1786 - The decision was made in England to colonise New South Wales with convicts from Britain's overcrowded gaols.
1791 - Lieutenant Bowen, in the Atlantic, entered and named Jervis Bay.
1832 - Savings Bank of New South Wales commenced trading as a public concern by act of parliament.
1846 - Alexander Berry's ship Coolangatta was wrecked on the coast south of Moreton Bay. The locality today bears the ship's name.
1854 - Panic hit Melbourne as fireworks over Port Phillip are mistaken as the first shots fired in Russia's invasion of the town. The fireworks were in fact advice from the migrant ship, SS Great Britain, to indicate its discharge from quarantine in consequence to several cases of smallpox on board.
1855 - Sydney stonemasons win 8-hour day, (6-day week) followed by Melbourne stonemasons on 21 April 1856.
1864 - First sod turned on Enoggera Dam, Brisbane.
1873 - The Violet Town to Benalla (Vic) rail line opened.
1881 - The NSW Government passed an act forbidding the ring-barking of trees.
1883 - Roger William Bede Vaughan, 2nd Archbisop of Sydney, dropped off the twig today.
1913 - The imposing facade of The Public Library of Western Australia, known as Hackett Hall after Sir John Winthrop Hackett, opened on this day.
1915 - The Federal Government took over income tax from states.
1936 - All-Australian Amateur Football Carnival, held under the auspices of the A.A.F.C. The honour of hosting the carnival went to South Australia which was celebrating the 25th year of the S.A.A.F.L. and a due reward to Secretary Hugh Millard who had been a driving force in establishing interstate football for the amateurs.
1948 - The Australian cricket team completed a 4-0 Ashes series win over England during their undefeated Invincibles tour.
1966 – Vietnam War: the Battle of Long Tan ensued after a patrol from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment clashed with a Viet Cong force in Phước Tuy Province.
1969 - At an informal gathering of well known deerhunters in Ringwood Victoria, a proposal by the Sporting Shooters Association to form a deer hunting association was discussed.
1969 - Mick Jagger nearly had his hand blown off when an old gun backfired during the filming the movie Ned Kelly in Australia.
1971 – Vietnam War: Australia and New Zealand decided to withdraw their troops from Vietnam.
1973 - The NSW Liberal Party State Council voted in favour of homosexual law reform.
1973 - Sydney Gay Liberation moved into 33a Glebe Point Road.
1976 - The State Opera of South Australia commenced its inaugural season with 'La Boheme' in a charity performance attended by Queen Elizabeth II.
1983 – Douglas Crabbe rammed his 25 ton Mack truck through a hotel wall in Yulara, Northern Territory, killing five people.
1986 – Janine Haines became the leader of the Australian Democrats and Australia’s first female party leader.
1987 - The Lesbian Space Collective, a group of women aiming to create a multi-purpose lesbian space, appealed for donations.
1994 - The Northern Territory's controversial new parliament house was opened by the Governor-General Bill Hayden.
1996 - A National Camp-in Protest in Canberra at Old Parliament House commenced on this day. People representing all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations were requested to be prepared to stay for Tuesday—Budget day. ATSIC Board of Commissioners expressed fears that the government budget cuts would effectively spell the end of ATSIC and most community programs and organisations that AT-SIC funds.
1997 - Aboriginal activist Burnum Burnum died, age 61.
1997 - Mining companies including North Ltd and WMC Ltd agreed with Aboriginal groups on a blueprint to pave the way for mining exploration in the far western reaches of South Australia. North Ltd was one of fourteen mining companies involved in ongoing negotiations in a bid to streamline dealings with Aboriginal communities.
2001 - Clare Martin led the Labor party when it won government for the first time in Territory history on this day with a one-seat majority – of Aboriginal candidate Matthew Bonson. Other Aboriginal candidates also elected for the first time – Marion Scrymgour and Elliot McAdam – joined John Ah Kit in the imposing Territory parliament.
2003 - Queensland ATSIC commissioner Lionel Quartermaine was elected deputy and acting chairman of Australia’s peak Indigenous body.