  • (1861) Anti-Chinese riots in goldfields killed several people, wounded many others in Lambing Flat Riots
  • (1861) Crown Lands Act 1861 introduced, reformed land holdings, broke squatters' domination of land tenure
  • (1870) Last British troops left, police and local military maintained law and order
  • (1879) Royal National Park, Australia's first national park (and the second in the world), opened in Sydney
  • (1883) Silver discovered at Broken Hill
  • (1886) Industrial depression began, caused wide-scale unemployment
  • (1889) Railroad network linking Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney completed
  • (1890) Maritime Strike occurred over pay and working conditions
  • (1893) Financial crisis caused closure of 13 trading banks
  • (1895) Income tax began
1900s
  • (1901) New South Wales became a State of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • (1901) First elections held, Edmund Barton confirmed as Prime Minister
  • (1901) Industrial Arbitration Act passed, provided for compulsory arbitration
  • (1902) Women granted right to vote
  • (1908) Sydney rockchoppers struck for over two months, employers backed down on all issues as no strikebreakers were found
This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.