In 1770 Captain James Cook landed in Botany Bay, home of the Eora people, and claimed possession of the East Coast of Australia for Britain under the doctrine of 'terra nullius'
According to the international law of Europe in the late 18th century, there were only three ways that Britain could take possession of another country:
Strangely Britain did not follow any of these rules in Australia. Since there were already people living in Australia, Britain could not take possession by "settling" this country. However from the time of Captain Cook's arrival the British Government acted as if Australia were uninhabited. So, instead of admitting that it was invading land that belonged to Aboriginal people, Britain acted as it were settling an empty land. This is what is meant by the myth of terra nullius.
The myth of terra nullius NSW Board of Studies, 1995
Reproduced in the Sydney Morning Herald, 26 October 1996
Racism. no way. CESCEO
In November 1871, the undersea cable from Java arrived in Darwin, to much fanfare. The scheduled completion date of 1 January 1872 would be impossible to meet and under the contract terms, the government would be penalised for every day of work after that date. Todd arrived with reinforcements in January and work finally resumed in April that year. As the gap between the northern and central sections decreased, a pony express was used to carry telegraph messages across the gap. As it happened, the overseas line failed and was not restored until October 1872, so compensation was no longer an issue.
On 22 August 1872, the Overland Telegraph was finally completed when the lines were joined at Frews Ironstone Ponds. Todd sent the first official message to Adelaide and the city celebrated. With the restoration of the international link, Australians could now receive a message from London in Adelaide in just over a week.
Source : National Library of Australia: australia.gov.au/about-austral…
Wish to confirm the completion of the telegraph which is an important link in the electric chain of communication connecting the Australian colony with the mother country and the whole civilized and commercial world will, I trust, redound to the credit of South Australia.