Monday, January 1, 2018

January 1 On This Day in Australian History

1801 - The ship Speedy, a whaler, arrived at Sydney, "from the coast".

1810 - Because he had nothing better to do that day (apart from recover from a hangover), Major General Lachlan Macquarie took up office as the fifth Governor of New South Wales.

1818 - At the annual ‘Native Feast’ at Parramatta, Macquarie presented gorgets to ‘Cogie as Chief of the George’s River Tribe, and to Norwong as Chief of the Botany Tribe and the Order of Merit to Tindall of the Cow Pastures and Pulpin of the Hawkesbury Tribe’

1819 - Licences were required for all persons engaged in cutting cedar at the Illawarra region.

1822 - Governor Macquarie, with the new governor, Sir Thomas Brisbane, ‘paid a visit this morning, before Breakfast, to Elizabeth Town, the Native Village in Elizabeth Bay’. 

1827 - There was so much gossip, news and tid-bits that the Sydney Gazette became a daily fishwrapper.

1829 - Lieutenant John Fitzgerald Butler returned to Illawarra to replace Major D'Arcy.

1830 - I like their timing...4 hotels in Fremantle became Western Australia's first licensed premises.

1835 - The first issue of the Colonist (newspaper)  The proprietor was John Dunmore Lang.

1837 - For a pittance of £10 licence fee generous Gov. Bourke told squatters to go forth and graze beyond the limits of location.

1838 - Another bloke with too much time over the festive season....Melbourne's first newspaper, a miniature sheet of four pages handwritten in manuscript, called the Port Phillip Advertiser, was founded and issued by John Pascoe Fawkner.

1841 -  The Colonist was incorporated in Sydney Herald .

1844 - Editor Thomas Forster and printer Edwyn Henry Statham bought the Australian.

1849 - The Port Phillip Herald became a daily (Melbourne’s second) and changed its title to the Melbourne Morning Herald.

1850 - The South Australian Register appeared as a daily for the second time.

1850 - Standard postage introduced throughout NSW. For 3d., a letter could be posted overseas; for 2d., to the next suburb or town. For 1d you post a letter locally where you could probably hand deliver it yourself. Because of their design, the stamps became known as 'Sydney Views'.

1850 - One who went big (then went home the hard way probably via Hell) was Superintendent Charles La Trobe who made William Thomas the 'Guardian' of Aboriginal people (Vic) with instructions "to keep the blacks out of Melbourne".


1852 - The Argus incorporated the Melbourne Daily News (formerly titled The Port Phillip Patriot).

1855 - How sweet it is...The Colonial Sugar Refinery was formed in Sydney. It changed its name to CSR Limited in 1973.

1856 - The name Tasmania was officially adopted to replace Van Diemen's Land which was felt to have too many convict connotations and because "Island Of Decent Beer Brewers" was too long to fit on government letterheads...

1858 - The Hobarton Mercury became a daily newspaper.

1864 - The Queensland Police Force was inaugurated.

1866 - The first Queensland route of famous coach company, Cobb & Co, was established.

1867 - The Age reduced its price from 3d to 2d (The Argus remained at 3d).

1885 - The West Australian became a daily.

1886 - The Lal Lal Racecourse Railway branch line (Vic) opened.

1888 - The North Eton Sugar Mill was officially opened by QLD Premier Samuel Griffith, the government financed Central Mill in Queensland.

1890 - The North Shore Railway Line (NSW) was opened.

1898 - The Warren Railway Branch Line (NSW) was opened.

1900 - Street lights were installed in Adelaide...the lights may be on but....

1901 - Australia's first Governor -General, the Right Honourable John Adrian Louis Hope, proclaimed Australia a Commonwealth at a public meeting and ceremony at Centennial Park, Sydney. We was Federated...but the hangovers from colonial 1900 were still beating everyone's skulls!

1901 - The Commonwealth Constitution states "in reckoning the numbers of people… Aboriginal natives shall not be counted". It also states that the Commonwealth would legislate for any race except Aboriginal people. This leaves the power over Aboriginal Affairs with the states.

Aboriginal people are excluded from the vote, pensions, employment in post offices, enlistment in armed forces and maternity allowance.


1901 - Lord Hopetoun became the first Governor-General and Edmund Barton the first Prime Minister. Both were sworn in at the ceremony inaugurating the Commonwealth of Australia.


1901 - Two companies of the Queensland Mounted Infantry Regiment along with British and Canadian troops attacked a Boer laager on the western border of Orange Free State. The Queenslanders suffered the first casualties of any Australian colony in the Boer War.

1904 - The Burrembeet Racecourse Railway branch line (Vic) opened.

1906 - Mackay Mercury Newspaper and Mackay Chronicle amalgamate to become the Daily Mercury; still published).

1908 - Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology opened in Melbourne under the first Commonwealth Meteorologist, Henry Hunt. The Bureau was housed in the 'Frosterly' building at the corner of Victoria and Drummond Streets, Carlton, a home which was to serve as its national headquarters until it consolidated its by then dispersed Melbourne operations in a new high rise building at 150 Lonsdale St in 1974.

1909 - Miners refused to accept the 12.5 per cent wage cut from BHP so began a strike/loclout (which continued until 24 May 1909).

1911 - The Australian Capital Territory was established...after the Fathers of Federation took their partying on the road searching for the right spot, including a spot of skinny dipping !

1911 - Palmerston was renamed to Darwin as most of the town residents were already using the name.

1911 - The Australian Government took control of the Pine Creek Railway (NT).

1911 - Palmerston No. 1 Boy Scout troop was established.


1911 - The Northern Territory was ripped from the arms of South Australia and told to make its own way in the world as part of the Commonwealth of Oz.


1911 - The Federal Capital Territory was formally transferred to the Commonwealth. The territory for the new national capital included an area of 2360 square kilometres near Yass, New South Wales and a seaport at Jervis Bay.

1913 - The streets of Hobart were lit by electricity for the first time...just so those Decent Beer Brewers could find their way home at night, of course.


1915 - One picnic that ended badly was the Broken Hill Massacre on this day in which 6 people were killed and 7 injured when two Pakistan Muslim chaps fired onto the crowded picnic train; the attackers were not linked to any group or movement but acted on their own in retaliation to Australia and Turkey joining opposing sides in WW1.

1917 - Daylight Savings reared its ugly head for the first time. Beating it back with a stick proved effective until The Knobs in Power brought it back from the dead during WW2.

1924 - The beautiful Mt Stromlo Observatory made its debut to the public in Canberra.


1924 - Federal roads .The Australian Automobile Association was formed. It lobbied for federal finance for roads and a national traffic code. Commonwealth funds for national highways were provided for in the Federal Roads Act 1926.

1930 - A Sydney to Brisvegas..err... Brisbane air service began, provided by Australian National Airlines, owned by Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm.

1930 - The Tarrawingee Railway Line (NSW) was closed.

1932 - The Newnes Railway LIne (NSW) was closed.

1932 - The ABC was born
The Australian Broadcasting Commission was established to set up and operate national broadcasting stations. Broadcast programs were to address as many of the interests of the community as compatible with ‘suitable broadcasting’.

1941 - The Welshpool to Welshpool Jetty Railway line closed.

1941 - Those kind ogres, hell-bent on squeezing blood from stones, generously allowed us mere mortals to pay income tax in installments.

1942 - That damn Daylight Savings was trotting about like the living dead under the guise as a "wartime measure".

1943 - Sergeant-Tracker Alexander Riley was the first Aborigine to receive the King's Police and Fire Service Medal for distinguished service.Because, of course, no other aborigines had worked their arses off for the police before then...?

1946 - The daily newspaper Army News, Darwin, stopped existing.

1947 - Good news
At 7 pm, the first ABC news broadcast under amendments to the Broadcasting Act was aired. The changes aimed at removing bias by requiring all news to be produced by ABC journalists, rather than gathered from commercial sources.

1948 - 40-hour week
Workers covered by Commonwealth awards began the reduced 40-hour week. The date for the change had been set by the Conciliation and Arbitration Court in September 1947.

1951 - And you think you've got troubles with that credit card bill?! The price of tea increased by sixpence to 3s 10d a pound.


1951 - Commonwealth Jubilee Celebrations began throughout Australia to mark the 50th anniversary of Federation.

1957 - The Park Street to Brighton Beach Victoria Railways "electric street railway" closed.

1957 - Victoria Railways dumped the term "Porter" for "Station Assistant"/

1963 - The Bogle - Chandler double murder mystery took place. A new possibility points the finger at dirty pollution practices of man with Mother Nature kicking back.

1963 - The Camden Railway Branch line (NSW) was closed.

1970 - The Shelbourne Junction to Shelbourne Railway line (Vic) closed.

1970 - 40 year-old former Rhodes scholar and union official Robert James Lee (Bob) Hawke, succeeded Albert Monk as President of the ACTU.

1971 - Everyone had to get in, sit down and belt up; seat belts became compulsory fashion accessories in all Victorian motor vehicles.

1972 - Saw the first Indigenous produced radio programs going to air on 5UV in Adelaide and at Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Media Association (TAIMA) at Mount Stuart, south of Townsville on 4KIG FM.

1974 - Woke up in Oz to the Federal Govt taking over the financing of tertiary education and kicking uni fees to the kerb.

1975 - The Uni of Woolongong was founded.

1975 - About bloody time...The Office of Australian War Graves was established.


1975 - Medibank began -  The government introduced Medibank, Australia’s first national health insurance scheme.


1977 - Ombudsman
The first Commonwealth Ombudsman took office. The Ombudsman has responsibility to investigate complaints about administrative decisions and make recommendations for remedy.


1978 - SBS beganThe Special Broadcasting Service came into operation under the Broadcasting and Television Amendment Act. It was established to provide multilingual broadcasting and television services. Regular transmissions began on 24 October 1980.

1978 - Northern Territory self-government
The Northern Territory achieved limited self-government, with a fully elected Legislative Assembly. This followed 67 years of federal administration, after 50 years of government by South Australia.


1979 - Australia's first Aboriginal owned and controlled radio station, the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) 8KIN FM started broadcasting, producing videos and making video clips. Early radio programs were broadcast on Alice Springs stations 8CCC and 8HA. 

1979 - Use-by dates began appearing on food in Oz...which put a stop to the old habit of keeping food for decades in pantry's, forever hidden up the back but "just in case, you never know when we might fancy pickled goat fur-balls in strawberry vinegar".

1981 - Today saw the first issue of Times Regional Newspaper, Deniliquin, NSW.

1981 - The desktop computer
The first personal computers went on sale. Thirty years earlier the first mainframe computer, UNIVAC, had come into use.

1983 - TCP/IP enabled the birth of the Internet
Adoption of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) standard enabled the development of a supranational Internet. The first network of computers, ARPANET, had emerged in the United States in 1969.

1985 - Espionage uncovered
The 1954 records of the Royal Commission on Espionage were made public under the new Archives Act 1983. This established the ’30-year-rule’ for access to most Commonwealth records.

1987 - The first boat passed through the lock of the Darwin Fishing Harbour Mooring Basin (known by locals as the Duckpond).

1988 - Australia adopted a new international definition of AIDS and HIV disease, in which patients with HIV are described as having AIDS if they contract one of the typical opportunistic infections of “AIDS defining illnesses”.

1989 - The first concert of the complete Darwin Symphony Orchestra took place in Darwin.

1989 - The Northern Territory University was formed by the amalgamation of the Darwin Institute of Technology and the University College of the Northern Territory.

1990 - The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy was adopted as the Commonwealth policy. The Australian Government state that “the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy aims to improve the availability, responsiveness and effectiveness of education services as a means of achieving equity of access to and participation in education, and equitable and appropriate educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

1991 - The School of Mines (Ballarat) and Wimmera Tafe merged with the University of Ballarat (now known as Federation Uni).

1992 - World Wide Web
The first browser program went on sale and transformed the Internet paths to a global network. Developed by scientists in Geneva in 1989, this text-based browser enabled anyone with knowledge of the UNIX operating system to link to the Internet. The first image-based browser, Mosaic, went on sale in September 1993.

1992 - President Bush became the first American leader to address the Australian Parliament, telling lawmakers the United States would continue to subsidize its agricultural exports, despite protests by Australia's farmers.

1994 - The Native Title Act 1993 became law.This allowed Aboriginals to claim native title over some lands in Australia.

2000 - A new tax
A goods and services tax was introduced as part of the government’s tax reform program aimed at redressing the effects of declining revenue from income tax.

2001 - The only bloke in the race really....John Landy, A.C., M.B.E. was sworn in as Governor of Victoria.

2001 - Centenary of Federation
The celebration of Australia’s 100th birthday began in Sydney’s Centennial Park, the site of the inauguration ceremonies on 1 January 1901. On 9 May the opening of the first parliament was commemorated at a special sitting of parliament in Melbourne’s Exhibition Building.

2004 - Charles Darwin University was formed from merging Alice Springs' Centralian College and the Menzies School of Health Research with the Northern Territory University.

2005 - Australia’s free trade agreement with the US became effective.

2005 - The Lockhart River Aboriginal Council became the Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council.

2006 - The hottest New Years Day was sweltered through in Sydney when the mercury exploded at 44.2 degrees Celcius (111.6F).

2006 - Raging bushfires have destroyed at least 10 homes and threatened scores more in southeast Australia as a scorching heat wave hit Sydney with its hottest New Year's Day on record.

2010 - Fair Work program The Howard government's controversial Work Choices is replaced with the new Fair Work program, a substantial change in industrial relations processes.

2010 - It was reported that Australian researchers have cracked the genetic origin of the deadly cancer that is threatening to wipe out Tasmanian devils, raising hopes that the animal's future is safe.

2011 - Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser told reporters in the flooded city of Bundaberg that the flood disaster was of biblical proportions. Days of driving rain last week swamped northeastern Australia, with around 200,000 people affected by floodwaters in an area larger than France and Germany combined.

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