Australian Army Reserve
The Australian Army Reserve is a collective name given to the reserve units of the Australian Army. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, the reserve military force has been known by many names, including the Citizens Forces, the Citizen Military Forces, the Militia and, the Australian Military Forces. In 1980, the current name—Australian Army Reserve—was adopted, it now consists of a number of components based around the level of commitment and training obligation that its members are required to meet. For the first half of the 20th century, due to a widespread distrust of permanent military forces in Australia, the reserve military forces were the primary focus of Australian military planning. Following the end of World War II, this focus shifted due to the changing strategic environment, the requirement for a higher readiness force available to support collective security goals. Since Australian defence policy has been focused more upon the Regular Army, there has been considerable debate about the role of the Army Reserve within defence planning circles.
As the strategic situation has evolved in the post Cold War era, the organisation, structure and role of the Army Reserve has undergone considerable changes, members of the Army Reserve are being used on overseas deployments, not only within Regular Army units, but in units drawn entirely from Reserve units. Despite being the main focus upon which Australian defence planning was based, since Federation Reserve units have been used in the role of home defence and to provide a mobilisation platform during times of war. During World War I Australia's contribution to the fighting came from forces raised outside the citizens forces that were in existence at the time, although many citizen soldiers enlisted in these forces, the Citizens Forces units remained in Australia. With the outbreak of World War II a similar situation evolved, with the establishment of an all volunteer expeditionary force, with the entry of Japan into the war the threat to Australia became more direct and a number of Militia units were called upon to fight in New Guinea and other areas of the South West Pacific.
Following the end of World War II, the decision was made to establish a permanent standing defence force and the role of Reserve forces was reduced to the point where for a while their relevance was called into question. However, there has been a move to develop a more capable Reserve force, as Australia's overseas military commitments in the Pacific and Middle East have highlighted the importance of the Reserves once more; as such, since 2000 units of the Australian Army Reserve have been deployed to East Timor and the Solomon Islands on peacekeeping duties and many more individual Reservists have been used to provide specialist capabilities and to fill in Regular Army formations being sent overseas. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the amalgamation of the military forces controlled by the six separate, self-governing British colonies to form a unified force controlled by the Commonwealth was an inevitable, albeit realised, given that the new Constitution of Australia assigned the defence power to the Commonwealth.
Indeed, this process took some time as, to a large extent, matters of defence were not a priority of the new Australian legislature at the time, there was a considerable diversity in opinion regarding the composition and size of the new national army and role it would play at home and indeed within the wider Imperial defence system. The official transfer of forces from the states to the Commonwealth occurred on 1 March 1901, this date is today celebrated as the birthday of the modern Australian Army. At the outset, the bulk of the Commonwealth military force was to be made up of part-time volunteers; this was arguably due to two factors. Firstly, there was a widespread desire amongst Australian policymakers to keep defence expenditure low, while secondly there was a widespread mistrust or suspicion surrounding the idea of a large standing army. After the initial transfer of forces in March 1901, further progress was slow as administrative and legislative instruments took time to develop. Indeed, it was not until 1 March 1904 that the Defence Act 1903 was proclaimed, providing the Commonwealth Military Forces a statutory framework within which they could operate.
Amidst a background of political manoeuvring and personal agendas, the military forces were reorganised into a more or less unified command structure. As a part of this, state-based mounted units were reformed into light horse regiments, supplemented by the transfer of men from a number of superfluous infantry units, while the remaining infantry were organised into battalions of the Australian Infantry Regiment and engineers and artillery were organised into field companies and garrison artillery batteries. Due to the provisions of the Defence Act which did not provide for the establishment of a regular infantry force, the notion that the Commonwealth Military Forces would be based on a part-time militia was set out in legislation; the lack of importance placed on military matters in Australian political circles continued for some time, the size of the Australian military in this time continued to fall, in part due to the emphasis placed upon mounted units in the new command structure. However, following a number of strategic and political "scares", defence matters began to take on more primacy in the Australian psyche before a review of defence needs was made in 1909 by Field Marshal Lord Kitchener.
The result of this review was the realisation of the need to build a credible defence force that could not only defend the nation
The Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces, it may be awarded posthumously. It was awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours, it may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two-thirds of all awards have been presented by the British monarch; these investitures are held at Buckingham Palace. The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since the medal has been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individual recipients. Only 15 medals, 11 to members of the British Army, four to the Australian Army, have been awarded since the Second World War.
The traditional explanation of the source of the metal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the Siege of Sevastopol. However, research has suggested another origin for the material. Historian John Glanfield has established that the metal for most of the medals made since December 1914 came from two Chinese cannon, that there is no evidence of Russian origin. Owing to its rarity, the VC is prized and the medal has fetched over £400,000 at auction. A number of public and private collections are devoted to the Victoria Cross; the private collection of Lord Ashcroft, amassed since 1986, contains over one-tenth of all VCs awarded. Following a 2008 donation to the Imperial War Museum, the Ashcroft collection went on public display alongside the museum's Victoria and George Cross collection in November 2010. Beginning with the Centennial of Confederation in 1967, followed in 1975 by Australia and New Zealand, developed their own national honours systems, separate from and independent of the British or Imperial honours system.
As each country's system evolved, operational gallantry awards were developed with the premier award of each system—the Victoria Cross for Australia, the Canadian Victoria Cross and the Victoria Cross for New Zealand—being created and named in honour of the Victoria Cross. These are unique awards of each honours system, assessed and presented by each country. In 1854, after 39 years of peace, Britain found itself fighting a major war against Russia; the Crimean War was one of the first wars with modern reporting, the dispatches of William Howard Russell described many acts of bravery and valour by British servicemen that went unrewarded. Before the Crimean War, there was no official standardised system for recognition of gallantry within the British armed forces. Officers were eligible for an award of one of the junior grades of the Order of the Bath and brevet promotions while a Mention in Despatches existed as an alternative award for acts of lesser gallantry; this structure was limited. Brevet promotions or Mentions in Despatches were confined to those who were under the immediate notice of the commanders in the field members of the commander's own staff.
Other European countries had awards that did not discriminate against rank. There was a growing feeling among the public and in the Royal Court that a new award was needed to recognise incidents of gallantry that were unconnected with the length or merit of a man's service. Queen Victoria issued a Warrant under the Royal sign-manual on 29 January 1856 that constituted the VC; the order was backdated to 1854 to recognise acts of valour during the Crimean War. Queen Victoria had instructed the War Office to strike a new medal that would not recognise birth or class; the medal was meant to be a simple decoration that would be prized and eagerly sought after by those in the military services. To maintain its simplicity, Queen Victoria, under the guidance of Prince Albert, vetoed the suggestion that the award be called The Military Order of Victoria and instead suggested the name Victoria Cross; the original warrant stated that the Victoria Cross would only be awarded to officers and men who had served in the presence of the enemy and had performed some signal act of valour or devotion.
The first ceremony was held on 26 June 1857 at which Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park, London. A single company of jewellers, Hancocks of London, has been responsible for the production of every VC awarded since its inception, it has long been believed that all the VCs were cast from the cascabels of two cannon that were captured from the Russians at the siege of Sevastopol. However, in 1990 Creagh and Ashton conducted a metallurgical examination of the VCs in the custody of the Australian War Memorial, the historian John Glanfield wrote that, through the use of X-ray studies of older Victoria Crosses, it was determined that the metal used for all VCs since December 1914 is taken from antique Chinese guns, replacing an earlier gun. Creagh noted the existence of Chinese inscriptions on the cannon, which are now legible due to corrosion. A explanation is that these cannon were taken as trophies during the First Opium War and held in the Woolwich repository.
It was thought that some medals made during the First World War were composed of metal captured from different Chinese guns during the Boxer Rebellion. This is not so
Federation of Malaya
The Federation of Malaya was a federation of what had been British Malaya comprising eleven states that existed from 1 February 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957, in 1963 Malaysia was formed when the federation united with the Singapore, North Borneo, Sarawak Crown Colonies; the federation of states that made up the Federation of Malaya is now known as Peninsular Malaysia. From 1946 to 1948, the eleven states formed a single British crown colony known as the Malayan Union. Due to opposition from Malay nationalists, the Union was disbanded and replaced by the Federation of Malaya, which restored the symbolic positions of the rulers of the Malay states. Within the Federation, while the Malay states were protectorates of the United Kingdom and Malacca remained British colonial territories. Like the Malayan Union before it, the Federation did not include Singapore, despite its traditional connections with Malaya; the Federation achieved independence within the Commonwealth of Nations on 31 August 1957.
In 1963, the Federation was reconstituted as "Malaysia" when it federated with the British territories of Singapore and North Borneo. Singapore separated from Malaysia to become an independent republic on 9 August 1965; the Federation of Malaya Agreement was formulated by the British–Malay Pleno Conference between June and December 1946. At the end of the meeting, the Pleno Conference produced a 100-page "Blue Book."The Federation of Malaya Agreement was signed on 21 January 1948 at King House by the Malay rulers, by Sir Edward Gent as the representative of the British government. The Agreement superseded the Agreement creating the Malayan Union, prepared for the establishment of the Federation of Malaya on 1 February 1948; the position of the Malay rulers was restored. Johor Kedah Kelantan Malacca Negeri Sembilan Pahang Penang Perak Perlis Selangor Terengganu The government of the Federation of Malaya was headed by a British High Commissioner with executive powers and advised by the Federation of Malaya Executive Council and the Federation of Malaya Legislative Council.
The Federation of Malaya Executive Council comprised 7 unofficial members. The Federation of Malaya Legislative Council comprised the High Commissioner as the Council President, 14 official and 50 unofficial members representing the Straits Settlements, business groups and all races. Additionally, 9 State Council Yang Di Pertua, Chief Ministers and 2 representatives from the Straits Settlements became unofficial members; the Malay Conference of Rulers would advise the High Commissioner on immigration issues. The British Resident was replaced with a Chief Minister in each state of the federation; the conditions of citizenship of the Federation of Malaya were further tightened using law enforcement and naturalisation by application. Under the laws, the following were automatically granted citizenship: Citizens of the Sultan of any state British subjects born in Penang or Malacca who have lived continuously for 15 years in the federation British subjects born in the federation whose fathers were born or lived continuously for 15 years in the federation Anyone born in the federation, conversant in the Malay language and following Malay traditions in his or her daily life Anyone born in the federation whose parents were born and lived continuously for 15 years in the federationVia naturalisation, one could achieve citizenship, given these criteria: Born and lived for at least 8 of 12 years in the Federation of Malaya before the application was made Lived in the Federation of Malaya for at least 15 of 20 years before the application was madeIn both cases, applications must be well-behaved, swear allegiance and clarify their reasons for living in the federation, are fluent in either the Malay or the English language.
The Federation of Malaya, through its constitution, guarantees the rights and special position of the Malay people as well as rights and sovereignty of the Malay rulers in their respective states. The federation agreement set the powers of the federal and state governments. Financial matters must be handled by the respective states; the Sultan was given full power on Malay customs. Foreign policy and defence continued to be administered by the British government; the federation agreement was made the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya and declared on 1 February 1948. The Federation of Malaya Legislative Council held its first meeting in the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Hall, Kuala Lumpur in 1948, it was opened by the British High Commissioner Sir Edward Gent. Attendees included the British Minister of State for Lord Listowel; the membership of the Council was structured to include: the British High Commissioner. The unofficial members were required to be British subjects. In 1948 the ethnic composition of the Council was made up as follows: 28 Malay representatives, including all the Chief Ministers, 14 Chinese representatives, 6 Indian representatives, 14 Europeans.
Dato' Onn Jaafar stressed at the first meeting that the citizens of the Federation of Malay
1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment is a regular motorised infantry battalion of the Australian Army. 1 RAR was first formed as the 65th Australian Infantry Battalion in 1945 and since has been deployed on active service during the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, the Vietnam War and more in Somalia, East Timor and Afghanistan. Additionally, the battalion has deployed on peacekeeping operations to a number of countries including Japan, East Timor and the Solomon Islands. In 2006, 1 RAR was one of the Australian Army's most deployed units sending detachments to Iraq as part of SECDET, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste; the battalion is based at Townsville, where it forms part of the 3rd Brigade. With the conclusion of the war in the Pacific in 1945, Australia was committed to provide troops for occupation duties in Japan; this commitment led to the formation of the 34th Australian Infantry Brigade. The brigade was made up of three battalions: the 66th and 67th Australian Infantry Battalions.
On 12 October 1945 the 65th Battalion the 1st Battalion was formed out of 7th Division at Balikpapan and sailed to Morotai from where they undertook training prior to being sent to Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force. In line with the formative plan to raise an Interim Army, the battalions were re-designated as of the Australian Regiment in 1948 and the 65th Battalion became the 1st Battalion, Australian Regiment. On 31 March 1949 the regiment received the prefix "Royal". 1 RAR was based at Ingleburn, but moved to Enoggera and Holsworthy and is now based at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville. Under an agreement signed between the Allied nations, Australia would contribute troops towards the occupation of Japan; the Australian contribution was a brigade element, the 34th Brigade, consisting of three infantry battalions each with their own area of responsibility. By the middle of June 1946 the Australian brigade was in place, with the 65th Battalion located at Fukuyama–Onomichi, 150 kilometres south of Osaka.
The battalion was charged with enforcing the directives of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, which involved various tasks such as ceremonial duties, escorting displaced persons, restoring law and order and overseeing the disarmament process. During this time they participated in the destruction of wartime materials; the operation was a dangerous one, the area was honeycombed with caves and tunnels and large quantities of explosives and poison gas were discovered. In April 1946 the battalion took part in the surveillance of Japanese elections; the battalion kept a close watch on a number of repatriation centres in the area. At the end of 1948, the 1st Battalion left Japan, while all Australian troops had left Japan by 1951 with the signing of the San Francisco Treaty. 1RAR was in Australia when the Korean War began in 1950. In 1951, in anticipation of deployment to Korea, 1RAR was brought up to strength with volunteers from 2RAR and new enlistments from the'K' Force recruiting campaign which brought a large number of men with experience from World War II into the battalion.
In September 1951 the battalion received orders to move to Korea and after a farewell march through Sydney 1RAR departed for Japan on 18 March 1952 onboard HMAS Devonshire. After a period of training in Japan, 1RAR arrived in South Korea on 6 April 1952, joining the 28th Brigade on 1 June. On 19 June 1952 1 RAR moved into the line taking over from Royal Leicesters. In July 1952 1RAR was detached to the 29th Brigade, relieving other battalions on Hills 159, 210 and 355, it took part in general patrolling along the Jamestown Line, which involved securing defences, repairing minefield fences, undertaking reconnaissance of enemy positions to gather information on them. Other major operations that 1RAR took part in aimed at capturing a prisoner or destroying enemy defences. Operation Blaze was 1RAR's first major action, which involved an attack on Hill 227 in order to capture a prisoner; the attack failed in its objective and the battalion suffered four killed and 33 wounded in action. On the night of 13–14 September the battalion captured its first prisoner as it continued to conduct patrolling operations.
By the end of the month 1 RAR was relieved and whilst one company was detached to 1st Battalion, Welsh Regiment to occupy the Yong Dong hill feature the rest of the battalion was placed into the brigade reserve. This lasted until November when as part of Operation Nescala, 1RAR relieved the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment on Hill 355; the position had been poorly maintained and over the course of the next ten days 1 RAR had to regain control of the approaches and re-establish security in the area, suffering 50 casualties in the process. At the same time, the battalion supported the Royal Fusiliers in Operation Beat Up by launching a diversionary attack on Hill 227 on 25–26 November 1952. On the night of 11–12 December 1952 1RAR was involved in Operation Fauna, only a partial success as the Australians failed to capture a prisoner, although they did manage to destroy an enemy position; the battalion suffered three missing as a result of this action. Operation Fauna turned out to be 1RAR's last action of the war was they were relieved by 3RAR on 29 December 1952.
On 21 March 1953, 1RAR was relieved by 2RAR at Camp Casey, near Tongduchon, returned to Australia that month on the MV New Australia. The battalion suffered 42 killed and 107 wounded during the nine months that they served on combat operations in Korea, however, 1RAR members receive
Greenslopes Private Hospital
Greenslopes Private Hospital is a private health care provider located in Greenslopes, Australia. It was named Australia's Best Private Hospital, 1999 and received the Australian Private Hospitals Association's, Hospital Quality of Excellence Award, 2004, it is located within the Greenslopes suburb, on a ridge leading east from Stephens Mountain, a low hill still covered in scrub and overlooking Norman Creek to the west. The hospital, surrounded by quiet streets, lies some distance from the nearest main roads, a factor which has caused friction with local residents over traffic and redevelopment issues in recent years; the hospital provides care for a large number of patients each year since it opened in 1942 as an Army hospital – 112th Australian General Hospital during World War II years. As Repatriation General Hospital Greenslopes operated by the Repatriation Commission for war veterans. In the early 1990s the Commonwealth Government decided to move to be a purchaser of medical services rather than a provider.
The Federal Government's preferred option was for state health departments to take over the operations but the Queensland Government of the time turned down the offer. In 1994 tenders were called for private operators to purchase the hospital. Ramsay Health Care assumed responsibility for Greenslopes Hospital on 6 January 1995. Timeline1940: Hospital site is chosen for development. 1941: Construction begins on the first half of the hospital. 1942: 112th Australian General Hospital opens on 2 February with the first 35 war patients admitted in March. 1943: Hospital expanded with the need for more beds after the Australian Warship'Centaur' was torpedoed off Moreton Bay. 1944: The official Chapel was completed and opened. 1946: Hospital now had 900 staff who were caring for up to 1,120 patients. 1947: The Repatriation Commission assumed administrative control of the hospital, renamed the Repatriation General Hospital, Greenslopes 1950s: Hospital expanded once again with new medical and psychiatric services.
1970: Became a university teaching hospital associated with the University of Queensland. 1974: Hospital commenced treating members of the general public. 1980s: The new multi-storey wing of the hospital was opened. 1995: Hospital sold to Ramsay Health Care. 1996: Hospital was renamed to Greenslopes Private Hospital. 1999: A new Cardiac Surgery facility was opened. 2001: Greenslopes was now pronounced the largest private hospital in Queensland and a new development of a new facility was approved. 2003: A new facility, which brought the number of hospital beds to 528, made Greenslopes the largest private hospital in Australia. 2006: Construction begins on a new building to house new Private Outpatient Clinics – will double the number of outpatient clinics in the hospital. "Over time, the number of war veterans and widows needing care at the Hospital will decline as age takes its toll. However, the spirit of the heroic generations of men and women who have known Greenslopes as their hospital will live on.
Today, everyone working at Greenslopes Private Hospital is aware of the special place the hospital has in personal and national histories. Ramsay Health Care has established permanent memorials at the Hospital to host Anzac Day dawn ceremonies and other significant days of remembrance." Health care in Australia List of hospitals in Australia Repatriation General Hospital Ramsay Health Care's Official Website for Greenslopes Private Hospital Ramsay Health Care's Website Prime Minister's Newsroom: Opening of the redeveloped Greenslopes Private Hospital
South Vietnam the Republic of Vietnam, was a country that existed from 1955 to 1975, the period when the southern portion of Vietnam was a member of the Western Bloc during part of the Cold War. It received international recognition in 1949 as the "State of Vietnam", a constitutional monarchy; this became the "Republic of Vietnam" in 1955. Its capital was Saigon. South Vietnam was bordered by North Vietnam to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, Thailand across the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia across the South China Sea to the east and southeast; the Republic of Vietnam was proclaimed on 26 October 1955, with Ngô Đình Diệm as its first president, after having served as premier under Emperor Bao Dai, exiled. Its sovereignty was recognized by the United States and 87 other nations, it had membership in several special committees of the United Nations, but its application for full membership was rejected in 1957 because of a Soviet veto.
South Vietnam's origins can be traced to the French colony of Cochinchina, which consisted of the southern third of Vietnam, Cochinchina, a subdivision of French Indochina, the southern half of Central Vietnam or Annam, a French protectorate. After the Second World War, the anti-Japanese Viet Minh guerrilla forces, led by Ho Chi Minh, proclaimed the establishment of a Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi in September 1945, issuing a Declaration of Independence modeled on the U. S. one from 1776. In 1949, anti-communist Vietnamese politicians formed a rival government in Saigon led by former emperor Bảo Đại. Bảo Đại was deposed by Prime Minister Ngô Đình Diệm in 1955, who proclaimed himself president after a referendum. Diệm was killed in a military coup led by general Dương Văn Minh in 1963, a series of short-lived military governments followed. General Nguyễn Văn Thiệu led the country after a U. S.-encouraged civilian presidential election from 1967 until 1975. The beginnings of the Vietnam War occurred in 1959 with an uprising by the newly organized National Liberation Front for South Vietnam and supported by the northern Democratic Republic of Vietnam, with other assistance rendered by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact communist satellites, along with neighboring People's Republic of China and North Korea.
Larger escalation of the insurgency occurred in 1965 with the landing of United States regular forces of Marines, followed by Army units to supplement the cadre of military advisors guiding ARVN southern forces. A regular bombing campaign over North Vietnam was conducted by offshore U. S. Navy airplanes and aircraft carriers joined by Air Force squadrons through 1966 and 1967. Fighting peaked up to that point during the Tet Offensive of February 1968, when there were over a million South Vietnamese soldiers and 500,000 U. S. soldiers in South Vietnam. On the war turned into a more conventional fight as the balance of power became equalized. An larger, armored invasion commenced during the Easter Offensive following US ground-forces withdrawal, had nearly overran some major northern cities until beaten back. Despite a truce agreement under the Paris Peace Accords, concluded in January 1973, after a torturous five years of on and off negotiations, fighting continued immediately afterwards; the North Vietnamese regular army and Viet Cong launched a major second combined-arms invasion in 1975, termed the Spring Offensive.
Communist forces overran Saigon on 30 April 1975. On the day President Duong Van Minh declared RVN cease to exist, five ARVN generals, one Saigon police chief, numbers of ARVN soldiers and officers commit suicide to avoid being humiliated surrender. On July 2, 1976, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam merged to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; the official name of the South Vietnamese state was Việt Nam Cộng hòa and the French name was referred to as République du Viêt Nam. The North was known as the "Democratic Republic of Vietnam". Việt Nam was the name adopted by Emperor Gia Long in 1804, it is a name used in ancient times. In 1839, Emperor Minh Mạng renamed the country Đại Nam. In 1945, the nation's official name was changed back to "Vietnam"; the name is sometimes rendered as "Viet Nam" in English. The term "South Vietnam" became common usage in 1954, when the Geneva Conference provisionally partitioned Vietnam into communist and non-communist parts.
Other names of this state were used during its existence such as Free Vietnam and the Government of Viet Nam. Before World War II, the southern third of Vietnam was the concession of Cochinchina, administered as part of French Indochina. A French governor-general in Hanoi administered all the five parts of Indochina while Cochinchina was under a French governor, but the difference from the other parts was that most indigenous intellensia and wealthy were naturalized French The northern third of Vietnam (then the colony of Tonkin was under
Mackay is a city and its centre suburb in the Mackay Region on the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. It is located about 970 kilometres north on the Pioneer River. Mackay is nicknamed the sugar capital of Australia because its region produces more than a third of Australia's sugar. There is controversy about the location of the region for administrative purposes, with most people referring to it as a part of either Central Queensland or North Queensland. Indeed, much confusion lies within the Queensland Government, with government services being provided through both Townsville and Rockhampton; the area is known as the Mackay–Whitsunday Region. The city was named after John Mackay. In 1860, he was the leader of an expedition into the Pioneer Valley. Mackay proposed to name the river Mackay River after his father George Mackay. Thomas Henry Fitzgerald surveyed the township and proposed it was called Alexandra after Princess Alexandra of Denmark, who married Prince Edward. However, in 1862 the river was renamed to be the Pioneer River, after HMS Pioneer in which Queensland Governor George Bowen travelled to the area, the township name was changed to be Mackay in honour of John Mackay.
Fitzgerald decided to use the name Alexandra for his sugar cane plantation and sugar mill, which provided the name to the Mackay suburb of Alexandra today. There has always been much contention over the pronunciation of the name Mackay. Correspondence received by Mackay City Library in 2007, from descendants of John Mackay, confirms that the correct pronunciation is, from the Gaelic name "MacAoidh", pronounced "ɑɪ" not "eɪ"; the area, now Mackay City was inhabited by the local Yuibera people. One of the first white settlers to travel through the Mackay region was Captain James Cook, who reached the Mackay coast on 1 June 1770 and named several local landmarks, including Cape Palmerston, Slade Point and Cape Hillsborough, it was during this trip that the Endeavour's botanist, Sir Joseph Banks recorded seeing Aboriginal people. In 1860, John Mackay led an expedition to the Pioneer Valley and was the first European to visit the area now named after him. In 1918, Mackay was hit by a major tropical cyclone causing severe damage and loss of life with hurricane-force winds and a large storm surge.
The resulting death toll was further increased by an outbreak of bubonic plague. The foundation stone of the Mackay War Memorial was laid on the river bank on 18 November 1928 by the mayor George Albert Milton, it was unveiled on 1 May 1929 by the mayor. Due to flooding, the memorial was relocated to Jubilee Park in 1945. Due to the construction of the Civic Centre, it was relocated to another part of the park in March 1973; the largest loss of life in an Australian aircraft accident was a B17 aircraft, with 40 of 41 people on board perishing, on 14 June 1943, after departing from Mackay Aerodrome, crashing in the Bakers Creek area. The Rats of Tobruk Memorial commemorates those who died since the Battle of Tobruk; the memorial was dedicated on 4 March 2001. On 18 February 1958, Mackay was hit with massive flooding caused by heavy rainfall upstream with 878 mm of rain falling at Finch Hatton in 24 hours; the flood peaked at 9.14 metres. The water flooded Mackay within hours. Residents were taken to emergency accommodation.
The flood broke Australian records. On 15 February 2008 exactly 50 years from the last major flood, Mackay was devastated by severe flooding caused by over 600 mm of rain in 6 hours with around 2000 homes affected. Mackay was battered by Tropical Cyclone Ului, a category three cyclone which crossed the coast at nearby Airlie Beach, around 1:30 am on Sunday 21 March 2010. Over 60,000 homes lost power and some phone services failed during the storm, but no deaths were reported; the Dudley Denny City Library opened in 2016. Mackay has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: Alfred Street: Mackay Technical College Alfred Street: World War I Cenotaph 251 Alfred Street: Mackay Central State School Cemetery Road: Mackay General Cemetery Cowleys Road: Selwyn House, Mackay 38 East Gordon Street: East Gordon Street Sewerage Works 39 Gordon Street: Holy Trinity Church Habana Road: Richmond Mill Ruins 21 MacAlister Street: St Pauls Uniting Church 10 River Street: WH Paxton & Co buildings 31 River Street: Mackay Customs House 239 Nebo Road: Sugar Research Institute 63 Sydney Street: Mackay Town Hall Victoria Street: Mackay Court House and Police Station 63 Victoria Street: Commonwealth Bank Building 79 Victoria Street: Queensland National Bank 1 Wood Street: Pioneer Shire Council Building 57 Wood Street: Mackay Masonic Temple Mackay is situated on the 21st parallel south on the banks of the Pioneer River.
The Clarke Range lies to the west of the city. The city is expanding to accommodate for growth with most of the expansion happening in the Beachside, Southern and Pioneer Valley suburbs. Suburbs to the North of the city such as Midge Point are fast growing with residential estates in demand. Mackay has a humid subtropical climate under the Köppen climate classification. Average maximum temperatures range from 30 °C in summer to 23 °C in winter, while minimums range from 23 °C to 11 °C. Winters are sunny and dry, with minimum temperatures around 10 °C, but any lower than 5 °C. Days are warm. Frost is rare in Mackay however may be recorded to the west of the city some winters. Mackay gets around 110.0 clear days annually. Spring is dry, but hotter and more humid than winter, with temperatures