1788 – 1840


The arrival of First Fleet in Sydney in 1788 marked the beginning of European colonisation of Australia, which has been home to a multitude of Indigenous nations for some 40-60,000 years.

Penal and free settlements were established across Australia with varying degrees of success as settlers explored and adapted to new, foreign environments.

The development of colonial settlements and their architecture was shaped by European, particularly British social and cultural world-views and systems of governance.

The population included British military personnel, civilians and convicts, many of whom were skilled trades people, artisans and farmers.

As the population expanded, settlements were established and homes were built, the economy was shaped by pastoralism, agriculture, manufacturing, and resource extraction, with a trade and retail industry supporting these endeavours.

The Colonial era saw the emergence of the Early Colonial, Colonial Georgian, Regency, Grecian and Gothic design styles.