Macassan trepangers visited Australia's northern coasts after 1720, possibly earlier.
Other European explorers followed until, in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook charted the east coast of Australia for Great Britain.
He returned to London with accounts favouring colonisation at Botany Bay (now in Sydney). The First Fleet of British ships arrived at Botany Bay in January 1788 to establish a penal colony, the first colony on the Australian mainland.
The colonies voted by referendum to unite in a federation in 1901, and modern Australia came into being.
Supported by immigration of people from almost every country in the world since the end of World War II, the population increased to more than 25.5 million by 2020, with 30 per cent of the population born overseas. ==Aboriginal Australia== === Indigenous prehistory === Indigenous Australians are believed to have arrived in Australia 50,000 to 65,000 years ago.
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Page generated on 2021-08-05