Birth of NSW

February 01, 2018

On 7 February 1788, on the shores of Sydney Cove (Circular Quay) in the harbour of Port Jackson, Governor Phillip of the First Fleet formally proclaimed the Colony of NSW.

A few days after the 11 vessels of the First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay – carrying over a thousand settlers, including 778 convicts (192 women and 586 men) – Governor Phillip relocated the fleet on 26 January 1788 to the more suitable Sydney Cove, which he named in honour of then British Home Secretary (of State), Lord Sydney.

With its fresh water supply and safe harbour, Governor Phillip famously described Sydney Cove as, “… being without exception the finest Harbour in the World ... Here a Thousand Sail of the Line may ride in the most perfect Security.”

Just 12 days after the landing at Sydney Cove – and the birth of a nation – the Colony of NSW was brought into being.

To commemorate this great occasion:

  • If you’re in Sydney, visit Circular Quay and show your loved ones some sites commemorating New South Wales’ history
  • If you have a New South Wales state flag, fly it with pride
  • Write to your local newspaper about this great occasion and all the development and innovation brought to the state by Western civilisation in the subsequent 230+ years
  • Share this Action Page on Facebook or other social media marking the occasion

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