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View from Connors Hill in Shire of East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia - show another panorama
View from Connors Hill in Shire of East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia - show another panorama

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. Australia's population of nearly 26 million, in an area of 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi), is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Canberra is the nation's capital, while the largest city is Sydney, and other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

Indigenous Australians inhabited the continent for about 65,000 years, prior to the first 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 by European settlers 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.

Australia is the oldest, flattest, and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils. It is a megadiverse country, and its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes and climates, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east, and mountain ranges in the south-east. Australia generates its income from various sources, including mining-related exports, telecommunications, banking, manufacturing, and international education.

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Sarcophilus harrisii taranna.jpg
The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial of the family Dasyuridae. Until recently, it was only found on the island state of Tasmania, but it has now been reintroduced to New South Wales in mainland Australia, with a small breeding population. The size of a small dog, the Tasmanian devil became the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world, following the extinction of the thylacine in 1936. It is related to quolls, and distantly related to the thylacine. It is characterised by its stocky and muscular build, black fur, pungent odour, extremely loud and disturbing screech, keen sense of smell, and ferocity when feeding. The Tasmanian devil's large head and neck allow it to generate among the strongest bites per unit body mass of any extant predatory land mammal. It hunts prey and scavenges on carrion. (Full article...)
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Issy Smith (left) attending an Anzac Day parade on 25 April 1927. On the right is Stanley Gibbs, recipient of the Albert Medal.
Issy Smith, VC (c. 18 September 1890 – 11 September 1940) was a British-Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to eligible forces of the Commonwealth and United Kingdom. In recognition of his VC, he was also awarded the French Croix de Guerre and Russian Cross of St. George (4th class) by the respective governments. (Full article...)

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28 July 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Australia
Lockdown restrictions are eased in Victoria and South Australia after a decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases. New South Wales is now the only state under a strict lockdown. (9 News)
28 July 2021 –
Imprisoned Australian publisher Julian Assange is stripped of his Ecuadorian citizenship due to issues with his application forms and outstanding fees. (The Guardian)
24 July 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
New Zealand suspends its quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia for at least eight weeks amid an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant. However, there will be managed return flights for the next seven days for New Zealand citizens who wish to return home. (The Sydney Morning Herald)
24 July 2021 – Climate change in Australia
The World Heritage Committee rejects calls from UNESCO to list the Great Barrier Reef as a World Heritage Site "in danger" due to the effects of anthropogenic climate change and ocean acidification, in line with scientific consensus on the Reef's health. Australia lobbied a number of oil-rich countries, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, to reject the proposal. (The Guardian)
24 July 2021 – Protests over responses to the COVID-19 pandemic
Protests take place across Europe and Australia in response to COVID-19 restrictions and vaccination requirements for healthcare workers. (The Independent)

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InfoTrack leads the fleet through Sydney Heads and south to Hobart in ideal, if smoky conditions at the start of the 75th Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 2019

The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, sometimes referred to as the Bluewater Classic, is a yacht race held over a distance of 630 nmi (1,170 km) between Sydney and Hobart. It commences on Boxing Day each year, and is hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. The race was initially planned to be a cruise, but has grown since the inaugural race in 1945 to become one of the pre-eminent offshore yacht races in the world, now attracting maxi yachts from North America and Europe. The 2004 race marked the 60th running of the event.

Photo credit: Brian Voon Yee Yap

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29 July:

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The following are images from various Australia-related articles on Wikipedia.
{{#tag:gallery|File:Federation Square (SBS Building).jpg|The SBS building in Melbourne's Federation Square. SBS is Australia's multicultural broadcaster. (from Culture of Australia)

File:J F Archibald Henry Lawson.jpg|The Bulletin, founded by J. F. Archibald (left), nurtured bush poets such as Henry Lawson (right). (from Culture of Australia) File:Queenslander East Brisbane 1a.jpg|A typical Queenslander house in Brisbane (from Culture of Australia) File:First State of Origin Shield.jpg|The first State of Origin shield (from Culture of Australia) File:Australia national rugby union team (Wallabies).jpg|A group of Australian men wearing budgie smugglers. (from Culture of Australia) File:Australian Aboriginal Flag.svg|The Australian Aboriginal Flag (from Aboriginal Australians) File:PharLap.JPG|Phar Lap winning the Melbourne Cup, "the race that stops a nation" (from Culture of Australia) File:Buskers Fremantle Markets.jpg|Didgeridoo performers (from Culture of Australia) File:Dawn service gnangarra 03.jpg|Anzac Day dawn services are held throughout Australia every April. (from Culture of Australia) File:George Caddy Surf Lifesavers.jpg|The surf lifesaving movement originated in Australia. (Pictured: surf lifesavers, Bondi Beach, 1930s). (from Culture of Australia) File:The Story of the Kelly Gang 1906.jpg|Actor playing the bushranger Ned Kelly in The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), the world's first feature film (from Culture of Australia) File:Kylie Minogue at The Queen's Birthday Party (cropped 3).jpg|Kylie Minogue is hailed as one of Australia's most successful pop musicians (from Culture of Australia) File:Mary MacKillop.jpg|St Mary Mackillop established an extensive network of schools and is Australia's first canonized saint of the Catholic Church. (from Culture of Australia) File:Australian PR COB 2006.PNG|Countries of birth of Australian estimated resident population, 2006 (from Culture of Australia) File:Sydney Opera House Close up HDR Sydney Australia.jpg|Sydney Opera House (foreground) and Sydney Harbor Bridge (from Culture of Australia) File:Royal exhibition building tulips straight.jpg|The Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne (from Culture of Australia) File:Catherine Helen Spence.jpg|South Australian suffragette Catherine Helen Spence (1825–1910). The Australian colonies established democratic parliaments from the 1850s and began to grant women the vote in the 1890s. (from Culture of Australia) File:Dame Edna at the royal wedding cropped.jpg|Dame Edna Everage, a comic creation of Barry Humphries (from Culture of Australia) File:The Founding of Australia. By Capt. Arthur Phillip R.N. Sydney Cove, Jan. 26th 1788.jpg|Governor Arthur Phillip hoists the British flag over the new colony at Sydney in 1788. (from Culture of Australia) File:Noongar traditional dancers, Perth, Australia.jpg|Noongar traditional dancers, Perth, Australia (from Aboriginal Australians) File:Showing method of attack with boomerang - NMA-15147.jpg|A Luritja man demonstrating method of attack with boomerang under cover of shield (1920) (from Culture of Australia) File:SaintMarys CathedralSydney.jpg|Interior of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney (from Culture of Australia) File:Melba Rupert Bunny.jpg|Portrait of Madame Melba by Rupert Bunny (from Culture of Australia) File:Melbourne Collins Street Architecture.jpg|Victorian era buildings in Collins Street, Melbourne (from Culture of Australia) File:Elle Macpherson (6265242653).jpg|Elle Macpherson, 2011 (from Culture of Australia) File:Paul Kelly 2007.jpg|Singer-songwriter Paul Kelly (from Culture of Australia) File:Aboriginal Australians montage.jpg|1st row: Windradyne, David Gulpilil, Albert Namatjira], David Unaipon, Mandawuy Yunupingu 2nd row: Truganini, Yagan, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Bennelong, [[Robert Tudawali] (from Aboriginal Australians) File:Kiandra carnival 1900 Charles Kerry.jpeg|Skiing in Australia began in Kiandra, a goldmining town in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, in the 1860s. (from Culture of Australia) File:Nan-Tien-Temple.jpg|Nan Tien Temple, a Buddhist temple in Wollongong. Multicultural immigration has increased Australia's religious diversity. (from Culture of Australia) File:Joseph Lycett Corroboree Newcastle.jpg|Corroboree at Newcastle by convict artist Joseph Lycett, ca. 1818. Aboriginal Australian religious practices associated with the Dreamtime have been practized for tens of thousands of years. (from Culture of Australia) File:Australian bush tucker, Alice Springs.jpg|Bush tucker harvested in Alice Springs (from Culture of Australia) File:Bradman c.1928.jpg|Donald Bradman is often cited as statistically the greatest sportsman of any major sport. (from Culture of Australia) File:Birdsville Hotel.jpg|Birdsville Hotel, an Australian pub in outback Queensland (from Culture of Australia) File:Fremantle Oval Statue.jpg|Statue in Fremantle of an Australian rules footballer taking a spectacular mark (from Culture of Australia) File:Princess Theatre, Melbourne, Australia.jpg|The Princess Theatre in Melbourne (from Culture of Australia) File:The Old Bush Songs by Banio Paterson.jpg|Cover of Old Bush Songs, Banjo Paterson's 1905 collection of bush ballads (from Culture of Australia) File:Sheep eating grass edit02.jpg|Sheep grazing in rural Australia. Early British settlers introduced Western stock and crops and Australian agriculture now produces an abundance of fresh produce. (from Culture of Australia) File:Elderly swagman.jpg|A swagman in bushman's apparel, wearing a brimmed hat and carrying swag, and billy can. (from Culture of Australia) File:HydeParkBarracks.JPG|Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney (from Culture of Australia) File:MCG-1864.JPG|Cricket match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, 1860s (from Culture of Australia) File:PortArthur main lowres.JPG|Convict architecture at Port Arthur, Tasmania (from Culture of Australia) File:186 Aboriginal dwellings w480.jpg|Aboriginal dwellings in Hermannsburg, Northern Territory, 1923. Image: Herbert Basedow (from Aboriginal Australians) File:Aboriginal Australian women and children, Maloga, N.S.W.jpg|Historical image of Aboriginal Australian women and children, Maloga, New South Wales around 1900 (in European dress) (from Aboriginal Australians) File:University of Sydney Main Quadrangle.jpg|The University of Sydney (from Culture of Australia) File:DennisWriting.jpg|C. J. Dennis, poetic humorist of Australian English (from Culture of Australia) File:Tropfest 2011.jpg|Founded in 1993, Sydney's Tropfest is the world's largest short film festival. (from Culture of Australia) File:SIMPSON AND HIS DONKEY MONUMENT.jpg|A commemorative statue of John Simpson Kirkpatrick, a famous stretcher bearer who was killed in the Gallipoli Campaign. (from Culture of Australia) File:15 Northcote Avenue, Killara, New South Wales (2011-06-15).jpg|Federation Bungalow in Killara, Sydney (from Culture of Australia) File:Wiggles 2007 Lineup.jpg|The Wiggles performing in the United States in 2007 (from Culture of Australia) File:Parliament House Canberra Dusk Panorama.jpg|Parliament House, Canberra (from Culture of Australia) File:Golden-wattle.jpg|Golden Wattle, Australia's floral emblem and the source of Australia's national colors, green and gold (from Culture of Australia) File:Alexander Schramm - An Aboriginal encampment, near the Adelaide foothills - Google Art Project.jpg|An Aboriginal encampment near the Adelaide foothills in an 1854 painting by Alexander Schramm (from Aboriginal Australians) File:Bathurst Island men.jpg|Men from Bathurst Island, 1939 (from Aboriginal Australians)

File:Billycan-campfire.jpg|A billycan used for heating water (from Culture of Australia)|mode=slideshow|class=switcher-container}}

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