Australia Essay

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Maturita Card 22: Australia z What basic facts do you know about Australia? Australia is both the world’s largest island and smallest continent. It is the only continent which is a single country. It is located south of Asia between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Australia is made up of / comprises six states and two territories (New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, and Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory). The main and official language of Australia is English. There are about 20 million people. /About 20 million people live there. z What can you tell me about the Australian system of government? Australia is a federal state / a federation of self‑governing / independent states. Its official title is the Commonwealth of Australia. Formally, the head of state is the monarch / king / queen of the United Kingdom, currently Queen Elizabeth II. Her representative… at the federal / national level is the Governor General… at the state level it is the governor. The real / everyday power is in the government. The federal government is led by the prime minister. The government in individual states is led by the premier. The federal legislative body, the parliament, has its seat in the capital, Canberra. It has two chambers / houses; the Senate and the House of Representatives. Voting is compulsory in Australia. If a voter does not give a satisfactory reason for not taking part in an election (e.g. illness), he/she is fined. z What do you know about Australian history? Australia was settled by Aboriginals / indigenous Australians about 50,000 years ago. Aboriginal culture was mostly hunter‑gatherer and about 250 languages were spoken in Australia at the time. The Dutch were the first Europeans to discover Australia in the 17th century. James Cook, the British explorer, claimed Australia for Britain in 1770. In

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