Commonwealth of Australia
The Southern Cross constellation has long been
a symbol of Australia, and the ensign reflects the country’s British
heritage. The seven points of the largest star represent the six Australian
states and the territories.
Advance Australia Fair
Dates in History:
Aborigines probably began arriving in Australia from Southeast Asia
around this time.
a Dutch captain, became the first European to explore the Australian
Cook, an English explorer, claimed eastern Australia for Great Britain.
The First Fleet
arrived at Botany Bay and established a penal colony near modern-day
The colony of
Western Australia was founded at Perth, giving Great Britain control
of the entire Australian continent.
of British convicts to Sydney was abolished. However, it continued to
Hobart, on the island of Tasmania, and to Western Australia for several
years, allowing those colonies to grow quickly.
Gold was discovered
in New South Wales and Victoria, and a new wave of immigrants soon moved
to Australia. Melbourne and other cities prospered in the following
of Australia was proclaimed. The same year, the White Australia Policy
enlisted for service in World War I. However, enthusiasm for the war
waned as the Australian economy suffered.
The Great Depression
was made worse in much of Australia by deflationary government policies.
Darwin was bombed
repeatedly until Australian forces helped stop the Japanese advance
in the Pacific during World War II.
the ANZUS defense treaty with New Zealand and the United States.
the first Olympic Games held in the southern hemisphere.
draft was introduced in Australia for the first time. Australian troops
were sent to Vietnam the next year.
government granted Aborigines the right to vote.
The Labor Party
took power for the first time since 1949. It soon abolished the draft
and withdrew Australian forces from Vietnam.
Sydney was chosen
as the site of the 2000 Summer Olympic Games.
A coalition of
Liberal Party and National Party candidates gained a majority in both
houses of parliament, ending 13 years of consecutive Labor rule.
7,682,300 sq km (2,966,200 sq mi)
Mount Kosciusko 2,228 m (7,310 ft) above sea level
Lake Eyre 16 m (52 ft) below sea level
||January - 21°
C 69° F
|July - 61°C
||January - 23°C
|July - 13°C
Annual Average Precipitation:
Canberra: 590 mm (23 in)
Perth: 880 mm (35in)
23,028,000 (2013 estimate)
2 persons per sq km ( 6 persons per sq mi)
85% Urban 15% Rural
3% Aborigine and Torres Strait Islanders
18.8% Other Christian Denominations
including Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or none
Domestic Product - $998.3 billion (2013)
Chief Economic Products:
and other grains, wool, beef, vegetables, fruits, cotton, sugarcane
maple, walnut, rosewood, Monterey pine
including scallops, shrimp, spring and green rock lobsters, oysters,
and abalone; marine fishes, including orange roughy, sharks and
rays, skipjack tuna, mullet, southern bluefin tuna, and royal escolar
bauxite, alumina, iron ore, gold, silver, diamonds, petroleum, natural
gas, zinc, copper, manganese, titanium, nickel, tin, lead, uranium,
and metal products, food products, transportation equipment, machinery,
chemicals and chemical products, textiles and clothing, wood and
paper products, printed materials
Forestry, and Fishing
Metal ores, coal,
gold, nonferrous metals, meat and meat products, textile fibers, petroleum
and petroleum products, cereals
Road vehicles and other transportation equipment,
machinery, office equipment, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles
Major Trading Partners:
South Korea, New Zealand, United States, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Hong
Kong, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Malaysia
United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, China, New Zealand
1 U.S. Dollar = 1.28 Australian Dollars