South Australia’s Foundation Act, passed by the British parliament in 1834, made no reference to the Aboriginal peoples who owned and occupied the land that was being annexed from the other side of the world.
George Fife Angas (1789–1879), described by his biographer Edwin Hodder, who was attracted to Angas’s nonconformist piety, as ‘one of the Fathers and Founders of South Australia’, helped shape South Australia’s institutions
Adelaide’s art galleries contribute to its reputation as a city of the arts. The South Australian Society of Arts, established in 1856 and the oldest Australian fine art society still in existence, had as one of its earliest objectives the setting up of a permanent gallery.
Robert Barr Smith (1824–1915), the son of a Scottish clergyman and his wife Marjory, née Barr, migrated to Melbourne in 1854. Moving to Adelaide just as Thomas Elder’s brothers were leaving South Australia, he threw in his lot with Elder.
Benjamin Herschel Babbage (1815–1878), an English engineer who superintended construction of the first Port Adelaide railway line, was employed by the South Australian Government in 1851 to search for gold. He led two official expeditions (1856 and 1858) that found no gold but surveyed the Flinders Ranges and Far North and established the extent of Lakes Eyre and Torrens.
Edward Bates Scott migrated to New South Wales in 1838 from England, he later settled in the Murray Region, establishing a cattle station, becoming a magistrate, protector of Aboriginals, and finally a superintendent of a labour prison.
Edward John Eyre (1815–1901) was English-born and educated for a military career but decided to travel to Australia instead. Arriving in Sydney in March 1833, Eyre soon displayed his flair for self-reliant leadership and adventure.
Elections to select members of parliament or local councillors are an important part of the democratic system. Who is allowed to vote is determined by the franchise, and who may stand for election by other provisions of electoral law.
Although amateur scientists had tinkered with it, electricity was not put to public use in South Australia until the arrival in 1855 of Charles Todd, who pioneered electrical telegraphic communications and introduced the notion of using electricity for street lighting.
The franchise has proved a lively issue in South Australia’s political history. Before representative government, wealthy men of property claimed that parliament should represent only those with a stake in the country, whereas many colonists sought popular representation.