Facts About Australia

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Ancient Romans believed in Terra Australis Incognita, or the unknown southern land, later named as Australia. For at least 40,000 years, indigenous people populated the land before European settlement in the late 18th century.

Fact 1. Australia has the distinction of being a country and an entire continent that is wholly located in the Southern Hemisphere.

Fact 2.   In 1788, the British initiated the plan for establishing Australia as a penal colony with 736 convicts banished from England to Australia. Over the next 60 years, approximately 50,000 criminals moved from Great Britain. The reason for banishment of criminals to Australia was two-fold. One was that criminals had no place in society. Secondly, the normal exile grounds of America were no longer available.

Fact 3.  Australia is colloquially known as ‘œDown Under,’ due to it being the only continent in the Southern Hemisphere.

Fact 4.  Snow is rare in Australia. In the southernmost capitals of Melbourne and Hobart, snow falls once a decade whereas it is unknown in the other capitals.

Fact 5.  About 2.6% of the Australian population consists of indigenous people.  The state with the largest indigenous population is New South Wales whereas the Northern Territory has the highest proportion of indigenous people.

Fact 6.  The Aborigines Act (1911) is based upon legislation passed in Queensland (1897) and Western Australia (1905). The act allowed aboriginal children to be taken forcibly from their mothers and placed where it was deemed fit by the protector of aborigines.

Fact 7.  Thousands of aboriginal children were taken away from their natural parents under the policy of assimilation. The ramifications of this policy were the permanent separation of aboriginal children from their families.

Fact 8.  Ten Nobel Prizes have been awarded to Australians. Of the 10 prizes, 9 were for science or medicine and 1 was for literature.

Fact 9. Australia’s most famous song, ‘œWaltzing Matilda,’ almost became Australia’s national anthem. The song, written by Andrew Barton “the Banjo” Paterson, is based upon a Scottish ballad called ‘œCraigielea.’ The term ‘œWaltzing Matilda,’ refers to a traveling man and his bag called Matilda.

Fact 10. Quite a few Australian aboriginal words have been formalized into the English Language. These include: boomerang, borrowed from Dharuk which is an aboriginal language used in Sydney.  There are other words such as budgerigar, didgeridoo, and kangaroo.

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One Response

  1. Dr B S Nadagoudar

    August 16, 2015 9:25 pm

    Meaning of budgerigar, didgeridoo, and Kangaroo may be given. Similarly for few more words of Aboriginal used in the English Language.


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