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Victoria

Victoria History Timeline

BC - 1700s
  • (50,000BC) Indigenous Australians settled in the area
  • (1770) James Cook sighted eastern coast of Victoria
  • (1788) Great Britain included Victoria in colony of New South Wales
1800s
  • (1802) European explorer John Murray discovered Port Phillip, claimed area for Britain
  • (1803) Captain Daniel Woodriff led expedition from England to Port Phillip, chose site for convict settlement at Sullivan Bay (present-day Sorrento)
  • (1826) Convict settlement briefly established in Western Port to protect approaches to the bay from French explorers
  • (1834) First permanent European settlement established at Portland Bay
  • (1834) At Convincing Group Massacre, dispute with whalers occurred when local Gunditjmara asserted rights to a beached whale as their food source; whalers killed 60 Gunditjmaras
  • (1835) Melbourne founded by John Bateman
  • (1836 - 1842) Aboriginal tribes were forced from their native land; government encouraged squatters to take whatever land they chose
  • (1842) Henry Condell elected first mayor of Melbourne
  • (1842 - 1843) Government demanded large rates of interest from banks on deposits, caused financial crisis
  • (1845) Less than 240 wealthy Europeans held all the pastoral licenses issued in Victoria
  • (1845 - 1872) During New Zealand's Maori Wars, Victoria sent troops and a warship
  • (1851) The colony of Victoria formally separated from New South Wales; Charles La Trobe appointed as Lieutenant-Governor
  • (1851) Victorian gold rush followed discovery at Clunes
  • (1854) The Eureka Rebellion was fought between gold miners and Colonial forces in the Ballarat region over mining taxes
  • (1854) Outbreak of typhoid at Buckland Valley killed over 1,000 miners
  • (1855) William Haines appointed first Premier of Victoria after the formation of the Parliament
  • (1857) Anti-Chinese race riot occurred in goldfields of the Buckland Valley
  • (1861) Inaugural run of the Melbourne Cup took place
  • (1883) Railway linking Sydney and Melbourne opened
  • (1893) Bank failures caused severe financial depression, unemployment was widespread, wages and prices dropped, bankruptcies followed
1900s
  • (1901) Victoria became a State of the Commonwealth of Australia; Melbourne named national capital
  • (1901 - 1927) Melbourne was capital of Australia while Canberra was being constructed
  • (1905) Melbourne's population growth stalled; Sydney became Australia's largest city
  • (1923) Victorian Police strike occurred when half of Melbourne's police force refused duty due to the continued use of spies by management
  • (1927) The capital city of Australia transferred from Melbourne to Canberra
  • (1929) Great Depression began, had disastrous economic effects on all of Australia due to its dependence on exports
  • (1939-1945) World War II
  • (1956) Melbourne hosted Summer Olympics
  • (1962) Indigenous Australians granted right to vote
  • (1966) Australian pounds, shillings and pence replaced by decimal currency
  • (1967) Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared at Cheviot Beach on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula
  • (1970) During construction, the West Gage Bridge in Melbourne collapsed, killed 35 workers
  • (1978) Newly reconstructed West Gate Bridge officially opened
  • (1984) First frozen embryo birth in the world occurred in Melbourne
  • (1986) Pablo Picasso's Weeping Woman stolen from National Gallery of Victoria by "cultural terrorists", demanded more funding for the arts as ransom; abandoned painting in railway locker a week later
  • (1990) State Bank of Victoria collapsed due to bad loans made in the 1980s
  • (1996) Australian Grand Prix moved to Melbourne
  • (1999) Bolt Bridge opened in Melbourne
2000s
  • (2000) Australia's first fully electronic tolled railway, CityLink, opened in Melbourne, linked three existing freeways
  • (2005) Police foiled major terrorist attack in raids and arrests of 16 people in Sydney and Melbourne
  • (2006) Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne
  • (2007) Premier Steve Bracks resigned
  • (2008) Melbourne became second city after Edinburgh, Scotland to be declared UNESCO City of Literature
  • (2009) Man charged with arson for lighting bushfire near Churchill, caused deaths of at least 21 people
  • (2009) In Black Saturday bushfires 173 died, 414 were injured, over 2,030 houses and more than 3,500 structures were destroyed
  • (2009) Police arrested four Australian nationals in Melbourne after uncovering plot to launch suicide mission
  • (2010) Heavy rain and flooding forced evacuations
  • (2010) Mary MacKillop, Melbourne native, declared St. Mary of the Cross by the Roman Catholic Church
  • (2010) Ted Baillieu became Premier
  • (2011) Flooding inundated homes, devastated thousands of acres of crops, killed 21
  • (2012) Officials investigated horse racing corruption including four top jockeys, punters and bookmakers
  • (2013) Premier Ted Baillieu resigned, succeeded by Denis Napthine

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.