Elder Family of Scots merchants and ship owners saw the infant South Australia as an opportunity to expand their business interests. Alexander Lang Elder (1815–1885), the pioneer, arrived in 1839 and established a trading business.
Radicalism has been inherent in South Australian history from its founding as a free settlement. Based upon the English radical liberal thought of its founders, the State's reputation grew as a progressive colony and the first to entirely separate church from state.
The History Trust of South Australia is coordinating a series of programs and events to mark the 125th anniversary of womens suffrage in South Autralia. In December 1894, after decades of activism, women in South Australia were awarded the right to vote and stand for parliament. In 2019 we will celebrate the victory of the early suffragists such as Mary Lee, Augusta Zadow, Catherine Helen Spence and those who joined the fight. The Suffrage 125 initiative will explore issues of gender equality over the past 125 years.
Carpenters, tailors, bakers, carriers, cordwainers and coachmakers had formed unions within ten years of European settlement of South Australia, and by the 1870s there were thousands of union members in the colony.