Australian science, technology and invention timeline 2.24            Link to The Gateway to Educational Materials

Find out more about GEM
This timeline began as a starting point for people looking for terms and names to use in Web searches relating to the history of Australian science and technology, and only later acquired links to relevant pages for some of these. Suggestions for additions, corrections and such are welcome — but if possible, please provide a year — suggestions which lack a year are far more likely to miss out on a place. The email address that I supply here will not reach me unless you put my first name at the front. The rest is macinnis@ozemail.com.au -- which is a spam dump.

I particularly solicit suggestions for links to Web sites covering individual items here. Links are being slowly added from the top, but I am happy to jump ahead.

This list does not feature Aboriginal invention, but that is only because there are no firm dates available for anything much before 1788. That does not mean there has not been a great deal of invention from Australia's original custodians, both back when my ancestors wore a coat of blue paint to keep them warm, and also more recently.

Suitable topics for study include the aerodynamics of the boomerang, the use of gums in the hafting of axes and spears, medical uses of plants, the fine working of stone with a kangaroo tooth, and the construction of threads and nets, boats, and the generation of fire. Also, find out how quickly Aboriginal people discovered glass as a material with many uses -- but that was mainly after 1788.

The last thing I want is for somebody with a white blindfold view of history (you point and I'll whistle) to gain comfort from what is not seen here, or for decent people to be offended by that same absence. It wasn't the technology that was missing, just the written record with established dates.

Before 1800

1629

Francis Pelsaert reports that the young of marsupials are born on the teat in the mother's pouch.

1770

Botanists Daniel Solander and Joseph Banks, later president of the Royal Society, Britain’s principal scientific body, visit eastern Australia with Lieutenant James Cook. See the Banks papers at the State Library of NSW.

1788

Elijah Leeks uses local clay to commence a pottery.

1788

Lieutenant William Dawes arrives with First Fleet and sets up first observatory.

1790

Surgeon John White publishes his Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales, arguably the first Australian work of natural history.

1795

The colony of New South Wales becomes self-sufficient in grain.

1797

George Bass reports the presence of coal at Coalcliff, NSW.

1797

John Shortland finds coal deposits near Newcastle.

1797

The first grape vines were planted in New South Wales.

1797

The merino sheep is introduced into Australia.

1798

English whalers, barred during war-time from Spain's South American waters, begin operations out of Sydney.

1798

George Caley starts a systematic collection of Australian plants for Sir Joseph Banks.

1800 - 1849

1800

Governor King sends eight fleeces to Sir Joseph Banks: the first Australian wool to be exported.

1801

Nicolas Baudin and his crew start a three-year hydrographic survey of the Australian coast.

1802

Botanist Robert Brown accompanies Matthew Flinders on his circumnavigation of Australia.

1803

Sir Joseph Banks asks George Caley to discover how the "Duck Bill Animal & Porcupine Ant Eater" (platypus and echidna) breed.

1804

A number of cattle in Australia were reported to have a disease which may have been 'foot and mouth'. See this link or this link.

1804

George Caley reports that the "water mole" (platypus) is a mammal that lays eggs.

1805

The first Australian-built deep-sea whaler, the 185 ton King George, is launched.

1809

Elizabeth Macarthur begins studying and developing Merino sheep for wool production. Links at the Board of Studies and at the Historic Houses Trust and also at a site from the Parramatta City Council (I think).

1816

Sydney's Botanic Gardens are established.

1816

The first American whaling vessel to visit arrives in Hobart.

1817

Sugar cane is planted at the Botanical Gardens in Sydney.

1821

Sir Thomas Brisbane arrives as governor of New South Wales, bringing two astronomical assistants with him. They promptly build an observatory at Parramatta.

1821

The Philosophical Society of Australasia is founded in Sydney; it ceases operations in 1822. Keep an eye on this Australian Science at Work link in case they add some more detail

1823

James McBrien notes the presence of gold flakes in the Fish River, NSW.

1823

The first Australian sugar crop is planted at Port Macquarie.

1823

The first Australian wine is exported.

1824

James Busby arrives in Sydney with Spanish and French grape vine cuttings.

1827

Earl Bathurst, Secretary of State for the Colonies, grants funds for the founding of the Australian Museum in Sydney.

1828

Twofold Bay whaling station is established. See also the Eden killer whale museum.

1829

The Van Diemen's Land (Scientific) Society is established — it ceases to exist in 1831.

1831

James Dunlop returns to Australia to take charge of the observatory at Parramatta.

1831

The first steamship built in Australia, a paddlewheeler called Surprise was launched at Neutral Bay, Sydney.

1831

Thomas Mitchell finds fossils at Wellington Caves, NSW.

1833

George Bennett provides the first accurate account of marsupial reproduction.

1836

Charles Darwin visits Australia; his observations influence his theory of evolution.

1837

George Bennett is appointed secretary and curator of the Australian Museum.

1837

Sir John Franklin establishes the first lasting scientific society, the Tasmanian Society of Natural History.

1838

John Gould, ornithologist and taxonomist, arrives in Australia.

1838

The world's first prepaid mail service operates in New South Wales.

1838

Thomas Mitchell publishes Australia's first geological map, showing the Wellington Valley.

1839

Paul Strzelecki finds gold near Hartley, NSW, but is persuaded by Governor Gipps to remain silent about his find.

1839

The U. S. Exploring Expedition fleet, commanded by Charles Wilkes, arrives in Sydney with geologist James Dwight Dana on board.

1839

W. B. Clarke, clergyman and geologist, arrives in Sydney.

1840

H. M. S. Erebus, part of the British Antarctic Expedition, with botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker on board, arrives in Hobart.

1840

James Dana and W. B. Clarke jointly examine the Hunter Valley coal fields.

1840

John Gould publishes the first of 36 parts of his The Birds of Australia.

1841

Introduction of gas street-lighting in Sydney.

1842

Ludwig Leichhardt, naturalist and explorer, arrives in Sydney from Germany.

1842

The first Australian sugar refinery is established in Sydney to refine raw sugar from the Philippines.

1842

The Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science is first published.

1843

Australia has surplus sheep, which are boiled down to make tallow for export.

1843

John Ridley successfully tests his "stripper", then known as a Reaping Machine in South Australia.

1843

John Wrathall Bull successfully tests a "stripper" in South Australia.

1844

W. B. Clarke discovers gold. See also this AGSO link which gives the date as 1841: this needs to be checked.

1844

Ludwig Leichhardt sends fossil Diprotodon bones to London.

1844

The Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany and the Advancement of Science, later the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land, is established.

1845

John Gilbert, naturalist, is speared to death during Leichhardt's expedition to Port Essington.

1847

T. H. Huxley arrives in Sydney on board H. M. S. Rattlesnake.

1847

The first sugar cane grown in what is now Queensland.

1848

Iron smelting begins near Mittagong, NSW.

1848

The government observatory at Parramatta is closed down.

1850 - 1899

1850

Samuel Stutchbury is appointed the first geological surveyor of New South Wales.

1850

The first Australian university is founded in Sydney, with two of the first three chairs being in the sciences.

1851

William Bland proposes an 'atmotic airship', a hydrogen balloon with a steam engine.

1853

Baron Ferdinand von Mueller is appointed government botanist of Victoria.

1853

Cobb and Co. start coaching operations.

1853

Melbourne University founded.

1854

First telegraph line links Melbourne and Williamstown.

1854

The first steam railway opens in Melbourne, linking Flinders Street and Sandridge (Port Melbourne).

1855

Governor William Denison, FRS, arrives to be governor of New South Wales.

1855

James Harrison takes out a patent for his ice-making machine, the world's first mechanical refrigeration plant.

1855

The Colonial Sugar Refining Company (later CSR Ltd) is formed, with a refinery at Canterbury, Sydney (see 1842).

1856

William Scott is appointed Government Astronomer in New South Wales.

1856

Pierre Maigre is the first person to attempt to fly a lighter-than-air craft, a balloon, in Australia. He failed in the attempt, partly due to the actions of the crowd.

1856

The ballot box (now used all over the world for voting) was invented in Victoria.

1857

Baron Ferdinand von Mueller is appointed director of Melbourne Botanic Gardens which he turns into a centre for botanical research.

1857

Work commences on the Sydney Observatory.

1858

Telegraph links Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, eventually reaching Darwin in 1872.

1858

William Dean(e) is the first person to fly a lighter-than-air craft in Australia when he ascends in the balloon 'Australasian' from the Cremorne Gardens on the northern bank of the Yarra River.

1858

Austrian geologist Ferdinand von Hochstetter arrives in Sydney on board the Novara, and carries out geological exploration.

1858

Sydney Observatory established.

1859

A shipment of 24 rabbits arrives at Geelong, and the rabbits are released into the wild.

1859

A telegraph cable links Victoria and Tasmania briefly, before failing.

1859

H. C. Russell takes up the post of computer at the Sydney Observatory.

1859

The first granulated sugar is produced in Brisbane.

1859

The Royal Society of Victoria is established.

1861

John Tebbutt tracks the appearance of the Great Comet from his home at Windsor, NSW.

1862

TheVictorian government orders construction of world’s largest equatorially mounted reflector telescope.

1863

Captain Louis Hope plants the first commercial sugar cane crop near Brisbane.

1863

Robert Ellery is appointed Government Astronomer in Victoria.

1863

The first indentured kanaka labourers arrive in Queensland to work on the sugar fields.

1863

The first part of Bentham and von Mueller's Flora Australiensis is published — the seventh and final part appears in 1878.

1863

The Sydney Ice Co begins selling 7-pound (3 kg) blocks of ice in Sydney.

1866

The Royal Society of New South Wales is established.

1869

A 48" cassegrain reflector telescope begins operations at Melbourne Observatory.

1869

The first centralised sugar mill is established on the north coast of New South Wales.

1870

A successful telegraph cable links Tasmania and Victoria.

1870

Richard Butcher delivers the first John Cade lecture on forensic elimination.

1870

H. C. Russell is appointed Government Astronomer in NSW.

1870

Thomas Holt attempts to cultivate mud oysters near Sydney.

1871

First international telegram received via cable between Port Darwin and Banyuwangi, Java.

1871

Thomas Gale with John Allen as a passenger ascended in his hot air balloon "Young Australian" from Victoria Park, near Sydney University. Gale flew in a gas balloon in Adelaide in the same year.

1872

Telegraph line from Darwin to Adelaide, the Overland Telegraph, is completed, linking Australia to the rest of the world (see 1871, 1858).

1872

The first kelpie wins the first Australian sheepdog trials, near Forbes.

1872

The last occurrence of foot and mouth disease in Australian cattle.

1873

Sugar beet is tried as a crop near Anakie, Victoria.

1875

Horace Lamb becomes the first professor of mathematics at Adelaide University.

1875

Iron smelting began in Lithgow under the direction of Enoch Hughes.

1876

Stump-jump plough invented by Richard B. Smith at Kalkaburry, SA.

1876

The first plantings of Radiata pine in Australia.

1877

Frederick Wolseley and Robert Savage patent their first shearing machine.

1877

Louis Brennan patents a wire-guided and wire-driven torpedo for harbour defences.

1878

Colonies’ first telephones trialed in Sydney.

1879

Henri L'Estrange flew a balloon filled with coal gas in Melbourne. He reached an estimated 9,000 ft. before the balloon burst, but he parachuted to safety.

1879

Henry Sutton develops an electric light bulb.

1879

The first consignment of frozen meat is shipped to Britain by Thomas Mort and Eugene Nicolle.

1879

The University of Sydney establishes a separate Faculty of Science.

1879

The world's second national park (and the first national park to be gazetted) is created south of Sydney — now known as the Royal National Park.

1880

First telephone exchange opens in Melbourne, with 100 lines.

1880

The first successful consignment of frozen Australian meat reaches England.

1880

The Royal Society of South Australia is established.

1882

Edgeworth David began his studies of the continent’s geology.

1883

Train service between Sydney and Melbourne begins operations.

1884

CSR implements scientific quality control in all stages of its refining processes, a "system of chemical bookkeeping".

1884

Lawrence Hargrave reads a paper on the aerofoil wing to the Royal Society of NSW.

1884

The first successful machine shears are patented.

1884

The Royal Society of Queensland is established.

1884

William Caldwell demonstrates that monotremes are egg-laying mammals.

1885

Frederick Wolseley mounts the first machine shearing demonstration in Melbourne.

1885

Henry Sutton constructs the ‘telephane’, a kind of television.

1885

Hugh McKay patents Sunshine Harvester.

1885

Roseworthy College opens in South Australia, the nation's first agricultural college.

1886

A. F. Spawn launches his 'Climax' fruit evaporator.

1886

An agricultural college opens at Dookie in Victoria.

1886

John Ashburton Thompson demonstrates that typhoid could be spread by milk.

1886

William Farrer begins developing new strains of Australian wheat, culminating in the ‘Federation’ strain of 1901.

1888

The first meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, later ANZAAS).

1888

J. T. Williams ascended to 6,000 feet above Ashfield Recreation Grounds in Sydney in a balloon and parachuted to the ground.

1889

Arthur James Arnot patents the world's first electric drill.

1890

Professor Richard Threlfall of Sydney University is the first person in the world to suggest publicly (at a meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science) that 'Hertzian waves' might be used for telegraphy — radio in other words. This was mentioned in a footnote in J. J. Fahie's Third Revised 1902 edition of A History of Wireless Telegraphy (page 291), where it would probably have remained unheard of, if excellent Ken England had not drawn it to my attention. Ken says this was almost certainly "The Present State of Electrical Knowledge" and published in "Report of Meeting, 2 , (Melbourne 1890) 27 -54".

1890

The blue cattledog is established as a pure breed.

1891

Hawkesbury Agricultural College opens in NSW.

1894

Pioneer aeronautical engineer Lawrence Hargrave lifts himself off the ground using four box kites.

1897

An expedition to Funafuti Atoll, led by Edgeworth David, establishes the truth of Darwin's theory on how atolls form.

1897

Australia’s first car with an internal-combustion engine built by Henry Austin.

1897

Gatton Agricultural College opens in Queensland.

1897

H. G. Smith and R. T. Baker start their researches on volatile plant oil research, especially eucalyptus oil, at what is now the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

1900 to 1949

1900

Natural gas struck in a water bore near Roma, Queensland.

1901

Charles Potter takes out his first patent for the flotation separation of ores.

1902

A new telegraph cable links Southport in Queensland to Vancouver.

1902

Alexander Gillies patents a set of improvements to a previously existing milking machine.

1902

J. A. Birchall develops the first notepad in Launceston.

1902

John Ashburton Thompson describes how bubonic plague is spread by the fleas on infected rats.

1904

Stephen Dedalus reveals his 'literary algebra', June 16.

1904

Telephone link established between Sydney and Melbourne.

1905

Anthony G. M. Mitchell develops the tilt-bed thrust bearing.

1905

The Wireless Telegraphy Act is passed by the Commonwealth Parliament to regulate experiments in wireless communication.

1906

Introduction of world’s first surf life-saving reel at Bondi Beach, NSW.

1906

The world's first full-length feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang, is made in Australia.

1907

Murrumbidgee Irrigation Scheme begins.

1907

The first trunk telephone line linking Sydney and Melbourne is opened.

1909

George Augustine Taylor made the first flight of a heavier-than-air machine in Australia. Four days later, Colin Defries made the first powered flight of a heavier-than-air machine in Australia, at Victoria Park Racecourse, in Sydney. Second link.

1909

David Unaipon takes out a patent for improved sheep shears.

1910

The spun concrete process for making 'Hume Pipes' (Humespun) is patented.

1911

Douglas Mawson leads an Australian expedition to Antarctica (one member was later my science teacher).

1912

The first automatic telephone exchange for public use is opened at Geelong.

1913

Headlie Shipard Taylor patents his header harvester, on which all modern harvesters are based.

1913

George Julius installs the first automatic totalisator.

1914

The Royal Society of Western Australia is established.

1915

Alf Hannaford develops the "wet wheat pickler".

1915

George Nicholas begins experiments to develop aspirin production.

1916

The first forerunner of the CSIRO, the Advisory Council of Science and Industry, is formed.

1917

Transcontinental rail link between Sydney and Perth opens.

1918

First radio message sent between London and Sydney.

1919

Kikuyu grass was first introduced into New South Wales.

1919

Ross and Keith Smith become first to fly from Britain to Australia, taking 28 days to complete the journey in their Vickers Vimy.

1919

The forerunner of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian National Research Council, is formed.

1920

An Act of Parliament creates the second forerunner of the CSIRO, the Commonwealth Institute of Science and Industry.

1920

Australia’s first airline, Qantas, founded at Winton, Qld.

1920

Cliff Howard invents the rotary hoe.

1920

The first live radio program in Australia is broadcast in Melbourne.

1921

The Ford Motor Company begins assembling motor vehicles in Australia.

1922

Vegemite is invented by Cyril Callister.

1923

First radio stations begin broadcasting in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

1924

S. M. Bruce flies QANTAS, and so is the first Prime Minister to fly on official business.

1924

Commonwealth Solar Observatory (later named the Mount Stromlo Observatory) established. Walter Duffield appointed first director.

1926

Founding of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the third forerunner of CSIRO.

1926

The first cardiac pacemaker in the world is used to revive a new-born baby.

1926

The moth-borer Cactoblastis cactorum is introduced to combat the prickly pear plague.

1927

Speedo develops the racer-back style swimming costume with reduced drag.

1928

Bert Hinkler completes a solo flight from England to Australia — England no longer cut off from civilisation.

1928

Charles Kingsford-Smith and his crew complete the first air crossing of the Pacific — America no longer cut off from civilisation.

1928

Commencement of first flying doctor service, the Australian Inland Mission Aerial Service.

1929

Alfred Traeger develops the first pedal wireless transceiver for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

1930

First international telephone call made by Prime Minister James Henry Scullin.

1930

The first mechanised letter sorting machine is tested in Sydney.

1931

Beginning of air mail service to UK.

1932

George Julius invents a totalisator with an automatic odds-calculating device. Another link, this time to an unatchived copy.

1932

Lewis Brandt designs the first commercially made 'ute', commercially released in 1934.

1932

Sydney Harbour Bridge opens on 19 March.

1932

The Australian Broadcasting Commission, later the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, our ABC, and long may the spotty, snotty, grotty little government oiks, blow-in Pom wannabes and other riff-raff keep their hands off it, begins broadcasting.

1934

The first car radio is fitted to a car made by Kelly's Motors in NSW.

1934

The mysterious sheep condition called 'coast disease' is shown by Ted Lines (CSIRO) to be caused by a cobalt deficiency.

1935

The first introduction of the cane toad into Australia — a failed attempt at biological control. Cane toad link 2 Cane toad link 3

1935

QANTAS makes its first overseas flight, flying Darwin to Singapore.

1941

Evelyn Owen's newly invented Owen gun is shown to be superior in trials.

1941

Norman Gregg demonstrates link between maternal rubella and blindness in babies.

1943

Australia becomes the first country in the world to make penicillin commercially available to civilians.

1945

Founding of Australian National University (ANU) as centre of scientific research.

1945

Howard Florey is named joint winner of Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work on development of penicillin.

1946

George Shepherd's 'Shepherd castors', invented in the 1930s, are commercially released.

1946

Lance Hill invents the Hills Hoist.

1947

A team at CSIR (the fore-runner of the CSIRO) built CSIRAC, the world's fifth computer, and the first to play 'computer music'.

1947

The first successful attempt at 'cloud-seeding' near Bathurst. The technique was invented by Peter Jarver.

1948

Sydney engineer Lawrence Hall invents the "Mowhall" petrol-engined rotary lawn mower, powered by his three-horsepower Hall marine engine. Its design becomes the prototype for the famous Victa lawnmower.

1949

Beginning of Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, completed in 1972.

1949

CSIRO founded.

1949

John Cade is the first to propose the use of lithium salts to treat manic patients.

1950 and after

1950

The first successful introduction of the rabbit virus that causes myxomatosis.

1950

The Flying Doctor's radio service is adapted to operate the School of the Air.

1951

Kate Campbell identifies oxygen, provided in humidicribs, as a cause of blindness in premature babies.

1952

Alan Walsh (CSIRO) develops the atomic absorption spectrometer.

1952

Jindivik, a pilotless target jet aeroplane, is invented at the Aeronautical Research Laboratories.

1952

Mervyn Victor Richardson invents the Victa rotary lawnmower.

1952

The first British atomic test was in the Monte Bello Islands, off the north-west coast of WA.

1953

CSIRO scientists in Victoria develop the first prototype of the solar water heater.

1953

The first Mills Cross radio telescope goes into operation.

1954

The Australian Academy of Science was established by Royal Charter.

1956

Saul Weiner develops a redback antivenene.

1956

Television broadcasting starts in Australia.

1957

Arthur Farnworth at the CSIRO develops a process for permanently creasing fabric.

1957

Ian McWilliam develops the Flame Ionisation Detector.

1958

Australia's first nuclear reactor opens at Lucas Heights, near Sydney.

1958

David Warren develops the prototype of the Black Box flight recorder.

1958

Qantas opens the first round-the-world air service.

1960

CR39, the first plastic spectacle lenses in the world, are made in South Australia at the Scientific Optical laboratories of Australia (now SOLA).

1960

Sir Macfarlane Burnet is declared joint winner of Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work on acquired immunological tolerance.

1961

David Robinson and George Kossoff build the first commercially practical water path ultrasound scanner.

1961

Jacques Miller discovers the role of the thymus while working in Britain.

1961

The Parkes Radio Telescope begins operation (CSIRO).

1962

Standard gauge railway link between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane completed.

1963

Sir John Eccles is awarded Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work on transmission of nerve impulses.

1964

Disposable latex gloves for use in surgery are invented by Ansell.

1965

Jack Grant develops the inflatable aircraft escape slide and raft.

1965

The first prototype of the wine cask is invented in Australia.

1966

First television programs from UK transmitted to Australia via satellite.

1966

Ray Bradley grows colonies of bone marrow cells in agar at the Peter MacCallum Institute in Melbourne.

1967

Brian O'Keeffe (CSIRO) proposes Interscan, a microwave landing system,

1967

The CSIRO starts work on the introduction of dung beetles into Australia.

1968

Team led by Harry Windsor performs first Australian heart transplant at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.

1969

CSL develops a polyvalent snake antivenene.

1969

Radio telescope at Parkes (CSIRO) relays television images of first moon landing across the globe.

1970

The world's first laser lighthouse goes into operation at Point Danger, NSW.

1970

Pier Edman invents a process for sequencing proteins at the St Vincents Research Institute in Melbourne.

1971

Ord Irrigation Scheme results in creation of Lake Argyle.

1971

Ralph Sarich completes the first prototype of his orbital engine.

1972

The first full-time environmental centre is established in Sydney.

1972

John Kerr adopts the term "apoptosis" for suicidal cell death after doing most of the work leading up to the apoptosis concept while at University of Queensland, beginning in 1965.

1973

Monash University scientists report the world's first IVF pregnancy.

1974

Gordon Withnall invents the Super Sopper for drying the surface of wet sports fields.

1974

Lakes Pedder and Gordon formed by damming of Gordon River.

1975

Commonwealth Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act passed.

1975

Public FM radio and colour television broadcasts begin -- test broadcasts had happened many years earlier.

1975

Sir John Warcup Cornforth shares Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on the three-dimensional structure of molecules.

1976

Establishment of the Cape Grim atmospheric baseline station in Tasmania, the first facility in the southern hemisphere to track the changing make-up of the atmosphere.

1976

Fraser Island is protected from destruction by sand miners when it is listed as Australia's first item on the National Estate.

1978

Ted Ringwood develops Synroc as a method of storing radioactive waste.

1978

The first bionic ear was fitted to an Australian patient.

1979

Geoff Healey invents the race-cam.

1980

Questacon, the first interactive science centre in the southern hemisphere, opened at Ainslie Primary School.

1981

Struan Sutherland and colleagues develop a funnelweb antivenene.

1981

The earth leakage circuit breaker is developed in Adelaide by Gerard Industries.

1981

Sydney surfer Simon Anderson blended his single and twin-fin boards to invent the three-finned "Thruster" surfboard and won the coveted 1981 Pipeline Masters in Hawaii riding it.

1983

Barry Marshall identifies Helicobacter pylori as the cause of duodenal ulcers.

1983

Ben Lexcen's winged keel on Australia II wins the America's Cup.

1983

Cochlear formed as a company to advance the 'bionic ear' developed over the previous 10 years by Graeme Clark and his colleagues.

1983

Peter Colman and Jose Varghese solve the structure of the flu virus protein neuraminidase — this leads later to the development of Relenza.

1983

The Memtec company is formed to market membrane technologies in water treatment.

1984

World’s first 'frozen embryo' baby born in Melbourne.

1985

Bill Burch develops the first commercial use of buckyballs - the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism.

1985

The Australian Beef Cattle Industry implements BREEDPLAN, the National Beef Cattle Genetic Evalution Scheme that provides estimates of genetic merit based on statistical performance and pedigree data.

1985

Robert Clancy at the University of Newcastle, develops an oral vaccine to prebent bronchitis.

1985

The Australian Beef Cattle Industry commercially releases BREEDPLAN, the National Beef Cattle Genetic Evalution Scheme called providing estimates of genetic merit based on statistical performance and pedigree data.

1986

Wayne Gerlach and Jim Haseloff discover gene shears while working for the CSIRO.

1986

Sydney designer Marc Newson attracted international attention to Australian design when created the Lockheed Lounge, a striking and innovative three-legged lounge chair with a futuristic organic shape and clad in a skin of shiny metallic plates.

1986

The first pedigree cat to be bred in Australia - the Spotted Mist - was accepted for full registration.

1987

William McBride exposed for faking data that claimed Debendox caused fetal deformities.

1988

Michael Waters discovers the structure of the human growth hormone receptor.

1988

Sydney's Powerhouse Museum was opened.

1988

Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre was opened.

1988

The Scitech Discovery Centre was opened.

1988

The first Australian polymer bank note (invented at CSIRO) is introduced into circulation.

1989

An Australian-designed and built wave-piercing catamaran sets a new record for the crossing from New York to Portsmouth.

1990

Australia's Cooperative Research Centre program is first launched.

1990

Milan Hudecek invents the world's first reading machine for the blind in Melbourne.

1991

Edwina Cornish isolates the blue flower gene, later introduced into roses.

1991

Sydney Harbour Tunnel opens.

1991

The INVESTIGATOR Science and Technology Centre in Adelaide was opened.

1992

Fred Hollows Foundation set up to continue work of surgeon who pioneered treatment of cataract blindness among indigenous peoples and in developing countries.

1993

Detection of dark matter by a team of American and Australian astronomers - the MACHO project - using the 50" telescope at Mount Stromlo Observatory.

1995

The CSIRO develops calicivirus as an anti-rabbit agent.

1996

All Australian 'paper' currency is printed on polymer.

1996

Peter Doherty receives Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for research into cell mediated immune defence.

1996

Professor Peter Coloe (RMIT University) and Bioproperties (Australia) Pty Ltd announce the first live vaccine against Salmonella in chickens, turkeys and cattle.

1998

The Aurora solar car achieves a world record speed of 100.9 km per hour over one hour, running on commercial solar cells and lead-acid batteries, from Hay to Balranald.

1998

UNSW scientists under Martin Green create 19.8%-efficient solar cells on a low-grade substrate, and 24.4%-efficient cells on a high-grade substrate, both world records.

1999

Australian-made Relenza is approved for use as the first influenza therapy around the world.

1999

The Aurora solar car becomes the first Australian entry to win the World Solar Challenge race from Darwin to Adelaide.




This material has been assembled by Peter Macinnis, and while the collection remains copyright for any commercial purpose, it may be freely reproduced for any educational and/or non-profit purposes. It should not be mirrored or cached, because I plan to make it grow, especially by adding links to the listed items, or parts thereof.

Note that Google is usually 6 builds behind!

This file, http://members.ozemail.com.au/~macinnis/scifun/timeline.htm, was first created on March 6, 2001, most recently revised August 1, 2006, with links to 1850 now just about as complete as they will ever be. Some of these links are useful for other purposes if you backtrack to their home pages, so feel free to ferret around! Currently, I am adding a few more links each day, and I have just added the true inventor of radio or wireless telegraphy — and he was Australian!

Once again, suggestions for additions are welcome — just click on the link

Back to the Science Playwiths page or to the Science Projects page.


Other useful links

Make a start on these until I can add some more.

Notable Australian firsts

Brightsparcs Home page

Nova from the Australian Academy of Science

Scientific Invention from the P.L. Duffy Resource Centre, Trinity College, East Perth

Australian firsts and inventions

Questacon, 100 years of innovation

Allan Cunningham

Paul Turnbull's Pictures of Health offers an excellent timeline for Australian medical science in particular. Start at this link, and seek it out.

Macleay Museum holdings

South Australian firsts


References

Ragbir Bhathal published a useful timeline for astronomy a few years ago in his Australian astronomers : achievements at the frontiers of astronomy. I have yet to see this, but by definition, any book by such a delightful and erudite bloke as Ragbir is an essential read! Publishing details: Canberra : National Library of Australia, 1996.

Other useful books:

Other pages on this site

This page has had hits since 2001.

timeline, events, Australian, history of science, Australian history of science, Australia, science, history, technology, invention, inventor, discovery, research, project help, biology, medicine, light, botany, chemistry, physics, agriculture, manufacturing, machinery, experiment, activity, zoology, geology, exploration, microbiology, immunology, Nobel prize, science, environment, education congratulations if you have found this


GEM, The Gateway to Educational Materials              member2.gif - 2064 Bytes

Many pages on this site contain metadata to make access easier for people using the GEM, the Gateway to Educational materials. The whole idea of metadata is to make searching easier and more effective. GEM is a brilliant one-stop, any-stop access to educational resources on the Internet, and sponsored by the US Department of Education, while welcoming outsiders like me. They provide lesson plans for teachers, ideas, brain food and more, and they make searching a breeze.

To get an idea of how it works, click on the link above, or the link at the top of the page.


This site had 219,000 hits on the index page from 1999 to January 2007 and an unknown number on other pages. In January 2007, a combined counter was placed on all of the pages, counting page hits which now total