Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the first peoples of Australia, meaning they were here for thousands of years prior to colonisation.
Australia's first people—known as Aboriginal Australians—have lived on the continent for over 50,000 years. Today, there are 250 distinct language groups spread throughout Australia.
The British colony of New South Wales was established in 1788 as a penal colony.
Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under" (usually shortened to just "Down Under"). Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", and "the Wide Brown Land". The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country".
Australia, once known as New South Wales, was originally planned as a penal colony. In October 1786, the British government appointed Arthur Phillip captain of the HMS Sirius, and commissioned him to establish an agricultural work camp there for British convicts.
The islands were settled by different seafaring Melanesian cultures such as the Torres Strait Islanders over 2500 years ago, and cultural interactions continued via this route with the Aboriginal people of northeast Australia.
But in 1770 a British sailor, Captain James Cook, found the fertile east coast of Australia. He called it New South Wales, and claimed it for Britain. Englishman Matthew Flinders published his map of the coast in 1814, calling it Australia for the first time, a name later formally adopted by the authorities.
From Portsmouth the First Fleet travelled via Tenerife and Rio de Janeiro to the Cape of Good Hope, the fleet's last port of call before striking out for Terra Australis.
Six colonies were formed in Australia: New South Wales, 1788; Tasmania, 1825; Western Australia, 1829; South Australia, 1836; Victoria, 1851; and Queensland, 1859. These same colonies later became the states of the Australian Commonwealth.
Second Prize – The Dutch (Willem Janszoon) - 26 February 1606 . Janszoon came ashore, named the place "Nieu Zeland", and didn't realise he had discovered Australia. He thought the land was part of the island of New Guinea, which is further to the north.
'Indigenous Australian' is a very general term that covers two very distinct cultural groups: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
From at least 60,000 B.C. the area that was to become New South Wales was inhabited entirely by indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with traditional social, legal organisation and land rights. The population of New South Wales was at least 100,000 with many tribal, clan and language groups.
The rest was still called New Holland. In 1803 the English explorer Matthew Flinders was the first to circumnavigate and map the entire continent. He suggested that the whole continent by called Australia. Finally, in 1824, the British Admiralty agreed that the continent should be officially called Australia.
On 24 November 1642, Tasman reached and sighted the west coast of Tasmania, north of Macquarie Harbour. He named his discovery Van Diemen's Land, after Antonio van Diemen, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies.
When Britain declared war against Germany in August 1914, Australia, as a dominion of the British Empire, was automatically also at war.
25 August – The Legislative Council of New South Wales sits for the first time. Name change from ' New Holland ' to ' Australia ', recommended by Matthew Flinders in 1804, receives official sanction by the United Kingdom.
It is soon apparent from a study of personal and even official correspondence from World War One that Australian and New Zealand soldiers were being referred to collectively, and addressed individually, as Diggers by mid 1917.
This name is very close to the modern Chinese name for Australia which is “Aodaliya” (澳大利亚) for the large island and “Ao Zhou” (澳洲) for the continent.
Aussie is Australian slang for Australian, both the adjective and the noun, and less commonly, Australia.
Australians have been using the word freely since its probable emergence in the late 19th century as a nickname for English immigrants, a short form of pomegranate, referring to their ruddy complexions.
A new genomic study has revealed that Aboriginal Australians are the oldest known civilization on Earth, with ancestries stretching back roughly 75,000 years.
It is generally held that Australian Aboriginal peoples originally came from Asia via insular Southeast Asia (now Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, and the Philippines) and have been in Australia for at least 45,000–50,000 years.
The earliest anatomically modern human remains found in Australia (and outside of Africa) are those of Mungo Man; they have been dated at 42,000 years old.
Prior to that time, were 1,000-pound kangaroos in Australia, 2-ton wombats, 25-foot-long lizards, 400-pound flightless birds, 300-pound marsupial lions and Volkswagen-sized tortoises. After that time, those huge creatures had disappeared.
While Indigenous Australians have inhabited the continent for tens of thousands of years, and traded with nearby islanders, the first documented landing on Australia by a European was in 1606. The Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon landed on the western side of Cape York Peninsula and charted about 300 km of coastline.