South Australia has a long history of creativity, innovation and industriousness. 

Some of the many firsts across Australia and the globe include:

  • 1836: SA is proclaimed by Governor John Hindmarsh - a planned economy with religious freedom and a balance between men and women, workers and landowners.
  • 1856: Amendments to the Constitution Act pass, making SA one of the most advanced democracies in the world, including the establishment of the secret ballot and an elected upper house.
  • 1883: The first agricultural college in Australia is established at Roseworthy. 
  • 1894: SA is the first place in the world to allow women to stand for the Parliament and the second place in the world (and the first in Australia) to give women the right to vote.
  • 1960: Adelaide Festival of the Arts is established, the first major arts festival in Australia.
  • 1966: First legislation in Australia to prohibit discrimination in access to goods and services on the basis of race, country of origin or skin colour.
  • 1977: South Australia’s container deposit legislation is introduced. For 35 years, South Australia remained the only jurisdiction in Australia with a container deposit scheme (CDS).
  • 2003: Adelaide Thinkers in Residence established. This world-first approach brought international experts to test new thinking and ideas to address issues in South Australia.
  • 2007: South Australia is the first Australian state to legislate a specific target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 2013: South Australia holds its first Citizens' Jury, engaging everyday South Australians in developing recommendations to solve complex issues.
  • 2015: Adelaide wins the Innovative Regions Award in the Australian Technologies Competition.
  • 2016: Launch of the Adelaide to Zero Carbon Challenge.