What's so great about Australia

Written by  Annette Culley

Australia is a natural wonderland of beautiful beaches, crystal blue waters, amazing ancient rock formations and pristine rainforests. Australia is also the sixth largest country in the world and has the lowest population density per square kilometre.

Heritage and LifestyleAustralia has 16 world heritage listed properties with its historic townships, bustling cities, vivid landscapes and exotic flora and fauna all adding to its unique appeal. Much of Australia's exotic flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else in the world and the lifestyle is one second to none.


Culture and CustomsThe culture and customs consists of a rich tapestry of nationalities including traditions, legends, myths and folklore. The indigenous 'Dream Time' forms the base of tens of thousands of years of spiritual aboriginal art and culture.


LanguageIn Australia over 200 different languages and dialects are spoken, including 45 indigenous languages. The most commonly spoken languages (other than English) are Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Arabic, Vietnamese and Mandarin.


States and TerritoriesAustralia is made up of six states and two territories.
Map of Australia


To find out more about each state and territory, follow the links below;
New South Wales (NSW)
Victoria (VIC)
Queensland (QLD)
Western Australia (WA)
South Australia (SA)
Tasmania (TAS)
Northern Territory (NT)
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

For more information on Australia www.australia.com


GeographyAustralia is both an island and a continent; it is the largest island but smallest continent in the world. It is about thirty seven hundred kilometres from north to south and four thousand kilometres from east to west. It has an area of nearly 7.7 million square kilometres and is the sixth largest nation on earth; it is the lowest of all the continents with the highest point at only 2228 metres. The landscape variety more than compensates for the lack of height. Climatic zones range from tropical rainforests, to deserts, and cool temperate forests to snow covered mountains.


Indigenous AustraliansAboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders made up all the people of Australia before the arrival of European settlers in 1788. They formed many groups with their lifestyle, religious and cultural traditions reflecting a deep connection with the land. They spoke one or more of hundreds of languages. Now, they make up only a small part of the total number of Australians. They continue to live in all places including cities, towns, the coast, rural areas and the outback. There is no single culture but a mixture of current day and traditional thoughts, ways and practices.


Migration to AustraliaOn 26 January 1788, the First Fleet arrived in Port Jackson now called Sydney. We commemorate the date of that first landing as Australia Day, which is our national day. Migrants arriving with and after the First Fleet were mainly English convicts and free settlers. They included Italians, Greeks, Malays and people from other parts of Europe. The gold rushes attracted a large number of people from Britain, Ireland, Germany and China. Afghans also came at this time, bringing camels with them for inland exploration. Early Japanese settlers started the pearling industry in Australia.


Post World War II MigrationLarge-scale migration began after World War II and it is continuing today. The resettlement of displaced persons and refugees saw migrants come from Britain, many parts of Europe and the Middle East. After the abolition of the White Australia policy, migrants also came from many parts of Asia. Patterns that are more recent see more people coming from Africa.

People from around 200 countries have come to live here and about a quarter of us were born overseas. We speak more than 200 languages with English the national language. We are encouraged to read and speak English. English is the main language used in schools, although schools teach other languages. Some schools have bilingual programs.


Many CulturesThe people of this nation value their success at building a tolerant and inclusive society that is rich in culture from many lands. We have come from many parts of the world yet we have many common values and principles uniting us. We live by the Rule of Law. Religions and cultural practices from all parts of the world exist side by side with the secular legal system we have in Australia.

We all should have a duty to our nation's interests and future. While we are all different, our shared future and duty to harmony unites us. Within this point of view, each of us, by ourself or as a group, is welcome to contribute to the common good. Our success as a society is largely due to all of us living together without letting the past affect duty to our nation and its future.


RightsWe can vote in or stand for an election. Voting gives us the right to choose a representative in Parliament, and to influence how they run our country. An Australian citizen who is qualified has the right to stand for an election. Our democracy gives us the right to change ruling parties on a regular and peaceful basis by the use of elections.

We are all entitled to equal rights and to equal respect. Our laws make sure that no one is subject to discrimination because of their race, their colour, their religion or gender. Each of us has a right to participate in our community and achieve our full potential, no matter what our background is. All Australians have the right of freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and freedom of movement.


Values and PrinciplesIn return for the rights and freedoms, all of us should have an overriding duty to Australia. We are to accept the principles and civic values of our community. They are:
  • The rule of law
  • The democratic principles of government (and institutions such as the Constitution and parliamentary democracy)
  • Acceptance of cultural diversity (tolerance)
  • Equality of sexes and ethnic backgrounds
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Freedom of speech and religion
  • English as the national language


ToleranceAs a community, we agree that to express one's own culture and beliefs means that we accept the right of others to express their views and values. It is unlawful to insult, humiliate, offend or intimidate another person or group in public because of their race.

For more information on specific rights enjoyed by Australians;
Five Fundamental Freedoms
Racial vilification law in Australia

All Australians are entitled to freedom of speech, association, assembly, religion, and movement.


Freedom of speechAustralians are free, within the bounds of the law, to say or write what we think privately or publicly, about the government, or about any topic. We do not censor the media and may criticise the government without fear of arrest. Free speech comes from facts, not rumours, and the intention must be constructive, not to do harm. There are laws to protect a person's good name and integrity against false information. There are laws against saying or writing things to incite hatred against others because of their culture, ethnicity or background. Freedom of speech is not an excuse to harm others.


Freedom of associationWe are free to join any organisation or group if it is legal. We can choose to belong to a trade union or to a political party. Having and debating points of view allows for a healthy and strong democracy.


Freedom of assemblyWe are free to meet with other people in public or private places. We can meet in small or large groups for legal social or political purposes. Being able to protest and to demonstrate is an accepted form of free expression. Protestors must not be violent or break laws such as assaulting others or trespassing on private or public property. People can change governments in a peaceful way by elections and not by violence.


Freedom of religionAustralia does not have an official or state religion. The law does not enforce any religious doctrine, however, religious practices must conform to the law. We are free to follow any religion we choose. We are also free not to have a religion.


Freedom of movementWe can move freely to and from all states and territories. We can leave and return to Australia at any time. Some migrants may have conditions placed on their visa until they become Australian citizens.


Annette Culley

Annette Culley

As Ozgo's Principal Migration Agent, Annette provides the cornerstone of the client application process. Annette's vast experience, knowledge and expertise in the Migration Law and Application process is second to none, delivering an impressive visa application success rate.

Migration Agent
Ozgo Service: 14 Years
MIA Registration: #528
MARN Registration: #9791271

Website: www.ozgo.com.au/
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