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New South WalesSouth AustraliaQueenslandNorthern TerritoryWestern AustraliaVictoriaTasmaniaMap with States of Australia.png
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Contents

Getting started with Australian research

The first Europeans began exploration of the Australian continent in the 17th century. Dutch explorer Willem Janszoom landed in the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1606 and mapped some of the coastline. Later on Abel Tasman in 1642 reached Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and in 1644 with three ships (Limmen, Zeemeeuw & Braek) he mapped the north coast of Australia. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James Cook took possession in the name of Great Britain. Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II. In recent decades, Australia has transformed itself into an internationally competitive, advanced market economy.

Jurisdictions

The States and Territories of Australia include:
Australian Flag.jpg

Resources

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Featured Content

Did you know

  • Convicts were transported from Ireland to Australia starting in 1788. The National Archives of Ireland holds a wide range of records about this. The Ireland-Australia Transportation database is compiled from such records as the transportation registers, convict reference files and petitions to government for pardon or commutation of sentence. The database is not complete for every convict.
  • The Australians in the Boer War (Oz-Boer) Database Project is a free online search aid to help you identify books, journals, webpages and other ephemera dealing with individual Australian soldiers and nurses involved in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).
  • The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra, Australia, is publishing South African Graves, a database of burial and memorial locations of Australians who died during the second South African Anglo-Boer War, 1899 – 1902.

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