Australia’s National Anthem performed for the first time in public

ON THIS DAY…… 30th November 1878 Australia’s National Anthem performed for the first time in public Australia’s national anthem, ‘Advance Australia Fair was composed by Scottish-born composer Peter Dodds McCormick, who arrived in Sydney in 1855, taking up a position as a public school teacher in New South Wales. McCormick was heavily involved in the […]

Men guilty of Myall Creek Aboriginal massacre

ON THIS DAY…… 26th November 1838 Men found guilty of Myall Creek Aborigines massacre On 10 June 1838, a gang of stockmen, heavily armed, rounded up between 40 and 50 Aboriginal women, children and elderly men at Henry Dangar’s Myall Creek Station, not far from Inverell in New South Wales. 28 Aborigines were murdered. These […]

Van Diemens Land named Tasmania

ON THIS DAY…… 26th November 1855 The colony of Van Diemen’s Land becomes known as Tasmania Fears that the French would colonise Van Diemen’s Land caused the British to establish a small settlement on the Derwent River in 1803. 33 of the 49 people in the group were convicts, and the settlement continued to receive […]

Dutch explorer Abel Tasman

ON THIS DAY…… 24th November 1642 Dutch explorer Abel Tasman On the 24th of November 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovered a previously unknown island on his voyage past the “Great South Land”, or “New Holland”, as the Dutch called Australia. He named it Van Diemen’s Land after the governor of Batavia. The Dutch, however, […]

First working farm in Australia

ON THIS DAY…… 21st November 1789 Convict James Ruse establish first working farm in Australia James Ruse was born on a farm in Cornwall around 1759. At age 22, he was convicted of burglary and, due to severe over-crowding in British gaols, spent over four years on the prison hulks in Plymouth Harbour. He was […]

Hand on fire

ON THIS DAY…… 20th November 1905 Hand on fire Ernest Potter from Gundagai district of New South Wales was making rabbit poison on this date in 1905 when a bottle containing phosphorous spilt over his trousers and one of his hands. The mixture flared up. Potter managed to put out the flames on his trousers […]

Australia’s youngest bushranger

ON THIS DAY…… 18th November 1879 One of Australia’s youngest bushrangers, a fifteen-year-old member of Captain Moonlite’s gang, is shot and killed. Augustus Wernicke was one of Australia’s youngest bushrangers, and part of Captain Moonlite’s gang. Captain Moonlite, aka Andrew George Scott, became a bushranger upon his release from gaol, eight years after robbing the […]

Myall Creek Aboriginal Massacre

ON THIS DAY…… 15th November 1838 The perpetrators of the Myall Creek Massacre in New South Wales are acquitted On 10 June 1838, a gang of stockmen, heavily armed, rounded up between 40 and 50 Aboriginal women, children and elderly men at Myall Creek Station, not far from Inverell in New South Wales. 28 Aborigines […]

Escaped convicts try to walk to China

ON THIS DAY…… 1st November 1791 Escaped convicts tried to walk to China On the 1st of November 1791, a group of 20 male convicts and one pregnant female convict escaped from the gaol at Parramatta, New South Wales in an attempt to reach China overland. They took with them rations, tools and clothes. Whilst […]

Fourteen people killed in one of Australia’s earliest train accidents

On this day …….. 31st of October 1894 Opening on 26 September 1855, the New South Wales railway, Australia, was the first government-owned railway in the British Empire. The first line ran the 22km from Sydney to Parramatta. By 1862, the western line had reached Penrith. The railway continued to expand, reaching Albury in 1881, […]

The great escape – Geelong Gaol

ON THIS DAY……31st October 1889 Fredrick “Josh” Clark and Christopher “Christie” Farrell were both ex convicts transported from England to Van Demons Land. Once both men had received their tickets of leave they sailed to Victoria, arriving at the beginning of the Victorian gold rush. Both men found there way back to the lives thy […]

Increase in reward money and the Felons’ Apprehension Act – Ned Kelly

On this day …….. 31st of October 1878 Proclamation by Governor George Bowen declaring Ned and Dan Kelly outlaws In response to the public outrage at the murder of police officers, the reward was raised to £500 and, on 31 October 1878, the Victorian Parliament passed the Felons’ Apprehension Act, coming into effect on 1 […]