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Aboriginal Australians first arrived on the Australian mainland by sea from Maritime Southeast Asia between 50,000 and 65,000 years ago. The early colonial period is dated from the First Fleet of British ships.

On January 26, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guided a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia. Arthur Phillip captain of the HMS Sirius was commissioned to establish an agricultural work camp there for British convicts.

On January 1, 1901, six colonies were joined together to create the Commonwealth of Australia, a self-governing Dominion in the British Empire.

The United States recognized Australia on January 8, 1940, when the Governments of the United States and Australia announced the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.

In 1975 when Australian PM Whitlam opposed the construction of a CIA base at Pine Gap a coup was orchestrated to install a government more desirable to Washington. For decades this story was branded conspiracy theory but historians with declassified archives have established that a CIA coup was successful.

In 2014 The Guardian published John Pilger's investigative reporting about the 1975 coup.

Christopher Boyce and Andrew Daulton Lee became America’s youngest convicted spies—condemned to federal prison in 1977 for their roles in one of the most highly publicized espionage cases in Cold War history.

Langley's battle for Pine Gap and the boys accidental spy roles were the basis for 1985 film “The Falcon and The Snowman” based on 1979 book. American Sons - The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman is an updated account published in 2018, written by Christopher Boyce, Cait Boyce and Vince Font.

Diplomatic Relations

On July 9, 1946, the White House announced the elevation of the Australian and American legations to embassy status.

The Australia, New Zealand and United States Security Treaty, or ANZUS Treaty, was an agreement signed in 1951 to protect the security of the Pacific.

Although ANZUS was never expanded, the 1954 creation of the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO) included all of the ANZUS powers, as well as Britain, France, and several other Asian powers, eliminating the impetus to change the foundation of the ANZUS Treaty.

Intelligence Sharing Agreements

In 1946, an alliance was formed between five anglophone countries and their security agencies: the US (NSA), the UK (GCHQ), Australia (ASD), Canada (CSEC) and New Zealand (GCSB) comprising of a series of bilateral agreements on surveillance and intelligence-sharing. Though these arrangements are commonly referred to as the United Kingdom-United States Communication Intelligence Act (UKUSA) agreement, the documents underpinning the Five Eyes alliance are numerous, intricate, and secret.

Intelligence-sharing agreements have now expanded beyond the Five Eyes to include 41 other states.

COVID Pandemic Policies

2020 March 13 - “Spectators queue outside Albert Park in Melbourne for two hours, before the organisers confirm the Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled. Six hours later, Scott Morrison and Australia’s premiers and chief ministers announce that mass gatherings – events with more than 500 participants – should not take place from Monday onward. They also announce the establishment of a national cabinet to respond to the coronavirus crisis. A level three travel warning is placed against the whole world, with Australians told to avoid unnecessary international travel.

March 15 - Quarantine rules are broadened. From midnight, all international arrivals are required to self-isolate for 14 days, unless they are airline or maritime crew, or transitioning through Australia to the Pacific Islands. The order extends to cruise ship passengers.

March 18 - A fake text message is circulating warning the country would go into an immediate lockdown, and the prime minister bristles when asked about it. “Twitter is not real life … so don’t believe it,” he says.

March 19 At 6am health officials give the all-clear for the 2,700 passengers aboard the cruise ship Ruby Princess to disembark. About 110 have influenza-like symptoms.

2021 Year End

Cell-Block Frontier: Covid-19 in Australia

Australia’s Covid-19 response has evoked terror across Western nations. Mass demonstrations protesting the world’s longest lockdown – in Melbourne, Victoria under Labor Premier Daniel Andrews – were criminalized, leading to crackdowns which produced ugly images of police jailing pregnant women for inciting protests, pepper spraying and brutalizing old ladies, choking young women for not wearing masks, and firing rubber bullets into crowds of retreating protesters. In Australia’s Northern Territory, and in the state of Western Australia individuals refusing the vaccine are subject to severe fines. After weeks of protests numbering in the hundreds of thousands, Victoria recently passed a pandemic bill that grants the government powers to issue huge punitive fines for refusing to wear masks, and jail sentences for business owners refusing to abide by “health orders.”

Even more ominously, Australian states have been building mass “quarantine facilities” for the future. While Australian state governments have been quick to dismiss civil rights concerns associated with detention in such facilities, recent incidents have seen individuals who test negative being held against their will and the camps being used for punitive measures against individuals who do not abide by health orders.1)

This update from the Premier of the Northern Territories in January, 2022. All unvaccinated people are now in lockdown; reasons for leaving the home reduced from five to three (exercise and work are not among the three); and a 30km movement restriction. (Needs verifying as this version is out of synch and could have been doctored.)

Conflicts of Interest

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