Adelaide is a city of 1 million people, and the capital of the state of South Australia. Adelaide has a unique heritage. It began as yet another British colonial experiment less than 170 years ago. Half a century before that another colonial experiment in Sydney was destined to become a fantastic triumph for the English people. The worlds largest island-continent, though seemingly barren and unwanted by the rest of the world had been utilised by the English and thus began a steady growth of what became one of the western world's most exemplary nations. Though making many mistakes in it's journey to nationhood, it was in a privileged position to have learned from the mistakes of other past British colonies such as America. In fact it's history is inextricably linked with America in that it's reason for being initiated was as a response to the American revolution and their rejection of Britains convict labour and subsequent reliance on African slave labour. The British were the first to abandon slave labour beginning in 1772 with full abolition in 1833. Sydney was built on the British convict labour that might have gone to the America's, but the system developed a stigma due to it's excesses and by the 1830's new colonisation plans were being developed for Australia. Matthew Flinders had charted the shores of South Australia in 1802 and reported very promising country for settlement. While charting the area he met a Frenchman Nicolas Baudin who was also charting the coast, naming parts of it for his Emperor Napoleon. Baudins charts later fell into the hands of American sealing and whaling operations. Thus American whalers were the first white men to inhabit these shores followed by rival English gangs thirty years before the area was officially colonised. The expeditions of Captain Charles Sturt from Sydney in 1828 to 1831, along the Murray River to its discharge in Southern Australia, brought attention to the promise of this part of the continent for colonisation. Back in England the writings of an extraordinary character by the name of Edward Gibbon Wakefield were gaining acceptance. His colonisation plans called for settlement entirely by free persons with no convicts allowed. Land in the colony was to be bought by wealthy Englishmen and the proceeds of these land sales would pay the passage of labourers to work for them. His lobbying along with that of Robert Gouger eventually led to the formation of the South Australian association, the drafting of a bill and the passing of an act in the British House of Commons to found the colony. A board of commissioners organised land sales and emigration. The end to grants of free land in the other colonies of Australia assisted the plan. All the same, selling the land was not successful until merchant ship owner and philanthropist, George Fife Angas along with John Wright formed the South Australian Company and bought large tracts of land at a special price. The lawless American and ex-convict whalers were about to be replaced and whaling and sealing became the new colony's first industry. The land was suveyed from 1836 to 1837 by Colonel William Light, son of the founder of Penang, Francis Light. He chose the site of Adelaide, which was named after the wife of King William IV. His plan and vision for the future resulted in a well layed out city of wide straight streets with 5 main squares and a belt of parkland encircling it. Pastoral interests were persued on the surrounding plains and in 1840 the world's richest copper ore was discovered on a grazing property which gave rise to Australia's first great mining industry. Three major copper mining towns were built up which with the eventual cessation of mining, today still have a legacy of many fine stone buildings which tourism and leisure industries have sought to maintain. The city of Adelaide grew and prospered with the enterprise of it's free settlers and many and varied industries were started up. More campaigns of immigration as late as the 1950's and 60's led to the formation of vehicle manufacturing plants and a large whitegoods industry. We have major vehicle manufacturing/assembly plants here; we build submarines; we mine coal, copper, uranium, gold and opal; We are Australia's largest producers of wine; millions of tonnes of wheat and barley are harvested; wool and live sheep are exported. Citrus and stone fruits and vegetables and flowers are grown here on a large scale. We have huge deposits of natural gas; lead and zinc smelting operations; A steel works; Tuna, Oyster and Abalone farms; Forests and timber production... the list goes on.
Our natural and cultural history is rich and diverse and we are at the forefront of worldwide trends to protect these legacies for the future. We hosted the international carnival of the Formula I Grand Prix years ago which built on our reputation of involvement with motor sports. V8 cars are now raced here annually on our city circuit. We have Australia's largest collection of motor vehicles and many events from vintage car rallies to various forms of racing. We have long been renowned for our Arts festivals and cultural events. Our museum has Australia's largest collection of indigenous peoples' artifacts. Our art gallery has built up a vast collection of Australian and overseas art treasures. Our suburbs are well planned, roomy and leafy and we enjoy a standard of living second to none at very low prices compared even to other Australian cities. Our climate is a mild 'mediterranean' one which has lead to our people excelling at outdoor sports. Many Tennis stars have developed here, the latest sensation being Lleyton Hewitt. I could go on and will probably add more to this page as time rolls on because I am proud of my place of residence and want it to be recognised as a great place to live andto do business with.
Our highest profile world stage participant of the moment would have to be Dr. Andrew Thomas. Andy is our very own Astronaut! See the stats on his mission to the International Space Station. http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/sts-102/mission-sts-102.html