In 2011, the Governor launched a history book titled Government House and Western Australian Society 1829-2010 by Jeremy C Martens. The author successfully presented the historian’s perspective that, since the early colonial era, the “House and its grounds can be a useful and valuable lens through which to view the fascinating historical evolution of Western Australia and its people.” To celebrate the opening of the present House in September 1863, this timeline illustrates snapshots of the history of the development of Government House, the State, the Nation and the World for the past 150 years.
Port Arthur was named after George Arthur, the Lieutenant Governor of Van Dieman’s Land. The settlement started as a timber station in 1830, but it is best known for being a penal colony.
From 1833, until 1853, it was the destination for the hardest of convicted British criminals, those who were secondary offenders having re-offended after their arrival in Australia.
The Eureka Rebellion of year 1854 was a historically significant organised rebellion of gold miners of Ballarat against the colonial authority of the United Kingdom.
The Battle of Eureka Stockade was fought between miners and the Colonial forces of Australia on 3 December 1854 at Eureka Lead and named for the stockade structure erected by miners during the conflict. Resulting in the deaths of at least 27 people, the majority of which were insurgents, it was the most significant conflict in the colonial history of Victoria.
The Burke and Wills Expedition’s aim was to cross the continent of Australia from Melbourne on the south coast to the north coast. No one had done this before, and to the Victorian colonists the centre of the continent was unknown, unmapped and unexplored.
The expedition was organised by the Royal Society of Victoria and it became the first to cross the continent. Three men travelled 5,000 kilometres from Melbourne to the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria and then back to the depot Camp at Cooper Creek. Seven men died in the attempt, including the leader, Robert O'Hara Burke and the third in command William John Wills. Only one of the four men who reached the north coast, John King, survived to return to Melbourne.
When the last shipment of convicts disembarked in Western Australia in 1868, the total number of transported convicts stood at around 162,000 men and women. They were transported here on 806 ships.
The transportation of convicts to Australia ended at a time when the colonies' population stood at around one million, compared to 30,000 in 1821. By the mid-1800s there were enough people here to take on the work, and enough people who needed the work. The colonies could therefore sustain themselves and continue to grow. The convicts had served their purpose.
‘Advance Australia Fair’ was performed in public for the first time in 1878. Created by the Scottish born composer Peter Dodds McCormick, the song, with modified lyrics, was proclaimed Australia’s official National Anthem on 19 April 1984 by the Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen.
Other songs and marches have been influenced by "Advance Australia Fair", such as the Australian vice-regal salute.
On 28-29 October 1880 at Melbourne, bushranger Ned Kelly was tried for the murder of Constable Thomas Lonigan at Stringybark Creek. He was found guilty and the judge, Redmond Barry, sentenced him to death.
Ned Kelly was hanged at the Melbourne gaol on 11 November 1880 .
The Commonwealth of Australia was declared on 1 January 1901, with a ceremony in Centennial Park in Sydney. The first Governor-General, Lord Hopetoun, was sworn in and the first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton, and federal ministers took the oath of office.
Australia became a nation of six states and two territories, with Canberra being the capital city.
First direct radio message is transmitted from Britain to Australia.
Edith Cowan became the first woman member of an Australian Parliament when she was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia.
A young chemist named Dr. Cyril P Callister, hired by the Fred Walker Company, develops a remarkable and distinguished new spread from brewer’s yeast.
Voting in Federal Elections becomes compulsory.
Japanese forces bomb Darwin on 19 February 1942
In one of the few 'yes' votes since federation, 90.77 per cent of Australians voted to change the Constitution to allow the Commonwealth to make laws for Aborigines and to include them in the census.
Evonne Goolagong is the first Indigenous Australian to achieve international success.
The Sydney Opera House opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on 20 October 1973.
Cyclone Tracy killed 65 people in Darwin on Christmas Day.
Lindy and Michael Chamberlain were convicted, and Lindy imprisoned over their 10-week old baby's death in 1982. Lindy Chamberlain was later cleared after evidence indicated a dingo attack.
In 1988 Australia celebrated its Bicentenary. Over 1,000 events were organised at a national level and several thousand more at state and local levels. On 26 January, 200 years to the day since the arrival of Captain Arthur Phillip and his 11 ships, an estimated 2 million people visited Sydney’s harbour and 10,000 boats took to the water to sight the arrival of the First Fleet re-enactment and parade of 200 Tall ships. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales was in attendance and noted that it was the finest scene he had witnessed on water.
The High Court delivers the Mabo Decision, which rules that indigenous native title does exist.
A deadly landslide at the ski resort of Thredbo, NSW on 30 July 1997, claimed the lives of 11 people. Sixty Six hours after the landslide, miraculously, Stuart Diver was lifted to safety. He was the only survivor.
Both Houses of the Federal Parliament pass a Motion of Reconciliation signifying both recognition of a regret at past mistreatment of Indigenous Australians.
The Howard Government introduces a Goods and Services Tax.
Sydney hosted the Millennium Olympic Games and teams from 199 countries participated. Australia ranked 4th overall with 58 medals.
The swearing-in ceremony for Ms Quentin Bryce AC, 25th Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia was conducted on 5 September 2008. She is the first woman to hold the position, and was previously the Governor of Queensland from 2003 to 2008.
On 13 February 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd MP honoured the Indigenous people of this land, reflecting on past mistreatments and apologising for the profound grief, suffering and loss inflicted on these fellow Australians.
In 2010, Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail around the world solo, non-stop and unassisted. She departed from Sydney on 18 October 2009, and returned to Sydney on 15 May 2010, three days before her 17th birthday.