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Governor Gawler took over from Hindmarsh in late 1838 and, despite being under orders from the Select Committee on South Australia in Britain not to undertake any public works, promptly oversaw construction of a governor's house, the Adelaide Gaol, police barracks, a hospital, a customs house and a wharf at Port Adelaide.Gawler was recalled and replaced by Governor Grey in 1841.South Australia was officially proclaimed as a British colony on 28 December 1836, near The Old Gum Tree in what is now the suburb of Glenelg North.

Adelaide is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges which surround the city.Kaurna culture and language was almost completely destroyed within a few decades of the European settlement of South Australia in 1836.In July 1876, the Illustrated Sydney News published a special supplement that included an early aerial view of the City of Adelaide, the River Torrens and portion of North Adelaide from a point above Pennington Terrace, North Adelaide.The site of the colony's capital was surveyed and laid out by Colonel William Light, the first Surveyor-General of South Australia, through the design made by the architect George Strickland Kingston.Adelaide was established as a planned colony of free immigrants, promising civil liberties and freedom from religious persecution, based upon the ideas of Edward Gibbon Wakefield.

Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide's founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens, in the area originally inhabited by the Kaurna people.

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