|CH 24: Australia / New Zealand
Sec. 1: Australia
Is Australia a continent or a country? It is both.
-- Australia is the sixth largest country in the world.
-- It is surrounded by water, but it is too large to be called an island.
-- So geographers call it a continent.
Land Down Under located in southern hemisphere
-- Great Barrier Reef (coral reef) lies off Australia’s northeastern coast
Outback the name for the inland regions of Australia (location of mining camps and ranches)
-- Water is scarce -- Great Artesian Basin -- ranchers drill wells into underground pools of water and bring it to the surface
-- Narrow plains along south and southeast Australia hold its best farmland and most of the countries people
-- Australia’s native plants and animals are not found elsewhere in the world
Has a strong, prosperous economy
-- Full of mineral resources (iron, zinc, bauxite, gold, silver, opals, diamonds, pearls)
-- Full of energy resources (coal, oil, natural gas)
-- Dry climates limit farming. Irrigation allows farmers to grow grains, sugarcane, cotton, fruit, vegetables.
-- Main agricultural activity is raising livestock (cattle, sheep)
-- World’s top producer of wool
-- Manufacturing is growing in importance
-- High-tech industries, service industries, tourism play large role in economy
Small part of Australia’s population.
-- Descendants of the first immigrants who came from Asia.
-- British colonies took land from the Aborigines.
-- Many died of European diseases.
-- Today nearly 300,000 live in Australia.
-- In 1967 the Australian government recognized Aborigines as citizens.
Boomerang - One of the weapons the Aborigines use.
-- This wooden tool is shaped like a bent bird’s wing.
-- Hunters throw their boomerang to stun prey.
-- If the boomerang misses, it curves and sails back to the hunter.
History and People
First discovered by the Dutch (late 1600s)
-- Captain James Cook (1770) claimed it for Great Britain
-- Penal Colony - British government used it as a place to send prisoners
-- After gold was discovered more came and took land from Aborigines
Despite Australia’s huge area, has few people -- 19.4 million
-- Needs more skilled people to develop resources and build economy
-- More than 5 million immigrants have arrived in the past decades
-- 85% of Australia’s people live in cities
-- Sydney and Melbourne are the largest cities
-- Australians speak English
1901 – Australian British colonies united to form independent Commonwealth of Australia
-- Has British-style parliamentary democracy
-- Prime Minister is the head of government
-- Like US., Australia has a federal system