Victoria (abbreviated as Vic) is a state in the southeast of Australia. Victoria is Australia's most densely populated state and its secondmost populous state overall. Most of its population is concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Melbourne, which is Australia's secondlargest city. Geographically the smallest state on the Australian mainland, Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, and South Australia to the west.Prior to European settlement, the area now constituting Victoria was inhabited by a large number of Aboriginal peoples, collectively known as the Koori. With Great Britain having claimed the entire Australian continent east of the 135th meridian east in 1788, Victoria was included in the wider colony of New South Wales. The first settlement in the area occurred in 1803 at Sullivan Bay, and much of what is now Victoria was included in the Port Phillip District in 1836, an administrative division of New South Wales. Victoria was officially created a separate colony in 1851, and achieved selfgovernment in 1855. The Victorian gold rush in the 1850s and 1860s significantly increased both the population and wealth of the colony, and by the Federation of Australia in 1901, Melbourne had become the largest city and leading financial centre in Australasia. Melbourne also served as capital of Australia until the construction of Canberra in 1927, with the Federal Parliament meeting in Melbourne's Parliament House and all principal offices of the federal government being based in Melbourne.Politically, Victoria has 37 seats in the Australian House of Representatives and 12 seats in the Australian Senate. At state level, the Parliament of Victoria consists of the Legislative Assembly (the lower house) and the Legislative Council (the upper house). Victoria is currently governed by the Labor Party, with Daniel Andrews the current Premier. The personal representative of the Queen of Australia in the state is the Governor of Victoria, currently Linda Dessau. Local government is concentrated in 79 municipal districts, including 33 cities, although a number of unincorporated areas still exist, which are administered directly by the state.The economy of Victoria is highly diversified service sectors including financial and property services, health, education, wholesale, retail, hospitality and manufacturing constitute the majority of employment. Victoria's total gross state product (GSP) is ranked second in Australia, although Victoria is ranked fourth in terms of GSP per capita because of its limited mining activity. Culturally, Melbourne is home to a number of museums, art galleries and theatres and is also described as the 'sporting capital of Australia'. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is the largest stadium in Australia, and the host of the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The ground is also considered the 'spiritual home' of Australian cricket and Australian rules football, and hosts the grand final of the Australian Football League (AFL) each year, drawing crowds of approximately 100,000. Victoria includes eight public universities, with the oldest, the University of Melbourne, having been founded in 1853.After the founding of the colony of New South Wales in 1788, Australia was divided into an eastern half named New South Wales and a western half named New Holland, under the administration of the colonial government in Sydney. The first European settlement in the area later known as Victoria was established in October 1803 under LieutenantGovernor David Collins at Sullivan Bay on Port Phillip. It consisted of 402 people (5 Government officials, 9 officers of marines, 2 drummers, and 39 privates, 5 soldiers' wives, and a child, 307 convicts, 17 convicts' wives, and 7 children). They had been sent from England in HMS Calcutta under the command of Captain Daniel Woodriff, principally out of fear that the French, who had been exploring the area, might establish their own settlement and thereby challenge British rights to the continent.
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In the year 1826 Colonel Stewart, Captain S. Wright, and Lieutenant Burchell were sent in H.M.S. Fly (Captain Wetherall) and the brigs Dragon and Amity, took a number of convicts and a small force composed of detachments of the 3rd and 93rd regiments. The expedition landed at Settlement Point (now Corinella), on the eastern side of the bay, which was the headquarters until the abandonment of Western Port at the insistence of Governor Darling about twelve months afterwards.Melbourne was founded in 1835 by John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner. From settlement the region around Melbourne was known as the Port Phillip District, a separately administered part of New South Wales.On 1 July 1851, writs were issued for the election of the first Victorian Legislative Council, and the absolute independence of Victoria from New South Wales was established proclaiming a new Colony of Victoria..Immigrants arrived from all over the world to search for gold, especially from Ireland and China. Many Chinese miners worked in Victoria, and their legacy is particularly strong in Bendigo and its environs. Although there was some racism directed at them, there was not the level of antiChinese violence that was seen at the Lambing Flat riots in New South Wales. However, there was a riot at Buckland Valley near Bright in 1857. Conditions on the gold fields were cramped and unsanitary an outbreak of typhoid at Buckland Valley in 1854 killed over 1,000 miners.