160 years of Australian telecommunications

Main Article Content

Peter Gerrand


Australian telecommunications


The Australian telecommunications industry has reached its 160th anniversary this year measured from the completion of its first electrical telegraph network on 3 March 1854, linking Melbourne to Williamstown. The back story to the implementation of that first network suggests that Lieutenant Governor Charles La Trobe and the colony’s first General-Superintendent of Telegraphy, Samuel McGowan, should be celebrated as the founders of Australian telecommunications: the visionary and his appointee, the entrepreneurial project manager. A brief overview is given of how the Australian telecommunications industry has evolved to the present day, including the evolution of the Telecommunications Society of Australia (now TelSoc), a society of volunteers supporting the industry since 1874, i.e. for 140 years of the industry’s 160 years.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...
Abstract 9 | PDF Downloads 0


ACMA. 2014. ‘Communications report 2012-13’, updated 2 January 2014, at http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/Library/Corporate-library/Corporate-
ADB (Australian Dictionary of Biography). 1967. ‘La Trobe, Charles Joseph (1801-1875)’, at http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/la-trobe-charles-joseph-2334
Gerrand, Peter. 2010. ‘Celebrating 75 years of the Telecommunications Journal of Australia’, Telecommunications Journal of Australia, Vol. 60. No. 3, August 2010, http://doi.org/10.7790/ajtde.v2n1.33
ITU. 2004. ‘History’, at http://www.itu.int/en/about/Pages/history.aspx
Moyal, Ann. 1984. ‘Clear across Australia: a history of telecommunications’. Nelson, Melbourne.
TelSoc. 2013. ‘History of TelSoc’, at https://telsoc.org/history/history_telsoc
Wikipedia. 2014. ‘douard Estauni’, at http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/?douard_Estauni?
Wikipedia. 2010-14. ‘Telecommunications Society of Australia’, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_Society_of_Australia