Van Diemen’s Land became the penal colony of last resort in Australia, where the most hardened criminals and ex-convicts who re-offended were exiled. It also attracted wealthy free settlers, who clustered in the northwest, attracted by the fine sheep pasture and inexhaustible supply of free convict labour. The aboriginal population was considered inconvenient, and was brutally ethnically cleansed in the 1820s: the bulk were deported to Flinders Island in the 1830s. An Act of Parliament founded South Australia as a free colony in 1834; the first settlers arrived in 1836, when the future capital, Adelaide, was founded. Swan River Colony (named after its distinctive native black swans) would be constituted as Western Australia in 1832. The Governor of New South Wales, Thomas Brisbane, established his eponymous settlement (and future capital of Queensland) on his eponymous river, in 1825, as a further penal colony, although German missionaries arrived in the 1830s.
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