Australia today is a nation created by immigrants. Other than the indigenous peoples, every Australian is an immigrant or is descended from an immigrant. From the moment the first English, Irish, Scots and Welsh stepped ashore at Sydney Cove in January 1788, Australia's history, its institutions, its wealth and its achievements have been made by immigrants. This is the story of the people who made the perilous journey to a new land and a new life. At first the immigrants had little choice in the matter - they were sent by a court. Later, the brave free settlers plunged into life in a harsh new environment unlike anything they knew.