Friday, May 11, 2018

May 11 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

1806 - The Sydney Gazette reported ;
"...accounts were received from Hunter’s River, stating the total loss of the fine colonial schooner Governor King, of which we last week made mention. The person who brought in the first accounts of her loss came away very shortly after she struck, in order to obtain timely assistance from the owners, if any service could be rendered; but in the course of a few hours from the time he left her she went to pieces, and by the next morning fragments of the wreck were scattered along the shore for several miles. Great part of her freight of pork has been saved, but little else, except about two ton out of 12 ton of iron taken in at Dusky Bay in lieu of ballast picked up from the wreck of the Endeavour."

1813 - Gregory Blaxland set out with William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth on an exploring expedition across the Blue Mountains.

1815 - William Henry Moore was admitted to the courts as the first free solicitor in the colony.

1816 - The very first issue of the Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter was published. Though 1 June is usually recognized as the date of its first issue, a rare earlier number dated Saturday, 11 May 1816, is described as 'volume the third number 158' and bore the normal heading 'Published by Authority'.

1821 - The Father of the Australian press, George Howe, printer, editor, publisher and poet, died aged just 51.

1825 - George Spencer, Lewis Collins and other convicts played pirate and escaped from Newcastle in the cutter Eclipse.

1827 - Private examination took place at the Police Office at Sydney in the case of Lieutenant Lowe who was accused of originating the death of a black native 'at Newcastle.. Lieut. Lowe is a gentleman universally esteemed for his mildness and humanity and he had great difficulty to encounter from the hostile and ferocious conduct of the blacks at the time the transaction is said to have taken place'

1835 - Patrick Kilmartin was hanged at Sydney for the murder of James Hamilton.

1836 - Joseph Free was hanged at Sydney for the murder of Edward Brown at Invermein.

1859 - John Arrow was hanged at Bathurst for the murder of Catherine Leary at Summer Hill Creek, Orange.

1859 - Thomas Ryan (alias William Martin) was hanged at Bathurst for the rape of Leah England in the Wellington Valley.

1861 - William Dymock, he what founded Dymock's Book Stores, was hatched.

1861 - Walter George Arthur, Aboriginal leader,  the son of Rolepa, known to Europeans as 'King George', a senior man of the Ben Lomond tribe in north-eastern Tasmania, was returning by row boat to Oyster Cove from Hobart when he fell overboard; his body was not recovered.

1880 - The Opening of the 10th Victorian Parliament was celebrated.

1887 - An express train crashed into the rear of a passenger train between Prahran and Windsor stations (Vic). Four people were killed and over 100 severely injured. The locomotive of the passenger train stopped to await a semaphore signal that indicated the line ahead was clear. When the signal was given, the driver found he could not release the brake on the locomotive due to a ruptured steam pipe. An express train from Melbourne was scheduled 10 minutes behind the passenger train, and due to a curve in the track and high embankments had no way of knowing the train ahead was stranded. Cooper (1924) reported that the noise of the impact could be heard throughout Prahran, and that in a short time over 10,000 people were gathered at the site. The driver of the Brighton express was Frederick William Maskell, who only weeks earlier, had received from the Commissioners a special reward of £5 for conspicuous and alert and intelligence in averting an accident due to signal failure.

1891 - Frank Spearin (also called John Wilson) was hanged at Ballarat for the rape of six-year-old Adeline Shepherd at Eastern Oval, Ballarat.

 1892 - Dr.Margaret Amelia Corlis registered in New South Wales and opened a practice in Elizabeth Street, Sydney.

1899 - The NSW Army Nursing Service Reserve (NSWANSR) was founded, the first official chickybabe army nurses organisation in the whole of the Fair Isle of Oz.

1901 - Mother Mary MacKillop suffered a stroke at Rotorua, New Zealand. Although retaining her mental faculties, she was an invalid until she died in Sydney on 8 August 1909.

1913 - The Main Western Rail Line (NSW) was opened from Lapstone Hill to Blaxland Junction.

1924 - Royal Assent was given to (Vic) Parliamentary Elections (Women Candidates) Act which granted women the right to stand as candidates for election and hold a seat in either of the houses of the Victorian Parliament. The first female candidate to stand for election in the Victorian Parliament was Alicia Katz (Labor), who on 26 June 1924, stood for the Legislative Assembly seat of Barwon. Katz was unsuccessful and it was not until 11 November 1933 that Victoria's had its first female MP. Lady Millie Peacock (United Australia Party) was elected unopposed in a by-election for the lower house seat of Allandale, following the death of her husband, Sir Alexander Peacock (three times Premier of Victoria).

1926 - Camp acerbic Aussie actor Frank Thring was found in the Bumyip patch.

1934 - A bust of Australian poet Adam Lindsay Gordon was unveiled in Westminster Abbey by the Duke of York.

1938 – Two jockeys were killed in a racing incident at Morphettville Racecourse.

1949 - The 1948 Representation Act was enacted. It increased the the House of Representatives from 75 to 122 seats, including a new member for the Australian Capital Territory, and the Senate from 36 to 60 seats. The Commonwealth Electoral Act introduced proportional representation for Senate elections.

1953 - Caroline Grills, poisoner,  aka 'Aunt Thally' was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of her sister-in-law Mrs Eveline Lundberg and Lundberg's daughter Mrs Christine Downey, both of Redfern; the attempt had been made with thallium, a poison commonly found in rat bait. Further investigation led police to charge Grills with four murders and one attempted murder. All of the victims, with the exception of a friend of her mother, were in-laws. Police speculated that her poisoning spree had begun in 1947 with the murder of her stepmother. Exhumation of the bodies of two victims revealed traces of thallium. While the police believed that a strong circumstantial case existed to substantiate murder, they only proceeded with the original charge of attempting to murder Mrs Lundberg.

1968 - Serving as a company commander with a Vietnamese mobile strike force, WO2 Ray Simpson displayed outstanding heroism and disregard for personal safety in two firefights with enemy forces. His actions made him the third member of the AATTV to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

1978 - The first Open Uni, Deakin, threw open it's doors for business near Geelong...anything to keep the youth of today off the streets and out of mischief...

1979 - The NSW Summary Offences Act was repealed and replaced by the Offences in Public Places Act.

1981 - Carol and Doug McLean of Parents and Friends of Gays (PFLAG) spoke with Carolyn Jones on Radio 2BL.

1982 – The High Court upheld the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 in Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen.

1989 – Rosemary Follett became the first Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory and the first female leader of any Australian state or territory.

1997 - A report by Jenni Millbank for the Coalition of Active Lesbians (COAL) titled Lesbian Families and Australian Laws highlighted widespread discrimination and made a series of recommendations.

2002 - Police returned to Oxford Street pubs with random drug sniffer dog searches.

2005 - The Australian Government introduced the Removal Pending Bridging Visa (RPBV), to be granted at the discretion of the Minister for Immigration to people who have been in long-term detention and whose removal from Australia was pending but delayed. RPBV recipients are required to do everything possible to facilitate their removal from Australia. In the interim, they have work rights and access to Medicare, Centrelink benefits and trauma counselling services. They are not eligible for family reunion or to return to Australia if they leave.

2006 - In Australia the local assembly of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which encompasses the national capital Canberra, adopted controversial legislation in a late night vote providing for civil unions between same-sex couples, the first such law in Australia.

2006 -  The Australian Government attempted to expand the Pacific Solution. In response to anger from the Indonesian Government over the granting of refugee status to 42 West Papuan refugees, the Migration Amendment (Designated Unauthorised Arrivals) Bill 2006 was introduced. The Bill stated that all asylum seekers who arrived without authorisation by boat were to be processed ‘offshore’ in places like Nauru or Christmas Island. The amendments would result in asylum seekers undergoing an inferior assessment process, with those found to be refugees having no automatic right to refugee protection in Australia.

2007 - The Age reported that visitors to Australia who have HIV may have their movements monitored or be prevented from visiting altogether, under policy options being considered by the national Government. 

2007 - The TAC (Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre) and the Natural History Museum reached agreement after a three-day mediation regarding the extent of data collection on the remains of 17 Tasmanian Aboriginal people prior to their agreed return.
 A handover ceremony was held at the Natural History Museum London.

2009 - Australia’s armed forces chief announced that Australia will formally end its military mission in Iraq at the end of July, bringing the country's involvement in one war to a close even as it prepares to send more troops to Afghanistan.

2011 - In Australia WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was awarded the Sydney Peace Foundation's top honor for "exceptional courage in pursuit of human rights", joining the likes of Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.

2011 - India said it had lodged a complaint with the Australian government over swimwear carrying the image of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi that has sparked protests. Fashion house Lisa Blue promised to halt production immediately and apologized for any offence the design may have caused.

2016 - It was announced that a fragment of the world's oldest known ground-edge axe had been found in the remote Kimberley region of northern Australia.

2017 - Kate Crossing and a co-presenter from the Kiwirrkurra People presented "Bilby conservation in the Gibson Desert by the Kiwirrkurra People"
Kate (project leader of the Central Desert Native Title Services) and a member of Kiwirrkurra People shared how the work by Indigenous communities and rangers from across the Northern Territory and Western Australia have increased the chance of saving Australia’s iconic Bilby from extinction.


  1. And nobody was hanged for the death of an aboriginal.
    My partner is somehow related to Mary Mckillop. Her blood (and sanctity) have been thinned considerably before reaching him.

    1. Good old Mary had fire in her, I do like that lass!

  2. Lots of hangings back then.
    Wonder was that the Arthur from the 'ditty' of Arthur wheeled the Barrow up Ben Lomond :)

    1. I have no idea, Margaret, I shall have to have a stickybeak!

    2. Ahh!
      Twas but a ditty to remind peeps the order of the mountains!

  3. You've just introduced me to a new (to me) word - sennight. A week as in seven nights. Like fortnight - two weeks as in fourteen nights. Thank to find a way and a place to use it:)

    1. LOL
      Yes, I love those old words that rarely get used these days.

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