The Church came to Australia in 1788 with the 'First Fleet', which was made up primarily of convicts and military personnel. Free settlers soon followed. A General Synod held in 1872 formed the Australian Board of Missions; missionary work among the aborigines and the Torres Strait Islanders was key to the growth of the Church.
The Church became fully autonomous in 1962 and in 1978 published its first prayer book. A second Anglican prayer book was published in 1966. The Anglican Church of Australia is part of the Christian Conference of Asia and of the Council of the Church of East Asia. Links with Churches of New Guinea, Melanesia and Polynesia are strong especially through the Australian Board of Mission.