Australian Historical Events in December

Australian Historical Events is a daily guide to the important events that shaped Australia to what it is today. It is a compilation of significant events for the month of December including the birth and death of famous Australians as well as laws promulgated by authorities. The list is constantly updated to incorporate the most recent events.

Australian Historical Events in December

Day Year Event
3 1825 Van Diemen’s Land (Now Tasmania) became an independent colony from New South Wales with an appointed Executive Council.
6 1988 The Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 was enacted to create a government for the Australian Capital Territory that is separate from the Commonwealth government.
8 1956 Closing day of the Melbourne Summer Olympics.
8 1977 Sir Zelman Cowen begins his term as the 19th Governor-General of Australia.
10 1797 Explorer George Bass entered the Jervis Bay in New South Wales and named Bowen Island.
10 1831 The first railway in Australia was opened in Newcastle, New South Wales.
10 1859 Queensland was separated from New South Wales with Sir George Ferguson Bowen as its first governor and Brisbane chosen as the capital.
10 1919 Captain Ross Smith and his crew landed in Darwin and won a £10,000 Prize from the Australian Government for completing the first flight from London to Australia in under thirty days.
14 1908 The Seat of Government Act 1908 was enacted selecting the Yass-Queanbeyan region in New South Wales as the site for Canberra, the new capital city of Australia.
15 1953 Birth: Susan Lines, president of the Australian Senate.
17 1918 Darwin in the Northern Territory was hit with political unrest in what is known as the Darwin Rebellion. Trade union members marched towards Government House demanding the resignation of then Administrator of the Northern Territory John Gilruth and burning his effigy.
18 1894 The Constitutional Amendment (Adult Suffrage) Act 1894 was enacted by the Parliament of South Australia to include women’s suffrage.
25 1643 Captain William Mynors of the Royal Mary, an English East India Company vessel, named the Christmas Island when he sailed past it on Christmas Day.
25 1974 Darwin was struck by Cyclone Tracy, killing 71 people and destroying over 70% of the city’s buildings, including many old stone buildings such as the Palmerston Town Hall.
28 1836 South Australia was proclaimed as a British province by Captain John Hindmarsh after the British Parliament passed the South Australia Act, which empowered King William IV to create South Australia as a British province and to provide for its colonisation and government.
28 1989 Newcastle in New South Wales experienced an earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale, killing 13 people, injuring 160 and destroying a number of prominent buildings.

RELATED: Australian Events in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

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