MISCELLANY

Firsts
Australia Crest

As opposed to thirsts - see the Aussie Beer page.

The first of the 21 Ring-Ins in "Dinkum Aussies" can be found in this page.

The first recorded visit by a European to Australia was when Dutchman William Jansz landed at Gulf of Carpentaria in 1606.

The first recorded visit by a European to Western Australia was when Dutchman Dirk Hartog landed on an island off the coast in 1616.

The Tryal is believed to be the first English ship to sight the shores of Australia, in 1622.

On May 13th, 1787, the First Fleet of some 11 ships and more than 700 convicts, under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, left Plymouth, England heading for Australia and the soon to be dreaded name, Botany Bay.

On the 11th February, 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip convened the first sitting of the Court of Criminal Judicature in Australia.

Convicted thief Thomas Barrett was the first criminal to be sentenced to death in the fledgling colony of NSW on 27th February, 1788, barely a month after the arrival of the First Fleet.

Australia's first public holiday was the celebration of the birthday of King George 111 on June 4th, 1788.

Australia's first export, coal to Bengal, was made in 1799.

On 22nd February, 1791, James Ruse received the first land grant in NSW, effectively making him the only self supporting farmer in the fledgling colony.

Victoria's first vegetables and wheat were grown on Churchill Island in 1801.

Governor King founded The Sydney and NSW Advertiser, the colony's first weekly newspaper on 5th March, 1803.

In April, 1810, the first recorded horse race in Australia took place at Parramatta.

The colony's first coinage was introduced by Lachlan Macquarie when he introduced the Holey dollar simply by punching out the centres of Spanish dollars. The centre became another coin known as a dump.

Governor Macquarie opened Australia's first bank, the Bank of NSW (later Westpac), at Macquarie Place on April 8th, 1817.

Our sunburnt country was first called Australia by NSW Governor Lachlan Macquarie on 21st December, 1817, replacing the old name of New Holland.

Australia's first biography was written in 1818 and was about the life of Michael Howe. It was called Michael Howe, The Last And Worst Of The Bushrangers Of Van Diemen's Land.

The first person naturalised as a British subject in Australia was American businessman Timothy G Pitman of Boston in 1825.

In 1828 was the first bank robbery in Australia with thieves taking about 20,000 from John Macarthur's bank. The thieves were never caught.

In 1829 the colony had its first strike when compositors on The Australian stopped work.

Blacktrackers were used for the first time in 1834 to find a lost boy near Fremantle, Western Australia.

Australia's first zoo was established at Sydney's Hyde Park in 1849.

The Secret Ballot was first used in Victoria in 1856.

Australia's first hot-air ascent was made on 1st February, 1858, by Englishman William Dean and his balloon Australasian from Cremorne Gardens in Melbourne.

Australia's first art gallery was opened on 24th December, 1864, in Melbourne. It is now known as the National Gallery of Victoria.

Australia's first zoological gardens were established at Melbourne's Royal Park in 1862.

On April 14th, 1879, the first person to use a parachute was Henri L'Estrange who jumped from a balloon which had burst over Melbourne. He even wore his brown corduroys.

In March 1887 Australia won the first Test against the English cricket team. At the MCG Oz won by 45 runs.

In 1887 Australia's first telephone exchange was opened, in Melbourne.

On December 8th, 1888, J T Williams, a 22 year old watchmaker, made Australia's first parachute descent when he jumped from a balloon 5,000 feet (1,700 metres) above Homebush in Sydney. Homebush is the site of the Olympic Stadium for the Games in 2000.

On December 22nd, 1888 The Bulletin magazine published the first short story by Henry Lawson. It was called His Father's Mate and brought out the humanity in Lawson's writing.

The first appendix operation was performed on March 1st, 1893, on a woman in Toowoomba, Queensland. The surgeon was Mr. Russell Nolan. The patient, who had been close to death, was still alive 51 years later.

Australia's first heavier than air flight was on November 12th, 1894, when Lawrence Hargrave took off from the beach at Stanwell Park, NSW, in a structure made of 4 box kites tied together. Despite only being lifted 5 metres off the ground, the aerodynamic principles he uncovered were used in the manufacture of wings for planes being made in USA and Europe.

The song Waltzing Matilda was first performed in Winton, Queensland in 1895.

Australia's first short film was of the Melbourne Cup won by Auraria in 1895.

The first ambulance service began in Brisbane in 1896. The horse and sulky team was later replaced by motor vehicles in 1908.

The first Australian Olympic gold was won by runner Edwin Flack at the first of the modern Games in Athens, 1896. After winning the 800 metres and 1,500 metres he was given an olive wreath to mark his victories as medals hadn't come into play as yet. He was also mistakenly given an Austrian flag.

On May 18th, 1901, as the Royal Yacht sailed into Sydney Harbour, the first radio transmission was made in Australia.

The Australian flag, incorporating the Southern Cross and the Union Jack, was flown for the first time over the Melbourne Exhibition building on 3rd September, 1901.

Launceston stationer J A Birchall in 1902 came up with the bright idea to glue several loose pages of paper together to avoid the writer having to carry loose sheets of paper around the place - and so we had the first Writing Pad.

On May 5th, 1906, the first electric trams operated in Melbourne along a section of track between St. Kilda and Brighton.

The first feature film in the world was made in the bush near Melbourne and shown to enthusiastic crowds in Melbourne Town Hall in December, 1906. The film was The Story Of The Kelly Gang and was over an hour long as compared to the 10 minute flicks being churned out in America.

On 23rd December, 1906, the first lifesaving reel was demonstrated at Bondi Beach. The reel was invented by the local lifesaving club captain, Lyster Ormsby.

Silver coins were first minted in Australia in 1910.

Copper coins were first minted in Australia in 1911.

The first British monarch to feature on an Australian Commonwealth postage stamp was King George V in 1913.

The first shot fired by Forces of the British Empire in World War 1 was Australian. In 1914, an artillery shell was fired at a German vessel from Fort Nepean as the ship tried to escape.

Lieutenant George Finnock Merz was killed by Arabs after his plane landed with engine trouble in Mesopotamia. He was Australia's first military pilot.

Australia's first surfboard was made in 1915 in a Sydney timberyard from sugarpine. Visiting Hawaiian swimming champion Duke Kahanamoku had told his fans about riding the waves on a wooden plank and drew a sketch of the board. When the shape was cut to size the Duke finished it by hand and then proceeded to demonstrate his skills on the board at Freshwater beach. The board is on display at Freshwater Surf Lifesaving Club.

Darrell Lea chocolates were first sold from a Manly Beach shop in the 1920s by Harry and Ester Lea.

The first Qantas plane, an Avro 504K, was used by Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service on November 2nd, 1922 for the first scheduled flight between Charleville and Cloncurry.

Victoria's first radio station, 3AR in Melbourne, began broadcasting on 26th January, 1924. It was estimated 160,000 people listened to La Boheme with Dame Nellie Melba.

In 1924 A. W. "Nick" Winter won Australia's first Olympic Games field gold medal when he won the hop, skip and jump (now the triple jump).

The first Ford motor car, a Model T, was made in Geelong in 1926.

The first Miss Australia was won on June 26th, 1926 by Beryl Mills.

On 22nd February, 1928, Lieutenant Bert Hinkler arrived in Darwin in his Avro Avian plane after the first solo flight from England to Australia which took over 15 days.

In 1930 the first Australian antivenin was developed to counteract venom from the tiger snake.

The first Australian talking feature film was Showgirl's Luck in 1931.

Australia's first major air crash was in 1931 involving the Southern Cloud.

Australia's first "girlie" magazine was Man, launched in 1936.

The first shot fired by Forces of the British Empire in World War 11 was also Australian. In 1939, an artillery shell was fired at an unidentified vessel from Fort Nepean.

The first Japanese attack on Australia was on Darwin on 19th February, 1942, when an air-raid killed 243 people and destroyed 8 ships and 23 aircraft.

The first Platypus reared in captivity was in 1943 by David Fleay.

The first ballpoint pen was brought to Australia in 1946.

In 1946, March 30th, Australia played New Zealand in the first official Test cricket match between the two countries in Wellington, Windy City. Australia won easily.

Florence Cardell-Oliver became the first woman to hold a cabinet post when on April 1st, 1947, she was appointed minister without portfolio in the Liberal-Country League government.

On 29th November, 1948, the first mass-produced car in Australia , model 48-215 and later to be called the FX, came off the production line at the Holden factory at Fishermens Bend in Port Melbourne to be greeted by Prime Minister, Ben Chifley.

In 1952, Mervyn Victor Richardson made the first lightweight petrol driven lawnmower in his home at Brays Road, Concord, Sydney.

In 1955 Hobart is the first Australian city to introduce parking meters.

Australia's first motel opens in Canberra in 1955.

The world's first milk bar opened in Sydny in 1955.

On 28th April, 1955, the Prime Minister, Mr. Menzies, opened the first power station in the Snowy Mountains Scheme at Guthega.

Victoria Shaw was one of the first Australian actresses to appear in a Hollywood movie when she was in The Eddie Duchin Story in 1956. She was formerly known as the model Jeanette Elphick.

"Hello, welcome to television". These immortal words were said by Bruce Gyngell on September 16th, 1956, when Channel 9 transmitted the first night of commercial television from a hall in Surry Hills, Sydney.

On 14th December, 1960, the first Test between theWest Indies and Australia played at the Gabba, Brisbane, finished in a tie, the first tied Test in the history of cricket.

In 1965 Geelong was the first Victorian city, outside Melbourne, to reach a population of over 100,000 people.

In November 1965, Renmark winemaker Angove's launched the first Wine Cask on the national marketplace. The wine-in-a-box took 2 years to develop and the invention of the cask is attributed to now Angove's chairman, Tom Angove - see Inventions category.

On 26th January, 1966, Annabelle Rankin became the first woman to hold a portfolio in Federal Parliament when she was appointed to Harold Holt's government.

On 24th May,1966, Private Errol Wayne Noack was the first Australian conscript to be killed in the Vietnam war.

In October 1966 the last Aussie pre-decimal currency postage stamp was issued. The 5d. stamp depicted a Christmas nativity scene.

In 1966, the first victim of Australia's first political assassination attempt was ALP leader Arthur Calwell.

In 1975, colour television broadcast in Australia for the first time.

On 28th April, 1976, the first boat people from Vietnam arrived in Darwin.

In 1979 the first mainland Australia casino opened in Darwin.

SBS first broadcast in 1980.

In 1982 the Mint issued the first $10 commemorative coin to celebrate the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.

In November 1982, the first case of AIDS in Australia was diagnosed.

On December 17th, 1982 random breath tests for drivers are introduced in NSW for the first time, announced by Police Minister George Paciullo.

On May 14th, 1984, the first $1 coins were minted and put into circulation, replacing $1 notes. $2 coins replacing $2 notes were issued at a later date.

In 1984 then Treasurer Paul Keating delivered the first televised budget session in Parliament.

In 1985 Sallyanne Atkinson became Brisbane's first woman Lord Mayor.

On the 9th February, 1986, the Anglican Church in Australia ordained the first eight women deacons in Melbourne.

In 1992 the first womed priests were ordained.

In 1988 Alexandra Hasluck was the first Dame created under the new Order of Australia.

The world's first plastic banknote was the Australian $10 note released in 1988.

Kylie Minogue was first seen on British TV when she appeared in the Oz soapie The Henderson Kids in 1989.

On February 12th, 1990, Carmen Lawrence became Australia's first woman Premier when she replaced Peter Dowding as Premier of Western Australia.

On July 21st, 1998, Lisa Keightley, aged 26, was the first woman to score a century at Lords. The Oz lass scored 113 not out from 140 deliveries.

Sydney's first Lord Mayor was Sir Thomas Hughes.


Copyright © Dinkum Aussies 1999 All Rights Reserved,
feedback to Webmaster