Appendix a for the course paper "Australia"

Australian history: first europeans and researchers, commonwealth, Olympic games and war. Australian geographic as the driest inhabited continent on earth: location, states, people, flora and fauna. Aboriginal settlers and reservations in Australia.

Рубрика География и экономическая география
Вид курсовая работа
Язык английский
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1.1 First Europeans

1.2 Commonwealth

1.3 War. Games. War


2.1 Location

2.2 States of Australia

2.3 People

2.4 Flora and Fauna




Author has chosen for the course paper the theme “Australia”.

The aim of given course paper “Australia” is learning this amazing continent and country.

Author has taken this topic, because Australia is very beautiful and interesting country. This exotic country astonishing one's own fauna and flora. It is rich by the natural resources. Also it is computing as a one from most developed, English languages country.

The course paper consists of 2 Chapters and 2 Appendixes.

The first Chapter devotes the history of Australia, which is very interesting. Because Australian history is very unique and also engaging. Australia is very old continent. Australia broke away from Asia 65 million years ago and hasn't looked back.

Today Australia is one of the most cosmopolitan and dynamic societies in the world. Over 200 languages are spoken, with English the common language. The nation has thriving ethnic media, an international business reputation, an innovative artistic community, diverse religious and cultural activities and variety in foods, restaurants, fashion and architecture.

The second Chapter devotes the facts about the geography of Australia. Also author's purpose given course paper “Australia” is learning of map of Australia and Australian geographic.

It has 6 states and 2 territories. It is Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia.

And of course flora and fauna of Australia.

The Australian landscape has a bit of everything - mountain ranges, rainforests, deserts and coastal dunes.

Australia is known for its unique animals. We've got it all. Dangerous spiders, giant birds, egg-laying mammals, beautiful frogs and of course dangerous dogs Dingo...

Appendix A devotes the Australian National Flag.

Appendix B devotes the map of given country


Australia is really, really old. The continent broke away from Asia 65 million years ago and hasn't looked back. Beasts such as Megalania, a 6 meter flesh-eating goanna called it home for a period before Aborigines turned up about 60,000 years ago or so. None of the science types are exactly sure when these first humans arrived but nonetheless it was a pretty fair effort when you consider they had to travel a thousand miles in a small outrigger fishing canoe. Clearly distance didn't daunt them as they quickly inhabited all corners of a continent as big as Europe.

The Aboriginal history was passed on by word-of-mouth and is known as `Dreaming', a complex intertwining of land, culture, language, family relations and spiritualism. There are 500 known tribes who speak 250 separate languages. The Aborigines were hunters and gatherers moving with the seasons, taking with them only those possessions that were necessary for the hunting and preparation of food. In areas of plentiful food sources they confined their movements to a relatively small area, something the size of Ireland, perhaps. In the arid desert regions they were forced to travel over vast tracts of land to obtain food and water. There is evidence they traded with Indonesian sailors circa 1451 BC. Aboriginal society was a complex network of intricate kinship relationships. All members of the family unit had their own role and responsibilities. No formal government or authority existed, but social control was maintained by a sophisticated system of beliefs. These beliefs found expression in song, art, and dance. A rich oral tradition existed in which stories of the Dreamtime, the time of creation, or recent history were passed down the generations.

1.1 First Europeans

Europeans first bumped off the coast of Terra Incognito as early as the 1500s when Dutch and Portuguese explorers made vario1us explorations from the East Indies and Asia. It was Englishman Lieutenant James Cook who first planted a flag on the great mystery south land and forever changed it. The year was 1770.

Meanwhile, the gap between rich and poor in Britain was widening and those in charge didn't have enough room to put all the people who had become criminals. The Americans had won the war of independence so that place was out, so in their wisdom the aristocracy decided to use the Great South Land as a penal colony. Steal some bread? You're going to Aussie, Geezer. Penal servitude was seen as the worst of punishments, a banishment from everything one knew.

Captain Arthur Phillip turned up with the first fleet in 1788. Eleven ships containing 1350 passengers, none of whom had much of an idea what to expect. They knew nothing about the climate, the vegetation, the animals, or the native Indigenous people and culture.

Australia was a strategic place to own for Britain. Her Majesty's navy had ruled the seas for years and still wanted to. It's hard to imagine the hauteur of a people who believed they could come over and decide they could put down a flag and henceforth `own' a continent the size of Australia.

The fleet consisted mainly of convicts and their guards. Men outnumbered women four to one. They first arrived at Botany Bay, the area Cook had planted the flag on, but deciding it was too marshy. Phillip upped the whole fleet and sailed a few miles up the coast to Port Jackson, now known as Sydney Harbour. They put down at Circular Quay (the area just in between the Harbour Bridge and Opera House) and that's how Sydney began.

In 1802, after various rebellions and plagues, a fellow called Matthew Flinders took his ship and circumnavigated the whole continent. Free settlers began turning up in the hope of making their fortunes. After the establishment of Port Jackson, from 1803 to 1836 settlements began in Hobart, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide, each now a state capital city.

Getting right into the guts of the place proved a harder ask. Most of Australia is harsh, arid desert. But men like Gregory

Blaxland, William Wentworth, and William Lawson found a way over the Blue Mountains (part of the Great Dividing Range of mountains that stretch for much of the east coast) trying to find the fabled inland sea. Many died, the most famous of whom are Robert Burke and William Wills who explored the desert for months trying to get from Adelaide in the south to Darwin in the north.

One of the most important things to happen to Australia in the early colonial days, at least as far as financial prosperity is concerned, was the introduction of sheep by Captain John Macarthur. After several experiments with various breeds Macarthur introduced a Spanish sheep called a Merino, which proved to be perfectly suited to the dry, arid conditions of Australia. Their wool made Australia rich. In 30 years the sheep population grew from 34,000 to half a million, the demand for this high quality fabric high in the factories of the Northern England. And it still is. There used to be a saying that 'Australia rides on the sheep's back' and while that may prompt uncharitable innuendo, the country became a viable member of the world on the strength of its woolly exports.

Another important moment in the population of Australia was the discovery of gold in Bathurst, Ballarat and Bendigo. At first the authorities tried to keep it a secret, for fear that the agricultural industry would be short of workers when everyone ran off to find nuggets. But after a succession of lean years and with the news of the wealth that California had experienced in their gold rush, the government decided to reveal to people that Ballarat was the richest alluvial goldfield in the world.

Of course, everyone went mad. Prospectors from all over the world rushed to the colonies of New South Wales and Victoria in the hope of making their fortune. Tent cities dotted the Australian countryside, some as large as 40,000 people. Most prospectors were from Britain or China.

Ballarat went from a farming community of a few thousand European settlers to a thriving, buzzing global community of peoples from everywhere. Hence the authorities couldn't cope with the influx and there were outbreaks of violence, the most famous of which was known as the Eureka Stockade. By 1854, miners held many grievances against what they believed to be a corrupt and unjust goldfields administration. The brutal policing of an unfair license system, blatant corruption among Government officials and the lack of representation in the Victorian Parliament were the chief causes of their resentment. Their calls for "true British justice" fell on deaf ears.

Many of the most vocal critics were Irishmen who worked on the Eureka Lead. After a series of minor skirmishes tensions were so great that armed miners swore allegiance to a new flag -- the Flag of the Southern Cross-- and built a stockade. The authorities obviously couldn't have the Union Jack undermined like this and early one Sunday morning launched a surprise attack and squashed the miners stand.

However, everything the miners fought for was later instated, such as the abolition of the gold license system, the right to vote and representation in parliament. Many believe the Eureka Rebellion was the birthplace of Australian democracy.

1.2 Commonwealth

Forty-seven years after the democratic action known as the Eureka Stockade, one nation, Australia, was forged from the colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. Until 1901 they were separate entities, governed by different laws, with different taxes and different lots of other stuff. Then, after years of gesticulation from the important men of the time, the joining of the colonies to form the Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed and there was a period of rejoicing, including a visit from the Royal Family. Sydney and Melbourne were in disagreement over who should be capital so an area of NSW was annexed and called the Australian Capital Territory, modeled on Washington DC. In 1902, with the population almost 2 million, women were allowed to vote. After much campaigning, the fight for a new political identity for women was won. That same year three of their number stood for election.

In 1911 Australian explorer, scientist and hero Douglas Mawson decided to map and explore the coastal area of Antarctica closest to Australia. His epic trek was described as the greatest story of lone survival in polar exploration.

In 1914 thousands of young Australian and New Zealand men joined up the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) for World War I. Showing unbelievable courage they stormed the trenches at Gallipoli, Turkey. By the time war ended 60,000 Australians were dead on the battlefields of Europe, but their courage is remembered each year on Anzac Day and many Australians believe the young nations character was forged on April 25, 1915. Australians were praised for the sacrifice but it was the first time many felt that the British Empire's best interests weren't necessarily their own.

In 1923 Vegemite was invented. This international Australian icon

breakfast spread was first made in Melbourne and loved Australia-wide in a prosperous post-war era. However 1929 brought the Great Depression left one-third of people out of work. Times were difficult but the deeds of a horse called Phar Lap kept people's spirits up. This incredible creature won just about everything Australian racing had to offer and earned deity status. Indeed the jockey Jim Pike said “There's only one chance they've got of beating him. If they can breed them with wings on and get Charles Kingsford-Smith to ride them. And then I doubt whether they'll beat him then." Pharlap however was eventually beaten when they took it to America and he was poisoned. The spirit of Pharlap lives on with his hide in Melbourne Museum, his bones in Sydney and his great heart on display in Canberra.

Charles Kingsford Smith (1897-1935) was Australia's most famous aviator and in 1931 became the first man to fly solo from London to Australia. Then he flew back. Smith was a superstar of his day for his epic, solo adventures, and he also his creation of the first Australian airline. Another great Australian hero of the era honored at this day by Australians, was the champion cricketer Sir Donald Bradman, the greatest batsman of all time. Bradman once batted for so long that when the English finally got him out the headlines in the papers cried simply `He's Out!' Bradman finished with the unbelievable average of 99.94 and died in late 2001.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932, a momentous occasion that drew remarkable crowds estimated at close to one million people (the nation's entire population was 6.6 million).One Francis Edward de Groot, a member of the New Guard disrupted the opening ceremony when, disguised as a military horseman, he slashed the ceremonial ribbon before the Premier was able to officially open the bridge. The incident caused amusement in the crowd (it was arguably the nation's first `streak') and indignation among the authorities. It remains a part of Australian folklore and a symbol of the perceived national character that of rebellion against authority.

1.3 War, Games, War

A few years later, in 1939, World War II broke out causing once again Australians to take up the 'call of duty' to fight overseas again. This time though they faced threats closer to home. The Japanese bombed Darwin, invaded Papua New Guinea and submarines turned up in Sydney Harbor. The nation worried it could not rely on its remoteness as a defense anymore and many urged the boys to be sent home from the fronts of Europe and the Pacific. But ultimately the immense size of Australia would mean that it would never be invaded during the course of the war.

The Baby Boomer era began in 1946. Unlike their forefathers who battled through the world wars and depressions, the 'Baby Boomer' generation faced a changed Australia - liberation in the government and popular culture led the way for a new era in politics, music, fashion and food. Australia and its newest batch of youngsters faced the changing times and embraced a more modern world. In 1956 Melbourne hosted the International Olympic Games for the first time in Australian history. Australia's golden girl of the Games was 18-year-old Betty Cuthbert who won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. The event was perceived as pivotal in the coming of age of Australia. For a few weeks Australia was in front of the world and proved that it could successfully host such a major event as the Olympic Games. The Games were televised in Australia and proved to be a huge success in increasing the popularity of television which was introduced to Australia during this year also.

The 1960s was a period of change for Australia. The ethnic diversity produced by post-war immigration, the decline of the United Kingdom and the Vietnam War (to which Australia sent troops) all contributed to an atmosphere of political, economic and social change.

In 1967 the Australian people voted overwhelmingly in a national referendum to give the federal government the power to pass legislation on behalf of Indigenous Australians and to include Indigenous Australians in future censuses. The referendum result was the culmination of a strong campaign by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. It was widely seen as a strong affirmation of the Australian people's wish to see its government take direct action to improve the living conditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The long post-war domination of national politics by the coalition of the Liberal and Country (now National) parties ended in 1972, when the Australian Labor Party was elected. The next three years saw major changes in Australia's social and economic policy agenda and a heavy legislative program of reforms in health, education, foreign affairs, social security and industrial relations. However, a constitutional crisis resulted in Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam being dismissed by the then Governor-General. In the subsequent general election the Labor Party suffered a major defeat and the Liberal-National Coalition ruled until 1983, when Labor again won office. In 1996 a Coalition Government led by John Howard won the general election and was re-elected in 1998, 2001 and 2004.

In 1966 Australia went to decimal currency with the dollar replacing pounds and shillings. The previous year Australia responded to the call of help from the people of South Vietnam. A National Service Scheme was drawn up in 1964 that called up conscripts to be sent off in 1965 to fight. Many people thought this wrong and the Scheme was strongly opposed. There were protests and riots and in 1971 the last Australian troops left Vietnam for home. This war was the cause of the greatest social and political dissent in Australia since the conscription referendums of the First World War. Many draft resisters, conscientious objectors and protesters had been fined or goaled, while soldiers sometimes met a hostile reception on their return home.

The Sydney Opera House, a world famous Australian icon, was officially opened in 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II after 14 years of construction. Design credit goes to the Danish architect Jon Utzon who won the honors to design it in 1957. Now a foremost tourist attraction, it is home to some of the world's most celebrated performing arts companies and is a performance centre for most performance art forms.

Darwin, Christmas Day 1974, was the site of horrific disaster when a cyclone roared through the town and ravaged the city killing 49. For six hours the terrifying winds of tropical cyclone Tracy ripped through the city, reaching up to 250km an hour. There was a lull at about 2.30am, and many people came outside, thinking it was all over. They were in the `eye' of the massive storm and within 30 minutes the wind had built up again and changed direction. Roofs were torn from houses; buildings collapsed; and cars, trucks and even railway carriages were sent flying. More than two-thirds of the town's population of 47,000 people were airlifted to emergency accommodation by the defense forces. So much of the city was damaged (about 90%) that most of the town had to be rebuilt during the following few years.

1975 saw the most incredible piece of Australian politics when the Govern-General Sir John Kerr (the Queen of England's representative in Australia) dismissed Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, claiming that his plans for the Australian society were too radical, and required too great a budget. There was a massive public uproar when opposition leader Malcolm Fraser was commissioned to form a "caretaker government". So an election was called between Fraser and Whitlam. Fraser won in a landslide - the Australian public were perhaps not quite ready to embrace the change.. Especially since there had been such drama created by Whitlam.

The Ash Wednesday bush fires came along in 1983, the worst fires in living memory. A combination of high temperatures, strong winds and dry bush land burned thousands of acres of Victoria and killed 71 people. Bushfires are a common threat for people living in areas with high concentrations of oil-rich eucalypt trees.

1983 was also the year Australia won the America's Cup, a boat race for 12-metre yachts that the New York Yacht Club had won for 142 years. That boat was Alan Bond's Australia II representing the Royal Perth Yacht Club who upset the longest winning streak in modern sports history. Australia celebrated the 200th year since Captain Arthur Phillip's first fleet arrived in Sydney in 1988. In 1993 Sydney won the right to host the Summer Olympic Games for the year 2000. The Games were universally applauded by Juan Antonio Samaranch as the best ever. It was simply a fantastic time to be in Sydney.

Today Australia is one of the most cosmopolitan and dynamic societies in the world. Over 200 languages are spoken, with English the common language. The nation has thriving ethnic media, an international business reputation, an innovative artistic community, diverse religious and cultural activities and variety in foods, restaurants, fashion and architecture.


2.1 Location

Australia sits between New Zealand in the south-east, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to the north and a host of South Pacific islands and atolls to the nor-nor-nor-west. Africa lies the length of the Atlantic away west while Antarctica is directly south. Europe and the Americas are datelines away. It's a remote place. Indeed Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, is officially the world's most remote city.

In land area, Australia is the sixth largest nation after Russia, Canada, China, the United States of America and Brazil. It has, however, a relatively small population. Australia is the only nation to govern an entire continent and its outlying islands. The mainland is the largest island and the smallest, flattest continent on Earth. It lies between 10° and 39° South latitude.

The highest point on the mainland, Mount Kosciuszko, is only 2228 metres. Apart from Antarctica, Australia is the driest continent.

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth. Its interior has one of the lowest rainfalls in the world and about three-quarters of the land is arid or semi-arid. Its fertile areas are well-watered, however, and these are used very effectively to help feed the world. Sheep and cattle graze in dry country, but care must be taken with the soil. Some grazing land became desert when the long cycles that influence rainfall in Australia turned to drought.

The Australian federation consists of six States and two Territories. Most inland borders follow lines of longitude and latitude. The largest State, Western Australia, is about the same size as Western Europe. Australia is huge. There are sheep-stations bigger than European principalities. Australia is the world's sixth-largest country and smallest continent. It's area is 7,686,850 sq km which in the imperial scale translates to 4,776,385 miles. You could fit 30-odd Great Britain in Australia. The island-continent's coastline is 25,760 km around and if you drove around it you could proudly tell people you had driven a very long way indeed - 16,006 miles, to be precise.

95% of Australia is sea-level flat. There's a few mountains in the south-east that snow falls on for a few months and some tropical rainforest in the north. If you get right into the very guts of the place, the absolute red centre, you'll see the breathtaking beauty of the Uluru sitting majestically upon five million square miles of flatness.

Location: Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean

Geographic coordinates: 27 00 S, 133 00 E Map references: Oceania Area: total: 7,686,850 sq km land: 7,617,930 sq km water: 68,920 sq km note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island Area - comparative: slightly smaller than the US Land boundaries: 0 km Coastline: 25,760 km Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 nm continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin exclusive economic zone: 200 nm territorial sea: 12 nm.

Country name: Conventional long form: Commonwealth of Australia Conventional short form: Australia Data code: AS Government type: democratic, federal-state system recognizing the British monarch as sovereign.

Most of Australia is arid to semi-arid which in non-weather-spotters terms means desert and almost desert. The climate is temperate in the south and south-east, while the further north you head the more tropical it becomes. Tropical in this case means it's hot and dry for six months, and hot and wet for the other six months. The locals have long replaced traditional seasons like `summer', `spring' and `autumn' with just two season known as `wet' and `dry'.

Climate: generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north. The continent's lowest point is Lake Eyre at -15m (-49 feet) below sea-level. The lake hasn't had water in it for eons - it's flat, salty and baked hard by the sun.

The highest point is Mount Kosciuszko at 2,229 m (a touch over 7,000 feet). The first European to set foot on it was Polish-born explorer Paul Edmund de Strzelecki who named it after Polish patriot Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Aborigines used to travel hundreds of kilometers to eat the Bogong Moths that migrate to the mountain every year. Bogongs are considered a delicacy and apparently taste like nuts when roasted over coals.

Australia has an abundance of natural resources that miners have been digging up since they learnt how. There's bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, silver, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum and uranium.

Natural resources: bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum

Land use:

arable land: 6.88% permanent crops: 0.03% other: 93.09% (1998 est.) Irrigated land: 24,000 sq km (1998 est.) Enter a new paragraph Cyclones threaten the north coast of Australia roughly every year. However not since 1974 when Cyclone Tracey flattened Darwin has there been loss of life. In the middle of the country there can be severe droughts. Floods can also bring great damage, especially to farm lands.

Natural hazards: cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires

Environment - current issues: soil erosion from overgrazing, industrial development, urbanization, and poor farming practices; soil salinity rising due to the use of poor quality water; desertification; clearing for agricultural purposes threatens the natural habitat of many unique animal and plant species; the Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast, the largest coral reef in the world, is threatened by increased shipping and its popularity as a tourist site; limited natural fresh water resources.

Environment - international agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification Geography - note: world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; population concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts; regular, tropical, invigorating, sea breeze is known.

2.2 States of Australia

The capital of Australia is very famous city - Canberra. Administrative divisions: 6 states and 2 territories*; Australian Capital Territory*, New South Wales, Northern Territory*, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia.

Queensland. Queensland is Australia's second largest state, covering 1 722 000 km2 and the third most populous with more than 3.6 million inhabitants. It occupies 22.5 per cent of the continent in the north-east and has boundaries with New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory. It is bounded by the Gulf of Carpentaria, Torres Strait and the Coral Sea in the north, and the South Pacific Ocean in the east. The total coastline is 7400 km with the corals of the Great Barrier Reef fringing the eastern coastline for more than 2000 kilometres. Brisbane, the capital, is located in the south-eastern corner of the State. The people of Queensland enjoy an outdoor lifestyle with world class beaches and waterways, national parks, rainforests and tropical reefs. Our pleasant climate (average summer temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius, average winter temperatures of 15 degrees Celsius) means that Queenslanders enjoy more winter sunshine and warmth than most other Australian states. With up-to-date technology and services, the lowest taxes in Australia and plenty of space to develop and expand, Queensland is the preferred location for many new businesses each year.

Queensland's enviable lifestyle ensures that its current population of over 3.6 million continues to grow and prosper.

The State flag dates from the time when Queensland was a self-governing British colony with its own navy. In 1865, the Governor of Queensland was told by the Admiralty in London that the colony's vessels of war should fly the Blue Ensign, imposed with the colony's badge, on the stern, and a blue pennant at the masthead

New South Wales. New South Wales is in the south-east part of the Australian continent and is the most populous and heavily industrialized State in Australia, with a highly urbanized population.

The capital of New South Wales is Sydney, the site of the country's oldest European settlement and its largest and most cosmopolitan city, with ethnic communities from more than 100 countries. The city's icons include The Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Sydney Opera House. Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympic Games, an important international finance centre and home to one of the world's great seaports.

The total area of the State is 802 000 km2 or 10.4 per cent of Australia's total area and includes Lord Howe, a small island in the Pacific Ocean. We have included information on the people of each region to show some simple statistics on the local demographics. When learning about a new place it's helpful to see how many people live there. The histories of each region are unique and have mounded communities to what they are today. Knowing a place's past can help you know the people just a little better. In a similar way, the government and local councils are helping to mould the future of each region and its people.

An appreciation for the landscape gives insight into the environment and its inhabitants. Both inland and offshore geography has had an impact on how the country has developed.

Australian Capital Territory. For more than 20,000 years the region has been home to the Ngunnawal people. Rock paintings in Namadgi National Park and archeological evidence found at Birrigai Rock Shelter at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve are evidence of their long occupation the region.

The first European settler in the district was a Joshua John Moore who took up the first land grant and established a stock station called 'Canberry' in 1824. It has been suggested that the name Cranberry is based on an Aboriginal name for the area Canberra. Moore's property is approximately where Canberra's city centre is currently sited.

In 1901 the New South Wales Government commissioned a report suggesting possible locations for the seat of Government for the new Commonwealth of Australia. The report short-listed three places, Bondable, Yass-Canberra, and Orange. The decision for the Yass-Canberra option was made in 1908 by the Commonwealth Parliament and shortly afterwards the Commonwealth surveyor, Charles Scrivener, was dispatched to choose a site.

In 1911 an international competition for a city plan was held. It was awarded to an American landscape architect named Walter Burley Griffin and his wife and partner, Marion Mahoney Griffin. In the same year, The Australian Government took possession of 2 357km2 of land from New South Wales (NSW) to form the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) as the site for the Australian national capital. Canberra lies between Sydney, 307km north-east, and Melbourne 655km south-west.

In 1913 Canberra became the official name for the area at the laying of a foundation stone on Capital Hill. Today the majority of the population of the ACT lives and work in Canberra.

Canberra is nearly 300km from Sydney and some 650km from Melbourne. A planned city, it is laid out around an artificial lake. The Territory became self-governing in 1989. National government remains its main industry, but private sector employment has expanded and includes production of sophisticated scientific and communications equipment, and computer software. With Canberra being a relatively new and carefully planned city in Australia, some people think it's a bit on the boring and conservative side. Being the nation's seat of government and politics probably doesn't help that image. But to the contrary, Canberra is a graceful and industrious city surrounded by an awesome and mostly untouched natural environment. And its residents have a nearly utopian approach towards conserving the city's quality of life.

Victoria. Hugging the tip of the Australian east coast, Victoria is Australia's second-smallest state, covering 227,600 square kilometers - roughly the size of the British Isles.

Victoria's capital, Melbourne is located around the shores of Port Phillip Bay. The city itself sits beside the Yarra River, about five kilometers from the bay.

Victoria occupies the south east corner of the continent between latitudes 34 and 39 south and longitudes 141 and 150 east. It covers 227 600 km2 - about the same area as England, Wales and Scotland; three-fifths of Japan and slightly larger than the US State of Utah. About 36 per cent of Victoria is covered by forest with the major forest belt in the east. The highest peaks are Mt Bogong (1986 m) and Mt Feathertop (1922 m). Victoria's 1800 km coastline borders on Bass Strait, which separates the mainland from Tasmania, and in the west on the Southern Ocean. It's a generally rugged coastline but includes many wide sandy beaches and three large, almost fully enclosed harbors. Melbourne and Geelong are on the shores of the most important of these harbors, Port Phillip Bay.

Temperatures vary widely but most of the State falls within the warm, temperate belt of the south-east corner of Australia, characterized by warm and dry summers and cool to mild, wet, winters. Daily summer temperatures range from 14 to 23 C in the coastal areas, 11 to 20 C in the mountains and 16 to 31 C inland. In winter, temperatures range from 7 C to 14 C in coastal areas, 0 C to 5 C in the mountains and 5 C to 16 C inland. Snow settles on the Australian Alps in the north-east of Victoria from June to September. Rainfall is heaviest in the eastern highlands, in Gippsland in the east of the State and in the Otway Ranges in western Victoria. Some areas receive annual rainfalls of more than 1000 mm. Lowest falls are in the Mallee region, where the average is 327 mm. Melbourne's average rainfall is about 660 mm a year.

Tasmania. Separated from mainland Australia by the 240 km stretch of Bass Strait, Tasmania is a land apart a place of wild and beautiful landscapes; friendly, welcoming people; a pleasant, temperate climate; wonderful wine and food; a rich history; and a relaxed island lifestyle. Tasmania is an island roughly the size of West Virginia, located 240 km off the south-east corner of mainland Australia. Next stop south is Antarctica, 2000 km away.

Tasmania is a natural island a land of dramatic coastlines, rugged mountains, tall forests and sparkling highland lakes. Over a third of the state is reserved in a network of National Parks and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, a refuge and habitat for rare plants and animals, including survivors of the ancient southern super continent, Gondwana.

The population of Tasmania is 485,000. Main centres are Hobart (the capital city with 200,000 people) Launceston (98,500) Burnie (18,000) and Devonport (25,000).

Tasmania has more than 2000 km of walking tracks and 18 national parks. The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area covers 1.38 million hectares. Hobart has the nation's second-lowest rainfall (626 mm or 24 inches) of all Australian capital cities.

The average summer temperature is a comfortable 21°C (70°F). Winter's average is 12°C (52° F).

South Australia. South Australia has a healthy Mediterranean climate with cool wet winters and hot dry summers. The average summer temperature is 29 degrees Celsius, although each year brings one or two hot periods (generally with low humidity).

Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, jealously guards its reputation as Australia's arts capital, boasting a multitude of festivals, a vibrant live music scene, galleries, design and fashion, theatre, architecture The average winter temperature is a mild 15 degrees Celsius. 2,500 hours of sunshine a year means South Australians enjoy outdoor living almost year round. Outdoor sports, eating and events are easy to enjoy because of the weather, excellent facilities and easy accessibility.

South Australia has many contrasts with rugged outback wilderness, scenic mountain ranges, an extensive coastline, offshore islands and a large, meandering river. Surprisingly, the driest State in the driest continent has more than 3,700 kilometers of varied coastline and the Murray River weaves its magic through 650 kilometers of South Australia.

There are also national parks and world heritage listed areas to explore and an outdoor adventure to suit everyone. South Australia is known as a wine and food centre with 13 wine regions and a higher ratio of cafes and restaurants to residents than any other city in Australia. The wine industry in South Australia benefits from a variety of terrain, character and climate. Few other regions of the world can match our range of warm and cool-ripening conditions.

Western Australia. The state of Western Australia, is Australia's face on the Indian Ocean. Its capital Perth is closer to Singapore and Jakarta than it is to Canberra. The majority of people live in and around Perth.

Western Australia is the largest Australian State. With an area of more than 2 500 000 sq km, a 12 500 km coastline and spanning 2 400km from north to south, it occupies a third of the continent.

Only the narrow Timor Sea separates its northern coastline from equatorial islands of the Indonesian Archipelago and to the south is the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.

From its tropical north, to temperate areas in its south-west corner, Western Australia experiences a variety of climatic conditions. With distance from the coast, rainfall decreases and temperature variations are more pronounced. Perth averages eight hours sunshine per day and 118 clear days per year. Mean monthly maximum temperatures range from 17єC in July to 30єC in February. Even in the coldest months, minimum temperatures rarely fall below 5єC. Most of its 802mm annual rainfall occurs in the winter months.

Northern Territory. The Northern Territory covers about one sixth of the Australian continent with an area of 1.35 million km2 which is equal to the combined areas of France, Spain and Italy. About four- fifths of the Territory (1.09 million km2) lies within the tropics and the 6200 km coastline is generally flat and backed by swamps, mangroves and mudflats, rising to a plateau no higher than 450 m.

In central Australia, the Territory is crossed by the east-west ridges of the MacDonnell Ranges, which reach heights of more than 600 m. The well-known monolith, Uluru (Ayers Rock), 348 m high, is near the south-west corner of the Territory.

The northern quarter, known colloquially as the "Top End", is a distinct region of savannah woodlands and pockets of rainforest. In the north-east, the Arnhem Land plateau rises abruptly from the plain and continues to the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Much of the southern three-quarters of the Territory consists of desert or semi-arid plain. Darwin, the capital is situated in the north-western corner of the Territory.

2.3 People

Australia is an independent Western democracy with a population of more than 20 million. It is one of the world's most urbanized countries, with about 70 per cent of the population living in the 10 largest cities. Most of the population is concentrated along the eastern seaboard and the south-eastern corner of the continent. Australia's lifestyle reflects its mainly Western origins.

Total population: 20,543,000 (May, 2006)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 20.2% (male 2,045,783; female 1,949,864) 15-64 years: 67.1% (male 6,680,531; female 6,553,141) 65 years and over: 12.7% (male 1,099,275; female 1,403,390) (2003 est.) Population growth rate: 0.93% (2003 est.) Birth rate: 12.55 births/1,000 population (2003 est.) Death rate: 7.31 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.) Net migration rate: 4.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.) Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2003 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 4.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 80.13 years male: 77.27 years female: 83.13 years (2003 est.) Total fertility rate: 1.76 children born/woman (2003 est.) Nationality: noun: Australian(s) adjective: Australian Ethnic groups: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%.

Religions: Anglican 26.1%, Roman Catholic 26%, other Christian 24.3%, non-Christian 11% Languages: English, native languages Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 100% male: 100% female: 100% (1980 est.)


Australia's culturally diverse society includes its Indigenous peoples and settlers from countries all around the world.

Immigration is an important feature of Australian society. Since 1945, over six million people from 200 countries have come to Australia as new settlers. Migrants have made a major contribution to shaping modern Australia. People born overseas make up almost one quarter of the total population. The federal government sets immigration intake numbers on a yearly basis. Australia's immigration policies are non-discriminatory and all applicants to migrate must meet the same selection criteria.

Economy - overview: Australia has a prosperous Western-style capitalist economy, with a per capita GDP at the level of the four dominant West European economies. Rich in natural resources, Australia is a major exporter of agricultural products, minerals, metals, and fossil fuels. Commodities account for 57% of the value of total exports, so that a downturn in world commodity prices can have a big impact on the economy. The government is pushing for increased exports of manufactured goods, but competition in international markets continues to be severe. While Australia has suffered from the low growth and high unemployment characterizing the OECD countries in the early 1990s and during the recent financial problems in East Asia, the economy has expanded at a solid 4% annual growth pace in the last five years. Canberra's emphasis on reforms is a key factor behind the economy's resilience to the regional crisis and its stronger than expected growth rate. Growth in 2000 will depend on key international commodity prices, the extent of recovery in nearby Asian economies, and the strength of US and European markets.

Australia has had one of the most outstanding economies of the world in recent years. As a high-growth, low-inflation, low interest rate economy, it is more vibrant than ever before. There is an efficient government sector, a flexible labor market and a very competitive business sector.

With its abundant physical resources, Australia has enjoyed a high standard of living since the nineteenth century. It has made a comparatively large investment in social infrastructure, including education, training, health and transport.

The Australian workforce has seen many improvements over the last decade, leading to the surge in productivity in the 1990s. The complex and centralized award based industrial relations system has given way to a more decentralized one with many employees working under workplace agreements tailored to meet enterprise needs.

Executive branch: Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by the Governor General. Head of government: Prime Minister John Winston HOWARD (since 11 March 1996); Deputy Prime Minister Mark VAILE (since July 2005) Cabinet: Cabinet selected from among the members of Federal Parliament by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general for a three-year term note: government coalition - Liberal Party and National Party

Legislative branch: Bicameral Federal Parliament consists of the Senate (76 seats - 12 from each of the six states and two from each of the two territories; one-half of the members elected every three years by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives (148 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve three-year terms; no state can have fewer than five representatives)

Judicial branch: High Court, the Chief Justice and six other justices are appointed by the governor general

Political parties: Australian Democratic Party; Australian Labor Party; Green Party; Liberal Party; National Party; One Nation Party.

Political pressure groups: Australian Democratic Labor Party (anti-Communist Labor Party splinter group); Peace and Nuclear Disarmament Action (Nuclear Disarmament Party splinter group) International organization participation: ANZUS, APEC, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, PCA, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNITAR, UNTAET, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC.

2.4 Flora & Fauna

About 55 million years ago, Australia belonged to Gondwanaland, which was made up of a number of continents. It was almost completely covered in rainforest, the majority of which has dried up as it has separated and drifted into a warmer climate. Because of its age and isolation, Australia has developed an incredibly unique host of flora and fauna - from monotremes to eucalypts, deserts to wetlands, the Aussie land is like no other in the world.

Flora.The Australian landscape has a bit of everything - mountain ranges, rainforests, deserts and coastal dunes. The main types of flora within these varied environments are:

· Tropical rainforest

· Temperate rainforest

· Sclerophyllous forest (leathery and spiky)

· Woodlands (both wet and dry)

· Mulga scrubs (dry desert vegetation)

· Savanna and Steppe (grasslands in tropical / sub tropical and semi arid climates)

· Alpine grasslands (vegetation in the higher altitude Australian Alps)

· Desert

The most common tree in Australia is the Eucalypt, of which there are about 500 different species. Eucalyptus trees are found in almost all regions of Australia, and have become known as the iconic 'Aussie tree'. Another family well known are the Acacia and Wattle species - the Golden Wattle is Australia's national floral emblem.

The desert regions feature beautiful, hardy flowering plants like the Kangaroo Paw and the Sturt's Desert Pea. Because of the unique bird and insect species who assist in pollination, flowers have developed unique appearances designed to attract particular creatures - such as the Grevillea and Hakea.

Species such as the Banksia, with hard, woody flower pods, are designed especially to germinate after bush fires - the flames burn the pod and release the seeds into the nutrient rich, post-fire soil where they successfully grow in the new generation bush-land.

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