Where can I find information about Australian history?
Entry last updated: 13/01/21
Australia has a long history. It was first settled by Aboriginal people thousands of years ago, and then in the late 1700s it was used by Britain as a prison colony for convicts. The discovery of gold inthe1850s and the formation of the Commonwealth in 1901 are other important milestones in Australian history.
Here are some government and state library websites that have information on Australian history, that includes Aboriginal history.
This website has lots of information on Australian topics, including Australian history.
- Hover over Search & Discover.
- Look under Explore our collections.
- Choose Collections by theme.
- Then go to Australian history, a historical collection about people, places and events
Tips: Some websites have .au, .nz, .uk or other codes in their url. This can tell you which country this website comes from eg .au is from Australia or .nz is from New Zealand. You can check the ‘About Us’ link on the website for more information.
This website has some Australian history topics on its Stories pages.
- Choose Stories from the headings along the top.
- Then select from the tags Aboriginal Australians, History or Exploration.
- Read stories about Bushrangers, Burke and Wills, Governor Arthur's Proclamation to the Aborigines and more.
Tips: We like websites like these because they are from government organisations, so we can trust the information. You can tell these sites by their web address – they have .gov in their address.
The National Museum of Australia has an excellent timeline of Australian history that starts 65,000 years ago and travels up to the 2000s.
- Hover over Explore.
- Choose Defining Moments.
- Then Explore the Timeline.
- Select the picture tiles for more information.
AIATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies) is a government website that covers aboriginal history in Australia.
- Go to Explore from the top of the page and find History.
- Select any item from the page. For example go to:
- 1965 Freedom Ride , then View the exhibition to read about the Student Action For Aborigines.
- Make sure to explore the links on the pages to learn more about your topic.
Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!
EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.
You can find articles, images, videos and more on this online encyclopedia which also has three different reading levels.
- Enter 'Australia' into the search bar.
- Choose the result Australia (island continent and nation).
- Select History from the menu on the left.
- Go to level 3 if you need more information.
This website is an excellent resource for history topics as it covers world history from earliest times until the present day. To find out about Australian history follow the steps below.
- Go to Browse Topics.
- Look down the page for Australia.
- Choose Australia, 1788–1914 for early history.
- Choose Australia since 1914 for later history.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
Your local public library and school library may have books on Australian history. Here are some titles we found:
- The story of Australia by Robert Lewis
- Australian history live! : eyewitness accounts from the past by Ian Warden
- Grim crims & convicts by Jackie French
- Telling the truth about Aboriginal history by Bain Attwood.