1789 in Australia
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- Governor of New South Wales – Captain Arthur Phillip
- Governor of Norfolk Island – Philip Gidley King
- Commanding officer of the colony's marine presence – Major Robert Ross
- January – A convict uprising on Norfolk Island is easily crushed.
- April – An outbreak of smallpox at the Sydney Cove settlement kills many local Eora Aboriginals, including Arabanoo.
- 29 April – The Mutiny on the Bounty occurs; Captain William Bligh and 18 others are cast adrift.
- 4 June – The first Government House is completed.
- 4 June – Australia's first theatrical performance The Recruiting Officer by George Farquhar staged with convicts acting in the roles.
- 12 June – Phillip leads an expedition to Broken Bay (departed from Sydney on the 6th), and discovers the Hawkesbury River.
- 27 June – Captain Watkin Tench and party discover the Nepean River
- 5 October – The first ship built in the colony, Rose Hill Packet, begins service on the Parramatta River.
- 21 November – James Ruse, a convict, provisionally given land at Parramatta to establish Experiment Farm.
- 25 November – For the purposes of understanding Aboriginal culture, Phillip captures Bennelong and Colebec.
- December – First successful harvest at Parramatta
- 19 January – Madame Rens, New South Wales settler and merchant (d. 1873)
- 16 March – Edward Macarthur, Administrator of Victoria (d. 1872)
- 1 May – George Fife Angas, Businessman and politician (d. 1879)
- 29 September – Benjamin Carvosso, first Wesleyan minister to preach in Australia (d. 1854)
- November – Peter Miller Cunningham, naval surgeon and author (d. 1864)
- 5 November – William Bland, Medical practitioner, surgeon and politician (d. 1868)
- date unknown
- 18 May – Arabanoo, cultural mediator between the British settlers and Eora Aboriginals
- December – George Austin, gardener on HMS Guardian
- December – James Smith, gardener on HMS Guardian
- Australian Encyclopedia 6th edition Australian Geographic Terrey Hills NSW 1996 Volume 1 Chronology page 25
- Barker, Anthony (1996). What Happened When. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-86373-986-3.
- National Library of Australia. "The World Upside Down: Australia 1788 – 1830". Archived from the original on 20 March 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2007.