Tuesday, 25 January 2011
On this day in 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip planted a flag in the ground in what we now know as Sydney and claimed British possession of the continent of Australia. Had Phillip not been unhappy with Joseph Banks' recommendation of Botany Bay as the spot to land, it would have been a few days earlier. Even as a kid I imagined Phillip's face, shaking his fist as he realised its unsuitability for settlement. 'Banks, you bastard!' and Banks, upon finding out, giggling behind his hand. 'Suckers!'
Australia remained a colony (or group of colonies) for another 113 years, becoming a nation on January 1, 1901.
1500 people, 223 years ago. Now a thriving, prosperous nation of nearly 22 million, with people from all over the globe, Australia is a shining example of pluralism, tolerance and democracy. (Read on...)