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Their ancestors have inhabited Australia for between 40,000 and 60,000 years, living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
The Commonwealth of Australia was founded in 1901, after a series of referenda conducted in the British colonies of Australasia.The Australian colonies had a period of extensive multi-ethnic immigration during the Australian gold rushes of the latter half of the 19th century, but following Federation in 1901, the Parliament instigated the White Australia Policy that gave preference to British migrants and ensured that Australia remained a predominantly Anglo-Celtic society until well into the 20th Century.The post-World War II immigration program saw the policy dismantled by successive governments, permitting large numbers of Southern European, and later Asian and Middle Eastern migrants to arrive.The arrival of the first British settlers at what is now Sydney in 1788 introduced Western civilisation to the Australian continent.Although Sydney was initially used by the British as a place of banishment for prisoners, the arrival of the British laid the foundations for Australia's democratic institutions and rule of law, and introduced the long traditions of English literature, Western art and music, and Judeo-Christian ethics and religious outlook to a new continent.
The main conqueror of Aborigines was to be disease and its ally, demoralisation." William Wentworth established Australia's first political party in 1835 to demand democratic government for New South Wales.