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Australia | Land “Down Under”

Australia

The name Australia is derived from the Latin Australis, meaning “Southern”. Legends of an “unknown land of the south” (terra australis incognita) date back to Roman times and were commonplace in medieval geography.

General Information

  • The capital of Australia is Canberra
  • The population of Australia in 1992 was 17,562,000
  • Life expectancy for men is 75 years
  • Life expectancy for women is 80 years

For some 40,000 years before European settlement commenced in the late 18th century, the Australian mainland and Tasmania were inhabited by around 250 individual nations of indigenous Australians.

Australia is the Worlds Largest Exporter of:

  • Coal
  • Wool
  • Alumina
  • Diamonds
  • Sheep
  • Lead
  • Refined zinc ores
  • Mineral sands

After sporadic visits by fishermen from the immediate north, and European discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606, the eastern half of Australia was claimed by the British in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales, founded on 26 January 1788.

The population grew steadily in the following years; the continent was explored, and during the 19th century another five largely self-governing Crown Colonies were established.

Other Exports Include:

  • Veal
  • Lamb
  • Sugar
  • Nickel
  • Beef
  • Mutton
  • Cereals
  • Iron Ore

Principal Trading Partners Include:

Japan, USA and EC member states

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