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On This Day



On This Day… The British Arrived In Australia

Written by: George Chittenden : 30 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 26th January, back in 1788 when the British officially arrived in Australia. Captain Arthur Phillip initially arrived with a fleet of eleven British ships carrying over a thousand settlers, including 700 convicts on the 18th January at Botany Bay, however within days the fleet moved to the more suitable Port Jackson. On the 26th the Commander of the First Fleet rowed ashore at Sydney Cove, raised the Union flag and proclaimed British sovereignty.

The journey there lasted eight months and claimed the lives of thirty men. The Captain had been commissioned to establish an agricultural work camp for British convicts. It was a difficult task and for several years the colony struggled. The convicts struggled farming and the colony was on the verge of outright starvation for the first few years.

Eventually towards the end of the 18th century the colony started to prosper, and the men started to celebrate January 26th as their founding day. Nowadays it’s a national holiday across the country known as Australia Day, a celebration for the founding of white British settlement, but for Aborigines it’s a day of mourning. They consider it to be the day they were invaded, and white colonisation began spreading across their land.

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