Australia

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AUSTRALIA
Paradise is right around the corner…

BASIC INFORMATION
* Capital: Canberra
* Flag: Blue with the flag of the UK in the upper left hand corner and a large star at the bottom middle known as the commonwealth star, representing the federation of colonies of Australia in 1901. The star has one point for each of the six original states and one representing all of Australia'sinternal and external territories; the remaining half is a representation of the Southern Cross constellation in white with one small five-pointed star and four larger, seven-pointed stars 
* Coat of Arms: granted by King George V in 1912. The crest is the device above the shield and helmet on a coat of arms. The Australian crest is a seven-pointed gold star on a blue and gold wreath. Six of thepoints represent each of the states of the Commonwealth; the seventh point represents Australia’s territories. The supporters are native Australian animals: the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) and the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae). It is thought the kangaroo and emu were chosen to symbolise a nation moving forward, reflecting a common belief that neither animal can move backwards easily.
* Area:7,741,220 km²  but territorial waters and part of Antarctica are not included.
* Latitude: -27
* Longitude: 133
* Population: 22,611,726
* System of Government: Constitutional monarchy
* A constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which the monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution. It´s different from a normal monarchy because in a normalmonarchy the monarch has total control over his or her country.
* Australia has a parliament:
The Bicameral Commonwealth Parliament: The Queen(Queen Elizabeth II), The Senate (The Upper House ,76 senators), The House of Representatives (The Lower House, 150 members)
* Governer General: (queen´s representative) Michael Jefferey
* Prime Minister: Kevin Rudd
* Language: unofficiallanguage is English
* Weather/Climate: temperate, receiving more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, it doesn’t have a very strong transition from summer to winter, in the summer the temperature averages around 84°F and in the winter 56°F with warm days and mild nights.
* National Anthem: Advance Australia Fair
* National Floral Emblem: Golden Wattle (tree that blooms in late spring)
*National Colors: Green and Gold( because of the main colors of the golden wattle)
* National Gem: Opal
* National animal: (unofficial) Red Kangaroo
* National bird: (unofficial) Emu
* National personification: (unofficial) Boxing Kangaroo

HISTORY
* Human habitation of Australia is estimated to have begun between 42,000 and 48,000 years ago.
*  Migration of peopleby land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia.
* These first inhabitants may have been ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians.
* At the time of European settlement in the late 18th century, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers, with a complex oral culture and spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime.
*The Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, were originally horticulturalists and hunter-gatherers.
* The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland and the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent were attributed to the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon. He sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula on an unknown date in early 1606, and landed on 26 Februaryat the Pennefather River on the western shore of Cape York, near the modern town of Weipa. 
* The Dutch charted the whole of the western and northern coastlines of "New Holland" during the 17th century, but made no attempt at settlement.  
* William Dampier, an English explorer/privateer landed on the northwest coast of Australia in 1688 and again in 1699 on a return trip. In 1770...
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