Geographical features of Oz
Mainland Australia, with an area of 7.69
million square kilometres, is the Earth’s
largest island but smallest continent.
With a population of more than 21 million,
Australia is the only nation to govern an
It is the earth’s biggest island and the sixthlargest country in the world in land area.
Australia has 10% of the world’s
biodiversity and a great number of its
native plants, animals and birds exist
nowhere else in the world.
Australia is committed to conserving its
unique environment and natural heritage
and has a range of protection procedures
in place, including World Heritage Listings
and many national parks and wildlife
Rivers, water resources
Australia is a dry continent and the
management of water resources is a major
concern for most people.
The Murray and Darling rivers are the two
longest river systems in Australia. Together
they form the Murray-Darling Basin, which
covers more than one million square
kilometres, (approximately 14%) of the
Lake Eyre, in the centre of the country, is a
vast salt lake more than 9000 square
kilometres in area which is dry for lengthy
Agriculture in Australia-1
Farming includes a mix of wheat, cattle,
sheep, cane sugar, lupin, canola, fruit
orchards, vineyards and dairy farms.
The gross value of agricultural production
in Australia in 2005–2006 was AUD37.8
The most important agricultural
commodities by production value were
cattle and calves (AUD7.7 billion), wheat
(AUD5.2 billion), milk (AUD3.3 billion) and
wool (AUD2.1 billion).
Agriculture in Australia-2
Although 6.5% of its land mass is
arable, Australia’s diverse climatic
zones, technical expertise and
hardworking farmers combine to
produce a wide range of highly
sought-after agricultural and forestry
Agriculture in Australia-3
Australia’s location in the Southern
Hemisphere also makes it ideally
situated to supply counter-seasonal
produce to markets in Asia, Europe
and North America during their winter
Australia exports around 65% of its
farm products; 60% of its forest
products; 98% of its wool and 51% of
its dairy products.
Forest industries of Oz
Australia’s forest industries employ
about 82,900 people.
The annual turnover is more than
Employment and wealth flow directly
from the wood products derived from
forests and plantations.
Other products also generated are
honey, wildflowers, natural oils,
firewood, craft wood and fodder.
Coal & metal ore minerals
Australia has some of the world’s
largest known resources of minerals,
including coal, copper, bauxite, gold,
silver and diamonds. The mining
industry accounted for 37% of the
total value of the country’s exports in
2006–07, mainly from the coal and
metal ore mining industries.
History of Exploration,
Colonization & Development
The Aborigines first arrived in Australia
from somewhere in Asia at least 40,000
years ago, and probably up to 60,000
They had occupied most of the continent
by 30,000 years ago, including the southwestern and south-eastern corners.
Tasmania at this point was still part of the
mainland; it was only separated by rising
sea levels some 16,500 to 22,000 years
Their successful adaptation to a wide
range of environments had enabled
the population to grow to between
300,000 and 1 million by the time of
the first European settlement
Visitors before sixteenth century
Macassan traders from what is now
Indonesia are thought to have been visiting
Arnhem Land well before the 17th century
to harvest sea cucumbers for export to
There were also contacts with New
Guinea, and Chinese, Malaysian, and Arab
sea captains may also have landed in
northern Australia after the 15th century.
Early European Exploration
Australia remained unexplored by the West,
however, until the 17th century.
European logic and mythology: a "Great
Southern Land", or Terra Australis, was
thought necessary to balance the weight of
the northern landmasses of Europe and
Terra Australis often appeared on early
European maps as a large, globe-shaped
mass in about its correct location, although
no actual discoveries were recorded by
The European exploration of Australia
took more than three centuries to
thus, what is often considered the
oldest continent, geologically, was the
last to be discovered and colonized
British Exploration- W. Dampier
Portuguese and Spanish Sailings
British Expeditions and Claims:
In 1688, William Dampier, landed in
the north-west and a second
expedition—along 1,610 km (1,000
mi) of the western coast in 1699-1700
— resulted in the most detailed report
on the continent that was
British Exploration- 1768-1770
In 1770 Captain Cook landed at
Botany Bay on the eastern coast
and at Possession Island in the
north where, on August 23, he
claimed the region for Great Britain
and named it New South Wales.
Matthew Flinders, a naval officer,
was the first to circumnavigate the
continent from 1801 to 1803.
Although the coast was now
largely charted, it was not until the
1870s that Australia’s major
interior features were known to the
Penal Settlements 1786:
For Britain, Australia had strategic and,
after the loss of the American colonies
(1783), socio-economic value.
The British government established a
penal settlement at Botany Bay, on the
south-east coast of New South Wales.
Mindful of British economic interests and
keen to save public expenditure, the
government planned that Botany Bay
would become a self-financing colony
through the development of its economy by
Captain Arthur Phillip arrived at
Botany Bay on January 18, 1788.
Here, on January 26 (now
commemorated as Australia Day), he
began the first permanent
European settlement in Australia.
Captain Arthur Phillip
[1788 to 1792]
Three major problems confronted
Phillip and other early governors:
providing a sufficient supply of food,
developing an internal economic
producing exports to pay for the
colony’s imports from Great Britain.
‘Exports to pay for the colony’s
imports from Great Britain?’
John Macarthur in 1802 had shown
British manufacturers samples of
Australian wool. It was only after
1810, however, with the breeding of
the merino sheep, with its staple wool,
that sheep-grazing gradually
developed into a major economic
[1809 to 1821]
Churches, hospitals, and government
buildings were built in Sydney.
The arrival of more free settlers
brought more claims to farmland.
The free settlers [exclusives ]
freed convicts [emancipists]
Expansion of sheep - and
cattle-raising into the interior
Gregory Blaxland and William Charles
Wentworth opened up the route
through the Blue Mountains, about 80
to 120 km (50 to 75 mi) west of
Sydney, in 1813, initiating the
westward settlement of New South
In search of more pastures
Together with the southerly treks of
Andrew Hamilton Hume and William
Hovell in 1824, and Major Thomas
Mitchell in 1836, Blaxland and
Wentworth’s explorations spurred the
transfer of flocks and herds to inland
Search for agricultural heartland
Captain Charles Sturt in 1828-1830,
traced the chief arteries of the
Murray-Darling Basin, now the
agricultural heartland of Australia.
Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell
confirmed Sturt’s work, and opened
the route from New South Wales to
the rich land of western Victoria
Between the late 1820s and the 1880s,
Australia underwent rapid changes that laid
the foundation for its present society.
the formation, between 1829 and 1859, of
four of the six colonies that eventually
became the states of Australia,
the expansion of sheep- and cattle-raising
into the interior, and
the discovery of gold and other minerals.
A gold rush began in Australia in the early
1850s, and the Eureka Stockade rebellion
against mining licence fees in 1854 was an
early expression of civil disobedience.
Between 1855 and 1890, the six colonies
individually gained responsible
government, managing most of their own
affairs while remaining part of the British
The Colonial Office in London retained
control of some matters, notably foreign
affairs, defence, and international shipping.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies
became a federation, and the
Commonwealth of Australia was
formed. Since Federation, Australia has
maintained a stable liberal democratic
political system and remains a
Australian Capital Territory
The Federal Capital Territory (later
renamed the Australian Capital Territory)
was formed from a part of New South
Wales in 1911 to provide a location for the
proposed new federal capital of Canberra.
(Melbourne was the temporary seat of
government from 1901 to 1927 while
Canberra was being constructed.)
The Northern Territory was transferred
from the control of the South Australian
government to the Commonwealth in 1911.
Australia in WW1
In 1914 Australia joined Britain in fighting World
War I, with support from both the outgoing Liberal
Party and the incoming Labor Party.
The Australians took part in many of the major
battles fought on the Western Front.
Many Australians regard the defeat of the
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
(ANZACs) at Gallipoli as the birth of the nation—
its first major military action.
The Kokoda Track Campaign is regarded by many
as an analogous nation-defining event during
World War II
Formal end of most of the constitutional
links between Australia and the UK:
Britain's Statute of Westminster 1931 formally
ended most of the constitutional links between
Australia and the UK. Australia adopted it in 1942,
but backdated it to the beginning of World War II
to confirm the validity of legislation passed by the
Australian Parliament during the war.
The final constitutional ties between Australia and
the UK were severed with the passing of the
Australia Act 1986
Australia Act 1986
Australia's demography, culture, and
self-image have been transformed.
The final constitutional ties between
Australia and the UK were severed
with the passing of the Australia Act
1986, ending any British role in the
government of the Australian States,
and ending judicial appeals to the UK
United States as a new ally
The shock of the UK's defeat in Asia in
1942 and the threat of Japanese invasion
caused Australia to turn to the United
States as a new ally and protector.
Since 1951, Australia has been a formal
military ally of the US, under the ANZUS
After World War II, Australia encouraged
immigration from Europe; since the 1970s
and the abolition of the White Australia
policy, immigration from Asia and
elsewhere was also encouraged.
Challenge of arid or semi-arid land
Australia is the driest inhabited
continent on earth.
Its interior has one of the lowest
rainfalls in the world.
About three-quarters of the land is
arid or semi-arid.
These arid areas extend from the
large central deserts to the Western
Challenge of variety of regions
Soils in these areas are characteristically
very infertile compared to other deserts of
This has presented Australians with the
challenge of how best to manage the
variety of regions the continent possesses.
Managing to meet the competing demands
of agriculture, economy and conservation
is the theme of the struggle.
Commonwealth of Australia
Australia has maintained a
stable liberal democratic
political system and remains a
Approximately 60% of the population is
concentrated in and around the
mainland state capitals of
New South wales [Sydney],
Western Australia [Perth],
South Australia [Adelaide.] and
Northern Territory [Darwin]
The nation's capital city is Canberra,
located in the Australian Capital
The Australian identity: people-1
The Australian identity is drawn from its
people and its ancient and modern history
set against a backdrop of a unique
Indigenous Australians have inhabited the
continent for up to 60 000 years.
Since 1788, Europeans have settled in
towns and cities, usually located around
river valleys, estuaries and along the
The Australian identity: people-2
Australia’s harsh terrain and dry climate
claimed the lives of some of the early
European explorers who attempted to open
up the interior of the continent for
Much of regional Australia was explored
and settled between the 1820s and 1850s,
when large tracts of land became available
for agricultural development.
The Gold Rush in the mid-nineteenth
century brought new migrants to regional
Australian cities also routinely rank
among the world's highest in terms of
livability, cultural offerings, and quality
It is a member of the United Nations, G20 major economies, Commonwealth of
Nations, ANZUS, OECD, and the WTO.
Technologically advanced and
Australia is a prosperous multicultural country.
It has excellent results in many international
comparisons of national performance such as
Curry bashing and
the protection of civil liberties and political whites.