The first lifesaving club in the world was founded at Bondi Beach in Sydney.Peters Icecream company began and, appropriately, the automatic totalisator for betting on horse-races was invented by an Australian.Compulsory school attendance was introduced but not for Aboriginal children who were encouraged to assimilate into the white culture but were not given rights.The first decade of this century brought many changes.Federation occurred in 1901 and Australia became a nation.The 'White Australia' Policy was established, the Australian Labor Party was formed, Empire Day was inaugurated and the High Court was set up. The New South Wales Aboriginal Protection Board was established and Canberra was chosen as a site for the federal capital.
The Australian population at the beginning of the decade was over 4 million but was sadly depleted by the end of the decade by the Great War.The Aboriginal population had already been reduced, but those left were still not counted in the census.The flag we have today was chosen, all men and women could vote except for Aboriginal people.The streets were lit by electricity, surf bathing in the daytime was no longer considered illegal and Australia won Wimbledon for the first time.
The ‘Australian 20th century’ timeline follows events and developments in Australia from Federation through to the year 2000.
This collection of events provides another means of investigating Australia's past and trying to identify what we mean by 'Our Heritage'.