Modern Australia was founded with the influx of European settlers just over two hundred years ago, but the Aborigines inhabited the island continent for tens of thousands of years before that.
They numbered a few hundred thousand before the European influx. But two centuries of discrimination and expropriation followed, and at one point the indigenous population fell as low as 60,000. Australia's politicians at first looked to Europe and the US in foreign policy, but in the past 20 years or so they have made their near neighbors a priority.
Australia has been colonized for above 42,000 years by aboriginal Australians, following the periodic visits of fishermen from Europe and discovery of Dutch voyagers in 1606. Later in 1770, the eastern part of Australia was claimed by British who transported convicts to New South Wales in 1788. Many of the first settlers were thus British convicts. Free settlers arrived in increasing numbers, particularly after the discovery of gold in the mid-19th century.
In 19th century, another five colonies were explored. On 1 January 1901, Australia was formed with the federation of 6 colonies. Since then it has maintained a constant liberal democratic political system. Canberra is the capital city located in Australian Capital Territory (ACT )and population is approx. 21,511,788 as in March 2009. Among them 60% has concentrated in and around the state capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. Today, 99% of the population is of European or Asian descent.
Australia has a prosperous and mixed economy in western-style with a per capita GDP in excess of many urbanized countries like, UK, Germany, and France. It is ranked third in the United Nations in 2007 and sixth in The Economist in 2005. By the end of March 2008, the GDP per capita of Australia was about $824.9 Billion (CIA World Factbook). The inflation rate was 4.7% per annum and 4.5% of unemployment rate in 2008. Service sector constitutes 69% of GDP, whereas agriculture and natural resources constitute 3% and 5% of GDP respectively. These statistical facts advocate that there is excellent scope for career formation in every sector.
Australia has trade exports of coal, iron ore, non-monetary gold, crude petroleum and bovine meat to China, Japan, South Korea, which has amounted $178.9 Billion in 2008. It imports passenger motor vehicles, computers, medicaments and telecommunication equipments from China, US, Japan, Singapore and Germany, which has amounted to $187.2 Billion.
Australian climate varies widely based on the region, which was significantly influenced by ocean currents. Largest part of Australia was outback, which is desert or semi-dry. The southern region has a temperate climate and moderately fertile soil and the northern region has a tropical climate, which was partly rainforests, grasslands and deserts. Large number of population lives within the south-eastern coastline in a temperate atmosphere. All a whole, people from any country can have a pleasant atmosphere in Australia.
Australia's culture was greatly derived from the European lineage, but there are some distinctive Australian characteristics grown from the atmosphere, aboriginal culture and influence of its neighborhood. Since the past 50 years, the culture of Australia was strongly influenced by the American popular culture, especially movies and television. Literature, movies, opera, music, dance, painting, theater and crafts are the dynamism and creative arts of Australia, which has achieved global appreciation. The most of the immigrants are from Asian and European countries.
The traditional cuisine of Australia was rooted from the European gastronomy, which was bought from the early settlers. It usually consists of pies, roasted cuts of meat, grilled steak and chops and few other cuisines of meat accompanied with vegetables. With the emphasis of multiculturalism many other cuisines has influenced the Australian food culture. They include Mediterranean and Asian foods formerly brought up by the settlers. In the recent times, Australians consume a lot of take-away food.
The common breakfast in Australia include cereals, toast, fruits and fried bacon, egg, mushroom, baked beans and sausages. Tea, coffee, flavored milk or juice is the drink with breakfast. The common choices in dinner are roast meat and vegetables, pasta, pizza, casseroles, barbecue meat, vegetables and salads, soup, stir-fries. Try some good Australian food so as to enjoy a pleasure of dining in Australian style.
Multiculturalism The people in Australia came from over 100 different countries around the world with their own cultures, ethics and languages. They formed different cultural groups that made Australia a multicultural nation, which was adopted since 1970. As there are different cultural groups, Australian government implemented the cultural policy in the country to control the society and its ethics. There is a multicultural national literature in Australia. There are 26.4% of Catholics, 20.5% of Anglicans, 20.5% of other Christians, 1.9% of Buddhists, 1.5% of Muslims, 1.2% of other religions, 12.7%, of unspecified religions in Australia. This has resulted students from different countries with different cultures to choose Australia for their higher education.
Job Market The prediction of job opportunities for international students in Australia is associated with the comprehensive visa requirements. In Australia there is good scope for various professions including doctors, teachers, accountants, plumbers, nurses, carpenters, dentists and IT managers. You can get the complete information on the applications of visas migration on Department of Immigration and Citizenship website. There are good opportunities for the graduates who secure permanent residence in Australia. You can get further details about graduate destinations onGraduate Careers Australia.
Tourism Tourism is the large sector of the economy in Australia, which was merged as a crucial industry. For the years 2002, 2003, 2004 Australia has produced world's 10th biggest revenue from the tourism. Every year about 4 billion tourists visit Australia and Australians itself are the big domestic travelers. Australia combines an abundance of landscapes. These comprise of deserts in the interior, hills, mountains, tropical rain forests and densely populated coastal strips with long beaches. Distinct from other continents, Australia has wide variety of unique plants and animal life.