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The telstra story

Click to view a larger version of these images:
Main Switchroom, Central Telephone Exchange, Wills Street 1908 PMG Department Float Moomba 1956 Postage stamps commemorating the establishment of Australia Post and Telecom Australia, 1975 On-site Telecom hazard signs T2 Share Offer – Public Offer Document, 1999 T3 Share Offer Prospectus, 2006 Melbourne Telstra Icon Store 2010

Telstra’s origins date back to 1901, and Australian Federation, when the Postmaster-General's Department (PMG) was established by the Commonwealth Government to manage all domestic telephone, telegraph and postal services.

The Commonwealth Government establishes the Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC) which becomes a monopoly provider of all forms of telecommunications linking Australia and the rest of the world.
Telecommunications is separated from postal functions in 1975, with the passage of the Telecommunications Act 1975. This new legislation sees the establishment of two separate statutory authorities, the Australian Postal Commission and the Australian Telecommunications Commission (trading as Telecom Australia).
Telecom launches the country's first mobile network – the Public Automatic Mobile Telephone System (PAMTS) – and car phone, a significant development in communication for travelling workers.
Although continuing to trade as Telecom Australia, in January 1989, the Australian Telecommunications Commission is renamed the Australian Telecommunications Corporation.
The Australian Telecommunications Corporation is incorporated as an Australian public limited liability company in November 1991. Our trading name remains Telecom.
Telecom and OTC merge to form the Australian and Overseas Telecommunications Corporation Limited (still trading as Telecom).
In April 1993, Telecom is renamed Telstra Corporation Limited. Begins trading as Telstra for international business but retains the trade name Telecom for domestic trading.
Trade name changed from Telecom to Telstra for domestic business.
Following the opening of Australia's telecommunications markets to full competition in July 1997, Telstra undergoes a partial privatisation (T1) in November 1997 under which the Commonwealth sells approximately 33 per cent of our issued shares to the public.
A further global offering by the Commonwealth of up to 16.6 per cent of our issued shares (T2) was launched in September 1999. The shares sold by the Commonwealth were also listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, the New Zealand Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange on 18 October 1999.
In November 2006, the Commonwealth sells an additional 31% of its shares in the Company as part of the T3 Share Offer.
In February 2007, the Commonwealth's residual 17 per cent shareholding is transferred to the Future Fund.
In June 2010, Telstra signs a non-binding Financial Heads of Agreement with the Commonwealth-owned company NBN Co Limited to participate in the rollout of the Government's national broadband network (NBN).

The historical images on these pages are sourced from Telstra's Historical Collection. The Collection is housed at Telstra museums in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
To see more images from the collection, and to read more about key Telstra and telecommunication industry milestones, check out our telecommunications timeline.

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