Australia OFFITIAL NAME : Commonwealth of Australia CAPITAL: Canberra TOTAL AREA: 7,700,000 sq.km POPULATION: 20 million people HEAD OF STATE: Queen Elizabeth II represented by Governor-General FORM OF GVERNMENT: Constitutional monarchy PORTS: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane LONGEST RIVER: the Darling (2,740 km) HIGHEST POINT: Mount Kosciusko (2,230 m) NATURAL RESOURCES: coal, zink, nickel, gold, wool NATIONAL HOLIDAY: Australian Day , 16 January (1788) MONEY: basic unit – Australian dollar NATIONAL SYMBOLS: Kangaroo and Emu NATIONAL ANTHEM: “Waltzing Matilda”
Southern cross symbolizes the constellation. The flag of Australia is the only one to fly over a whole continent. The small UnionUnion Flag Jack represents the historical link with6th British Britain, the large seven-pointed starcolony. represents the six States and Territories, and the small stars from the Southern Cross – a prominent feature of the southern hemisphere night sky. The Commonwealth 7 pointed star represents the 7 territories . Australias coat of arms – the official emblem of the Australian Government – was granted by George V in 1912. The arms consist of a shield containing the badges of the six states. The supporters are native Australian fauna – a kangaroo and an emu. A yellow-flowered native plant, wattle, also appears in the design.
States and Territories1. New South Wales2. Queensland3. South Australia4. Tasmania5. Victoria6. Western Australia7. Northern Territory8. Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Languages of AustraliaOfficial language: NoneMain language: Australian English(80%)Indigenous language: AustralianAboriginal languages,Tasmanian languages, TorresStrait Island languages.Minority language: MandarinChinese (1.6%), Italian (1.4%),Arabic (1.3%), Vietnamese (1.7%),Greek (1.2%), Cantonese (1.2%)Sign language: Auslan
Federal parliamentaryGovernment constitutional monarchyThe legislature: the bicameralParliament, defined in section 1 of Monarch Elizabeth IIthe constitution as comprising theQueen (represented by theGovernor-General), the Senate,and the House ofRepresentatives;The executive: the FederalExecutive Council, in practice the Governor-General QuentinGovernor-General as advised by Brycethe Prime Minister and Ministersof State;The judiciary: the High Court ofAustralia and other federal courts, Prime Minister Julia Gillardwhose judges are appointed bythe Governor-General on adviceof the Council.
Legislature: Independence (from the United Kingdom )Parliament Constitution Upper house 1 January 1901Senate Lower house Statute of WestminsterHouse of Representatives 11 December 1931 Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 9 October 1942 (with effect from 3 September 1939) Australia Act 3 March 1986
Official WebsitesGeneral WebsitesAustralian Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments http://www.gov.au/Government australia.gov.auExecutive governmentThe Official Web Site of the British Monarchy http://www.royal.gov.uk/Home.aspxGovernor-General of the Commonwealth of Australiahttp://www.gg.gov.au/Prime Minister of Australia http://www.pm.gov.au/Parliamentary systemParliament of Australia http://www.aph.gov.au/Commonwealth Budget http://www.budget.gov.au/JudiciaryHigh Court of Australia http://www.hcourt.gov.au/Australian Law: Selected Websites http://www.nla.gov.au/Government publicationsAGIMO Government Publishing Information http://www.finance.gov.au/agimo/GovPubs http://www.nla.gov.au/govpubs/Australias government overseasAustralias Diplomatic and Consular Missions http://www.dfat.gov.au/missions/index.htmlCommonwealth Secretariat http://www.thecommonwealth.org/Historical informationNational Archives of Australia http://www.naa.gov.au/Australias Prime Ministers http://primeministers.naa.gov.au/Documenting a Democracy http://foundingdocs.gov.au/