Australian History Since 1788


Great Britain established a penal colony in eastern Australia in 1788, the year before the French Revolution. In claiming the island continent on the cusp of this crucial historical moment, the newcomers declared the land vacant and commenced the dispossession of the indigenous populations that had resided on the land for more than 40,000 years. In the period of more than two centuries since 1788, Australian society has undergone enormous changes, sometimes characterised by optimism and consensus and at other times driven by intense fear and insecurity. Migration has dramatically transformed the nation’s identity and its place in the world. This course surveys the history of Australia from European occupation to the present. It focuses on the lives and experiences of ordinary Australians, as well as providing an overview of the major social, political and economic developments since 1788.

For full course information see the Digital Course Outline.

Digital Course Outlines are refreshed in November for the following year. Digital Course Outlines for courses to be offered for the first time may be published slightly later.

Availability 2024

Not taught in 2024


Coordinator(s) Professor Malcolm Campbell


Coursework + exam


HISTORY 333: 15 points


15 points at Stage II in History and 60 points passed