COLONIAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS ‘THE FOREIGNER’ IN THE EARLIER YEARS OF SETTLEMENT IN AUSTRALIA

Australia is a nation of migrants. Before the days of settlement Australia had a reputation of being a ‘land of great opportunity.’ First owners had a connection with the land that was recognised and highly respected by early explorers. It was inevitable, however, that untapped resources and Australia’s vast ‘available’ land masses would one day become attractive to nations seeking to expand their influence in the world. During a time when much of Europe was distracted, the British set sail with the intention of claiming territories for themselves. Many followed them, making Australia the successful multicultural, multi-faith nation she is today

The following is an interactive historical timeline that invites you to explore this topic further


SOUNDBITE:   Audio file entitled: “Our past informs our future; a background exploration”  


 PDF transcript

 
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1791 - 6 SEPTEMBER

The Irish arrive in Sydney

The first ship to sail directly from Ireland to Port Jackson, carrying convicts under sentence of transportation was the Queen. ,  Most offenders were petty criminals from Dublin and Cork. Some were members of a rural Roman Catholic secret society called the Defenders.


Defenders were a rural Roman Catholic secret society who rose up against Protestant trouble makers, the Peep o' Day Boys when authorities failed to protect them from persecution.

 
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1787  BLACK CAESAR

The Negro convict who became Australia’s first Bushranger

John Caesar, known as ‘Black Caesar,’ escaped plantation slavery in the West Indies for freedom in England, where he became a servant in the parish of St. Paul, Deptford. After being accused of theft he was transported for seven years. His ship arrived in Botany Bay at the same time as the First Fleet in January 1787.


Caesar was respected by authorities for being a conscientious labourer. He was also famously stubborn, laughing in the face of death and incredibly resourceful.

 
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1796 BILLY BLUE

Convict, Settler and Ferryman

William (Billy) Blue (c.1767?-1834), was born possibly in Jamaica, New York City. He later claimed to have served with the British army in the American war of independence. In 1796, lived in Deptford, London, and worked as a chocolate-maker and a lumper (labourer) in ships in the River Thames. On 4 October that year at Maidstone, Kent, Blue was convicted of stealing raw sugar—presumably intended for confectionery making—and sentenced to seven years transportation

Australian Dictionary of Biography

 
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1860 - JUNE

Afghan and Pakistani Cameleers

From 1860, 20,000 camels and their handlers from Afghanistan and Pakistan were shipped to Australia.


On 9 June 1860, 24 camels and three cameleers arrived at Port Melbourne, to join the pioneering Burke and Wills expedition.

Australia's Muslim Cameleers
Australian Geographic
February 2010

 
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1861

German Settlers

Germans had been part of Australian settler communities since the first ships arrived but began migrating in larger numbers from 1838. Some came at the invitation of the British, as vineyard workers, some fled religious persecution, some with gold fever hoping for riches. They were the largest non-British group in Victoria: 10,000 strong in 1861.

Origins

Museums Victoria website

 
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1861- JUNE

Chinese Gold Seekers

The worst violence against Chinese miners was in central New South Wales. European diggers were incensed by the Chinese and their apparent wastage of water when extracting gold.


Six anti-Chinese riots occurred at the Lambing Flat camps over a period of 10 months. The most serious riot occurred on 14 July 1861 when approximately 2000 European diggers attacked the Chinese miners.

National Museum Australia

 
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HOBSON'S BAY, MELBOURNE, ONE HUMP OR TWO

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afghan-cameleers-1980-689x500.jpg

1860 - JUNE

Afghan and Pakistani Cameleers

From 1860, 20,000 camels and their handlers from Afghanistan and Pakistan were shipped to Australia.


On 9 June 1860, 24 camels and three cameleers arrived at Port Melbourne, to join the pioneering Burke and Wills expedition.

Australia's Muslim Cameleers
Australian Geographic
February 2010

 
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TEAM MEMBER

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