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 Sydney (Australia)

World > Oceanic (Australia & New Zealand) > Australia >Sydney Information


History of Sydney

Lt Cook (he became a Captain later) first arrived at Botany Bay on April 29, 1770. It was not until the 13th May 1787, that Captain Arthur Phillip left England with eleven ships filled principally with soldiers and convicts. He landed successfully at Botany Bay on 18th January 1788, but found the position too exposed and moved to Port Jackson, a few kilometres further north, and established a new settlement there on 26th January 1788.

The original aboriginal name of the area was Warrane but was to become Sydney and the new colony New South Wales, being named after Lord Sydney, the British Secretary of State for Home Affairs, who had authorised the colonisation scheme.

The discovery of valuable land west of the Great Dividing Range led to the early prosperity. By 1842 with the arrival of continuing convicts and free settlers, numbers had grown to 30,000. In 1848 the British Government stopped the policy of sending convicts. The flow of immigrants continued as rural people escaped the poverty of Britain. It was in the 1800's that large scale development started and the Victorian architecture spread, going up the hill from the harbour.

The 1930's were hard for Sydney but it was a time of celebration with the completion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in March 1932. The construction provided a living for many and had the nickname ‘Iron Lung' due to the fact that it saved so many from starvation with the earnings workers made.

During the Second World War, Sydney was considered a target by the Japanese. That led to the deployment of large numbers of US troops in the city. Three Japanese submarines did manage to enter the harbour causing small damage. Mass migration followed the ending of the war and migration continues to this day. The mix of immigrants who changed over the years now provide Sydney with its very mixed and rich culture.

The grandest building in Sydney, the Opera House was opened in 1973 after many years construction. In 2000 the very successful Olympic Games promoted Sydney to the world. Now Sydney continues to develop as a major world city with growing confidence and strength, helping power the thriving Australian economy.


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