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Uncertain Beginnings

by Jim Bain

Uncertain Beginnings
Previously Published Book
Australian History

In the late 1400s, under the leadership of Prince Henry the Navigator, Portugal developed into a leader in the discovery of new oceans and islands. However, in 1580, the Spanish invaded Portugal and the country became subservient to the Spanish Crown.

Between 1605 and 1644, the Dutch charted most of the Australian mainland, principally through the activities of Abel Tasman. However, after 1645, they lost interest in exploration around the Great South Land.

The French were very unlucky in their attempts to discover, and probably settle, the east coast of Australia. Bougainville was prevented, in 1768, by the Great Barrier Reef and La Pérouse, with his well-equipped expedition, sailed away from Botany Bay in 1788, never to be seen again.

By the time of Lieutenant James Cook's epic voyages of exploration to the South Pacific in 1768 and 1772, Britain was the strongest economy in Europe and had the most powerful navy.

In 1783, the British decided to transport convicts to New South Wales. Occupation of the new port of Sydney would cement Britain's claim to the colony.

Jim Bain, AM, a leader of Sydney's financial community for over forty years, was Chairman of the Sydney Stock Exchange, the Australian Associated Stock Exchanges and of Bain & Company, stockbrokers.

Jim was awarded a Membership of the Order of Australia for services to commerce, particularly at the Sydney Stock Exchange, where he led the introduction of computerised share trading, and a Centenary Medal for service to Australian Society through the arts and business.

His first book published by Harper Collins Australia in 2001, was The Remarkable Roller Coaster, Forty years in the Australian Finance Industry. His second book A Financial Tale of Two Cities, published by University Press in 2007, describes Sydney and Melbourne's remarkable contest to become Australia's financial capital.

Now in this introductory history, Jim Bain shows why Australia was settled by the British and not by the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch or French, all of whom had shown interest in the Great South Land.





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