Australia is situated on the southern hemisphereAustralia is the smallest continent surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceansfirst discovered by the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch navigators in the 17th century (Abel Tasman)for England it was discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770, he landed at Botany Bay (today Sydney)about 20 years later – there were established the first British colony New South Wales – it was a penal colony, because England deported it’s convicts to the new continentduring 19th century – came many more immigrants from all over the world1901 Australia became a British dominion and it was called the Commonwealth of Australiathe original inhabitants = aborigines – the Australian blacks, they were hunters and they invented many peculiar weapons – e.g. boomerang.similarly as in Canada there were trends to assimilate the Australian blacks – it damaged their culture and their tribesthe estimations there are about 150 000 of these people; they were forced to live in reservations, very often in Northern Territory, where are the worst conditionstoday there live about 17 million peoplePolitical system of AustraliaAustralia is the federation of 6 states and 2 territories (the third may be Norfolk isles)STATES: Western Australia – capital PerthSouth Australia – cap. AdelaideQueensland – BrisbaneNew South Wales – SydneyVictoria – MelbourneTasmania – cap. Hobart, isleTERRITORIESAustralian Capital Territory of CanberraNorthern Territory - the formal head – the British monarch (in the last referendum the Australians were voting to stay in the British Commonwealthgovernment general – the representative of the queeneach state has its own government called councils and constitutionin Canberra: Federal Parliament, Federal Government, Federal ConstitutionFederal Government is headed by the Prime Minister, which is the most powerful person – today it is John HowardGeographical characteristic of Australiadry climatelittle rainfallmany deserts – the best known: The Great Sandry Desert (WA), The Gibson Desert (WA), The Great Victoria Desert (WA-SA)in the centre of Australia (in NT) – Ayers Rock – unique rock formation, the symbol of aboriginesalong the eastern coast there stretches the highest mountain range of the continent – it is called the Great Dividing Rangein the south of these range there are the Australian Alps with the highest mountain of Australia – Mt. Kosciuskoalong the north eastern there is the sea reserve – the Great Barrier Reefbecause of the climate not many riverssome of the rivers are only temporarily – if it is too hot, they dry upthe best known rivers (in the south east) – The Murray, The Darlingtemporarily lakesin the SA – Lake Gairdner, Lake Torrens, Lake Frome, Lake EyreFaunaas the continent was isolated from the others, during a long time there have evolved quite a few peculiar animal speciesthe best known are marsupialsthe symbol of Australia – the koala bear, it lives in eucalyptus treeswombatpossumkangaroo –they carry their youngs in pouchesPlatypus – it lays eggs like a reptile, but suckles it’s youngs like a mammal; it lives under the water, it has flat bill and webbed feetEchidnaOstrich Emuthe wild dog Dingothe black swan
Australia is a highly developed country with developed industries (mining, food industries – meat dairy products; textile industry – wool) and agriculture. Australia is the biggest producer of wool and meat especially lamb (they breed sheep). It’s economically closely linked with strong economies of Asia and America.
4. květen 2008