Australia. Geography, History and Politics

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Иностранные языки, филология и лингвистика

Australia is a country in the Southern Hemisphere between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and other islands on the Australian tectonic plate are together called Australasia. When other Pacific islands are included, the term is Oceania.



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  1.  Study the list of topical vocabulary to avoid the difficulties in understanding the text “Australia”. Memorize them.

Landmass ['lændˌmæs] - земля, континент

Mainland ['meɪnlənd] - континент, материк

Australasia [ˌɔstrə'leɪʒə] – Австралазия

Kookaburra ['kukəˌbʌrə] – кукабурра

Platypus ['plætɪpəs] – утконос

Aborigine [abəˈrɪdʒɪniː] - представитель коренного населения

Hut [hʌt] - хижина

Pen [pen] – зд. небольшой загон (для скота, птицы)

Pottery ['pɔt(ə)rɪ] - гончарные изделия

Commonwealth of Nations - Содружество Наций

United Nations - Организация Объединённых Наций, ООН

New South Wales - Новый Южный Уэльс

South Australia - Южная Австралия

Western Australia - Западная Австралия

Inland ['ɪnlənd] - удалённый от моря

Her Excellency [e̱ksələnsi] – Ее Превосходительство

Christianity [ˌkrɪstɪ'ænətɪ] – христианство

Bicameral [baɪ'kæm(ə)rəl] - двухпалатный (о парламенте)

  1.  Find all proper or personal names (toponyms, anthroponyms, zoonyms, ethnonyms) and complete the table






Julia Gillard



  1.  Read and translate the text about Australia. Point out its main parts ant entitle them  

The name Australia is derived from the Latin australis, meaning "southern".

Its official name is the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia is the sixth biggest country in the world by landmass. Australia is also the smallest continent in the world.

Australia has six states, two major mainland territories, and other minor territories. The states are New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia.

In July 2007 Australia had just over 21 million people. Most Australians live in cities along the coast, such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Hobart and Adelaide. The largest inland city is Canberra, which is also the nation's capital. The largest city is Sydney.



Australia is a country in the Southern Hemisphere between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and other islands on the Australian tectonic plate are together called Australasia. When other Pacific islands are included, the term is Oceania.

The continent of Australia, including the island of Tasmania, was separated from the other continents of the world many millions of years ago. Because of this, many animals and plants live in Australia that do not live anywhere else. These include animals like the kangaroo, the koala, the emu, the kookaburra, wombat and the platypus.


People first arrived in Australia more than 50,000 years ago. These native Australians are called the Australian Aborigines. Aboriginal people did not usually build houses, except huts of grass, leaves and bark. They did not usually build walls or fences, and there were no horses, cows or sheep in Australia that needed to be kept in pens. The Aboriginal people did not use metal or make pottery or use bows and arrows. The boomerang was used in some areas for sport and for hunting.

Most of the Australian colonies, having been settled from Britain, became mostly independent democratic states in the 1850s and all six combined as a federation on 1 January 1901.


Australia is a member of the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Nations. It is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II as Queen of Australia and Head of State and a Governor-General who is chosen by the Prime Minister to carry out all the duties of the Queen in Australia.

Each Australian state and territory has its own Parliament and makes its own local laws. The Parliament of Australia sits in Canberra and makes laws for the whole country, also known as the Commonwealth or Federation.

The Federal government is led by the Prime Minister of Australia, who is the Member of Parliament chosen as leader. The current Prime Minister is Julia Gillard. She is the leader of a political party called the Australian Labor Party. The other main party is the Liberal Party. She also became the first female Prime Minister.

The leader of Australia is the Prime Minister, although the Governor-General represents the Queen of Australia, who is also the Queen of Great Britain, as head of state. The Governor-General, currently, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, is chosen by the Prime Minister.

The federal government is separated into three branches:

  1.  The legislature: the bicameral Parliament. The Senate, and the House of Representatives
  2.  The executive: the Federal Executive Council
  3.  The judiciary: the High Court of Australia and other federal courts

In the Senate (the upper house), there are 76 senators: twelve each from the states and two each from the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. The House of Representatives (the lower house) has 150 members elected from single-member electoral divisions.

Culture and language

Australia was colonized by people from Britain. For almost two centuries the majority of settlers, and later immigrants, came from the British Isles. As a result the people of Australia are primarily of British and Irish ethnic origin.

But today people from all over the world live there. English is the main spoken language, and Christianity is the main religion though all religions are accepted and not everybody has a religion. Australia is multicultural, which means that all its people are helped to keep their different languages, religions and ways of life, while also learning English and joining in with other Australians.

Although Australia has no official language, English has always been entrenched as the de facto national language. Australian English is a major variety of the language with a distinctive accent and lexicon and differs slightly from other varieties of English in grammar and spelling. The next most common languages are Mandarin, Cantonese, Italian, Arabic, Greek, Vietnamese and some others.

  1.  Read some interesting fast facts about Australia. Memorize them

  1.  Capital  - Canberra
  2.  Largest city – Sydney
  3.  Official language(s) – English (de facto)
  4.  Government - Federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy

Monarch - Elizabeth II

Governor General - Quentin Bryce

Prime Minister - Julia Gillard

  1.  Legislature - Parliament

Upper House - Senate

Lower House - House of Representatives

  1.  Currency - Australian dollar
  2.  Date formats - dd-mm-yyyy
  3.  Drives on the Left
  4.  Anthem: "Advance Australia Fair"2
  5.   - The flag has a blue background, the Union Jack, and six stars. Five stars are in the shape of the constellation the Southern Cross, the other is the Commonwealth Star. The flag has been used from 1903, but did not become the official flag of Australia until 1953 
  6.   - The Australian coat of arms has two animals; the emu and kangaroo. The animals are each on one side separated by a shield. The current version was granted by King George V on 19 September 1912

2 «Расцветай, о, Австралия!»


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