When ArticlesHistory of Trades and Professions in Australia

History of Trades and Professions in Australia

Trade is the foundation through which the progress of the world and the economy are built. Technology, better health care, improved living standards and better human relations result from trades and professions. Because of them, the world has become a global village and hub of opportunities. Products can reach people who do not produce them; what they make in surplus can be sold to people who need them in any part of the world. Trade has been a success, and the modern world relies on trade in all aspects, whether directly or indirectly. Nations that have mastered trading have highly progressed, with their people having better quality lives.

Trade has been a success, but it has come a long way. For trade, there has to be a medium of exchange because that is what business is all about. Before the invention of currency, the primary form of ancient commerce was barter trade, which advanced to using cowrie shells, gold, and other valuable materials. Later on, money was invented.

For trade to thrive, there must be professions. Professions are specialisations in different modes of business that enable production to be at its best. Since trade involves exchanging goods and services using a commonly accepted currency, skills and professions must reach the highest quality.

Trade and professions in modern-day Australia

Before looking at the history of trade in Australia, it is best to analyse the state of trade in modern-day Australia to see better the heights that trade and professions have helped Australia reach. Australia is a first-world country with trade ties with almost all countries worldwide. Trade and occupations in Australia have changed dramatically since the early days of white settlement. The recent changes include the introduction of computers, which have impacted industries such as accounting and law.

The most crucial change in modern Australia has been the growth of service industries. These businesses provide services to customers rather than goods to profit from their work. Examples include tourism agencies, travel agents, car rental companies, hairdressers, and beauty salons. These businesses are a great source of revenue for the ordinary people of Australia.

Purpose of trade in modern-day Australia

Trade in modern-day Australia aims to increase Australia’s economic power and wealth. Trade allows us to buy goods from other countries, which increases the economy. Trade also allows Australia to sell goods to other countries, increasing its economy. Trade is one of the essential principles in modern-day Australia. Trade is the exchange of goods and services for money, property, or services between two or more parties. It involves buying and selling goods and services with other countries through trading.

Trade can help boost economic growth, create jobs and reduce poverty. It also allows businesses to grow and develop by making it easier to sell their products overseas. The purpose of trade in Australia is to stimulate economic growth in Australia, create jobs, and reduce poverty by creating an open market economy that allows people from different countries to trade with each other.

The impact of trade on modern-day Australia

The impact of trade on modern-day Australia is vast. It has allowed the Australian economy to become one of the most open economies in the world. It means that Australia has been able to export much more than it imports, which has helped its economy grow in exports and in terms of gross domestic product (GDP).

Australia’s exports include more agricultural products than any other country, including wool, wheat, and LNG. The county’s main exports are metals such as iron ore, gold, coal, and oilseeds. Furthermore, Australia also exports minerals such as nickel and zinc, which many other countries use worldwide. In addition to these exports, there are also many natural resources, such as iron ore, which Australia exports to help further its industrial growth.

Trade and professions have been the driving force behind Australia’s economic growth. The Australian economy has grown faster than any other developed country, with a GDP per capita twice higher than the GDP of most European countries. This growth is driven by increased trade and foreign investment in Australia.

The impact of trade is evident in Australia’s export performance since 1995, which has grown by an average of 4% per year compared to 3% for New Zealand and 2% for South Africa (OECD). The benefits from this growth can be seen through higher wages (which are then passed onto consumers), lower prices, and productivity improvements, all of which contribute to higher living standards.

History of trade and professions in modern day Australia

The trade history in Australia dates back thousands of years when they traded with Asia. The earliest evidence of trade between Australia and Asia comes from a mass of shells found at Lake Mungo, near present-day Canberra. These fossil shells have been dated to about 50,000 years ago, so they must have come from somewhere else. They were probably traded along the coast by sea-going people who may have been Indians or Aboriginals.

Before Europeans arrived in Australia during the 18th century, Australia was inhabited by aboriginal Australians who did not very much trade for economic but for survival purposes. While studying the history of Australia, it is essential to look at the history of employment from the 16th century. Australian Aborigines also traded with other indigenous peoples of South-East Asia, such as the people of Indonesia. Evidence for this comes from cave paintings in New Guinea showing double canoes carrying trade goods that look like those found in Australia’s north-eastern Arnhem Land and Cape York Peninsula today. They had stone tools and weapons made from obsidian (volcanic glass), bone tools, and shell clamshells as the medium of exchange.

Significant trade in Australia took place in the late 18th and 19th centuries. During this time, there was rapid growth in trade between Australia and other countries, especially Great Britain. The two significant exports were wool and wheat, which were highly profitable in England because there was a substantial surplus of food due to famines caused by bad harvests. Britain and Spain were trading with Australia from their settlements. The French sold with New Holland but had not settled there yet.

In 1711, The South Sea Company was founded by merchants and financiers to exploit the profits from trading with Spanish America. In 1718, it began trading with Spain’s American colonies and soon became involved in trade with other countries. In 1725, while still engaged in foreign exchange, it established a settlement at Port Jackson (Sydney) on the east coast of Australia. It was Australia’s first permanent settlement.

The first British ships arrived in Sydney in 1788. Still, it was only after ten years that the government established an official naval force to protect the colony from raids by the local Aboriginal people. A penal settlement was established on Macquarie Island off Tasmania’s south coast in 1814 and later moved to Van Diemens Land (Tasmania).

Many ships sailed between Australia and Britain carrying goods such as tea, tobacco, and sugar and livestock such as sheep and cattle. They also moved Australian animals, such as kangaroos and emus, across the Indian Ocean to British markets. Essential imports into Australia included raw materials for gold mining (such as gold dust and quartz) from South Africa, timber for shipbuilding, foodstuffs such as mutton from New Zealand, wool from England, flour from Ireland, wine from France, coal from Wales, copper from Chile and iron ore from Cornwall.

Trade in Australia in the 19th century

The 19th century was a busy period for trade in Australia. During the 19th century, when trade between Australia and other nations was gaining incredible momentum, Australia’s first Parliament, which met in Melbourne from 1834 to 1835, had little power because it was only responsible for advising the Governor on policy matters. However, it had some control over customs and excise duties, which meant that trading companies could not buy goods directly from Britain without paying duty. Thus, they influenced how much money went into government coffers yearly.

As trade between Australia and other countries opened up and people sought to exploit opportunities, they formed trade treaties. It was in 1840 that the first official trade treaty was signed between Australia and New Zealand. This treaty opened up both countries to direct trade, but it did not facilitate settlement by Europeans.

During this period, trade increased significantly between Australia and Britain. It was due to the gold rushes in Australia, which were made possible by discoveries of gold in Australia’s interior. The discovery of gold in Australia in 1851 and the associated rush to the goldfields led to a rapidly growing population and an influx of people looking for work. The gold rush also led to the rapid development of new transport networks such as railways, roadways, and shipping. It increased trade between Australia and other countries, including British India and China.

By 1872, about 300,000 people were living in Australia. The population overgrew during the next few decades due to the land being opened up for settlement and immigration from Europe.

Trade between Australia and China began with the arrival of convicts from Britain’s penal colony in New South Wales in 1788. However, regular trade between China and Australia started during the Gold Rush. Ships carrying cargo from Canton (now Guangzhou) arrived at Sydney Harbor on average every six weeks; many of these ships had originated in Britain or America before being sold or chartered out by their original owners.

Trade in Australia in the 20th century

The history of trade between Australia and other nations within the 20th century is a story of the growth of a minor, sparsely populated country into one of the world’s wealthiest nations. In 1900 Australia had little in common with its neighbours regarding culture or identity. The population was sparse, the economy was predominantly agricultural, and there were few railways or motor vehicles.

Trade between Australia and Britain grew further in the early 20th century because of their close relationship. They had fought together during World War I and II; they shared many common interests, including education; they had similar cultures; they spoke English and had identical climates, which allowed them to work together well.

During this time, however, the population of Australia was overgrowing from the late 19th century. By the 1920s, it was clear that Australia’s resources were not sufficient to support all its citizens. Australia established several trading relationships with other countries to exploit new trade opportunities. These included Japan, Britain, and New Zealand.

In the mid-1920s, Australia became involved in a dispute with Britain over controlling some Pacific Islands. It led to an agreement between the two countries in 1925, which allowed Australian ships to visit British territory without paying duty. The two governments later extended this agreement to cover all Australian goods entering or leaving British ports without duty payments being made by either party.

Many factors shaped Australia’s trade and professions in the following years. The first of these was the end of the Great Depression. Australia’s economy was severely affected by World War I and the Great Depression, but it rebounded. The second major factor was World War II. Australia was a substantial base for the United States military during this period, and its economy benefited from a vast increase in export demand. The third important factor was the post-war economic boom. This period saw many other significant events, including developing some of Australia’s most productive agricultural areas (such as around Broken Hill), introducing television and radio broadcasting into Australia, and developing Aboriginal arts and crafts.

Since then, trade in Australia has been diversified and improved. International business has boomed, and Australia is among one of the world’s most complex and organised trade hubs.

Modern-day trade in the 20th century

Technology in trade has further increased business potency in Australia. Because of Australia’s original marketing culture, people in the country adapted to commerce. Due to sound economic and political policies, business opportunities, and support by the government, the people Australians have so far succeeded in trade.

Technology added to the existing nature of employment in Australia and made it better because Australians could now trade more effectively locally and internationally. Because of technology, Banking became more convenient, people could access loans quickly, and due to the strong diplomatic ties of Australia with countries, international trade increased tremendously. Local businesses enable ordinary Australians to make a decent living, but global trade forms ensure Australia remains a world economic trade giant.

The 2010s saw Australia become more closely involved with its neighbours through trade agreements and cooperation on matters such as defence and immigration. The modern trading industry has evolved with the advent of technology. It is now easier than ever to trade in Australia.

There are numerous ways you can deal in Australia today. Online trading now allows you to buy and sell stocks and shares online. You can access various financial markets and get advice from specialist brokers. Overseas banks offer trading services in Australia, which allow Australians to gain exposure to overseas markets.

Modern-day trade in Australia is a competitive market. Customers are spoilt for choice regarding the type of product they wish to purchase, from home and household items to clothing, electronics, and cars. Modern-day trade in Australia is now dominated by online trading. Online trade has overgrown over the last few years and now accounts for almost half of all retail sales in Australia. Online trading is also referred to as e-commerce or e-shopping.

Modern-day trade in Australia allows you to buy products from anywhere in the world with little effort. Australians can shop at home or office desks by logging onto an Internet-enabled computer or mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. From the times of trading on ships for long, tiring, risky, and time-consuming voyages to convenient and simplified online trade, commerce in Australia has indeed come a long way.

The history of professions in Australia

The relations between trade and professions are significant. They are interdependent and support each other. A person’s profession is the source of his income and vice versa. A person cannot earn money if he does not have work; on the other hand, he cannot provide work for others unless he has money to pay them. In simpler words, professions enable the smooth running of trade.

The relations between trade and professions are also complementary in that they can be mutually beneficial. A person with an occupation can provide work for another person or group of people, whereas a professional can provide services to those with a transaction. For example, suppose you own a shop with your name on it. In that case, you can sell different products at your price rather than competing with other shops offering similar products at lower prices or even giving them away for free to attract customers. Similarly, suppose your profession requires you to master more than one skill (such as being an accountant who is also good at mathematics). In that case, you can create more jobs for yourself and others because you can serve more clients with less effort on their behalf.

The situation was no different in Australia in its trade. Trade in Australia was made possible because of professions. Goods were shipped in and out of Australia because professionals ensured everything ran smoothly. For instance, for goods to be ferried across the ocean on ships. Professionals like ship captains and other crew members used their skills to make that happen. Trade cannot be effective without professionalism, for professionalism is the pillar that makes trade possible.

Professions in Australia started when active trade started because none could exist without the other. Different careers in Australia enabled smooth trading and its governance and control. To better understand the history of occupations in Australia, here is the history of Some of the main primary disciplines.


The history of the commerce profession in Australia can be traced back to the mid-19th century when Australia began to develop as a nation. In this period, commerce was not a separate profession but an aspect of intellectual life closely associated with business and commerce.

In the early years of settlement, especially after the introduction of free trade in 1850, many Australian businesses overgrew. The demand for trained men who could work with numbers and figures created an opportunity for those who already had these skills. In some cases, this led to a formal training system for accountants. The first college of accountancy was established at Sydney University in 1857 by two self-taught accountants who had found their practice: Alexander Dunlop and James Henry Gregory.

These men were educated in England at private schools such as Eton College or Harrow School before returning to Australia, where they set up their accounting firms. They were followed by other young men who had gained experience working in banks and other financial institutions before migrating from England or Ireland to begin their careers.

The first Australian-born Australian to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) was George F. Humphreys, who later became the first Professor of Accounting at the University of Melbourne.

The profession overgrew with the development of large business enterprises such as BHP and QANTAS, but also with the advent of free trade agreements like the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA). In recent years, more and more women entered the profession. In 1991, only 2% of auditors were female; by 2001, this number had risen to 10%.


The history of the law profession in Australia began in 1788 when two men from Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) arrived in Sydney to seek employment as solicitors. They were among the first lawyers in Australia.  The first lawyer to be admitted to practice in Australia was Samuel James Allwright, who arrived in Sydney in 1794 along with several other British lawyers. In that same year, however, he was not immediately permitted to practice because there were no courts or legal institutions at that time that would give rise to this requirement.

The profession’s early years were marked by the introduction of new legal forms, including bills of exchange and promissory notes, which entrepreneurs used to raise capital for business ventures.

In 1804 Robert Weston was admitted as a solicitor and became one of the most prominent men in colonial society. He also significantly established the colony’s first newspaper, The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser. By 1823 there were already sufficient people qualified as solicitors for them to be listed individually on their certificates (which were then known as certificates of qualification).

The profession grew slowly for many years, but by about 1900, it had become reasonably well-established. The trade has continued to expand, especially during the last decade. Today an estimated 5500 registered lawyers are practising throughout Australia. From 2004 to 2005, there were approximately 11500 practising solicitors and barristers and nearly 9500 legal practitioners, including sole practitioners, partnerships and corporations (including non-practising alliances).

The history of the law profession in Australia is one of significant change, innovation and growth. It has been a process of evolution and expansion which has seen the domain develop from an informal system with an unspoken code of conduct to something more formalised and regulated. The development of legal work in Australia is closely tied to outcomes elsewhere in the world. Hence, it has been influenced by international developments.


We can trace the history of the medical profession in Australia to the early days of European settlement. The first settlers were from England, Scotland, and Ireland. Many came to Australia as convicts and were sent to penal colonies. People who came to Australia as convicts were given land on which they could build houses and farms. This land was often located in areas where there was no permanent settlement.

The first hospital was established in Sydney in 1788 by Governor Arthur Phillip, who King George III had permitted to find asylum for former convicts. A year later, Governor William Bligh opened another hospital at Parramatta after an outbreak of smallpox in Sydney.

In 1825 James Campbell, a Scottish surgeon from Glasgow arrived on board The Lady Nelson as part of a group of 500 convicts sent from Britain on board two ships bound for Van Diemen’s Land (as Tasmania was then known). He established a medical practice in Hobart Town, which attracted many patients from all over Tasmania and beyond. Campbell also taught classes at the Hobart Town Hospital, where he worked alongside local surgeons such as Dr John Barrowman, Dr William Hobbs and Dr George Broughton.


Education was not considered an essential issue for most Australians in its early days. The island also lacked educators and teachers. The education system was not as strong as it is today. The government did not have enough money to send students to school, and they could only afford to educate those children who had relatives who could pay for their education. Many people did not have relatives who could afford to pay for their education, so they were not allowed to attend school. These people would become some of Australia’s most influential figures.

The government decided that sending these students home would be a good idea because it would allow them to learn about other countries operations. The government decided this because they wanted these students to grow up and become productive members of society. It was not until the 1890s that significant debate began regarding what should be taught in schools and how it should be taught. It led to several changes, such as the introduction of modern languages into primary schools (which had previously been taught at the secondary level only) and changes in teacher training.

The history of the teaching profession in Australia has been one of change and development. For much of its history, Australian education was focused primarily on educating students for employment and preserving traditional values and customs. In Australia, public schools were established by state governments in most states during the nineteenth century. Both primary and secondary schools were established throughout the nineteenth century, but secondary education was not available until after the federation in 1901.

The first early schools in Australia were established by missionaries, various religious groups, and individuals with a strong personal interest in education. They were initially small institutions, often run from homes or other private premises, with children attending from one to six years old.

Later on, public schools were established by state governments in the 1850s, although some private schools had existed for some time before then. Primary schools were generally run by local school boards or teachers’ unions, and state governments or private companies ran secondary schools under contract with the government.

After the federation, public education rapidly expanded, and it became compulsory for children between the ages of 7 and 11 years to attend school at least once per week. In 1926, all states provided free primary education based on the ability to pay; this changed in 1948 when states agreed that all children should receive free primary education regardless of their ability to pay. In Australia, primary schools were generally run by local school boards or teachers’ unions, and state governments or private companies ran secondary schools under contract with the government.

However, many Catholic schools were run by religious orders such as nuns or priests from early times until the late 1960s when the state replaced them with government-run alternatives.

Schools in Australia formed the foundation of professions. It is here that educators natured talents, skills taught and intelligence incubated. Australians knew that, so the government ensured that children got an education and provided those willing to study with resources. The same continues today in Australia, and it is the main reason the country has progressed impressively to be one of the most productive countries in the world. Because of good education, Australia has advanced its trade because professions are now better taught, which instils Australians with the relevant skills required in the job market.


The banking industry is one of the main pillars of trade in modern-day Australia. The Commonwealth Bank is one example of a significant service industry based in Australia’s capital cities. It offers banking services to its customers through branches located within or close to these cities’ commercial centres. This bank and other institutions ensure a steady supply of money within the Australian community for money to circulate easily.

The Commonwealth Bank, built in 1911, employs over 17,000 people across its Australian branch network. In addition to being a financial institution, the bank provides many other services to its customers, such as credit cards, loans, and insurance products. The Commonwealth Bank is a member of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), which ensures that it has appropriate capital, liquidity, and risk management levels for the financial system. The APRA regulates all licensed deposit-taking institutions (LTDIs) in Australia according to their financial profiles.

Multinationals and big corporations and factories in Australia facilitate employment and ease production, which plays a significant role in modern-day trade and professions in Australia. Because of Australia’s well-organized state of professionalism and specialisation, businesses there are well-advanced. As a result, the country has a good flow of money.

The role of trades and professions in Australia

The role of trade and professions in Australia was, and still is, an essential part of the Australian economy and society today. Trade and professions are vital components of a modern, globalised economy. They form an integral part of the Australian economy, contributing over $1 trillion annually to the national income.

Trade and professions provide employment opportunities for more than 2 million people and generate nearly $100 billion in wages yearly. The role of trade and occupations in Australia is also critical to economic growth and prosperity for individuals, families, and communities.

Trade and professions contribute significantly to economic growth by providing new opportunities for skills development, innovation, competition, and productivity improvements.

Most people have a stable income from different fields of trade, such as banking, industrialisation, real estate, healthcare, communication, agriculture, and manufacturing. These professions are among the primary pillars of business in modern-day Australia.


Trade and professions in Australia have a long history that has contributed significantly to making Australia a trade giant. Australia has historically traded with other nations by exporting its resources and importing crucial resources that eventually add to its productivity. The country has continued growing by maintaining this culture, which makes it the Australia we know.

In addition to trade, Australia ensured that its natural professions played a crucial role in facilitating local and international transactions. Professions like commerce, law, medicine, and education significantly ensured that business thrived in Australia.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

1. What trades were common in Australia in the 1800s?

Several trades were common in Australia in the 1800s. These included blacksmithing, carpentry, stonemasonry, and bricklaying.

2. What professions were common in Australia in the 1800s?

A few different types of professions were common in Australia during the 1800s. These included farming, ranching, and mining. Also, there are many opportunities for sailors and fishermen, as Australia is an island nation.

3. What trades and professions are common in Australia today?

There are a variety of trades and professions that are common in Australia today. Some of the most popular include carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work. There is also a demand for qualified chefs, hairdressers, and mechanics. With such a diverse range of industries, there is something to suit everyone’s skills and interests.

4. What trades and professions have been in Australia for centuries?

Many trades and professions have been in Australia for centuries. For example, farming and fishing have been around since the early days of European settlement. Other examples include forestry, mining, and construction.

5. What are the most popular trades and professions in Australia?

There are a few popular trades and professions in Australia. These include carpentry, plumbing, electrician, chef, and nursing.

6. What are the most common occupations in Australia?

There are many occupations in Australia, but some of the most common include healthcare, teaching, and farming. Healthcare workers make up a large portion of the workforce, as there is a high demand for qualified professionals. Teaching is also a widespread occupation, as there are many schools and universities across the country. Farming is another common occupation, as Australia is known for its agriculture and livestock.

7. What professionals are needed in Australia?

Many professions are needed in Australia. These include doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, and scientists. Australia is a country with a lot of natural resources, so there is a need for people who can help to extract and process these resources. There is also a need for people who can provide services to the growing population, such as lawyers, accountants, and bankers.

8. What is the future of work in Australia?

The future of work in Australia is exciting! We are seeing more and more businesses move towards flexible working arrangements and remote work, which means that employees can have a better work-life balance. It is excellent news for employees, as it means they can spend more time with their families and friends and less commuting to and from work.

We also see a trend towards more collaborative workplaces, where employees are encouraged to work together to solve problems and develop creative solutions.


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