1789 The first police force in NSW was formed. From the beginnings of the Colony the Royal Marines were meant to undertake the policing role but they proved disinclined to police errant convicts. Therefore Governor Phillip established a civilian police force made up of 12 well-behaved convicts.
1802 - Explorer Matthew Flinders discovered Port Curtis in Queensland, now the site of Gladstone, (QLD).
1814 - Two Darug men joined William Cox’s gang building the first road across the Blue Mountains. Cox wrote in his journal:
‘Timber and brush very thick from the ninth to tenth mile... Two natives from Richmond joined us; one shot a Kangaroo’.
1851 - Twas a Fabulous Friday when Gold was first discovered at Buninyong in Victoria.
1881 - Two months to the day after it had been opened, Gladstone Gaol (S.A) received its first female prisoners. It appears that it rarely had a full complement and the only ‘lifer’ was a cat called Lady Jane Grey.
1895 – The steamship SS Catterthun struck Seal Rocks, New South Wales, and foundered, killing 55 persons.
1900 - New South Wales and Victorian contingent sail for China to assist in quelling the Boxer Rebellion.
1909 - St. Mary MacKillop, Australian nun, co-founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and and spent her life educating the poor and taking learning to the harsh Outback, dropped off the twig.
1913 - The Gheringhap to Maroona (Vic) rail line opened.
1914 – Enlistment for World War I began.
1916 - Battle for Mouquet Farm began; Mouquet Farm, near Pozieres, was the focus of nine separate attacks by Australian troops between 8 August and 3 September 1916. Some 11,000 Australians were killed or wounded in the fighting around Mouquet Farm.
1918 - Battle of Amiens: Australian troops spearheaded the offensive against Hindenburg Line: the "black day of the German Army", the Germans suffered 27,000 casualties and 450 of their guns were captured.
1952 - Death of Dave Sands, the Empire middleweight boxing champion, in a road accident. Born to Aboriginal parents at Burnt Bridge, near Kempsey NSW, Dave was one of the famous fighting Sands brothers whose real family name was Ritchie. The 26-year-old held the Australian heavyweight, light heavyweight and middleweight titles.
1959 - Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira died of a heart attack in the Alice Springs Hospital aged 57. Albert Namatjira was one of Australia’s great artists, and perhaps the best known Aboriginal painter. His western style landscapes – so different to traditional Aboriginal art of the time—made him famous. Albert Namatjira’s first exhibition, held in Melbourne in 1938, sold out. Exhibitions in Adelaide and Sydney drew similar enthusiasm.
1968 - Following the sudden death of aging premier Jack Pizzey, Kingaroy peanut farmer Johannes Bjelke Petersen was elected unopposed as the new Country Party leader, thus becoming the new Queensland Premier.
1972 - Street theatre protests were staged at the University of NSW against aversion therapy.
1972 - 355 million year-old fossil reptile footprints were found at Mallacoota in Victoria.
1972 - The Melbourne to Mildura overnight sleeping train was named "The Vinelander".
1973 – Landscape designer Edna Walling died.
1987 - 30 members and supporters of the Enola Gay Group took part in the 1987 Hiroshima Day March.
1987 - NRL player Willie Tonga North Queensland Cowboys was born.
1995 - NSW employers were obliged by law to eliminate discriminatory provisions in partner benefits in all awards and agreements.
2000 - The launch in Townsville of ‘Women Reconcile’, a book that brings together 18 very different lives. The book was launched on the eve of World Indigenous Peoples Day.
2002 - Australia's highest court ruled that Aborigines do not have rights to oil or minerals found under tribal land now being used by mining companies.
2002 - The Chinese government awarded an Australian consortium a 25-year natural gas supply contract in Australia's biggest-ever foreign trade deal.
2002 - ATSIC said the High Court decision handed down on the Miriuwung-Gajerrong native title claim pointed to the unworkability of the native title regime, and to the clear need for a new way to determine native title on pastoral leases.
2003 - A new report found Aboriginal women were the single fastest growing group of prisoners in New South Wales, making up 31 per cent of all women in jail.
2003 - After a five-year journey across Australia documenting the stories of Aboriginal people and promoting reconciliation, Brisbane film-maker Michael Butler returned to the Queensland Museum.
2004 - Tasmanian governor Richard Butler resigned at the request the premier, who agreed to pay "compensation" of $600,000 in lost salary.
2006 - Clair Martin appointed a Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, co-chaired by Patricia Anderson and Rex Wild, to find better ways to protect Aboriginal children from sexual abuse.
2012 - Australia won 3 gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics ; Sally Pearson won a gold in the Women’s 100m Hurdles, Anna Meares won gold in the Women’s Sprint Cycling, and Nathan Outteridge & Iain Jensen won gold in the 49er skiff race