|Date: June 8, 2022-July 15, 2022. Corrected: July 22, 2022.|
Australia Term Paper Contents
Thesis: All about Australia’s history from the time the continent was founded to the modern era. Geography, nature, and animals will be included. The people who explored the land (especially James Cook) and Australia’s government is also included. Aboriginals are mentioned.
- Areas of Australia.
- Environmental conditions
- Captain James Cook (bibliography).
- After Captain Cook’s history
- Flag meaning
- Modern times/Final thoughts
- Areas of Australia.
Australia is a continent in the Southern Hemisphere. This is a colony that was founded by the British before the Dutch. It is surrounded by Oceania, which contains the land of Australia, New Zealand and many Pacific islands. The Indian and Pacific Oceans surround Australia. Queensland capital is Brisbane; New South Wales is Canberra; Victoria is Melbourne; the Northern Territory is Darwin; South Australia is Adelaide; Tasmania is Hobart; and Western Australia is Perth. Each land was explored in different timelines.
- Environmental conditions.
Australia has many environments. There are rainforests, deserts, tropical, coastal, and temperate zones. Tropical weather is in the north. The south-east of Australia is very fertile. The East and much of the South are temperate. The rest of Australia is a desert, and depending on the areas of Australia, there are a lot of coastal environments. Australia has interesting places to visit. Ayers Rock is a big red sandstone rock that is in the Central Australian Desert in the Northern Territory. It is a place where the aboriginals visit, and it is over 1,000 feet tall. In Queensland, the largest peninsula is Cape York. It is filled with tropical rainforests, mangroves, swamps, mountains, grasslands, and rivers. It is the biggest peninsula found in Australia. The highest point in Australia between New South Wales and the Victoria region is Mount Kosciuszko. It is over 7,000 feet tall. The lowest point in South Australia is Lake Eyre, which is -49 feet below sea level. The largest barrier reef is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which is 1,600 long.
Kangaroos are marsupials. They have pouches to carry their young and have long tails and hind feet, which enables them to have the perfect balance. They are found all over Australia. Koalas are small herbivores that live in trees and get their energy by sleeping. Koalas are found in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, and New South Wales. Dingos are like wolves and dogs, but they are wild. They are agile and have flexible joints. They can be found in Australia’s wild lands. Platypus have a bill like a duck, a tail like a beaver, and feet like otters. Their hind feet have spurs that give out venom to prey. They live in the rivers. A Kookaburra is a bird that eats snakes, mice, and insects. They live everywhere except near water. Wombats are smaller marsupials who carry their young in their pouches in the back and live in South Eastern Australia. Quokkas are small animals that are found on the coasts of western Australia. They are herbivores. Bandicoots are omnivorous marsupials that are nocturnal and considered to be pests. An emu is a big bird that is found all over Australia. It has a long neck and legs. They can run fast, but cannot fly. Their diet comprises insects and plants, but they sometimes avoid eating for weeks. A sugar glider is a small possum that resembles a flying squirrel. They are found in Eastern Australia and have special membranes that enable them to glide safely from tree to tree. Echidnas are small mammals that have fur and sharp spines, or quills. They eat termites and ants. Echidnas can dig with their sharp claws in the dirt and can live everywhere from intense heat to severe cold. A wallaby is like a kangaroo but smaller. They eat plants and grass and live in areas surrounding rocks and bushes. The Tasmanian Devil is found in Tasmania. They have horrible growls and screams. They have sharp teeth and are carnivorous. They eat wombats and wallabies. The Thorny Dragon is a lizard that has sharp thorns all over its body. They can camouflage in the desert, which is where they live. The Cassowary is another flightless bird found in Australia. They eat small invertebrates and fruits. Last, I will talk about the Box Jellyfish. They look like boxes swimming in the ocean and have a powerful sting that can kill humans. They are found near Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
The first people that settled in Australia were the Aboriginals. Originally, they came from South East Asia and inhabited the country between 40 and 60 thousand years ago. They are scattered all over Australia and its islands. As a tribe, they learned to survive in the hot, dry, and different temperatures. There are high tides near the coasts. They learned to find food and water near bushes and established trading routes with other aboriginal tribes. This was before the Europeans came to Australia. The Dutch were actually the first to explore Australia in the 17th century, but they did not do too much. In the 18th century, the British were the ones involved. Since they were new to Australia, they had to learn to adapt and learn about Australia’s natural history. The British had to survive smallpox while they were there, and it also killed many Aboriginals. The languages that they learned were Pama-Nayungan (south) and non-Pama-Nayungan (north). Despite the different dialects, certain Aboriginals didn’t get along. A mythical philosophy called Dreamtime was common among the tribes. It occurs when an elderly person tells stories about their ancestors and family history. Sometimes the tribes paint on people’s bodies and sing and dance. They made rock art and held many festivals.
The tribes talk about religion, marriage, kinship, and alliances. They hold these kinds of social events 2 or 3 times a year. Because food is sometimes scarce, they have to travel far in order to get food. The males were the ones in charge of everything in the tribes, including homes, rituals, totems, traditions, and more. The Aboriginals also have certain rules that have to be obeyed:
They settled a girl’s marriage before she reached puberty and decided her husband should be older than her.
- An arrangement of marriages included betrothal, elopement, and the obligatory marriage of a widow to her husband’s brother. Also, the capturing of women during fights or the exchange of sisters and brothers.
- A man who married more than one wife. The number varies differently in tribes.
- Their traditions prevented men from marrying any woman who had become a mother-in-law to someone.
- The relations of kinship, like mothers, fathers, uncles, and aunts, were very respectable.
- The communities followed an initiation and a ritual after reaching adulthood. This happened as a symbol of achieving a new life, and all boys had to follow it.
- Circumcision, scarring, hair removal, piercings, and fire-playing were common rituals.
Besides Dreamtime, there is also a totemic system. It is where humans and nature are interlinked into a corporation. They use animals, plants, and minerals for the totems. The animal was used to prevent people from eating them. They considered plants and humans being the same flesh and blood. There were small-to-large hunter gatherings. Men, women, and children arranged them, but the men were always in charge. The tribes had different beliefs, rules, dances, songs, and more. However, an instrument invented by the tribes is called a didgeridoo. You blow into it and it makes sounds. They also clapped sticks. Both the didgeridoo and the clapping of sticks were famous in the North. In the south of Australia, the tribes pound sticks and boomerangs on the ground. Last, the tribes had architecture. They used nature to not only do art but for buildings and homes. Examples include: clay; shells; bones; bamboo; stones; and more. The aboriginals still practice their culture today, but have also adapted to the European lifestyle. Most of them live in Western Australia.
The first Europeans to travel to Australia were the Dutch. In 1606, Willem Janszoon explored the western coast of the Cape York Peninsula. In 1616, another Dutch sailor, Dirt Hartog, saw several islands near Australia. In 1642, Abel Tasman explored a small part of Australia, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). In 1688, William Dampier landed in Western Australia. After the Dutch, the English explored the land and did more than the Dutch had done. In 1770, Captain James Cook explored the eastern coast of Australia. He landed in Botany Bay and charted the land. He claimed this land for Britain.
Later, a man named Arthur Philip sails and lands in Australia. He found that Botany Bay was unsuitable, so he moved and sailed to a place where he colonized Sydney. This was the first European settlement at the time. The area of New South Wales was an official place. The first religious services were performed there by the Reverend Richard Johnson. Philip was the governor of New South Wales. Many ships later landed, and more people inhabited the land. The people were transported as convicts to the colony. Before the British were intrigued with Australia, they had a colony in the United States of America.
However, the colony gained independence from the British. After they lost, they let America set up their country. The convicts go to Australia, Africa, and Asia. There were lots of wildfires, and some were natural or arson. So several places, like churches and jails, were burnt down. The convicts were still prisoners, and any who escaped were considered bushrangers. The exploration of the land of Australia continues.
- Captain James Cook (bibliography).
In 1728, a famous navigator, captain, and sailor was born in Yorkshire, England. His name was James Cook. He grew up on a farm and attended school. At the age of 17, he was an apprentice to a shopkeeper. He did this for a year and a half, and then worked as an apprentice for another person for 3 years. His name was John Walker, who was a Quaker and a coal shipper. Cook did this for two years. In 1755, Walker offered him a position for the trade, but Cook decided to do something else. He went on a ship called the H.M.S. Eagle. He sailed on the channel of England for two years, then went on another ship, the Pembroke, and sailed to North America. He took part in the siege of Louisburg and surveyed the St. Lawrence River. Then he surveyed Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. He returned to England, and in 1762, he married Elizabeth Batts. Then he returned to Newfoundland and got command of a ship, the Grenville. Cook was a good sailor, and he was rewarded with a ship, Endeavor, and he set sail from Plymouth in 1768. They sailed towards the Southern Hemisphere. He passed by Cape Horn, South Africa. He made observations of different islands; he charted them and saw different animal species. However, he had to prove that the southern continent, namely Australia and New Zealand, was a real place. Before he went to Australia, he charted New Zealand, which is east of Australia. Then he sailed and landed in Eastern Australia in 1770. He charted and explored different bays and animals found in Australia. One day, as he sailed, his ship crashed into the Great Barrier Reef. The crew did what they could to get their resources off the ship. For a month and a half, they had no ship. He took over Eastern Australia. He sailed to Batavia, which is near Papua New Guinea. He didn’t go back to England until 1771. Even though he had charted 5,000 miles, people ignored Cook’s reports of the land. In 1772–1775, he went on a second voyage to Australia. Finally, people started to pay attention. He went on the expedition to follow Tobias Furneaux, who was captain of the Adventure. Cook was captain of the ship, Resolution. In 1773, both ships parted because of fog. Cook went to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). Then, Cook’s last voyage to Australia was in 1777. He visited Adventure Bay, New Zealand, and Tahiti. He explored the Pacific coastal islands. He went to the Sandwich Islands (part of Hawaii) in 1778 and was killed there in 1779. Cook was a fantastic explorer, and his colonization helped Britain expand its empire. He had many successes and a few unsuccessful missions, his men followed his orders. Cook knew good hygiene and didn’t catch scurvy which is a lack of Vitamin C. His crew may have ignored that but he did the right thing.
- After Captain Cook’s history
During the 1800’s, many convicts were sent to Australia. However, in 1840 the convict transportation ended. There were over 160,000 convicts. They were sent into Queensland, New South Wales, Van Diemen’s Land (later renamed Tasmania), and Western Australia. There were several famous bushrangers (convicts) such as Ned Kelly, Martin Cash, William Buckley, Michael Howe and many others. Many escaped and others were caught or on the run. Despite Australia being a convict country, it had aboriginals and many of them got wiped out because they would fight against the European settlers. As the years passed, many governors took over different states of Australia. As a British colony, Australia had to follow British policies in farming, trading, seal hunting, and fishing. The first major items were exported and imported in 1815. Many buildings, bridges, railroads, and more were built by labor. Sheep were transported and used for wool. It expanded the textile industry for Australia. During the 1850’s, several colonies, including New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria, ran on self-government. However, Western Australia remains in the old system. Democratic political parties developed. In the 1850’s, gold was found in Australia. This led to people being richer and more people working and living in the colony. Next to sheep being a popular trade, gold ended up being the new trading material. However, most of the gold was transferred to Britain. The colony started expanding agriculture and transportation. More machines were made, and it helped the trading process. There is also a pastoral industry that involves cattle breeding. The farmers had to increase the cattle industry in order to have more cattle for the future and for survival. As the expansion of Australia continued, there was a movement of farmers wanting land for themselves. The government could not do anything but make land reform laws. This ended the dispute against the government. An economic boom happened during the 1870’s and 1880’s, but this ended in the 1890’s. This brought depression to Australia.
In 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia became official. The British parliament passed it along with Australian voters. More immigrants came to the country, and the depression was low. A boom started again. Many factories and industries rose in Australia, even steel. When World War I started, Australia joined with Britain to fight in the war. Approximately 400,000 Australian volunteers fought in the war, and 60,000 died and 200,000 were injured. They took part in the army, navy, and airforce. The soldiers eliminated the Germans in the South Pacific and took part in the Middle East. The Australian economy was strong, but not during the war. As the boom took place again, there was a bust. There was the Great Depression which took place in the United States and in many other countries. When World War II started, Australia joined the war. They fought against the Japanese in the Pacific islands. Women in Australia also joined the army and fought. The total was 71,000 injured, 29,000 died, 2,500 M.I.A., 30,000 were prisoners, and 8,000 died as prisoners. After the war, Australia chose to be closer to the United States than Britain in foreign policy.
In 1950–53, Australia went to fight in the Korean War to help the United Nations. In 1951, a treaty (ANZUS) was created between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. It was for mutual defense. In 1954, Australia founded the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO), which is similar to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In 1965-1971, the Vietnam War started, and Australia sent their troops to help the United States fight the war. During these war eras, Australia had mainly white Europeans immigrating into Australia. They did not want Asians. However, in 1965, that changed. They let Asians into Australia. In 1966, the currency Australia Dollar, (AUD) becomes official. The banknotes in Australia are: $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. For coins its 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1 and $2 coins. In 1990, Australia used their naval forces to help the United States fight against Iraq because Iraq invaded Kuwait. After 9/11, Australia used the (ANZUS) treaty and led the troops to Afghanistan. In 2003, it sent troops to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2005, Australia and the United States made a bilateral trade agreement, but Australia also traded with China and made a free trade agreement.
Australia, also known as the Commonwealth of Australia, follows the British and North American government systems. Australia has a parliament and a democracy. The Governor General, is appointed by the King or Queen of Britain and follows the advice of the Prime Minister. This is the highest power there is in Australia. The Governor General has multiple tasks. They are in charge of military forces, give assent to laws passed in Parliament, appoint ambassadors, commissioners, judges, and ministers; issue writs for elections; give out Australian honor awards; open parliament and welcome the visiting heads of the states. The Governor General will listen to the advice of the Prime Minister but will sometimes ignore it. They can dismiss a prime minister only if he disobeys the laws or if he doesn’t dismiss the House of Representatives against the advice of the Prime Minister. The Federal Government in Australia covers the three arms of government: legislative, judicial, and executive:
Legislature: The federal legislature is composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Each state and territory elects one member to the House of Representatives, and 12 members from the states and two from the territories are elected to the Senate. The legislature passes legislation, debates on matters concerning public policy, and approves or disapproves the government’s proposals on taxation and expenditure.
The Judiciary: The High Court and Federal Courts make up the federal judicature. The High Court is mandated to interpret the Constitution, resolve legal disputes between the House of Representatives and Senate and listen to appeals from lower courts.
Executive: Executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. The Prime Minister leads the party with the majority of members in the government. The Prime Minister appoints ministers, who take care of their assigned departments. The Executive is in charge of policy making.
The State Government is ruled by the six states of Australia. All the states have their own constitution. The state governments take control of their own matters concerning their own states and not the federal government. The Territory Government rules in the territories of Australia. Not all, but some places in Australia have a limited right to self-government. Others are governed by Commonwealth law. Local governments work within the state and territory governments. They look over management, community safety and services, town planning, and maintenance.
- Flag Meaning
The official flag was born in 1901. It is a dark blue flag. In the top left corner, the Union Jack flag is there. The Union Jack is the official flag used for the United Kingdom, also known as Britain. The flag of St. George’s is white and has a red cross. This is used in England. The flag of St. Andrew is blue and has a white cross. This is used for Scotland. The flag of St. Patrick is white and has a red cross. This is used for Ireland. This forms the Union Jack. Underneath the Union Jack, a big star represents the Commonwealth of Australia. It denotes the 6 states and 7 territories of Australia. The five stars on the right of the flag are for the Southern Cross. This symbolizes the locations in Australia and shows the Aboriginal heritage.
- Modern times/Final thoughts
Today, Australia is a country full of many things. It is filled with rich history, people, nature, and animals. The country evolved from nothing to a successful country. Australia grew its population over time. It runs by itself but is involved in foreign treaties with different countries. It may have a parliament, but the states also have their own constitutions granting their own freedom. During the great wars, Australia became involved with foreign activity because of Britain. Many tourists visit Australia all year round. I think that Australia is a great country because of its nature and animals. If I was able to, I would visit there and all of their states.