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The modern history of the city began with the arrival of a First Fleet of British ships in 1788 and the foundation of a penal colony by Great Britain.From 1788 to 1900 Sydney was the capital of the British colony of New South Wales. In 1900, Sydney became a state capital, when New South Wales voted to join the Australian Federation.Sydney today is Australia's largest city and a major international capital of culture and finance.
The earliest Europeans to visit the area noted that the indigenous people were conducting activities such as camping and fishing, using trees for bark and food, collecting shells, and cooking fish.Near Penrith, a far western suburb of Sydney, numerous Aboriginal stone tools were found in Cranebrook Terraces gravel sediments having dates of 45,000 to 50,000 years BP.This would mean that there was human settlement in Sydney earlier than thought.Consequently, they were first to suffer the effects of dispossession when the British arrived, though the descendants of Eora still have a strong presence in the Sydney area today.Other than the Eora, people of the Dharug, Kuringgai and Dharawal language groups occupied the lands in and around Sydney.
Their occupation pre-dates the arrival of the First Fleet of British by some thousands of years.