Australia is the largest island and the smallest continent in the world. It lies between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean. It is about 11,000 kilometers southwest of North America and 3,200 kilometers southeast of mainland Asia. Australia is blessed with a climate that ranges from temperate to tropic. Situated in the Southern Hemisphere, its summer months are around Jan-Feb and their winter in June-July. The land supports a variety of natural geographical features- sandy beaches, rain forests, deserts, mountains, lakes and rivers. This is turn allows a plethora of flora and fauna to flourish. This large island sustains a wide range of animals – from the humble sheep and cattle to the exotic koalas, wallabies, kangaroos and pandas that are unique to this country. On occasion though, Australia is known to face natural calamities such as flash floods, earthquakes and very hot, dry spells that could lead to bush fires. It is for this very reason that the Australians are constantly fighting to ensure the environment is well looked after and not abused. The present population of Australia is approximately 22.7 million. New South Wales is the most populous of the states. As is the case almost everywhere in the world, the urban population far outnumbers the rural numbers. On an average, the Australians enjoy a very good standard of living further enhanced by a relaxed lifestyle giving equal importance to work and play. There is no dearth of educational and the employment opportunities to the right candidate and this ensures the standard is maintained.
Though the history of Australia as the smallest continent is age old, the advent of the human species to these parts is as recent as 50,000 years ago through migration from unknown parts of Asia. Over the years since the early 1600, various explorers landed in Australia via the Torres Strait leaving behind their own mark. These include the Dutch, Spanish, French and English. The first settlers and original islanders are now known as the Torres Strait Islanders. The first Colony was established by the British in 1788 under Capt. Arthur Phillip at Botany Bay. Today it is known as Sydney. By and by, more and more ships docked here carrying various settlers making a fresh start, and as Australia’s natural resources started being tapped, the country grew from strength to strength, into the vibrant community that Australia now represents.
In recent times Australia has seen a stream of migrants making a home for themselves and lending the country (continent) its multicultural, multihued existence. Most of the world’s countries are now represented and this can be seen in the food, fashion, colloquial language and even religion. English is the predominant and official language, but many other tongues also flourish here. A secular country it is open to all religions, and by law no religion is given precedence over another. The early settlers brought Christianity with them to a land where the Aborigines had a religion of their own. Subsequent migrants have contributed towards introducing Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism. Australia has become the melting pot of various cultures, religions and lifestyles and it is this secularism that has contributed to the growth of this country and will continue to do so. English is the official language, but a large part of the population is bi- or even multi-lingual. Italian is spoken at home by almost 2.3% of the population, Greek by 1.6%, Cantonese by 1.2% and Arabic by 1%. It is the first generation of settlers that still speak their original language at home, but the shift to more and more English being spoken at home is seen primarily in the second generation. French, German, Maltese and Hungarian too find a place in spoken languages. In fact a large number of the overseas student population comes to Australia either to study or improve their command over the English Language. In government sponsored events, arts crafts, visits to museums as also dance, music and theatre are popular activities amongst the natives. The country sees a large number of national celebrations, Australia Day, Labour Day, Queen’s Birthday, Christmas and Easter to name a few. For More Details Please Click On The Following Link http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/bb8db737e2af84b8ca2571780015701e/bfdda1ca506d6cfaca2570de0014496e!OpenDocument http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/d67b7c95e0e8a733ca2570ec001117a2!OpenDocument
Australia has a Liberal Democratic system of Government which is more likely bases on the value of People and Religious. The Commonwealth of Australia was brought in force in the Year 1901. The government is divided into three levels: Federal, State and Local. The Federal government is the national system and is headed by the Prime Minister. Its responsibilities are defined in the Australian Constitution. Each state/territory also has its own government system, headed by the Premier. The state government provides leadership for areas not covered at the federal level, although the two work together when it is agreed there needs to be national co-operation. Apart from the Australian Capital Territory, which is wholly governed by the federal and state governments, each other state and territory is divided into different regions, which form the local government. This level takes care of domestic issues in each area, such as rubbish collection, public and community services.
Australia was earlier best known for its natural resources and minerals (Australia is still the largest exporter of coal), but there is a significant shift in the economy based on newer industries and businesses. A large part of Australian economy depends on manufactured goods. However being primarily an agrarian community, Australia is well known for its wool, dairy produce, meat, sugar, wine and fruit besides minerals and gems. Australia also has a growing in its service sector, which is gaining momentum day by day.
Australian FlagThe official Australian flag was designed in 1901 when Australia became an independent nation. There is also wide recognition of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander emblems, which are also proclaimed as Flags of Australia. There is also an official design for the Australian Defence Force. The national anthem is called ‘Advance Australia Fair’. Australia’s national colours are green and gold, the floral emblem is the golden wattle (Latin name Acacia pycnantha Benth) and the gemstone is the opal.
Australian GeographyAustralia is a land of contrasts: sweeping golden beaches, coral reefs rich with marine life, tropical rain forests, mountain ranges, vast grazing lands and sparse deserts.
One of the oldest continents, Australia is as wide as the distance from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei and as long as the distance from Singapore to Manila. It is the only country to occupy an entire continent. Surrounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Australia has many animals and plants, which are unique on the planet. The surface geology is typically old and flat.
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- South Australia