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"Cheers to the Australians out there...." Topic

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729 hits since 26 Jan 2016
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Private Matter26 Jan 2016 8:52 a.m. PST

copied from the History Channel website:

On January 26, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia. After overcoming a period of hardship, the fledgling colony began to celebrate the anniversary of this date with great fanfare.

Australia, once known as New South Wales, was originally planned as a penal colony. In October 1786, the British government appointed Arthur Phillip captain of the HMS Sirius, and commissioned him to establish an agricultural work camp there for British convicts. With little idea of what he could expect from the mysterious and distant land, Phillip had great difficulty assembling the fleet that was to make the journey. His requests for more experienced farmers to assist the penal colony were repeatedly denied, and he was both poorly funded and outfitted. Nonetheless, accompanied by a small contingent of Marines and other officers, Phillip led his 1,000-strong party, of whom more than 700 were convicts, around Africa to the eastern side of Australia. In all, the voyage lasted eight months, claiming the deaths of some 30 men.

The first years of settlement were nearly disastrous. Cursed with poor soil, an unfamiliar climate and workers who were ignorant of farming, Phillip had great difficulty keeping the men alive. The colony was on the verge of outright starvation for several years, and the marines sent to keep order were not up to the task. Phillip, who proved to be a tough but fair-minded leader, persevered by appointing convicts to positions of responsibility and oversight. Floggings and hangings were commonplace, but so was egalitarianism. As Phillip said before leaving England: "In a new country there will be no slavery and hence no slaves."

Chokidar26 Jan 2016 2:30 p.m. PST

Had dinner with an Aussie… here's to you allĘ!

MacrossMartin Inactive Member26 Jan 2016 8:36 p.m. PST

Thanks, Pvt Matter, although I'd rather our national day was Federation Day (Jan 1st) rather than the day a bunch of rotting hulks full of England's unwanted lurched up to the shore.

As a South Australian, I can't see the point of all this fuss over the opening of a prison… ;)

On a more serious note – I'm sad to say that there were slaves here in Australia. It's just another thing about our history we don't talk about. :(

Maxshadow28 Jan 2016 12:01 a.m. PST

The just sailed around the world. Hardly rotting hulks.
Thanks Guys for the best wishes.

Khusrau28 Jan 2016 2:51 p.m. PST

Somewhat controversial, on a par with Columbus Day in many respects, and there are a number of people who think that Australia's National Day should not be this date, as Indigenous Australians refer to it as 'Invasion Day'.

trailape29 Jan 2016 12:01 a.m. PST

Controversial my arse!
It's a day for all Australian's to come together and celebrate what makes Australia a great place to live.
Is it perfect?
But it's pretty bloody darn close!

AussieAndy Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2016 9:44 p.m. PST

My several times great grandfather was on one of them ships and I am kind of happy that he was.

My impression is that more folk seem to be treating it as just a day to celebrate Australia and not getting quite as hung up on the events of 1788.

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