Tuesday, December 19, 2017

December 19 On This Day in Australian History


1840 William Thomas, Aboriginal Protector, established a station at Narre Narre Warren which was visited by the chief protectorate, George Robinson, on this day.

1855 - A bill was passed like a rich man through the eye of a needle introducing this new fangled idea of a secret ballot.
So next time you wander down to toss your vote in the box without fear or favour of upsetting your neighbour, remember the smart-arse Melbournians dreamt the whole thing up.

1858 - The Post Office building in Sturt St, Ballarat was officially opened.

1859 - The St Kilda to Chapel Street (Windsor) section of railway line (Vic) opened.

1859 - The Windsor to North Brighton Railway line (Vic) opened.

1862 - A male was taken by a shark in the Brisbane River, QLD, whilst attempting to rescue a wounded bird.

1877 - The Hamilton to Portland Railway line (Vic) opened.

1877 - Cable communication to Europe restored after being broken for four months.
And you thought the NBN was bad...!

1881 - The Caulfield to Mordialoc section of railway line (Vic) opened.

1883 - Cuthbert Vere Lysaght was fatally injured by a shark whilst swimming in the Parramatta River, NSW.

1887 - The railway line from Kew Junction to Kew (Vic) was opened.

1896 - Sydney's Palace Theatre opened.

1906 - Commonwealth legislation authorised the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Scheme.

1919 - Royal Commission on high prices presented its final report to Parliament.
High prices on what I have not the foggiest but knowing politics it's probably something deathly boring so let's just leave well enough alone, shall we?

1930 – For the first time Perth was linked by telephone to the rest of Australia.

1932 - The British Broadcasting Corp. began transmitting overseas with its "Empire Service" to Australia. 

1938 - The works of Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira were first exhibited at the Fine Art Society Gallery, Melbourne.

1940  - Jack Ryan suffered a minor injury to his leg from a shark while he was fishing at Double Island Beach, QLD.

1941 - Officals in Darwin evacuated 1066 women and 900 children by sea, with the first group leaving Darwin aboard the Koolinda on this day.

1943 - Crash of a C-47 of 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron 374th Transport Group 30 miles north of Rockhampton at Rossmoya Rd, Canal Creek, QLD.
Of the 31 people on board, 20 were American servicemen, 3 US Army nurses (Lieutenants Williams, Smith and Korranda), an Australian war correspondent, a YMCA and a Salvation Army Welfare Officer, as well as Australian servicemen.
This remains the second-worst air disaster in Australia.

1945 b- HMAS Air Mist, an Air/Sea Search and Rescue Vessel, ran aground and was lost  on rocks at Morna Point whilst under tow back to Australia.

1946 - The Japanese ship Koei Maru docked at the Port of Melbourne and took aboard 2,000 Japanese prisoners of war who were homeward bound.

1949 – Robert Menzies becomes Prime Minister of Australia for a second time, serving until 1966.

1949 - The last Sandringham air service, ZK-AME "New Zealand", Sydney Auckland, Captains P. Le Couteur and L. Parry. The Sandringhams were sold to Australia.

1950 - Two swimmers reported having their legs nipped by a Wobbegong shark at Jervis Bay, NSW.

1951 - The Springvale to Springvale Cemetery Railway line (Vic) closed.

1951 - HMAS Sydney completed a tour of operations off Korea's west coast.

1959 - Stanley Arthur Mullen was fatally attacked by a shark when he dived from his dingy to retrieve a dropped oar Off Wynnum in Moreton Bay, near Brisbane, QLD.

1964 - The newly-built town of Jindabyne, relocated for the building of the Snowy Mountain Hydro-electric scheme, was opened.

1967 – John McEwen becomes the eighteenth Prime Minister of Australia following the disappearance of Harold Holt.


1970 - Germaine Greer's controversial feminists book, The Female Eunuch, was published.

1972 - The full Whitlam ministry was sworn in.

1972 - Department of Aboriginal Affairs
One of the early reforms of the new Whitlam government was upgrading the Office of Aboriginal Affairs to ministerial level. This fulfilled an election promise designed to meet the responsibilities allocated by the 1967 Referendum.

1972 - The last Australian troops leave Vietnam. Of the 49,211 Australian personnel who served in Vietnam, 499 were killed, 2 missing believed killed, and 2,069 injured.


1984 - A meeting of National and State health ministers agree that HIV-positive test results are to be reported to state health authorities. The gay community is concerned that if individual details are to be reported, people will stop testing because of privacy concerns.

1989 - Wangi Power Station Railway Branch line (NSW) was closed.

1991 – Paul Keating makes his second Labor leadership challenge. This time, he wins 56–51 and becomes Australia's 24th Prime Minister the next day

1991 - The Belmont Railway Branch line (NSW) was closed for business.


1991 - The Clipsal Powerhouse, South Oz (now known as The Titanium Security Arena) was opened on this day at a cost of $16 million with the capacity to revert to a three-court international-standard facility.

2000 - Doctors call for urgent national research on Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), amid growing concerns that airlines are dealing with a major health problem.

2000 - The Queensland Government signed a Justice Agreement committing it to the goal of halving the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prisons and appearing before the courts.


2002 - Victorian-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commissioner Chairman Geoff Clark was re-elected as ATSIC Chairman for a second term on this day.

2011 - Members of an Australian class action lawsuit, who blame a German pharmaceutical company's anti-morning sickness drug, Thalidomide, for causing birth defects, won the right to have their case heard in their own country. The class action against Grunenthal is open to Australians born between Jan. 1, 1958, and Dec. 31, 1970, who were injured after their mothers took thalidomide while pregnant.

2011 - The first people of the Gawler Ranges, the Kokotha people from the desert; Barngarla from the Eyre Peninsula; and Wirangu from the West Coast. won their 14-year battle for native title rights.
Families gathered at Paney Station to hear the judge make orders over 3.5 million hectares on the edge of the Nullarbor, between Eyre Highway and the Indian Pacific railway line.

2012 - A male surfer came away from an encounter with a Tiger shark at Trigg Beach, WA, with no injuries.

2013 - The Minister for Immigration issued a directive (No. 62) specifying that family visa applications lodged by refugees who arrived by boat should be the lowest processing priority, meaning that they have virtually no chance of success. The directive applied to all family visa applications currently in the pipeline as well as all future applications. People affected by the directive who have an application pending will not have their substantive visa fee refunded should they choose to withdraw their application. There is no priority for families facing compelling or compassionate circumstances. The directive does not apply to Australian citizens.

2016 - CSIRO and Environmental Resources Management (ERM) were joined by traditional custodian group representatives to salvage artefacts from two paddocks within the Ginninderra (Canberra) site ahead of the proposed future development. Artefact salvage, together with conservation measures in the landscape, are important for protecting heritage features and strengthening the connection between Aboriginal communities and their heritage values.
Joe House from Little Gudgenby River Tribal Council, Karen Denny from Buru Ngunawal Aboriginal Corporation, James Mundy from Ngarigu Currawong Clan and Carl Brown from the King Brown Tribal Group were in attendance, and the group was able to record and recover all artefacts required with the help of Bruce Isaac (CSIRO), Sarah Ward (ERM) and Katherine Deverson (ERM).

Monday, December 18, 2017

December 18 On This Day in Australian History

1791 - A number of Marines including Maj. Robert Ross (Officer of the Marines, and Lieut-Gov),Capt Watkin Tench and Lt. William Dawes left the colony and returned to England aboard HMS Gorgon. On 11th March, the ship arrived at the Cape of Good Hope where Mary Bryant and her group of escaped convicts, along with a number of Bounty mutineers were taken on board for the return journey to England.

1805 - The powers that be started giving away the plots of dirt in Tassie, including 10 acres to that tipsy Rev. Knopwood.

1816 - Gov. Macquarie called a Public meeting for subscribers to open a bank.

1838 - The seven stockmen found guilty of the murder of an Aboriginal child during the horrific Myall Creek Massacre were hanged. For only the second time in Australian history white men were punished for murder of Aboriginal people.

1850 - The first Australian branch of the YMCA formed in Adelaide, SA.

1865 - The Chinese bushranger known as Sam Poo was stretched by the neck by a noose in Sydney.

1872 - Opals discovered at Listonel Downs, Qld.

1875 - The Paddle Steamer Wendouree was launched on the lake of the same name in Ballarat.


1880 - Stanthorpe O’Connor, a retired sub-inspector of police, recounted a story in The Queenslander narrated to him by a ‘mob’ residing on the Laura (Kennedy) river, of how ‘a white man had sneaked upon a blackfellow and his gin, had shot the blackfellow and taken his gin with him to where he camped, he and his four companions ill-using the gin before she was let free’.

1892 - The Main Western Railway line (NSW) was opened from Lapstone Bottom Points - Glenbrook.


1893 - The Broken Hill Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Molong - Parkes

1893 - Stockinbingal - Parkes Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Forbes - Jct (Parkes)

1894 – South Australia was the first colony to give women equal franchise with men....in other words they gave us ladies the right to vote AND shoot guns.

1899 - J. Richardson suffered shark bites to his legs when he fell into the water at Tingalpa Creek, QLD.

1900 - The Narrow Gauge Upper Ferntree Gully to Belgrave Railway line (Vic) opened.

1900 - Belgrave to Gembrook Narrow Gauge Railway line (Vic) opened.

1902 - The la-de-dah title of Lord Muck Mayor was conferred on those garden variety Mayors in Sydney and Melbourne.

1903 – The first train ran its pretty little way from Rockhampton to Brisvegas (QLD).

1909 - Well known and respected local Doctor George Tyndale Lloyd died after being thrown from a horse in Brisbane Street, Mackay. The Lloyd memorial in Queens Park was erected in honour of him.

1912 - A small arms manufacturing plant opens at Lithgow, NSW.

1915 - In a single night, about 20,000 Australian and New Zealand troops slipped away from Gallipoli, undetected by the Turks defending the peninsula.

1924 - Longest Sitting Day of the Victorian Parliament commenced at 11.17am. It concluded 48 hours and 59 minutes later at 12.16pm, Saturday, 20 December 1924

1930 - Perth was finally able to get on the blower to the rest of Oz when it was hooked up to Adelaide....which was already gossiping with the rest of Oz.

1943 - The Army prepared instructions for personnel to be based at each of the Army-controlled Aboriginal settlements. These personnel would maintain a roll of all labourers showing their ‘European’ and Aboriginal names, clan, the names of their dependants, the number of their blood slide (used to monitor malarial infection) and any general remarks.

1954 - The Colac (Alvie Junction) to Alvie Railway line (Vic) closed.

1961 - A 3 metre white shark took the life of a surfer at Noosa Heads, QLD; injuries were the right wrist and hand bitten, left leg severed above knee.

1964 - Australian Government, responding to requests from the US President and South Vietnam Prime Minister for 200 additional advisers, offers to send ground troops to South Vietnam.

1965 - The Missing Links performed on the roof of the newly-opened Roselands Shopping Centre in Sydney, followed by their second performance on the Channel 10 Sydney variety show Ten On The Town.

1967 - In the wake of Holt's disappearance, three senior members of the governing Liberal Party -- Government Whip Dudley Irwin, Minister for the Army Malcolm Fraser, and Senate Whip Malcolm Scott -- met in Parliament House, Canberra and decided to support Victorian senator and Education Minister John Grey Gorton for the leadership of the Party, and therefore the next Prime Minister.

1980 - Replica historical ornamental lamps were erected outside the Ballarat Town Hall.

1984 - Justice Lionel Murphy refuses to resign as a result of criminal proceedings being brought against him.


1994 - A replica of Captain James Cook’s ship ‘Endeavour’ arrived in Sydney to celebrate the ‘discovery’ in 1770 of the land in which Aboriginal people had lived for more than 60,000 years. Aboriginal protesters attached a banner to the fence of the Botanical Gardens reading ‘Don’t Forget White Australia has a Black History’.

1997 - The Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Senator John Herron, released the names of the 25 members of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation for the Council’s final three-year term, which ended on 31st December 2000. Senator Herron confirmed the appointment of Ms Evelyn Scott as Chairperson and Sir Gus Nossal as Deputy Chairperson of the Council.

1998 - The duplication of the Ron Camm Bridge was officially opened easing traffic congestion from South Mackay and North Mackay over the Pioneer River.

2003 - The Productivity Commission's draft report on housing affordability for first homebuyers is released and puts forward measures including the scrapping of stamp duties, as well as the means testing of the $7,000 First Home Owners Grant. The Productivity Commission concedes there's no quick fix for the big jump in house prices over the last few years.

2006 - An Australian court ruled that providing Web links to copyright-protected music is enough to make a site legally liable. The case created legal uncertainty for search engines around the world. The full bench of the Federal Court upheld a lower court ruling that Stephen Cooper, the operator of the Web site in question, as well as Comcen, the Internet service provider that hosted it, were guilty under Australian copyright law.

2006 - Peter Galvin received a shark bite to his left leg whilst he was surfing at Winki Pop, Bells Beach, Vic.

2007 - A male surfer suffered superficial lacerations from a shark bite whilst in the water at Jimmys Beach, NSW.

2007 - An official said Australian copper thieves have turned tomb raiders, pilfering plaques and vases from cemeteries to sell the metal for scrap.

2013 - The Federal Government unveils its $100 million assistance package to help Holden and the manufacturing industry.

2014 - In a deal with Senator Ricky Muir, the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison agreed to process the applications of babies born to asylum seeker mothers and their families on mainland Australia and not to return them to Nauru. This applies to all babies born before 4 December 2014, totalling 31 babies and their families.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

December 17 On This Day in Australian History


1794 – Acting Governor of New South Wales Francis Grose flounced away from New South Wales for England.

1803 - On his way to England on the Cumberland, Matthew Flinders was forced to stop at Mauritius after his ship sprung a leak. He arrived just three months after Nicholas Baudin arrived and died there, also on his way home after exploring the Australian coastline. Flinders refused an invitation by Governor Captain-General De Caen to dine with him. Insulted by the rejection, De Caen accused Flinders of violating neutrality by entering Mauritius without authority and placed him under house arrest. Flinders remained there until June 1810 when the British blockaded the island, and De Caen released him.

1825 - Gov Ralph Darling arrived at Port Jackson in the Catherine Stewart and took over the reins from Sir Thomas Brisbane as Governor (19th December).

1833 - First professional theatrical performance held in Hobart at the Freemasons Tavern. The performance was of the farce, The Married Bachelor.

1845 - After a gruelling journey of 4827km, Leichhardt reached Port Essington in Australia's north.

1858 - Being drowned out by the loud snores from the public gallery the Victorian Parliament passed "An Act To Shorten The Duration of The Legislative Assembly" inflicting members of the Legislative Assembly on the public for only 3 years instead of the original 5.
And we all partied...

1859 - James Boor, a shepherd, is credited with the discovery of copper minerals at Wallaroo, South Oz on this day.

1872 - The Education Act was passed by the Victorian Government setting up an Education Department and guaranteeing children 'free, secular and compulsory education'.


1875 - A new ironworks blast furnace at Lithgow, NSW, fired up for the first time.

1878 - The railway line from Stawell to Murtoa (Vic) was flung open.

1883 - The Everton to Myrtleford (Vic) line opened.

1884 - The Australian Geographical Society held its first meeting in Melbourne.

1889 - The Hastings to Stony Point (Vic) railway line opened.

1891 - The railway line from Korumburra to Leongatha (Vic) opened.


1901 - The Federal Pacific Islanders Act became law.

1917 - Even during a war they managed to fling open the Toolondo to Kanagulk Railway line (Vic).

1918 - The Darwin Rebellion took place, with 1000 demonstrators demanding the resignation of the Administrator of the Northern Territory, John A. Gilruth.

1922 - Electric train services commenced from Flinders St to Box Hill, from Hawthorn to Kew, from Burnley to Darling, Victoria.

1923 - The Kunama Beach Railway line (NSW) was opened.

1924 - The "any tougher and they'd rust" King Gee Clothing Company was founded in Sydney.

1927 – Batsman Bill Ponsford scores 437 for Victoria against Queensland at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

1930 - NSW Government attempted to rescue its crumbling hospital system by introducing Government-run lotteries.

1935 - Royal Commission on the payment of moneys by way of royalties in respect of the compilation, preparation, publication, or sale of text books prescribed, approved, suggested or recommended by the Education Department for use in schools in Victoria established.
The way they chop n change the text books I reckon they need another eyeballing!

1943 - A Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion was formed in 1941, primarily to protect Torres Strait. In late 1943 some of its men were sent to Dutch New Guinea; on 17 December 1943, a river patrol encountered two enemy barges and in the exchange of fire Lance-Corporal A. Barbouttis was killed and six others wounded.

1948 - The Federal Government began to assist the states in the care of the mentally ill.

1954 - RED LETTER DAY, fellow gunzels!!
Today Victoria Railways last steam loco, J 559, in its eye-catching livery of black with red began trundling up and down the rails of a grateful state.

1963 - The Cobar Railway Branch line (NSW) was opened.

1965 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had the right to vote in some states before 1901, but it was taken away or limited when the constitution was enacted.
In 1962, Indigenous people gain the right to vote in federal elections. Indigenous people around the country gain the same voting rights as other Australians when Queensland followed the other states and extended voting rights to all Indigenous people to vote in state elections on this day.


1967 - Harold Holt, Prime Minister and Leader of The People in The Island of Oz got distracted by a passing Chinese submarine holding a spa bath with several nekkid dugongs jellyfish and forgot to return to Cheviot Beach.

1971 - The cost of Australia's 24 F-111 fighter aircraft for the RAAF  increased by $10 million to $310 million on the price quoted eight years previously when the jets were first ordered. As yet, no aircraft had been delivered.

1975 - The High Court ruled in favour of the Federal Government's claim of ownership of the offshore waters around Australia and their wealth. The ruling settled a six state challenge that had been in dispute for five years.

1976 - The Rail Motor service from Ballart to Skipton (Vic) passenger service was kicked to the kerb.


1977 - The final issue of Central Coast Express, Gosford, NSW, as a daily.

1980 – Two gunmen kill Turkish Consul-General Mehmet Baydar in Sydney, the killers were never apprehended.

1982 - Random breath testing of motorists was introduced in New South Wales.

1983 - Federal Sex Discrimination Bill passed by the Senate.

1984 - Over 76,000 square kilometres of traditional MaralingaTjarutja Lands in western South Australia were returned to its Traditional Owners.. Concerns over radiological hazards prevented the handback of Section 400.

1987 - Federal Minister for Tourism, John Brown, resigns after admitting he misled Parliament over Expo 88 tenders.


1996 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Minister, Senator John Herron, today announced an overhaul of the Heritage Protection Act, designed to prevent another Hindmarsh Island saga. Under the changes, the Commonwealth Heritage Protection Act would be retained as an ‘Act of last resort’, to apply where State and Territory schemes do not meet national minimum standards, or where national interest considerations exist.

 1996 - Queensland Health Minister, Mike Horan, announced on this day that the State Government would advertise across Queensland immediately to fill the membership of Queensland’s new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council.

2008 - Australian Aborigines won a court fight against Anglo-Swiss mining giant Xstrata's plans to divert a river and expand one of the world's biggest zinc mines.

2008 - Tasmanin -  melythina tiakana warana (Heart of Country) Aboriginal Corporation (mtwAC) first meeting of was held on this day. The inaugural Board of Directors elected at this meeting were:
Auntie Patsy Cameron
Auntie Vicki Matson-Green
Uncle Ronnie Summers
Auntie Dyan Summers
Jo Cameron
Tarni Matson

2008 - Two Australian women were killed when their light aircraft slammed into a suburban house in Sydney after a mid-air collision between two flying school planes.

2011 - An overcrowded ship of asylum seekers sank off the island of Java. Indonesian rescuers battled high waves as they searched for survivors. Nearly 250 people fleeing economic and political hardship in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Turkey were trying to reach Australia in search of a better life when their fiberglass ship broke apart. Only 47 people survived.

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'.
Pfft!

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.

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