Australia

Australia, Sydney

Geographic Location of Australia

Australia is the 6th largest country in the world by area, taking up most of the continent. The country is flat: 95 percent lie below 600 meters above sea level, but the Great Dividing Range stretches along the entire east coast, where the highest peaks reach over 2000 meters above sea level. Along the coast in the north and northeast, a tropical climate with rainforest prevails. In the center of the country, nature is characterized by plains and desert.

The desert climate covers about a third of the country's territory. Along the southeast and southwest coasts, and in Tasmania, the climate is temperate, with a few subtropical rainforests. In the highest mountainous areas of the mainland and in the mountains of Tasmania, precipitation in winter falls in the form of snow. Long droughts often occur in the south of Australia, and the northern regions are prone to cyclones. The largest lake in the country, Lake Eyre, has been filled with water only 7 times since 1886.

Agriculture, industry and the introduction of new species pose the biggest threat to Australia's natural diversity. The country's two largest rivers, the Murree and the Darling, are also at risk of pollution. At the same time, overgrazing and land clearing led to desertification and erosion. The world's longest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef, located off the northeast coast, is also under serious threat due to global warming. Drought and high temperatures mean Australia is also grappling with devastating wildfires that have affected wildlife.

Brief History of Australia

The first humans arrived in Australia from Southeast Asia over 40,000 years ago. The indigenous people lived in several hundred tribes and spoke more than 200 different languages. When the Europeans discovered the country in 1601, the natives lived as hunters, fishermen and gatherers. Several European nations knew about Australia after the 17th century, but none had enough resources to colonize the vast country. It was not until 1770 that Captain James Cook declared all of Australia and the island of Tasmania to be British territory. British colonization began with the transport of prisoners to a new country in the late 18th century, and six independent colonies were established in the 19th century. In 1901, the colonies gained independence and united in a federation, called the Commonwealth of the Australian States. In 1902, Australia became the second country in the world to give women the right to vote.

The indigenous population was subjected to a brutal assimilation policy throughout the colonization and their numbers were drastically reduced. Children were taken from their parents and placed in orphanages or white foster families until the 1970s. Indigenous people did not have the status of residents of Australia and did not have the right to vote until 1967. In 2008, the natives received a formal apology for their treatment.

Society and Politics of Australia

Australia is a constitutional monarchy and a federal state. The British monarch is the head of state, as the country is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The Prime Minister is the head of government and heads the executive branch. The country is divided into six states and two federal territories, each with a large degree of self-government.

Many years of oppression, racism and disempowerment characterize the indigenous people of Australia. The people have the longest continuous cultural history in the world, over 40,000 years. This is one of the reasons why their assimilation into modern Australia is difficult. Many Indigenous people also believe that the Australian government has no right to govern and that the entire country belongs to Indigenous peoples. Among the indigenous population, unemployment is higher, and the state of health is worse than among other Australians. The average life expectancy is ten years less. The standard of living of the population as a whole is one of the highest in the world. Health care, the education sector, old-age and sickness pensions, maternity leave are available to everyone. Women have good rights, but domestic violence is relatively widespread, especially in indigenous families.

Economy and Trade of Australia

Australia has experienced strong economic growth over the past 30 years, largely due to its abundance of natural resources. The country is among the 20 largest economies in the world in terms of gross domestic product. Large deposits of minerals and natural gas have transformed an economy previously based on sheep farming and agriculture, shifting it to mining and gas production. Australia has the world's largest economically profitable deposits of lead, nickel, tantalum, uranium and zinc, as well as large deposits of bauxite, coal, cobalt, copper, diamonds, gold and other minerals. Australia is also one of the world's leading exporters of wool, wheat and meat. The service sector is the largest sector, where real estate, business and tourism are most important.

The economic policy is aimed at export. Asia has given way to the West as Australia's most important market. The most important trading partners are China, Japan, Indonesia and the USA. This has placed Australia in a strategically difficult position as it is closely tied to the US and Europe politically and militarily, and its economy is based on trade with Asia. Thus, Australia is an important mediator in relations between the US superpowers and China.

Australian Cuisine and Culinary Traditions of Australia

Australian cuisine differs in many ways from other national cuisines of the countries of the world. This is primarily due to the food base on which Australian cuisine is based, as well as representatives of the various cultures that inhabit Australia. The flora and fauna of Australia makes it possible to include the most diverse and unusual ingredients in the recipes of Australian cuisine, which gives the cuisine of Australia a uniqueness and inimitable style. The culinary traditions of the peoples currently living in this country have played a significant role in Australian cuisine - it combines the features of cooking recipes for dishes of the local population, British cuisine, the cuisine of China, Japan and other Asian countries. Due to the fact that Australia is surrounded on all sides by the ocean, dishes cooked from fish and other seafood, which are rich in the coastal waters of Australia, play a significant role in Australian cuisine.

Flag of Australia
Coat of Arms of Australia

Basic Information About Australia

  • Full name - Commonwealth of Australia
  • Capital - Canberra
  • Language - English
  • Population - 25,788,217
  • Form of government - federal constitutional monarchy
  • Area - 7,741,220 km2
  • Currency - Australian dollar
  • National Day - January 26