Did you know that the world’s favorite essential oil comes from an Australian tree? Or that there was a proper army fighting against giant birds? We have dug up for you some interesting facts on the History of Australia, that you didn’t know until now.
1.A war against birds
The Great Emu War is one of the most bizarre happenings in the History of Australia and it is possible you’ve heard something about it.
Right after World War I, the war veterans came back to tend to land and sheep in the farms. However, they have not had it easy due to a series of misfortunes, such as drought and the great depression.
But the one annoying plague they just wouldn’t stand for were Emus, the giant birds that ruined the crops. As such, the government decided to wipe out this species with the latest weaponry and the Emu War began. However, the Emus outran the range of guns, fractured into small groups and covered for each other like trained military. By the time the funds to this war ended, the Emu casualties fell shamefully short of the initial goal. The Australians had no option but to raise the white flag, leaving the birds come out victorious.
2. Australia has its own Robin Hood
One of the most beloved outlaws in the History of Australia is bushranger Ned Kelly, probably worthy of his own “Making a Murderer” tv show.
Let’s start at the beginning… From an Irish family of eight kids, Ned Kelly struggled to help his widowed mother in a land of tough rules. Not only were they trying to survive the hostile desert, they were constantly exploited by landlords. This was the 1800s and the set was that of a western movie, “each man for himself” style.
And so, fate had it that this devoted and naive son should encounter a series of misfortunes that would lead him to prison. After a harsh sentence he would come back to his farm, set on making things work as an honest worker. Nonetheless, his determination would shrink with each injustice to the rural people, as much as his hate for the police would grow.
Eventually he joined a gang and went on a crime spree that included stock theft and bank robbery. Ned was finally getting his revenge on the police, humiliating them raid after raid. And he would continue to do so hadn’t it been for a failed plan, that would lead to his capture.
Dressed in an armor, Ned would meet his end at a violent gun battle. The only survivor of the gang, he was tried and convicted to death by hanging. “Such is life” were this folk hero’s reported last words.
3. Second country in the world where women can vote
In the progressive era, around mid-1800s, women started to demand the right to have a public voice. As vital contributors for the society, who worked for wages or owned land as much as men, it was time to make some changes.
Little by little, women’s suffrage was achieved throughout the world. The first country to grant women’s with the right to vote was New Zealand, followed by Australia in 1902. However, it was far from ideal, since this was not a universal right. Not all races, men or women, had its part as a citizen of Australia up until the 60s.
4.Birthplace of a widely loved tree
The Eucalyptus is so deeply rooted in Australia that it is rare to miss it around these parts. Aboriginals and koalas have cherished the native gum tree long before it gained worldwide fame for its healing properties.
It traveled to Europe in the mid-1800s, by the hands of a German botanist, who was eager to share this Australian treasure. Not only is it a remedy for breathing troubles, such as asthma and sinusitis, it can also relieve muscle pains as a pomade.
Another peculiarity of the Eucalyptus is that its roots dry the soil, turning it hostile to mosquitoes. Upon this, as it reached the western temperate countries that were struggling with malaria, it was widely planted. To this day, this Australian native can be found around the world and it is still a favorite natural remedy.
5.Every place in Australia has a story
It is impossible to talk about the History of Australia and not mention the Aboriginal culture, where it all began. You might know about the didgeridoo and visited ancient rock art sites. But there are mysteries to be uncovered through the fascinating Dreamtime stories.
They tell of how the land and its first inhabitants were created long, long ago. The very places you visit, mountains, rivers or deserts, have a birth story of their own in the Aboriginal Culture. Who would’ve guessed that all the streams and waterholes were created by a passing serpent who curled itself up into a mountain? Or that the parents of the desert people were actually fallen stars from the Milky Way?
The Aboriginals are so deeply connected to the land, that every corner of Australia has some fantastic tale behind it, and they are a crucial part of the country’s history. If you would like to know more about the Aboriginal Culture check out our tips on the best places to visit.
We hope you enjoyed our handpicked unknown facts in the History of Australia. If you’ve learned some extra history in your travels, please share with us too!