A super quick history of Australian settlement

The oldest human remains found in Australia are that of the Mungo Man, believed to have lived about 40,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene epoch. So the Aborigines have been in Australia for at least 100 times longer than the Brits.

As far as colonists go, China knew about Australia before the Dutch, who sailed here on the Duyfken and landed on the Cape York peninsula in 1606 (navigated by Willem Janszoon). In 1616 Dirk Hartog got to Shark Bay and left a pewter plate. No-one in Europe really cared enough to make a settlement, until James Cook decided to claim the Eastern States: he sailed over on the Endeavor and landed at Botany Bay on 29th April 1770. After he left, tried to take the Hawaiian king Kalaniopu’u hostage, but miscalculated and instead, got stabbed to death.

The only reason the Brits actually bothered colonising was to get rid of prisoners (and possibly to look for replacement tea after the Boston Tea Party, December 16, 1773). Captain Arthur Phillip led the First Fleet (11 ships) over, they left on the 13 May 1787 and reached Botany Bay on 18 January 1788. They waited until 1829 to claim the West Coast and then founded the Swan River Colony, now known as Perth.

That’s it in a nutshell. Thank you Wikipedia.