History (Australia)

Where can I find information about Australian history?

Image: Uluru by Walkerssk on Pixabay.

Entry last updated: 30/10/19

Introduction

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.

General websites

Here are some government and state library websites that have information on Australian history, that includes Aboriginal history.

State Library Victoria

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.

State Library New South Wales

This website has some Australian history topics on its Stories pages.

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.

National Museum of Australia

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

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:
  • 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 resources

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.

Britannica School

You can find articles, images, videos and more on this online encyclopedia which also has three different reading levels. We suggest starting with Middle.

  • 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.

World History in Context

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.

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.

Books

Your local public library and school library may have books on Australian history. Here are some titles we found:

managed by
proudly supported by

Acceptable Use

Acceptable use means acting like a good citizen online. How you behave online should be the same as how you behave offline (in the real world). AnyQuestions is a free service, staffed by real people from libraries right around New Zealand. Please be respectful and polite to our librarians. We like helping people who show good manners :)


We may end a chat session if we think you are being inappropriate or misbehaving, this includes:

  • Using racist/sexist, offensive or obscene language.

    Please don’t use mean or cruel words when talking to or about someone else; whether they are a male or female, or of another race or skin colour. Obscene language means using words that would upset your grandparents!

  • Using the service to transmit messages that harass or threaten the operators.

    Please don’t be mean to our librarians or act like a bully.

  • Visiting an objectionable website while in session with an operator.

    An objectionable website means a website that you really wouldn’t want your grandparents looking over your shoulder at!

  • Deliberately time wasting in a way that denies service to other legitimate users.

    Time wasting means being silly and not working with our librarians. Time wasting means other students are not getting help, and that isn’t nice!

  • Any form of vandalism, including damaging computer systems or networks and knowingly introducing programs such as computer viruses and worms.

    You might be technically savvy and know about web viruses and worms and how they affect computers but please don’t spread these. It takes our attention away from helping you and other students.

  • AnyQuestions reserves the right to disconnect users at the operator’s discretion. AnyQuestions might also block access to the service for repeat offenders.

    If you act like a troll then we’ll end the chat. Remember everything digital or online can be traced and we can track it back to where you came from and/or your school. If you misbehave on AnyQuestions then we will be in touch with your school or we will block you from accessing AnyQuestions.