Australia is an island continent located in the southern hemisphere between Antarctica and Asia. In the West, the continent is bordered by the Indian Ocean; to the north, the Timor, Arafura, and Coral Seas; the Pacific Ocean is in the eastern part and the Tasman Sea and the Southern Ocean to the southern. Most of the continent is made up of low, flat, and dry area. The main Australian states are – Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, and Queensland with two territories – the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, and Canberra respectively are the capital cities. The majority of the population resides in coastal urban areas. The total area of the continent is approximately 2.97 million square miles or around 7.69 million square kilometers.
Heritage of Australia
Australia has developed a complex and diverse national culture with immigrants from many parts of the world as well as a native aboriginal population. The atmosphere of social and historical uniqueness among the different states and territories has not resulted in any major subcultural divide based on geographic provinces. Australian culture and heritage have come a long way from being a British penal colony in the eighteenth century, and its national rareness has formed mainly through the mechanisms of immigration and race relations. Australian aboriginal culture is considered one of the oldest known living cultures on planet Earth. Aboriginal people have adapted, diversified and lived a nomadic life in perfect harmony with this ancient land, surviving severe climatic and environmental conditions. Forming more than 700 traditional societies and over 200 languages aboriginal Australians have shared knowledge through their culture and art.
British impact on Australian traditions:
British arrived in Australia in the year 1788 and the level of their influence is still very apparent in Australian traditions. The British Union Jack features predominantly on the national flag. The Queen is still Australia’s Head of State. British models also form the basis of Australia’s legal and political systems, as well as providing national language. Until World War II, Britain remained the leading cultural influence in Australia. Britons also controlled Australian society – most of Australia’s citizens were either born in Britain or had British descendants. After the war ended, British subjects were persuaded to migrate to Australia under a scheme called ‘assisted package’. This scheme helped with the cost of migrating and also provided housing and employment options upon arrival to Australia. Between the years 1945 and 1972, more than one million British had migrated to Australia.
Before 1945, Australia was considered to be nothing more than a British colony. During this period of Australia’s history, different aspects like modes of entertainment, food, fashion, sporting culture, social values, and attitudes were mostly dictated by British culture. Although the British and American culture has played a major part in inspiring and defining today’s Australia, a number of other influences have also contributed to the development of the Australian identity.
As migrants arrived in Australia over the past few decades, they have brought together with the new traditions and perspectives to Australian culture. The earlier perception of Australia as a white British colony, or land of hostile bush people, no longer seems to fit with the diverse new certainty of the modern society. The Indigenous peoples are finally recognized as the original owners of the continent. So much so that the indigenous and migrant influence has also involved in the American and British effect on Australian culture. As Australian modern society has adjusted to the changing cultural impacts over the past few decades, mainly British, American, Indigenous, Asian or European, the national identity has also persistently evolved. However, due to globalization, the future of Australia’s distinctive identity is regularly challenged by the development of a global culture.
From the early 1980s onwards, the Australian economy has faced erratic economic liberalization. The Australian dollar was floated and financial deregulation was undertaken in 1983, under the leadership of Prime Minister Bob Hawke. Australia has a very strong and prosperous economy that has seen many highs and lows in the past few decades.
The Australian economy is mainly dominated by the services sector, although the agricultural and mining sectors account for 57% of the nation’s exports. Other factors that have made the Australian economy prosperous include rapid industrialization, private business, robust large scale productions, modern technology and vast abundance of natural resources. The growth of Australia’s economy is due to its stable government, healthy politics and abundance of natural resources. The Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party of Australia have been instrumental in the modernization of the economy and have shaped it into the developed country it has become today. Australia is a key regional financial hub and a dynamic component in the global financial market. It ranks first in the Asia-Pacific region for labor, agricultural and industrial productivity per person employed. All of these factors have sustained together to make the Australian economy one of the richest and fastest growing in the world.
Australians have supported cultural diversity and continued immigration. They consider multiculturalism beneficial for Australia. Cultural diversity works through the economy to benefit Australian society: in areas various areas like tourism, education, and global linkages. The impact of cultural diversity has mainly motivated migrant populations, thus directly resulting in the productivity, labor participation and taxation revenue benefits of immigration. The benefit of cultural diversity on economic aspects in more general terms has found a positive relationship between having diverse staff members and the performance of multinational companies. Multicultural and diverse staff comprising mostly of migrant workers could have international connections which further help the flow of labor, goods, services, and knowledge between Australia and their nation of origin. Other possible benefits include lowering barriers to entry for new culturally diverse talent in an organization and rapidly increasing markets with increasingly culturally diverse populations.
Furthermore, cultural diversity is said to contribute to outcomes less able to be defined or quantified but with substantial economic value. Factors like general community vibrancy, flexibility and adaptability may be strengthened by cultural diversity so that future shocks and challenges are better met and resisted. However, the countless economic benefits of cultural diversity are disturbed by racism and discrimination, which challenges social unity in Australian society.