|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.