Sydney History Overview

  • Observatory Hill
  • St Marys Cathedral
  • Anzac Memorial
  • Lands Department Building
  • Thomas Sutcliffe Mort
  • Cadmans Cottage The Rocks
  • Anchor from HMS Sirius
  • Sydney Observatory

Year

Event

BC

Aborigines occupied the continent

1600s

Various explorers believed to have found the Australian mainland

1642

Dutch explorer Abel Tasman explores the west coast of Tasmania naming the island Anthoonij van Diemenslandt

1688

William Dampier (English Explorer) explores the west coasts of Australia

1770

English Lieutenant James Cook's expedition in HM Bark "Endeavour" charts the eastern coast and arrives at Botany Bay

1788

The arrival of the First Fleet from England

Arthur Phillip arrives in Australia

First European settlement and penal colony at Sydney Cove (Sydney)

1789

First ferry service was established between Sydney Cove and the farming settlement of Parramatta

1800

Population estimated at 3,000 people

1803

Matthew Flinders circumnavigates the continent

1804

Castle Hill convict rebellion

1808

The Rum Rebellion - Governor, William Bligh overthrown

1813

Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth cross the Blue Mountains

1813

Matthew Flinders names the country Australia

1817

The Bank of New South Wales opens in Macquarie Place, Sydney

1820

Population 12,000

1827

Sydney's Australian Museum, founded

1829

Australia claimed as British territory

1831

First publication of Sydney Herald (Sydney Morning Herald)

1838

David Jones opens

1840

England stops transportation of prisoners to Australia

1842

Sydney becomes a city

1850

University of Sydney founded

1851

Population 39,000

1851

Victoria separates from New South Wales

1852

Gold discovered, increasing the population

1855

The original Sydney Station was opened on 26 September 1855

1858

Sydney and Melbourne linked by electric telegraph

1859

Queensland separates from New South Wales

1861

Establishment of the North Shore Ferry Company

1869

Stolen Generation: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent children removed from their families by government agencies

1871

Population 200,000

1883

Sydney-Melbourne railway opened

1883

Silver is discovered at Broken Hill

1888

Town Hall opens

1891

"The Commonwealth of Australia" name adopted

1891

Severe depression

1901

Australian Federation occurred and the Commonwealth of Australia was declared

1901

Edmond Barton first Prime Minister of Australia (1901 – 1903)

1901

Population 500,000

1904

Sydney's electricity supply was officially switched on at Pyrmont A Power Station on 8 July 1904.

1911

The Royal Australian Navy is founded

1914

First World War – Australian Soldiers sent

1915

Sydney became the first place in the world to appoint female police officers

1920

Qantas Airline founded

1925

Population 1,000,000

1932

Sydney Harbour Bridge Opens

1935

Luna Park first opens its doors on 4 October, 1935

1945

Australia joins the United Nations

1956

Circular Quay Railway Station opens 20th January 1956

1962

Population 2,000,000

1967

Aboriginal people were given Australian citizenship

1973

The Sydney Opera House is opened

1981

Sydney Tower Observation Deck opens to public

1988

Australia celebrates its bicentenary

2000

Sydney hosts the Olympic Games

2001

Population 3,366,542

2008

Population 4,399,722

2008

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd formally apologised to the Stolen Generations.

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