Australia, in conjunction with Tasmania one of the smallest continents
in the southern hemisphere was populated for 42,000 years by indigenous
Australians. In the 16 & 17 hundreds, this small continent was
discovered by the Dutch and British in 1606 and 1770 respectively. Settlements
were then establish in 1788 by the British New South Whales and then later was
establish in the 19th century
Etymology of Australia means
"southern" and later the name became more popular during the
19th century from works including "A Voyage to Terra Australis"
written by Matthew Finders. Finders was the first navigator to
circumnavigate Australia. Many historians believe that the first indigenous
tribes inhabited Australia perhaps 42,000 years ago by land bridges and sea
crossings from Southeast Asia. Many of these people
where hunters with a rather complex oral culture.
During the 17th century the Dutch had sighted and charted the complete western
northeastern hemisphere. Later James Cook mapped out the Eastern
still there were no settlements. From 1788 until 1911, the United Kingdom
established settlements in different parts of Australia. Unfortunately, due to
infectious disease from settlers, the
indigenous population decreased sharply
to 350,000 at that time.
Australia is a democratic constitutional monarchy based on
of government. Essentially Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Australia making
her a monarch of the commonwealth realms. Australia is composed of six
states, mainland and other minor territories. Australia has several parties
including Australian Labor Party, Liberal Party and National Party. There are
two chambers in government and senate positions for both
chambers are held every 3 years.
The Australian culture is predominantly Anglo-Celtic meaning British and Irish
through many distinct characteristics are derived from the indigenous
Australian culture. Recently, the Australian culture has been influenced by
American pop art, Non-English speaking and nearby Asian neighbors.
Many of the Arts that are predominant include crafts, dance, theatre, painting,
music, opera, cinema and literature. Much of the indigenous
traditions have been passed orally instead of being documented. One of the
greatest English writers of the 20th Century is Patrick Write who won the Nobel
Prize in Literature in 1973. Australia's film industry has also influence
Australian culture with many critical commercial successes.