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Hometown Australia is a brand new site and as such it doesn't have much on it yet.
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This Week's Featured State or Territory
Australian Antarctic Territory
Profile of Australia
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Neighbouring countries include Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north; the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east.
For at least 40,000 years before European settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who belonged to one or more of roughly 250 language groups. After discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades; the continent was explored and an additional five self-governing Crown Colonies were established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Since Federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The federation comprises six states and several territories. The population of 22.9 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated in the eastern states.
A highly developed country and one of the wealthiest, Australia is the world's 12th-largest economy and has the world's fifth-highest per capita income. Australia's military expenditure is the world's 13th-largest. With the second-highest human development index globally, Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Australia is a member of the G20, OECD, WTO, APEC, UN, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS and the Pacific Islands Forum.
The name Australia is derived from the Latin australis, meaning "southern". The country has been referred to colloquially as Oz since the early 20th century. Aussie is a common colloquial term for "Australian". In neighbouring New Zealand the term "Aussie" is sometimes applied as a noun to the nation as well as its residents.
Legends of Terra Australis Incognita—an "unknown land of the South"—date back to Roman times and were commonplace in medieval geography, although not based on any documented knowledge of the continent. Following European discovery, names for the Australian landmass were often references to the famed Terra Australis.
History of Australia
The History of Australia refers to the history of the area and people of the Commonwealth of Australia and its preceding Indigenous and colonial societies. Aboriginal Australians are believed to have first arrived on the Australian mainland by boat from the Malay Archipelago between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago. The artistic, musical and spiritual traditions they established are among the longest surviving such traditions in human history.
The first known landing in Australia by Europeans was by Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606. Other Dutch navigators explored the western and southern coasts in the 17th century, and dubbed the continent "New Holland." Macassan trepangers visited Australia's northern coasts after 1720, possibly earlier. Other European explorers followed until, in 1770, James Cook charted the East Coast of Australia for Britain and returned with accounts favouring colonisation at Botany Bay (now in Sydney), New South Wales.