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On this day …….. 30th of June 1861

The present-day town of Young in the central west of New South Wales began as a gold-mining settlement known as Lambing Flat. At the height of its popularity, the rich alluvial gold deposits attracted a population of around 20 000. While most of the diggers were from other parts of Australia, many migrants came from Europe and North America. Around 1000 miners were Chinese, and they soon became the target of violence from the “white” diggers. The Chinese were not welcome on the Australian goldfields. They were thorough workers, often picking meticulously through the discarded tailings or abandoned mines of other diggers. They were viewed with suspicion as few spoke English, and they were regarded as idol-worshippers. Chinese mining methods used more water than European methods, and such practices were not appreciated in a country known for its heat and droughts. Furthermore, few of them traded their gold in the towns, preferring to store it up and return to China with their wealth. The colony of Victoria was the first to introduce Anti-Chinese immigration legislation, imposing a poll tax of £10 per head for each Chinese person arriving in Victorian ports in 1855. Within a few years all other colonial governments had enacted similar laws to restrict the number of people from China entering the colonies. This did not stop the Chinese from arriving in droves and spreading out to goldfields in New South Wales and Victoria. During the first year of the gold rush on the Lambing Flat fields, there were four major clashes between the Chinese and white diggers in the region. Following the first riot in October 1860, a Sub-Commissioner and three troopers were assigned to the goldfield, but this did not prevent a second riot occurring just two months later. After the third riot late in January of 1861, more troopers were sent, and for several months there was relative peace at Lambing Flat. However, the most vicious attack was yet to come. Tensions came to a head on 30 June 1861. It is estimated that around 3 000 European diggers banded together in a rowdy gang called a “roll up” and, armed with picks, whips, knives, sticks and anything that could be used as a weapon, converged on the Chinese camp. Chinese tents and equipment were destroyed, gold plundered, and dozens of the men themselves had their pigtails, or ‘queues’, cut off – a matter of great dishonour for them – or worse, they were scalped. An unknown number of Chinese were murdered: although the official death toll for Chinese was given as two, eyewitness accounts suggest between 30 and 40 were killed, and several hundred more injured. The flag carried by the diggers, on which was written ‘Roll-up Roll-up No Chinese’, is now on display in the Lambing Flat Folk Museum. The Lambing Flat riots continued for several more weeks, settling only after military intervention and the arrest of the main ringleaders among the white diggers. However, public outcry at these arrests caused many of the ringleaders to be released. In the end, only one person was actually convicted and gaoled. The name ‘Lambing Flat’ was changed to ‘Young’ after then-Governor of New South Wales, Sir John Young, in an attempt to wipe the atrocities of June 30 from the history of the town. The government responded, ironically, not with legislation to protect other racial groups, but with laws restricting access to goldfields for ‘aliens’ and to refuse miners’ rights to same. The Chinese Immigration Restriction Act was passed at an Intercolonial Conference in 1880 – 1881. This was, in effect, the beginning of the White Australia Policy, as it led to the adoption of uniform restrictive immigration laws.

On this day …….. 28th of June 1836

Regular snow in Australia is restricted to the Snowy Mountains and high country of the southern states. Snowfalls have occurred during unusual weather patterns in southwest Western Australia and southern Queensland, but given the size of the continent, snow is very limited. Of all Australia’s capital cities, the one most likely to receive snowfalls is Canberra. While snow is not uncommon in the Blue Mountains and west to Orange, it rarely hits the New South Wales capital. Sydney recorded its first and only significant snow event on the morning of 28 June 1836. On this day, snow began around 6:00 am and continued through to mid-morning, coating the hills in white. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that “the terrified state of the natives indicated the rare nature of such a visitation”. Snow fell again to a lesser degree on 2 July and 5 July, as it was a particularly cold winter.

On this day …….. 23rd of June 1810

In 1809, Lieutenant Colonel Lachlan Macquarie arrived in Sydney to take up the position of Governor of the New South Wales colony, which he held from 1810 to 1821. With his military training and vision for organisation and discipline, Macquarie was an ideal candidate to restore order to the colony, following the Rum Rebellion against deposed Governor William Bligh. Macquarie upheld high standards for the development of New South Wales from penal colony to free settlement. He introduced the first building code into the colony and ordered the construction of roads, bridges, wharves, churches and public buildings. One of Macquarie’s earliest duties was to appoint an official postmaster. The first postmaster of Sydney was Isaac Nichols, an ex-convict who took up the post in 1809. Australia’s first post office was opened the following year by Governor Macquarie, on 23 June 1810, and was situated on Circular Quay, Sydney. Mail continued to be delivered by coach and messengers on horseback to outlying areas of New South Wales. Australia’s first delivery postman was a private servant of George Panton, then Sydney Postmaster, in 1828.

A list of Australia’s mass shootings

1628 – 1899
Shipwreck of the Batavia in – 1628 (Western Australia) 110 Dutch
Cape Grim massacre – 10 February 1828 (Tasmania) – 30 Indigenous Australians
Convincing Ground – 1833 Portland (Victoria) – 200 Indigenous Australians
Pinjarra – 28 October 1834, Pinjarra (Western Australia ) – 40 Indigenous Australians
Waterloo Creek – 1838 (New South Wales) – 70 Indigenous Australians
Myall Creek – 10 June 1838 (New South Wales) – 30 Indigenous Australians
Murdering Gully – 1839, Camperdown (Victoria) – 40 Indigenous Australians
Campaspe Plains – June 1839 (Central Victoria) – 40 Indigenous Australians
Gippsland massacres – 1840-1850 (Victoria) – 1000 Indigenous Australians
Cullin-La-Ringo – 17 October 1861 (Central Queensland) – 19 Indigenous Australians
Flying Foam – 1868 Flying Foam (Western Aust)150 – Indigenous Australians
Palmer massacre – 1878 Palmer River (Queensland) – 150 Chine against each other

1900 – 1999
Ching family murders – 16 November 1911 Mackay (Queensland) – 6
Broken Hill – 1 January 1915 Broken Hill (New South Wales) – 4 shooting spree
Mowla Bluff massacre – 1916 Kimberley (Western Aust) – 400 Indigenous Australians
Forrest River massacre – 1926 Kimberley (Western Aust) – 11 Indigenous Australians
Coniston massacre – 1928 (Northern Territory) – 170 Indigenous Australians
Hope Forest massacre – 6 September 1971 (Sth Aust) – 10 Rampage killing
Campsie murders – 24 September 1981 (New South Wales) – 5 Rampage killing
Wahroonga murders – 1 June 1984 (New South Wales) – 5 Rampage killing
Milperra – 2 Sept 1984 (New South Wales) – 7 Shootout between two rival gangs
Top End Shootings – 1987 (Northern Territory) – 5 Spree killing
Hoddle Street massacre – 1987 Clifton Hill (Victoria) – 7 Spree shooting
Canley Vale murders – 1987 (New South Wales) – 5 Rampage killing
Queen Street massacre – 1987 Melbourne (Victoria) – 8 Spree shooting
Oenpelli shootings – 1988 (Northern Territory) – 6 Rampage killing
Surry Hills shootings – 1990 (New South Wales) – 5 Spree shooting
Strathfield massacre – 1991 (New South Wales) – 7 Spree shooting
Central Coast massacre – 1992 Terrigal (New South Wales) 6 – Spree shooting
Cangai siege – 1993 (New South Wales) – 5 Rampage killing
Hillcrest Murders – 1996 Hillcrest (Queensland) – 6 Rampage killing
Port Arthur massacre – 1996 (Tasmania) – 35 Spree shooting

2000 – 2014
Monash University Shooting – 2002 Melbourne (Victoria) – 2 Shooting spree
Hectorville siege – 2011 (South Australia) – 3 Shooting
Hunt family murder – 2014 Lockhart (New South Wales) – 5 Shooting spree
Logan shooting – 2014 Logan (Victoria) – 3 Shooting spree

Photo from 1997, piles of guns in Australia are moved after a landmark law that resulted from a mass shooting. Now, Australians are saying the US could learn their lesson.

 

On this day …….. 15th of June 1839

The first Englishman to explore New Zealand was James Cook, who charted and circumnavigated the North and South Islands late in 1769. In November, Cook claimed New Zealand for Great Britain, raising the British flag at Mercury Bay, on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. This signalled the start of British occupation of the islands which had previously been occupied by the Maori. On 15 June 1839, letters patent were issued in London extending the boundaries of New South Wales to include “any territory which is or may be acquired in sovereignty by Her Majesty … within that group of Islands in the Pacific Ocean, commonly called New Zealand”. Also in 1839, the British government appointed William Hobson as consul to New Zealand. Prior to Hobson leaving Sydney for New Zealand, Sir George Gipps, then Governor of New South Wales, issued a proclamation declaring that the boundaries of New South Wales were extended to include “such territory in New Zealand as might be acquired in sovereignty”. New Zealand officially became a dependency of New South Wales when the Legislative Council passed an Act extending to New Zealand the laws of New South Wales, on 16 June 1840. The Council also established customs duties and courts of justice for New Zealand. This arrangement, intended as a temporary measure, lasted just a few months. In November 1840, New Zealand became a separate colony.

On this day …….. 7th of June 1825

Tasmania was first discovered by Abel Tasman on 24 November 1642. Tasman discovered the previously unknown island on his voyage past the “Great South Land”, or “New Holland”, as the Dutch called Australia. He named it “Antony Van Diemen’s Land” in honour of the High Magistrate, or Governor-General of Batavia.
When the First Fleet arrived in 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip claimed the entire eastern coast for the British Empire, including Tasmania, though it was not yet proven to be separate from the mainland. In January 1799 Bass and Flinders completed their circumnavigation of Tasmania, proving it to be an island. Tasmania was settled as a separate colony in 1803, but continued to be administered by the Governor of New South Wales. On 7 June 1825, Van Diemen’s Land was separated administratively from New South Wales, and Hobart Town was declared the capital of the colony. As the actual founding documents have not been located, there remains some conflict regarding the date, as some sources state this as occurring on 14 June 1825.

Between 1852 and 2011, at least 951 people were killed by floods, another 1326 were injured, and the cost of damage reached an estimated $4.76 billion dollars.

1. June 1852 – Gundagai, NSW

89 deaths, entire settlement of 250 people destroyed

There’s little doubt that the 2010/2011 Queensland floods were Australia’s most devastating in terms of damage to infrastructure and cost, but the worst loss of life happened in June 1852 when massive flooding on the Murrumbidgee River swept away most of the town of Gundagai, leaving just three houses standing. Eighty-nine people were killed, more than third of the population. The town was later rebuilt on higher ground.
2. Dec 2010 – Jan 2011 – Brisbane and SE QLD

35 confirmed deaths, $2.38 billion in damage

With more than 200,000 people affected state-wide, the economic damage from this flood was estimated at $2.38 billion. Beginning with rains in September and then culminating with Category 1 Cyclone Tasha crossing the Far North Queensland coast on 24 December 2011, this was probably the most notorious flood in Australian history. In Brisbane, the river peaked at 4.46m on 13 January, flooding more than 28,000 homes and leaving 100,000 without power. Cyclone Yasi, which hit 3 Feburary, caused further damage to already sodden towns.
3. Dec 27, 1916 – Clermont and Peak Downs, QLD

65 deaths, 10 homes destroyed, 50 buildings damaged and 10,000 livestock killed

A cyclone swept the coast along the Whitsunday Passage, bringing heavy rainfall to Clermont, Sapphire and Peak Downs. This usually flood-savvy town forgot to counter for the runoff from nearby catchments and creeks and the debris it carried with it at crushing speeds. The torrent smashed through houses and caused widespread damage. The lower part of Clermont was submerged, so the town was rebuilt on higher ground.
4. Nov 29, 1934 – Melbourne, VIC

36 deaths, 6000 homeless and 400+ buildings damaged

In late November 140mm of rain fell in Melbourne over a 48-hour period. To the east of Melbourne, in South Gippsland, 350mm fell over the same two-day period. The downpour resulted in landslides, evacuations and many submerged roads. Eighteen people drowned, with a further 18 killed by collapsing buildings and other dangers. More than 400 buildings were damaged in Melbourne and 6000 people were left homeless.
5. Feb 15, 1893 – Ipswich, QLD

35 deaths, 300 people injured and two bridges destroyed

Often referred to as the Black February Flood, the extreme weather conditions and heavy rain were brought about by tropical Cyclone Bundinyong. The Crohamhurst weather station recorded 914mm of rain in a 24-hour period and another gauge recorded almost 889mm of rainfall in Brisbane’s water catchments. Both the Victoria Bridge and the Indooroopilly railway bridge collapsed, with 35 people killed and 300 injured.
6. Feb 1927 – Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, QLD

47 deaths, 16 homes destroyed, an estimated £300,000 in damages

A tropical cyclone hit north of Cairns, causing major rainfall through Queensland, reaching as far as Toowoomba. The torrential rain, which fell from 9-17 February, led to the deaths of 47 people, damaged roads, railways, bridges and buildings – and completely destroyed 16 houses. There was also widespread loss of livestock. The estimated costs reported at the time were in the region of £300,000.
7. Apr 1929 – Northern Tasmania

22 deaths, 1000 homes damaged, 25 bridges destroyed

The area of Northern Tasmania is prone to heavy rainfall over short periods and up to 500mm of rain fell over three days. The floodwater carved a path across the region, destroying everything in its path, including vehicles, buildings and railroad tracks. It inflicted huge stock losses, the evacuation of 3500 people, while damaging 35 bridges and 1000 homes.

8. Feb 1955 – Hunter Valley, NSW

24 deaths, 59 homes destroyed, 5200 homes flooded and 40,000+ people evacuated

The majority of deaths were around Singleton and Maitland, but most other river systems in the state were also in flood. These floods in the Hunter Valley have become symbolic in the Australian psyche of the dramatic nature of flood damage and rescue. About 15,000 people were evacuated from around these two towns, with more than 40,000 people being evacuated from a total of 40 towns. Five of the lives lost were due to electrocution during rescue operations.
9. Jan – Apr 1974 – Brisbane, QLD

14 deaths, 300 injured, 56 homes destroyed, an estimated $68 million in damages

After a particularly wet year in 1973, Brisbane was inundated with water when tropical cyclone Wanda hit the north of the city on 25 January 1974. By 29 January the Brisbane area had recorded 900mm of rain, with 314mm of rain falling in a 24-hour period. In the coming months the torrential rain swept down the east coast, causing floods in parts of NSW and Tasmania. The floods killed 14 people and injured 300 more, as well as destroying 56 homes and damaging 6000 others. In all, an estimated $68 million worth of damages occurred.
10. Aug 1986 – Hawkesbury and Georges River Flood, NSW

6 dead, 10,000 homes damaged, an estimated $35M in damages.

With the rainfall reaching 327.6mm in 24 hours, this day has been dubbed Sydney’s wettest day ever. The torrential rain created chaos, with flooded roads prompting many motorists to abandon their cars. Bus services were severely disrupted in the city and trains were halted due to flooded tunnels.

 

On this day …….. 6th of June 1859

The colony of the Moreton Bay District was founded in 1824 when explorer John Oxley arrived at Redcliffe with a crew and 29 convicts. The settlement was established at Humpybong, but abandoned less than a year later when the main settlement was moved 30km away, to the Brisbane River. Another convict settlement was established under the command of Captain Patrick Logan. On 10 September 1825, the settlement was given the name of Brisbane, but it was still part of the New South Wales territory. In 1859, Queen Victoria signed Letters Patent, which declared that Queensland was now a separate colony from New South Wales. On 6 June 1859, the former Moreton Bay District was granted separation from New South Wales, and given the name of Queensland, with Brisbane as its capital city. June 6th is celebrated every year as Queensland Day, the day which marks the birth of Queensland as a self-governing colony. On 1 January 1901, Queensland became one of the six founding States of the Commonwealth of Australia.

On This Day ……. 31st May 1943

Ernst Schneider, 83, who died at Dubbo, NSW, completed some years ago all arrangements for his funeral. He selected the casket, and even engraved the nameplate for his own coffin. The undertaker had only to insert the date of his death. “He was more concerned with the hereafter than this world,” said a friend who knew him well.

On This Day……… 7th April 1845

On this day in 1845 two men named, Mad Arthur and Kurrajong Sawyer, rolled down a hill in Windsor, New South Wales, from Freeman’s Australian Hotel to Blanchard’s Hotel for a small wager. They got off to a start, but Kurrajong Sawyer was the clear winner, beating Mad Arthur by nine minutes.

 

 

On the 1st March 1936, more than 50,000 fans turned out at the Sydney Show Ground to watch the famous New South Wales police Carnival, held in conjunction with the Speedway meeting. The NSW Police turn their motorcycles into chariots.

 

On this day …….. 14th of December 1899

A young man James Carter who escaped from the Geelong gaol a few months earlier, was recaptured at Cooma, New South Wales, where he underwent sentence for larceny, was brought back to the Geelong Gaol on this day in 1899 to complete his sentence.