Timeline results for 1770 to 1899

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Year from 1770, year to 1899

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  1. The Parramatta Girls Home opens (also known as the Industrial School for Girls, Girls Training School and Girls Training Home). Closing in 1974, it became Australia’s longest operating state-controlled child welfare institution, located in Parramatta, NSW. The population of the girls home includes many Aboriginal girls, mostly those who belong to the Stolen Generations.


  1. The phrase ‘White Australia Policy’ appears in William Lane’s Boomerang newspaper in Brisbane.

  2. Aboriginal population reduced by 220,000 Australia-wide to an estimated 80,000.


  1. A judgement of the Lords of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council finds that New South Wales, at the time of the arrival of the British, was in fact "a tract of territory practically unoccupied, without settled inhabitants or settled law" and that it was "peacefully annexed". The ruling goes on to become the skeleton of Australian law with no court daring to rule against it.


  1. Jandamarra, an Aboriginal resistance fighter, declares war on European invaders in the West Kimberley and prevents settlement for six years.

  2. For eight years the Western Australian conflict rages in Western Australia.


  1. In an amendment to the Constitution Act 1889 Western Australia extends voting rights to include all British male subjects over the age of 21, but not Aboriginal males.


  1. All adult females in South Australia, including Aboriginal females, win the right to vote.


  1. Under the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897 (and subsequent laws until the 1970s), the Queensland government controls the wages and savings of Aboriginal Queenslanders working under these acts.

  2. Jandamarra, Kimberley’s resistance fighter, is shot and 19 former Aboriginal prisoners, whom he had freed and were fighting with him, are also shot and killed.

  3. The Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act (Qld) allows the ‘Chief Protector’ to remove local Aboriginal people onto and between reserves and hold children in dormitories. From 1939 until 1971 this power is held by the Director of Native Welfare; the Director is the legal guardian of all Aboriginal children, whether or not their parents are living, until 1965. The legislation is subsequently imitated by South Australia and the Northern Territory. Under the legislation, Aboriginal people are effectively confined to reserves and banned from towns. Reserves are administered by government agencies or missionaries and every aspect of life is controlled, including the right to marry, guardianship of children, the right to work outside reserves and management of assets.


  1. Cyclone Mahina passes over Bathurst Bay, Cape York, far north Queensland, destroys more than 70 pearl luggers and kills 12 white men and more than 300 Torres Strait Islander people who were working on them. The novel The Devil’s Eye by Ian Townsend details the devastation which was “greater than Hurricane Katrina”. The storm remains the biggest natural disaster in Australian history.


View article sources (2)

[1] Cooper v Stuart (1889) 14 App Cas 286, 291 (Lord Watson), available at www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKPC/1889/1889_16.html, retrieved 8/9/2019
[2] 'In our land not yet won, who are we Australians?', SMH 26/1/2019

Cite this page

Korff, J 2024, Timeline results for 1770 to 1899, <https://stage.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=6&q=&category=any&yearFrom=1770&yearTo=1899>, retrieved 1 March 2024

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