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July in Australian History
by Scott Brown

5 July 1822 - The Agricultural Society of New South was founded

27 July 1836 - The first settlers to establish the new colony of South Australia reached Kangaroo Island.

7 July 1841 - Explorers John Eyre and Wylie reach King George Sound, Western Australia, after having crossed the treacherous deserts from Adelaide. During their epic journey the explorers lost all supplies, horses, camels and three colleagues.

July 1851 - Joseph LaTrobe was sworn in as the first Governor of the Colony of Victoria.
In the same month
Gold was discovered for the first time in Victoria. This find at Clunes and subsequent discoveries at Bendigo and Ballarat turned Victoria into the richest, and leading, Colony of Australia.
first telegraph line was built in Australia. It ran between Sydney and Liverpool.

July 1858 - The first Inter-Colonial telegraph in Australia was completed, connecting Adelaide with Melbourne

31 July 1865 - The first railway in Queensland was completed. It ran between Ipswich and Toowoomba.

2 July 1872 - Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney received the first news via the Telegraph from England. The Overland telegraph stretching across the deserts from Darwin to Adelaide (a length of almost 1600 miles), allowed this dramatic breakthrough in communications.

July 1873 - Ayres Rock, in the centre of Australia, was discovered by William Christie Goss, a young, little known explorer on his one and only expedition. Named in honour of Sir Henry Ayres, Premier of South Australia.

1 July 1881 - A public holiday and celebrations in Victoria to mark the 30th Anniversary of the separation of the Port Phillip District from the Colony of New South Wales.

1 July 1885 - The birth of Dorothea Mackellar, poet and novelist.

14 July 1893 - William Lane and 200 fellow socialists set off in the vessel Royal Tar, from Sydney to sail to South America. Sick of the struggle in Australia Lane and his comrades established a settlement in Paraguay with the aim of creating a socialist utopia. Some of their descendants still live there.

July 1894 - The Adult Suffrage Bill was introduced to the South Australia Parliament. For the first time in Australia a Colonies Constitution was altered so that women over 21 years of age would have the same voting privileges as men. This bill was passed in August 1894 and South Australia became only the second Government in the World to do so, after New Zealand.
The newly formed Australian Workers Union (AWU) faced its first big conflict.

July 1900 - The Boxer Rebellion in China brought a renewal of jingoistic support for the British Empire. 451 Australian men volunteered to fight for the British forces against the Boxers, who were seeking to rid China of Opium Traders and other British merchants.

13 July 1900 - It was announced that John Adrian Hopetoun was to become the first Governor-General (Australia's head of state) of the newly federated Commonwealth of Australia.

July 1901 - West Australians, including the rough goldminers, gathered to watch the Duke and Duchess of York as they began their tour of Australia.

28 July 1902 - The birth of Albert Namatjira - Australia's most celebrated Aboriginal artist.

31 July 1902 - Australia's worst mining disaster with the explosion of the Mount Kembla coal mine. 96 miners, aged between 14 and 60, died.

10 July 1907 - The first telephone call was made between Sydney and Melbourne.

25 July 1907 - Australian Newspapers announced that Norman Brookes had won the world's premier tennis trophy, the Davis Cup, for Australia. This heralded the beginning of Australia's golden age of tennis.

18 July 1914 - Averaging a speed of 64 miles per hour, a Frenchman M Gillaux, made the first flight from Melbourne to Sydney. He covered the 582 miles in just over 9 hours.

8 July 1915 - The Women's Peace Army was formed by Vida Goldstein and Adela Pankhurst. This small group of feminists played an important part during the anti-conscription struggles of the following year.

28 July 1921 - Edith Cowan became the first woman to be elected to an Australian Parliament. Women had only won the right to be elected to parliament in her state, Western Australia, in the previous year.

July 1924 - Australia became one of the few nations in the world where voting was compulsory for all adults. The new law did not include Aboriginals because they were not, at the time, considered to be Australian citizens.

July 1936 - The Spanish Civil War began. Over 40 Australians volunteered to help the Republican Government defeat the army rebels led by General Franco.

11 July 1940 - Petrol rationing was introduced for motorists. Private drivers were limited to 40 miles per week worth of petrol.

5 July 1945 - Prime Minister John Curtin died. The strain of leading the nation through World War II had killed the man widely recognised as Australia's greatest Prime Minister.

11 July 1979 - The 80 ton American Space Laboratory, SkyLab I, re-entered the earth's atmosphere off the West Australian coast and disintegrated. Debris was scattered over a wide area of South Western Australia.

This material was gathered from the text of Two Hundred Years, Bay Books, Sydney, 1987.

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Last modified: March 20, 2006