Victoria (Australia)

alt text for flagCoat of Arms of Victoria.svg
FlagCoat of arms
Slogan or nicknameThe Garden State
On the Move
The Place to Be
The Education State
Motto(s)Peace and Prosperity
Map of Australia with Victoria highlighted
Location relative to other Australian states and territories
Coordinates37°S 144°E / 37°S 144°E / -37; 144
Capital cityMelbourne
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
 • GovernorLinda Dessau
 • PremierDaniel Andrews (ALP)
Australian state 
 • British Colony established1 July 1851 (1851-07-01)
 •    government1855
 • Federation1901
 • Australia Act3 March 1986 (1986-03-03)
 • Total237,659 km² (6th)
91,761 sq mi
 • Land227,436 km²
87,814 sq mi
 • Water10,213 km² (4.3%)
3,943 sq mi
(June 2019)[1]
 • Population6,594,804 (2nd)
 • Density29.00/km² (2nd)
75.1 /sq mi
 • Highest pointMount Bogong
1,986 m (6,516 ft)
Gross state product
 • Product ($m)$446,079[2] (2nd)
 • Product per capita$68,350 (6th)
Time zone(s)UTC+10 (AEST)
Federal representation 
 • House seats38/151
 • Senate seats12/76
 • PostalVIC
 • ISO 3166-2AU-VIC
 • FloralCommon (Pink) Heath[3]
 • AnimalLeadbeater's possum
 • BirdHelmeted honeyeater
 • FishWeedy seadragon
 • Mineral or gemstoneGold[4]
 • ColoursNavy blue and silver[5]

Victoria (abbreviated as Vic) is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's smallest mainland state and its second-most populous state (after New South Wales), making it the most densely populated state. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south,[note 1] New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea (a marginal sea of the South Pacific Ocean) to the east, and South Australia to the west.

The area that is now known as Victoria is the home of many Aboriginal people groups, including the Boon wurrung, the Bratauolung, the Djadjawurrung, the Gunai/Kurnai, the Gunditjmara, the Taungurong, the Wathaurong, the Wurundjeri, and the Yorta Yorta. There were more than 30 Aboriginal languages spoken in the area prior to the European settlement of Australia. The Kulin nation is an alliance of five Aboriginal nations which makes up much of the central part of the state.[6]

With Great Britain having claimed the half of the Australian continent that is east of the 135th meridian east in 1788, Victoria formed part of the wider colony of New South Wales. The first European settlement in the area occurred in 1803 at Sullivan Bay, and much of what is now Victoria was included in 1836 in the Port Phillip District, an administrative division of New South Wales. Named in honour of Queen Victoria, who signed the division's separation from New South Wales, the colony was officially established in 1851 and achieved self government in 1855.[7]The Victorian gold rush in the 1850s and 1860s significantly increased both the population and wealth of the colony, and by the time of the Federation of Australia in 1901, Melbourne had become the largest city and leading financial centre in Australasia. Melbourne served as federal capital of Australia until the construction of Canberra in 1927, with the Federal Parliament meeting in Melbourne's Parliament House and all principal offices of the federal government being based in Melbourne.

Politically, Victoria has 38 seats in the Australian House of Representatives and 12 seats in the Australian Senate. At state level, the Parliament of Victoria consists of the Legislative Assembly (the lower house) and the Legislative Council (the upper house). The Labor Party, led by Daniel Andrews as premier, has governed Victoria since 2014. The personal representative of the Queen of Australia in the state is the Governor of Victoria, currently Linda Dessau (in office since 2015). Victoria is divided into 79 municipal districts, including 33 cities, although a number of unincorporated areas still exist, which the state administers directly.

The economy of Victoria is highly diversified, with service sectors including financial and property services, health, education, wholesale, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing constitute the majority of employment. Victoria's total gross state product (GSP) ranks second in Australia, although Victoria ranks sixth in terms of GSP per capita because of its limited mining activity. Culturally, Melbourne hosts a number of museums, art galleries, and theatres, and is also described as the world's sporting capital.[8][9] The Melbourne Cricket Ground, the largest stadium in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The ground is also considered the "spiritual home" of Australian cricket and Australian rules football,[10] and hosts the grand final of the Australian Football League (AFL) each year, drawing crowds of approximately 100,000. Nearby Melbourne Park has hosted the Australian Open, one of tennis' four Grand Slam events, annually since 1988. Victoria has eight public universities, with the oldest, the University of Melbourne, dating from 1853.


Indigenous Victorians

Aboriginal Victorians, the indigenous Australians of Victoria, Australia, occupied the land for tens of thousands of years before European settlement.[11] Aboriginal people lived a semi-nomadic existence of fishing, hunting and gathering, and farming eels in Victoria for at least 40,000 years.[12]

European colonisation

Swearing Allegiance to the Southern Cross at the Eureka Stockade on 1 December 1854 – watercolour by Charles Doudiet

Victoria, like Queensland, was named after Queen Victoria, who had been on the British throne for 14 years when the colony was established in 1851.[13]

After the founding of the colony of New South Wales in 1788, Australia was divided into an eastern half named New South Wales and a western half named New Holland, under the administration of the colonial government in Sydney. The first British settlement in the area later known as Victoria was established in October 1803 under Lieutenant-Governor David Collins at Sullivan Bay on Port Phillip. It consisted of 402 people (five government officials, nine officers of marines, two drummers, and 39 privates, five soldiers' wives and a child, 307 convicts, 17 convicts' wives, and seven children).[14] They had been sent from England in HMS Calcutta under the command of Captain Daniel Woodriff, principally out of fear that the French, who had been exploring the area, might establish their own settlement and thereby challenge British rights to the continent.

In 1826, Colonel Stewart, Captain Samuel Wright, and Lieutenant Burchell were sent in HMS Fly (Captain Wetherall) and the brigs Dragon and Amity, took a number of convicts and a small force composed of detachments of the 3rd and 93rd regiments. The expedition landed at Settlement Point (now Corinella), on the eastern side of Western Port Bay, which was the headquarters until the abandonment of Western Port at the insistence of Governor Darling about 12 months afterwards.[15][16]

Victoria's next settlement was at Portland, on the south west coast of what is now Victoria. Edward Henty settled Portland Bay in 1834.[17]

Melbourne was founded in 1835 by John Batman, who set up a base in Indented Head, and John Pascoe Fawkner. From settlement, the region around Melbourne was known as the Port Phillip District, a separately administered part of New South Wales. Shortly after, the site now known as Geelong was surveyed by Assistant Surveyor W. H. Smythe, three weeks after Melbourne. And in 1838, Geelong was officially declared a town, despite earlier European settlements dating back to 1826.

Creation of separate colony of Victoria

Victoria Colony
British Crown Colony
Flag of Victoria
 • TypeSelf-governing colony
• 1851–1901
• 1851–1854
Charles La Trobe (first)
• 1895–1900
Thomas Brassey (last)
• independence from the New South Wales colony
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Colony of New South Wales
Victoria (Australia)

On 1 July 1851, writs were issued for the election of the first Victorian Legislative Council, and the absolute independence of Victoria from New South Wales was established proclaiming a new Colony of Victoria.[18] Days later, still in 1851 gold was discovered near Ballarat, and subsequently at Bendigo. Later discoveries occurred at many sites across Victoria. This triggered one of the largest gold rushes the world has ever seen. The colony grew rapidly in both population and economic power. In 10 years, the population of Victoria increased sevenfold from 76,000 to 540,000. All sorts of gold records were produced, including the "richest shallow alluvial goldfield in the world" and the largest gold nugget. In the decade 1851–1860 Victoria produced 20 million ounces of gold, one-third of the world's output.[citation needed]

Immigrants arrived from all over the world to search for gold, especially from Ireland and China.[19] By 1857, 26,000 Chinese miners worked in Victoria, and their legacy is particularly strong in Bendigo and its environs. Although some racism was directed at them,[20] the level of anti-Chinese violence was not as great as was seen at the Lambing Flat riots in New South Wales. However, a riot at Buckland Valley near Bright occurred in 1857. Conditions on the gold fields were cramped and unsanitary; an outbreak of typhoid at Buckland Valley in 1854 killed over 1,000 miners.

In 1854 at Ballarat, an armed rebellion against the government of Victoria was made by miners protesting against mining taxes (the "Eureka Stockade"). This was crushed by British troops, but the discontents prompted colonial authorities to reform the administration (particularly reducing the hated mining licence fees) and extend the franchise. Within a short time, the Imperial Parliament granted Victoria responsible government with the passage of the Colony of Victoria Act 1855. Some of the leaders of the Eureka rebellion went on to become members of the Victorian Parliament.

The first foreign military action by the colony of Victoria was to send troops and a warship to New Zealand as part of the New Zealand Wars. Troops from New South Wales had previously participated in the Crimean War.

In 1901, Victoria became a state in the Commonwealth of Australia. As a result of the gold rush, Melbourne had by then become the financial centre of Australia and New Zealand. Between 1901 and 1927, Melbourne was the capital of Australia while Canberra was under construction. It was also the largest city in Australia at the time.[citation needed]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Viktoriya (ştat)
Bân-lâm-gú: Victoria (Ò-chiu)
беларуская: Вікторыя (штат)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Вікторыя (Аўстралія)
български: Виктория (щат)
français: Victoria (État)
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Victoria (Au-chû)
한국어: 빅토리아주
Bahasa Indonesia: Victoria, Australia
íslenska: Victoria
Lëtzebuergesch: Victoria (Australien)
მარგალური: ვიქტორიაშ შტატი
Bahasa Melayu: Victoria, Australia
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Victoria (Ó̤-ciŭ)
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဝိတိုရိယ ပြည်နယ်
Norfuk / Pitkern: Wiktoreya
norsk nynorsk: Delstaten Victoria
پنجابی: وکٹوریہ
Simple English: Victoria (Australia)
slovenščina: Viktorija (Avstralija)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Victoria, Australija
Tagalog: Victoria
татарча/tatarça: Виктория (штат)
українська: Вікторія (штат)
Tiếng Việt: Victoria (Úc)