Australia the Country
• Australia is officially named the
Commonwealth of Australia.
• Australia, the country, is made up of the
continent mainland, the island Tasmania, and
numerous other islands in the Pacific and
• Neighboring countries
include Indonesia, Papua
New Guinea, Vanuatu, &
• It remains a part of the Commonwealth
• It has a democratic government
• Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch.
• Kevin Rudd is the prime minister.
• It is a multicultural country.
• Australia is a country of immigrants.
– 90% of Australians are of British or Irish descent
– Since the abolishment of the White Australia policy of
the 1970s, immigration from Asia and elsewhere has
• As a result, Australia’s demography, culture, and
self-image have been transformed.
• Also, a large number of Australians live outside
their home country.
• Aborigines suffer from higher rates of
imprisonment and unemployment.
• Aborigines suffer from lower levels of
• Life expectancies for males and females is 17
years lower than those on non-indigenous
• Australia’s foreign relations are driven by a
close relationship with the United States, its
status as a British commonwealth, and its
proximity to Asia.
• It is a founding member of the United
Australia and the World
– English is the national language.
– It is spoken by 80% of the country’s population.
– Australia has no state religion.
– 64% of Australians list Christianity as their religion (26% of that are
– Surveys have found Australia to be one of the least devout nations in
the developed world.
– The adult literacy rate is 99%.
– One result of the high literacy
is that Australia enjoys one of
the highest standards of living!
– Australia’s education is ranked 8th
in the world (the United States is 9th).
– 23.5% of Australians over the age of 15 regularly
participate in organized sports.
– Australia has strong international teams in cricket, field
hockey, rugby, cycling, rowing, sailing, and swimming.
• Famous Australian swimmers include
Dawn Frasier and Ian Thorpe.
– Australia has participated in every
summer Olympic Games since 1896.
• It hosted the 1856 Summer Olympics in
• It hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
• It has ranked in the top 6 medal-takers since