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Australia's history as an outpost of the British Empire formally began in 1788 with the arrival at Botany Bay of the First Fleet. Australia was initially a British penal colony. With the loss of the Thirteen Colonies in North America, Britain needed a new location to transport its convicts. Australia was to be that place. Australia and her white settler population developed politically, economically and socially under the stewardship of a number of Governors in the late 18th and 19th centuries, some 9500 miles away from the metropole. Within 50 years of British colonisation, Austrailia had experienced many, many seismic changes. The Aboriginal population, undoubtedly, suffered greatly and deeply. Sheep were introduced to help move the colony towards self-sufficiency. Transportation to Australia eventually ceased, with 'free settlers' taking the place of criminals. In the first of two special episodes, Australian academic and Curriculum Manager Dr Dave Brown (@DBrownF6History) shares his expertise and research into Australian colonial history, answering a wide array of questions about the period. For terms of use, please visit www.versushistory.com

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