Saturday, December 16, 2017

December 16 On This Day in Australian History

1791 - Whalers Matilda and Mary Ann arrived at Sydney from the "Coast to the south" (Illawarra).

1807 - John Macarthur was arrested on a second warrant, and granted bail. Upon his commitment for trial before the Criminal Court, he demanded payment of a 15-year old debt from Judge-Advocate Atkins.

1811 - Gov Lachlan Macquarie set in motion the move of the settlement at Port Dalrymple back to the George Town site on Outer Cove from York Town. He renamed the locality York Cove.

1817 - Colonial architect Francis Greenway was given a conditional pardon.
1824 – Explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell arrived in the area the Aborigines call Corayo (Corio)
 on a bay called Jillong (Geelong)

1826 - Joshua John Moore is recorded as the first European landowner in the area known as the Limestone Plains. In 1824 he took out a ticket-of-occupation for 2000 acres on what is to become the site of Canberra. In 1825 he obtained permission to purchase 1000 acres of unoccupied land, but does not exercise his option to purchase until 16 December 1826 when he writes:
"The land I wish to purchase is situate at Canbery on the E. bank of the river which waters Limestone Plains, above its junction with the Murrumbeeja [sic], adjoining the grant of Mr Robert Campbell snr."He had already built huts and stockyards on the ridge where the Canberra Community Hospital now stands and enclosed thirty acres (12 ha) for cultivation.

1845 - Thomas Mitchell departed Orange, New South Wales, in search of a great river flowing to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

1860 Burke, Wills, Gray and King strolled off from Cooper's Creek in the general direction of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Will you tell them or shall I ...?

1876 - British Government agrees to send a Military Engineer to Australia to advise on its defences.

1888 - Melbourne's Princes Bridge was opened.

1900 - Bushfires ravaged Benalla and Wangaratta, Vic.

1903 After 8 years the great drought broke in most states of mainland Oz.
Which was seen as a sign from heaven when women were allowed to vote in Oz in federal elections for the first time.

1903 - Held in Victoria on this day was Australia's second federal election and the first (worldwide) in which women have the right to vote and the opportunity to stand for national Parliament.Vida Goldstein, Nellie Martel and Mary Ann Bentley stood for the Senate. Selina Siggins stood for the seat of Dalley in the House of Representatives.

1908 - Ballarat was placed on water restrictions.

1909 - The former Prime Minister George Reid was appointed as Australia's first High Commissioner in London.

1910 - Ford sold its 400th Model-T car in Australia.

1910 - Invalid pensions first made available Australia wide.

1914 - Today saw the completion of the branch railway line from Miles to Wandoan (QLD).

1919 Oops, spoke too soon, with severe drought tightening its grip throughout Oz.

1921 - The railway line from Yarram to Won Wron (Vic) opened.

1922 The wonderful Smith Family welfare organisation was begun in Sydney.

1922 Major-General Sir John Gellibrand began the first Legacy Club in Hobart.

1922 - The Australian Country Party (ACP), as The National Party was then known, won 14 seats at the elections on this day and held the balance of power.

1925 - Australian federal election, 1925: Stanley Bruce reelected as Prime Minister.

1929 – The Rothbury Riot took place in NSW  in which police shot at locked out miners, killing Norman Brown and injuring 45 others.

1929 - The Burcher Railway Branch line (NSW) opened.

1929 - Seventeen year old Nancy Thom was bodysurfing at Collaroy, NSW,  when she received superficial lacerations to her leg from a small shark.

1929 - Electric train services commenced from Reservoir to Thomastown (Vic).

1936 – A Brisbane to Adelaide air race was held to commemorate South Australia's centenary.

1939 - The Cronulla Railway Line (NSW) opened.

1941 - An official order was issued by the Administrator to evacuate women and children from Darwin. The evacuation was primarily organised by the A.R.P. (Air Raid Precautions) with assistance from Police and Military personnel. Most of the 1066 women and 900 children went by sea, with the first group leaving Darwin on December 19 aboard the Koolinda.

1942 - South Australia adopted Preferential voting for its lower house elections.

1947 – The reconstructed Regent Theatre, Melbourne opened after it was destroyed by fire in 1945.

1948 – HMAS Sydney, the first aircraft carrier of the Royal Australian Navy, was commissioned.

1948 - Australia took delivery of its first aircraft carrier - the 14,000 tonne HMS Terrible (R93) - under the commission of HMAS Sydney III.

1950 - Desmond Quinlan, a lifesaver, was treading water at 4.15pm at  Palm Beach North, 5 miles north of Burleigh Heads, Brisbane. when he was fatally  attacked by a shark having his lower abdomen severely bitten & his left leg severed.

1964 - Melbourne's La Trobe University was founded; the first undergraduates were admitted in March 1967

1964 - Brown's Range Space Tracking Station near Carnarvon, WA, became operational.

1969 - Following the withdrawal of 25,000 US troops from South Vietnam, and plans by the US Government to withdraw another 50,000, the Prime Minister (Sir John Gorton) advised any further substantial reductions would include Australian forces.

1976 - The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act was passed and provided Aboriginal people with freehold title to former reserve land across the Northern Territory.

1976 - Racial discrimination becomes illegal in South Australia.

1979 - Heavy rain washed out the annual Carols by Candlelight held in Elder Park and for the first time in thirty-six years the event was cancelled. On the previous Thursday night a runaway truck caused damage to the steel-scaffolding stage, but by using additional workers and working until 10 pm the stage had been rebuilt in time. Then the rains came. Carols by Candlelight began in the dark days of the war when some 50,000 people attended the first festival on Christmas Eve 1944, held in aid of the Adelaide Children’s Hospital and the Somerton Sick and Crippled Children’s Home, and arranged by the Commercial Travellers Association and 5AD. Since that the concert has become an integral part of Adelaide’s Christmas observance and many of Australia’s best singers have appeared there. In 1950 the guest artist was Joan Sutherland and record crowd of 70,000 heard her sing.

1979 - Sunday trading in Sydney public bars began.

1982 - The Victorian Government passed the Freedom of Information Bill, the first among the Australian states, guaranteeing the right of access, within limits, to Government-held information.

1983 - The Sale Wharf Railway line (Vic) closed.

1994 - A Spanish court refuses to extradite failed businessman Christopher Skase to Australia on humanitarian grounds.

1995 - The suggested re-opening of Sydney Airport's east-west runway was opposed by anti-noise protesters.

1997 - The Gundjehmi court case began in the Federal court, challenging the validity of the original Jabiluka mining lease.

1997 - Senator John Heron announced initiatives totalling $63 million for practical assistance to those affected by the Stolen Generation policies.

1999 - Geoff Clark, ATSIC commissioner for Victoria, became the first elected leader of the ATSIC Board of Commissioners.

1999 - After 13 years in court, it took 30 minutes to hand out cheques for $7000 to 235 Palm Islanders, the first of 3500 Aboriginals to be compensated after years of being under-paid and over-worked.

2001 - The Indigenous documentary “Trepang – a tale of discovery” was broadcast on the ABC. The TV documentary tells the story of pre-colonial contact between Macassan seafarers and the Aboriginal people of Arnhem Land.

2002 - It was reported that a severe drought ravaging most of Australia's rural sector will slash farm exports by 13 percent this fiscal year. Triggered by abnormal sea temperatures, El Nino was blamed for severe drought in Australia, which slashed crops and caused a liquidation of the nation's livestock. The drought continued through 2005.

2002 - A male swimming at Miami Lake, QLD at 2.30am was fatally attacked by a Bull shark.

2003 - One of the largest Acts passed by the Parliament of Victoria, the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (632 pages) was assented to on 16 December 2003.

2004 - A male surfer was fatally attacked by two sharks whilst on a surfboard being towed behind a boat at West Beach, Adelaide, South Oz.

2013 - PM Tony Abbott said Australian combat troops have completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan, marking the end of the nation's longest war which left 40 of its soldiers dead.

Friday, December 15, 2017

December 15 On This Day in Australian History

1807 - John Macarthur defied Atkins' arrest warrant over the Parramatta affair by giving a written refusal to comply to the issuing officer.

1810 - Shocked at the horrendous architectural styles of combining wattle and daub with tree houses Governor Lachlan Macquarie introduced a building code into the New South Wales colony.

1829 - Thomas Peel rocked up at the Swan River colony with 300 settlers. They were, however, too late to be eligible for the land grant for his colonisation scheme.

1852 - 1921 A lot of boring as batshit legal mumbo jumbo legislation was being twittered about the corridores of various parliaments throughout the Island of Oz.
I culled them to prevent you all from nodding off into your coffee.

1852 - Colonial Secretary Sir John Pakington authorises NSW Vic SA & Tas to draft new separate constitutions providing for an elected lower house and a nominated upper house.

1875 - A Bill in NSW Parliament granting married women the right to own property was rejected on the grounds that 'it would undo the God-founded institution of matrimony'.

1877 - Eleven year old Albert Thomas Burless had his leg severely bitten by a shark ( leg was later surgically amputated) whilst bathing at Peacock Point, Balmain, Sydney.

1882 - The first female union in the Land of Oz was formed when female tailoresses tossed their collective thimbles out the window and created The Victorian Tailoresses Union.

1891 - Rabbits were declared to be in plague proportions across Australia. Estimate of numbers was 100 per acre of outback Australia.

1897 - Laws were enacted in Queensland to prohibit Aboriginal people accessing liquor and opium. The 1897 Protection of Aborigines and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act was to affect Indigenous rights in Queensland for much of the 20th Century.

1900 - HMS Royal Arthur delivered the goods when it off-loaded the first Governor-General of Oz, Earl of Hopetoun, in Sydney.
Who proceeded to commit The Hopetoun Blunder and we shall never speak of this unfortunate event in his presence again.....
Hopetoun's error in calling on Lyne to form a government became known as the "Hopetoun Blunder", and it marked the beginning of what many historians consider to be his unsuccessful term as Governor-General.

1904 - The Arbitration Court established.

1905 - Gals in Queensland were cock-a-hoop when the male of the species graciously gave them the right to vote in state elections.

1909 - Mr. Witt was taken by a shark when he fell overboard 20 miles off the coast of Sydney.

1910 - Extension of the railway line from Cloncurry to Selwyn via Kuridala (QLD) was opened.

1915 - The Murray River Commission was established to develop and control irrigation along the Murray River.

1917 - F. W. Dean suffered lacerations to his leg from an unprovoked shark attack whilst swimming at 5.00am at Port Hedland, WA.

1920 - The Commonwealth Bank was given responsibility for issuing new bank notes.

1921 - The Tariff Board was established.

1922 - Queensland became the first state to abolish the death penalty.

1939 - Charles Mene, a Torres Strait Islander, joined the armed forces on this day. He served throughout the Second World War, the occupation of Japan and the Korean War where he earned the Military Medal.

1961 - Robert Gordon Menzies' Liberal Government is returned to power with a majority of just one seat after a General Election. Before the poll it had a majority of 32 seats.

1965 - The Sydney to Newcastle expressway opened.

1969 - The Ceduna, SA, OTC earth station was flung opened, linking Australia to Asia, Africa and Europe by satellite.

1972 - The Commonwealth of Australia ordered equal pay for women.

1974 - The first regular FM radio broadcast in Australia commences with Sydney station 2MBS-FM broadcasting classical music from its Crows Nest studio.

1978 - Artist Brett Whiteley became the first person to win the top three art prizes in one year - the Archibald, the Wynne and the Sulman prizes.

1993 -On this day Uluru became the first icon in Australia to be given back its Aboriginal name, giving birth to a wave of dual-named sites and landmarks across Australia.

1994 - The Mount Lyell copper mine at Queenstown, Tasmania, closed down after 101 years of operation.

1997 - The Central Land Council and traditional owners signed five new mining exploration agreements covering an area of land larger than the Australian Capital Territory. The agreements signed in Darwin with mining companies Otter Gold NL, Aberfoyle Resources Ltd and Adelaide Resources NL, covered 2,931 sq km of Aboriginal land in the western Tanami region of the Northern Territory.

1997 - On this evening, the first students to ever obtain a degree in Indigenous Australian Art graduated from Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art. The Queensland Conservatorium hosted the ceremony where five students received their Bachelor of Visual Art in Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art degrees.

1997 - In Australia a government report said that at least 1,045 retarded women and girls have been sterilized since a 1992 law that made it illegal without special approval.

1998 - A female surfer suffered leg injuries from a shark at Middleton Beach, South Oz.

2005 - Australia announced a major program to expand and upgrade its military forces to cope with increasing commitments at home and abroad.

2005 - An emergency sitting of Australia’s parliament passed special laws allowing Sydney police to "lockdown" parts of Sidney to stop racial unrest. The New South Wales (NSW) state parliament also increased the penalty for rioting from 10 to 15 years and doubled the sentence for affray to 10 years.

2007 - Josh Edwards sustained lacerations to his hand due to an attack from a small shark whilst he was swimming at South Stradbroke Island, QLD. 

2008 - Australia pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least five percent by 2020 to fight climate change, but critics said the plan was a "global embarrassment" and called for deeper reductions.

2009 - Australia said it would push ahead with a mandatory China-style plan to filter the Internet, despite widespread criticism that it will strangle free speech and is doomed to fail. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said new laws would be introduced to ban access to "refused classification" (RC) sites featuring criminal content such as child sex abuse, bestiality, rape and detailed drug use.

2009 - Australian scientists reported the discovery of an octopus in Indonesia that collects coconut shells for shelter, unusually sophisticated behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal.

2010 - Australia signed an agreement with Brazil to share knowledge on putting on the Olympics to help preparations with Rio's hosting of the 2016 Games.

2010 - In New South Wales, Australia, police found seven boxes of chemical glassware used to make drugs when a van was stopped outside the town of Quirindi. A forensic search of the van later found 43 pounds of hidden ecstasy tablets with a street value of about 20 million Australian dollars ($19.7 million).

2010 - In violent seas off Australia’s Christmas Island at least 48 refugees, thought to be from Iran and Iraq, died after their wooden boat shattered before horrified witnesses. 42 survivors, including 9 children were rescued. On January 24, 2011, Australian authorities charged three Indonesian men with people smuggling. Iranian-born Ali Khorram Heydarkhani (40) was detained by Indonesian authorities on January 25 but only sent to Australia after overstaying his visa. On May 12, 2011, he was charged in Sydney with offences relating to the boatpeople disaster.

2010 - Ben Zygier (34) reportedly committed suicide in a high-security Israeli jail after being held for months in great secrecy. His body was soon flown from Israel to Melbourne for burial. The Australian man had reportedly been recruited by the Israeli spy agency Mossad. Zygier's crime was to inadvertently reveal the identity of Ziad al-Homsi to a Lebanese man he was trying to turn into a double agent, but who worked for Lebanese intelligence. Al-Homsi had been approached by Mossad in 2007 and flown to China on the pretext of attending a mayoral convention.

2011 - Australia’s independent Remuneration Tribunal recommended pay hikes for most politicians and public servants. PM Julia Gillard was recommended for a bumper 31 percent rise to take her salary past that of US President Barack Obama.

2012 - More than 30 years after the Mabo decision the Queensland government returns the title over the Murray Islands back to the Meriam people.

2014 - Lindt Cafe seige occurred. 

2014 - A male spearfisher was fatally injured by a Tiger shark at Rudder Reef, QLD.

2016 - The Tasmanian government passed into law an amended preamble to the Tasmanian Constitution Act to formally recognise Aboriginal people “as Tasmania’s First People and the traditional and original owners of Tasmanian lands and waters”. Tasmania was the last state that had to amend its constitution in that way.
An historic amendment to Tasmania’s Constitution to recognise Tasmanian Aboriginal people received Royal Assent today.

2016 - Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training in Tasmania, announced new Aboriginal curriculum resources for schools including the first of the resources (five videos) were available to raise awareness and improve understanding of Tasmanian Aboriginal histories and cultures in schools, and to raise aspirations for levels of attainment and further education for Aboriginal students.

2016 - The Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Action Plan was launched  in Shepparton, as an important resource for councils across the state to work towards:
improving relationships with Aboriginal communities
promoting reconciliation
engaging Aboriginal people in planning, decision-making, employment, programs and services across all areas of their organisations.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

December 14 On This Day in Australian History

1800 - A rebellion at Norfolk Island was suppressed. Lieut-Gov Joseph Foveaux hanged two Irish prisoners who led the insurgence.

1801 - Matthew Flinders and his crew first met some Noongar people; the people they met were “shy but not afraid”, Flinders wrote.

1807 - The master and crew of the Parramatta went ashore and were promptly arrested and charged with violating regulations. Judge-Advocate Richard Bowyer Atkins summoned Macarthur to come to Sydney to 'show cause' for his conduct in the Parramatta affair.

1827 Bold Jack Donohoe and his gang began lightening the load of carts travelling on the Sydney - Windsor Road.
The gang was caught shortly afterwards and all hanged - except for Bold Jack who, being the clever clogs of the whole outfit, took to the countryside.

1830 - Captain Thomas Barrister commenced an overland trek from Fremantle to King George Sound (Albany).

1832 - The Presbyterian Church was officially formed in Sydney.

1835 - The Bank of Australasia opened in Sydney.

1840 - Governor Gipps appointed the first Government Printer.

1854 - First sitting of the Gold Fields Commission (Vic).

1854 - An act for providing separate municipal boroughs throughout Port Phillip had been drafted and became law on this day.

1869 - Copper was discovered at Cobar, NSW, by C. Campbell, T. Hartman and and G. Gibb, surveyoring for water bores.

1880 - Today saw the grand Opening of Hallett to Terowie Railway line (South Oz).

1890 Oh, be still my beating heart; the Trades Hall opened in Geelong.

1893 - Eucalyptus oil was first manufactured in Australia by F.H. Faulding & Co.

1918 - The first Victorian Farmers Union member was elected to parliament as a result of the introduction of preferential voting.

1927 Needing to state the bleeding obvious - again - it was announced that throughout mainland Oz drought reigned supreme.

1929 Electric trams and buses did away with the poor old choo choo between Adelaide and Glenelg.

1939 - Frank Gurran was fatally attacked by a 2.6 m [8.5'] shark (landed 2 hours later) whilst swimming at Rubbish Dump Creek, Mackay,  his left foot & right leg bitten, later surgically amputated.

1940 - New military conscription call ups for training in the Citizen's Forces. The call up was in line with Australia's policy of having a 25,000 strong wartime defence force.

1944 - Liberal Party of Australia The new party was formed at a conference in Canberra. It emerged from an agreement to merge the United Australia Party and other non-Labor organisations, including the extensive Australian League of Women Voters.

1956 - The J.S. Battye Library of West Australian History came into being on this day (as the J.S. Battye Library of West Australian History and State Archives), after a reorganisation of the State Library into subject areas by State Librarian, Francis Aubie (Ali) Sharr. It was named after James Sykes Battye, 1871-1954, who came from Ballarat, Victoria in 1894 to be the chief librarian of the Victoria Public Library (the State Library of Western Australia was first known as the Victoria Public Library as it was originally founded to honour the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria's ascension to the British throne). It was renamed the Public Library of Western Australia in 1904 to avoid confusion with the Public Library of Victoria. Dr Battye died in 1954, having served in office for nearly 60 years.

1960 - In cricket, the First Test Match between Australia and the West Indies ends in a tie.

1963 - Opening of the Mackay War Memorial Swimming Pool in Milton Street. Built at a cost of 90,000 pounds. Opened by Postmaster-General COW.. Davidson.

1967 - South Australia's Simpson Desert Conservation Park and Queensland's Simpson Desert National Park were proclaimed

1968 - A referendum in Tasmania gives the go-ahead to build Australia's first casino at Wrest Pointnear Hobart.

1971 Stop giggling girls, the new late night shopping in NSW was serious window shopping and planning the next outfit business.

1972 - The end of conscription for the Vietnam War is introduced on Labor's first day in office. From January 1965 to December 1972, some 63,740 were conscripted. Of these, 15,542 saw active service in Vietnam.

1974 On this day it was announced there would be a national bilingual education campaign for Aboriginal children.
Except for those in NT in 2010.
Cos the Indigenous kids might be cleverer than the twits in charge.

1979 Barmen were left gasping when NSW hotels were given the green light to trade on Sundays - legally this time!

1982 The Wilderness Society blockaded the proposed site for the Franklin Dam.
Determined little buggers, they kept the blockade in place till 1983...and they'd won.

1993 - The Australian Football League announced that the Fremantle Football Club will enter the league in 1995.

1995 -  Jervis Bay National Park and botanic gardens were handed back to the Aboriginal community in an official ceremony.

1995 - 15 years after the disappearance of baby Azaria Chamberlain from a campsite near Ayers Rock, NT, a third coronial inquiry into the case returned an open finding which supported the child's parents' claim that they had nothing to do with her death, and that there was considerable support for the view that a dingo may have taken the child, but there was no conclusive evidence to prove this.

1995 - The Australian movie 'Babe', about an orphaned pig who dreams of being a sheepdog, was released to critical acclaim in Australia and the US.

2001 - A High Court decision in Melbourne approved the Yorta Yorta people’s application to appeal an earlier Federal Court decision on their native title claim. The application required the High Court to determine whether the Federal Court had erred in legal principle in not giving enough weight to oral evidence and, as a result, concluding that the traditional law and custom of the Yorta Yorta had been abandoned at or about 1881.

2006 - Australian flag carrier and national icon Qantas accepted an increased 11.1-billion-dollar (8.7 billion US) offer from a private equity group, a day after rejecting a lower bid.

2006 - Australia and France signed an agreement on military cooperation designed to enhance their ability to work together.

2011 - The High Court of Australia ruled that it was not a requirement for the grant of a Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) visa for the sponsor to be under 18 both at the time of application and the time of decision. The ruling removed the barrier to family reunion faced by unaccompanied minors who applied to sponsor their parents for resettlement but turned 18 before a decision was made on the application.

2012 - UNHCR released a report on the conditions in the offshore processing facility in Nauru. It concluded that “the transfer of asylum-seekers to what are currently harsh and unsatisfactory temporary facilities, with in a closed detention setting, and in the absence of a fully functional legal framework and adequately capacitated system to assess refugee claims, do not currently meet the required protection standards.”

2013 - In response to the disallowance of TPVs, the Australian Government issued a regulation which renders refugees who arrive by boat ineligible for a permanent Protection Visa.

2015 - The Five Islands creation story painted by respected Koori artists Lorraine Brown and Narelle Thomas was unveiled today at a celebration hosted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
NPWS commissioned the painting, hung at the NSW Government Offices in Wollongong, to celebrate the success of the Seabird Breeding and Nesting Habitat Rehabilitation Project. The project is a joint initiative of NPWS, the Friends of Five Islands volunteers and Berrim Nuru Environmental Services.

2016 A male was non-fatally attacked by a shark with punctures to his left foot and ankle whilst freediving at Trigg Beach, WA.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

December 13 On This Day in Australian History

First Day of Hanukkah in Australia 2017
Many Jewish Australians start observing Hanukkah on the evening before on the first day of Hanukkah, as many Jewish observances begin at sunset on the day before.Also known as Chanukah or Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish observance that remembers the Jewish people's struggle for religious freedom.

1802 - Charles Robbins successfully dissuaded the French from making a claim on Van Diemen's land (now Tasmania). 
He told them about the Drop Bears.
Although hoisting the British flag near Nicholas Baudin's tents on King Island and firing a volley over the heads of the French expedition members couldn't have hurt...

1805 - The first land grants were made in Van Diemen's Land. They included 10 acres to Rev. Robert Knopwood.

1808 - Anthony Fenn Kemp resiged as Judge-Advocate of NSW; Foveaux reinstated Atkins.

1819 - Henry Rice lead an expedition from the Coal River settlement (Richmond, Tas) to St Patrick's Head and thence to Port Dalrymple.

1834 - The final issue of the People’s Horn Boy newspaper (Hobart, Tas) was published.

1848 - The first 240 Government assisted immigrants rocked up at Moreton Bay, Qld, on the Artemisia.

1849 - The Adelaide was the second last ship to bring "exiles" to Australia. It arrived at Port Phillipwith 281 exiles on board, but was refused entry by the door bitch and sailed on to Port Jackson.

1850 - Cleveland in southeast Queensland was proclaimed a township.

1858 - The first balloon flight in Sydney, Australia, took to the skies with Capt William Dean at the helm.

1858 Mark this down in your diaries as a Red Letter Day!
The Carlton Brewery was birthed in Melbourne.

1870 - The Murray River ran a bit of a banker in South Oz...
After an extremely wet winter the river continued to rise until all the flat country along its banks was flooded drowning thousands of sheep and cattle. The Moorundie Police Station was destroyed and in Mannum rowboats could be taken in and out of the windows of the Bogan Hotel (now Mannum) and it was possible to step from the deck of the steamer Ariel on to the balcony of the hotel. The peak marked on a door at Walker’s Mill showed the waters to be roughly fifteen feet above normal and barges could sail up the main street to load flour at the mill. The river gradually fell in 1871 until by June it was apparently back to normal. Of course in 1870 there were no locks on the river and it was before the irrigation settlements of Renmark and Berri. 

1873 - Adelaide Oval opens.

1888 - The NSW wheat crop failed, the yield being the lowest in 30 years, as the nation remained in the grip of a crippling drought.

1909 - The Commonwealth Defence Act became law. It provided for the compulsory military training scheme that began on 1 January 1911, and for the establishment of the Royal Military College at Duntroon, Canberra, on 27 June 1911.

1909 - The Act establishing a High Commission in London became law. A month later GH Reid became Australia’s first High Commissioner. During his term the building of Australia House commenced. Reid was also closely involved in ordering the vessels for Australia's first naval fleet.

1913 - The Manly Lifesaving Club launched its first successful purpose-designed surf boat.
The new MLSC certainly caught the eye, at twenty feet long, double ended and an exaggerated spring in the keel, banana-boat, fitted it perfectly. Boat Captain Fred Notting, as a youngster in his canoe, had used a quarter-bar to gain leverage to keep it straight on a wave. He included this development in his banana-boat, and worked on techniques to manage the boat in surf.

1915 - Light Horse fight at Um Rakham ; The Light Horse was deployed against pro-Turkish Arabs of an Islamic sect known as the Senussi, in Egypt's western desert.

1919 - Silly as a wheel (Sir) Billy Hughes was reelected as Prime Minister.

1929 - Nago, a Japanese diver sustained injuries to his chest and arm from a shark whilst pearl diving at Thursday Island.

1930 - Frank Kenny died after he fell overboard at Sailor Bay, Middle Harbour, Sydney and was taken by a shark.

1940 Always stating the bleeding obvious, it was officially announced that most of the Island of Oz was in the furnace grip of drought.

1946 - The United Nations granted Australia trusteeship of New Guinea and Papua. The two regions were administered jointly, with the capital at Port Moresby.

1947 – Indian bowler Vinoo Mankad ran out Bill Brown when in the act of delivering the ball. After this incident, if a batsman was given out this way, he was said to have been Mankaded.

1947 - Elections were held in the Northern Territory for its Legislative Council.

1948 - The greatest batsman the cricket world has ever seen - Don Bradman - retired from the sport on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of his entering first class cricket.

1953 - Unionism becomes compulsory in New South Wales.

1953 - Neil Tapp, cadet lifesaver, sustained a bruised chest, shoulder and foot from a non-fatal shark attack after he'd waded out to warn bathers a shark had been seen.
1955 - Frocking up was supersized when Australian housewife "superstar", Dame Edna Everage, made her stage debut.

1955 - Colin and Jack Chambers and three stockmen were tried before Justice Kriewaldt without a jury from 12 to 15 December 1955 after they were charged with 10 counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm to their Aboriginal workers at Eva Downs Station, NT.George Booth was fined £25 for several counts of aiding and abetting their employers’ assaults and his licence to employ Aboriginal people was revoked. Justice  Kriewaldt found Colin and Jack Chambers guilty on most counts, fined each a sum of £400, and jailed both for six months with hard labour. He had never before convicted let alone jailed a white person for assaulting an Aborigine.

1956 - The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act made ASIO a statutory authority. ASIO had been established by government directive in 1949.

1958 - The RAAF's first Lockheed C-130A Hercules transports arrive in Australia.

1960 - Amendments to the Crimes Act introduced tougher definitions and penalties for espionage, sabotage and treason, and identified a new crime of treachery

1961 - George “Jimmy” Stevens, an Aborgine from the lugger Rebecca, had his right thigh and leg lacerated from a 6 foot shark whilst swimming with the ships crew at the wharf at Horn Island (near Thursday Island) Torres Strait.

1962 – The last telegram transmitted within New South Wales using morse code was sent from Sydney to Bombala.

1963 - University student and Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins leads a 'Freedom Ride' through rural Aboriginal communities.

1964 - The Lilydale to Warburton (Vic) rail passenger service was kicked to the kerb.

1966 - John Fairfax acquired an interest in David Syme & Co Ltd, publisher of the Age.

1969 - The first official body was formed as the "Australian National Sportfishing Association". The original A.N.S.A. badge design was selected from a competition published in "AUSTRALIAN SPORTFISHING", Summer edition 1969. The winning design was submitted by John Renolds, Liverpool, NSW.

1972 - The Victorian Fertiliser Services Association held its Inaugural meeting on this day. There were forty two contractors in attendance and all supported the formation of a State Branch of a National Association. It was also agreed to assist in organising the 1973 National Conference in Swan Hill.

1973 - The first National Aboriginal Consultative Committee meeting was held at the National Library of Australia in Canberra.

1973 - Australia ratifies its international treaties on nuclear arms control, originally signed in 1970-71.

1975 - Malcolm Fraser romped it home in the Federal elections to put on the frilly frock of Prime Minister.

1981 - Zola Dale had her stomach lacerated by a shark whilst swimming at Green Island.

1983 - Proving that pollies do actually work...occassionally...the 10000th Act of the Victorian Parliament was passed. The Industrial Relations (Further Amendment Act) 1983 was assented to on 13 December 1983.

2001 - The late Kevin Wong Hoy, the late Nancy Kwong, Edna Cooper, Robyn Ansell, Julia Lau, Hamilton Chan, and Neelima/Chris Lee formed the Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria with Kevin as foundation President. Kevin continued to provide astute guidance as President until February 2009. The Chinese Museum offered to host the monthly meetings which it continues to do today.

2002 - The Beattie Government announced it would invest $2.66 million directly into 19 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to implement initiatives outlined in Meeting Challenges, Making Choices, the government’s response to the Cape York Justice Study.

2005 – Bradley John Murdoch was convicted of murdering Peter Falconio in the Australian outback whilst travelling with girlfriend Joanne Lees.

2005 - In Australia a jury convicted Bradley John Murdoch (47), a mechanic, in the July 14, 2001, Outback death of British backpacker Peter Falconio (28). He also was convicted of assaulting and abducting Falconio's girlfriend, Joanne Lees. Murdoch was given a mandatory life sentence by Northern Territory Supreme Court Justice Brian Martin.

2005 Spencer Street Station - that great ugly lump of unimaginative concrete that greeted rail travellers to Marvellous Melbourne in the arse end of town - had been titivated in a right expensive balls up, the way only known to politicians. Probably hoping to distract the sensible public, then-Premier Bracks officially announced today that Spencer Street Station was to be henceforth known as (the ugliest pile of wasted public money known to mankind) Southern Cross Station.
Sadly, it's now a great ugly lump of unimaginative concrete with a wind tunnel effect all of its own but it shall always remain Spencer Street Station as no rude bugger asked me if they could change its name.

2009 - The Age (newspaper) upped sticks and shifted house from Spencer Street to its custom-built building, Media House, at the corner of Collins and Spencer Streets, near Southern Cross (SPENCER STREET) Station.

2009 - Nigel Hughes had his big toe lacerated by a shark whilst surfing at Coffee Head, NSW.

2016 - The inaugural Mullagh-Wills Oration, took place at the MCG, which is focused on the links between cricket and Indigenous Australians.The oration is named in honour of Johnny Mullagh, the Aboriginal XI's star allrounder and captain for the 1868 tour, and Tom Wills, who captained-coached the Aboriginal XI in the 1866 match.
The inaugural oration was co-delivered by 2009 Australian of the Year Professor Mick Dodson AM, and Dr Greg De Moore, the author of Tom Wills and A National Game.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

December 12 On This Day in Australian History

1787 - Eleanor Higgins was a Convict and early settler of the Epping area. She was tried at the Old Bailey, London on 12 December 1787 for stealing four linen sheets and was sentenced to transportation for 7 years. She married David Kilpack who received a grant of 80 acres in Ryde which was known as the 'Field of Mars'. When David died she sold part of the land but continued to farm in her own right.

1787 - Rachel Moore was convicted of 'feloniously stealing' a range of clothing items including a muslin apron, silk border and velvet hood at the Old Bailey on 12 December 1787, she was transported to Sydney for seven years. In Sydney she formed a relationship with First Fleet surgeon John White with whom she had a son, and she later married Thomas Moore.

1815 – Captain James Kelly set out on circumnavigation of Tasmania, during which important observations were made on the resources of the west coast.

1851 - Standing Orders were adopted, the rules and protocols that govern Parliament. John Barker was appointed the Clerk of the Legislative Council, Captain Conran the Serjeant-at-Arms and Charles Ridgway the Librarian.

 1859 - The Richmond to Cremorne Railway line (Vic) opened.

 1860 – Initial riots on the Lambing Flat goldfields near present day Young, New South Wales.

1877 - Two males were washed overboard from the barque Mary Eady, near Sydney, and were both killed by sharks.

1882 - Australia’s worst gold mining disaster, to date, occured in Creswick, Victoria; water which had been accumulating in the Australasia No 1 mine burst through the wall of the reef drive, trapping 27 workers. Hearing the noise of the flooding above ground, water pump engine driver James Spargo increased the speed of the pump, and was quickly joined by two other engine drivers, James Harris and Thomas Clough. Over the next few days, the men ran the engines at more than 10 times their normal speed, trying to lower the water to save the trapped men. Unable to escape from the mine, the men sought respite from the rising waters in the small space of the No 11 jump-up, one of several cutaways where the men would “jump up” out of the way of the mine trucks. A special train was dispatched from Melbourne with equipment to dive into the water. Diving equipment borrowed from the HMS Cerberus, together with experienced divers, was sent up from Melbourne. It was Thursday (some sources say Friday) before the trapped men could be reached, and by that time, 22 had died. Only 5 were brought out alive.

 1884 - The Railway Construction Act, called the 'Octopus Act', authorizing 66 new railway lines in Victoria was assented to.

1895 -  T'was a dark day indeed when land and income tax was introduced in NSW.
 1906 – Australian federal election, 1906: The government of Prime Minister Alfred Deakin was returned to power, however voter turn-out was low.

1917 - The battle cruiser HMAS Australia was danaged in a collision with the battle cruiser HMS Repulse.

1917 -  Billy Hughes' Commonwealth Police were born, to protect the Little Digger against those nasty-pasties who frew a wotten eggie-weggie at poor widdle Biwwy.
1910 - The Oaklands Railway line (NSW) was opened from Lockhart to Yuluma.

1923 - Leo Wohill was swimming in the Tweed River at Murwillumbah, NSW, when he sustained non-fatal
lacerations to his leg following an unprovoked shark attack.

1928 -  Men! Gird your loins and brace yourselves with boardshorts, for goodness sake!
Speedos aka Budgie Smugglers were first produced.
1936 - George Lundberg was swimming at Throsby Creek, Newcastle when he was attacked by a shark, his leg was severed at the knee, an injury which proved fatal.

1941 - General evacuation of women, children, the aged and infirm of Darwin began, five days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

1943 - The Royal Australian Air Force Armament School moved from Hamilton to Nhill and the ChemicalWarfare School was established as a section of the Armament School.

1945 - Burning disposal of chemical warfare stocks at No. 19 Replenishing Centre commenced.

 1945 - Australian pathologist Professor Howard Florey awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his development of the antibiotic penicillin.

1961 - A Woman was fined for being "unsuitably dressed" ; wearing a bikini at Bondi Beach!

1966 - Lone round-the-world yachtsman Francis Chichester arrived in Sydney in his yacht Gypsy Moth IV.

1974 - A 32 year old male survived an unprovoked shark attack whilst swimming at Geographe Bay, WA.

1978 - Hundreds were arrested in Brisvegas after wild demonstrations in protest against Queensland's anti street march laws.

1981 – A referendum was held in Tasmania to vote for whether or not the Franklin Dam should be built. 47% voted for the original proposal, 8% vote for the compromise solution and 45% voted informally. It is estimated that up to one-third of all votes were for "no dams", which was not a sanctioned option.

1997 - Port Adelaide joined the AFL

1997 - NT introduced mandatory sentencing.

1997 - Federal Government signed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Protocol.

2002 - Australia's highest court dismissed one of the nation's longest running tribal land claims. The Yorta tribe began the battle in 1994 for a special property right known as native title in 800 square miles of land around the Murray River in eastern Australia. The area is now occupied by farmers.

2005 - Young people riding in vehicles smashed cars and store windows in suburban Sydney, a day after thousands of drunken white youths attacked people they believed were of Arab descent at a beach in the same area in one of Australia's worst outbursts of racial violence. About 50 cars had swept into the area, disgorging men of Middle Eastern appearance who began trashing every car in sight with baseball bats.

2007 - In Indonesia new Australian PM Kevin Rudd completed ratification of the Kyoto Protocol as he pressed for all nations, rich and poor, to commit to fighting global warming.

2008 - A court in Australia approved the use of Facebook, a popular social networking Web site, to notify a couple that they lost their home after defaulting on a loan.

2010 - Australia unveiled tough changes to finance laws, banning unpopular mortgage fees and cracking down on price collusion between major banks in a bid to boost competition in the sector.

2011 - Senior Australian naval officer Lieutenant Commander John Alan Jones (58) was convicted by a court martial of repeatedly spanking a junior female sailor to test her discipline and obedience.

2012 - In an historic day for Australia, SBS begin broadcasting nationally a dedicated Aboriginal TV service available free-to-air for the first time. The new channel incorporates NITV (National Indigenous Television) on SBS4 (digital channel 34) and starts at 12pm on 12/12/2012.

2013 - Australia's top court struck down gay marriage in the nation's capital, ruling that parliament must decide on same-sex unions.

2014 - Inverbrackie Detention Facility in South Australia, considered a detention facility with more humane conditions, closed and people detained there were relocated (the majority to the community after being granted a bridging visa).