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Introduction  

Dawn at Swifts Creek, Victoria, Australia - show another panorama
Dawn at Swifts Creek, Victoria, Australia - show another panorama

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Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

Indigenous Australians inhabited the continent for about 65,000 years prior to European discovery with the arrival of Dutch explorers in the early 17th century, who named it New Holland. In 1770, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the time of an 1850s gold rush, most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.

Coat of Arms of Australia.svg More about...Australia, it's history and culture

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Black and white photo of the church showing the eastern and northern faces.

St James' Church, commonly known as St James', King Street, is an Australian heritage-listed Anglican parish church located at 173 King Street, in the Sydney central business district of the City of Sydney local government area of New South Wales. Consecrated in February 1824 and named in honour of St James the Great, it became a parish church in 1835. Designed in the style of a Georgian town church by the transported convict architect Francis Greenway during the governorship of Lachlan Macquarie, St James' is part of the historical precinct of Macquarie Street which includes other early colonial era buildings such as the World Heritage listed Hyde Park Barracks. Read more...

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Mark Oliphant (1939)

Sir Marcus Laurence Elwin "Mark" Oliphant, AC, KBE, FRS, FAA, FTSE (8 October 1901 – 14 July 2000) was an Australian physicist and humanitarian who played an important role in the first experimental demonstration of nuclear fusion and in the development of nuclear weapons. Read more...

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On this day  

23 November:

Statue of the Dog on the Tuckerbox at Gundagai, New South Wales, Australia


In the news  

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19 November 2019 – War in Afghanistan, Afghan peace process
In Zabul Province, the Taliban releases two foreign hostages, American professor Kevin King and Australian professor Timothy Weeks, who had been held captive since being kidnapped outside the American University of Afghanistan in 2016. Three high-ranking Taliban militants are released in exchange for the hostages. (BBC)
18 November 2019 – LGBT rights in Saudi Arabia
Two Saudi journalists, one of whom worked for CNN and the BBC, are outed as gay, which prompts them to flee and seek asylum in Australia. (Reuters)
13 November 2019 – Catholic Church sexual abuse cases
The Australian High Court agrees to hear a final appeal from ex-Vatican treasurer and convicted child sex offender George Pell, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting three teenage choirboys. (Reuters)
9 November 2019 – Bushfires in Australia
The bodies of three people killed by bushfires in Australia are found – two near Glen Innes, and one at Johns River – as fires that have destroyed at least 150 houses continue to burn in eastern New South Wales and Queensland. (The Sydney Morning Herald)
30 October 2019 – Murder of Aya Maasarwe
A court in Australia sentences Maasarwe's confessed killer, Codey Herrmann, to 36 years in prison with parole eligibility after 30 for rape and murder. The case prompted widespread debate about violence against women in Australia. (BBC News)
25 October 2019 –
Hundreds of tourists flock to Uluru in Australia's Northern Territory to climb it for the last time before the park's ban on climbing goes into effect. The ban is being implemented to respect the wishes of the indigenous Aṉangu people, who find Uluru sacred. (Reuters)


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Consider joining WikiProject Australia, a WikiProject dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of topics related to Australia. The project page and its subpages contain suggestions on formatting and style of articles, which can be discussed at the project's notice board. To participate, simply add your name to the project members page.

As of 22 November 2019, there are 172,525 articles within the scope of WikiProject Australia. Including non-article pages, such as talk pages, redirects, categories, etcetera, there are 424,082 pages in the project.

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