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Lieutenant Cook (who later became Captain Cook) first arrived at Botany Bay on April 29, 1770. It was not until the 13th May 1787 that Captain Arthur Phillip left England with eleven ships, known as the First Fleet, which consisted of around one and a half thousand people, including soldiers and their families, convicts, convicts' children, and officers and their subordinates. Captain Arthur Phillip, also known as Governor Phillip, landed successfully at Botany Bay on 18th January 1788, but found the position too exposed, so he moved to Port Jackson which lies a few kilometres north. It was there he found the fresh water supplies and safe harbour the new colony would need, and he famously called it " ...without exception the finest Harbour in the World." The new settlement was established there on 26th January 1788.

Sydney History

The original aboriginal name of the area was Warrane but it became known as Sydney by the colonisers, named after Lord Sydney, the British Secretary of State for Home Affairs, who had authorised its colonisation. The city grew on the hills surrounding Port Jackson, which we commonly call Sydney Harbour.

The discovery of valuable land west of the Great Dividing Range led to Sydney's early prosperity. By 1842, following the arrival of more convicts and free settlers, Sydney's population had grown to 30,000. In 1848, the British Government stopped the policy of sending convicts, yet the flow of immigrants continued as rural people escaped the poverty of Britain. With the rising population, this century saw the large scale development of the city and the spread of its Victorian style architecture, which include the famous Sydney Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building.

The 1930s were hard for Sydney, as for elsewhere in the world following World War One, but it was also a time of celebration due to the completion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in March 1932. The construction had the nickname the 'Iron Lung' because it sustained so many families throughout the Great Depression, employing up to 4,000 workers over the eight years of its construction.

During the Second World War, Sydney was considered a target by the Japanese, which led to the deployment of large numbers of US troops in the city. Three Japanese submarines did manage to enter the harbour and cause some damage, by the city was largely spared from the global destruction of the war. When the war ended, mass migration and immigration to Sydney began in force and continues to this day, providing the city with its rich mix of cultures.

Sydney drew global attention by building its Olympic Park and hosting the most successful Olympic Games ever in the year 2000. The park continues to be used for many of the city's largest sporting events.

Sydney itself continues to develop as a major world city, growing in confidence and strength, and helping to power the thriving Australian economy.


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