18 th Century--- In the year 1770 yet another Englishman, Lieutenant James Cook charted the east coast of Australia. On 22 August, 1770 he formally claimed the eastern coastline of Australia for the British Crown at Possession Island and named it 'New South Wales'.
The First Fleet of 11 ships captained by Arthur Phillip carrying approximately 1500 people (mostly convicts) arrived at Sydney Cove on 26 January, 1788 to establish the first British settlement as a penal colony. This day is celebrated as Australia Day every year.
19 th Century--- Known as the age of exploration. Some significant dates under this century are:
1803 - Mathew Flinders completed his first Australian expedition
1813 - Barrier of the Blue Mountains was crossed
1829 - Western Australia was formed.
1836 - South Australia was formed
1840-1968 - Transportation of Convicts ended.
1851-1961 - Gold rush
1851 - Victoria gained independence from New South Wales
1855 - Victoria attains government
1859 - Queensland became independent
1890 - western Australia attains government
1891 - Depression leads to the Australian Labor party
20 th Century -Post- European Colonization---
Through the federation of six states- New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and Southern Australia, the Commonwealth of Australia was created on 1 st January 1901.
In 1911 The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was formed to provide a site for the new capital of Canberra.
In the First World War (1914-1918), Australia experienced its first major loss. About 60,000 people died and tens of thousands were wounded. Social and economic instability marked the period between the two world wars. In the Second World War (1939-1945), significant contributions were made by the Australian forces.
Following the Second World War, Australia witnessed great prosperity both in the social and economic sphere. In the 1950s, major projects like the Snowy Mountains Scheme and a hydro electric power scheme gave a boost to the country's economy. Presently Australia is one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities with over 200 languages spoken besides the common English language.
123independenceday.com gives an overview of the history of Australia.