On January 26, 1788, eleven ships carrying British prisoners landed in Australia. The “First Fleet” is the name given to these ships. They took criminals to Australia because there was a scarcity of jail capacity in the nation due to Britain’s rigorous legal system, therefore some convicts were sent to New South Wales.
Captain Arthur Philip was the first Governor of New South Wales, which developed as additional convicts and volunteer immigrants arrived; colonies sprung up throughout Australia.
The earliest voluntary immigrants were from the British Isles, and Australian history, politics, and culture are still heavily influenced by the British and Irish.
In 1851, gold was discovered in both Victoria and New South Wales, resulting in a massive migration of fortune seekers from all over the world. The country’s population more than doubled, with Chinese migrants being the first substantial group of non-European inhabitants.