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Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia about 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession in the name of Great Britain. Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II. In recent decades, Australia has transformed itself into an internationally competitive, advanced market economy. It boasted one of the OECD's fastest growing economies during the 1990s, a performance due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s. Long-term concerns include pollution, particularly depletion of the ozone layer, and management and conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 20,434,176 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Australian(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Australian

Official Language(s): English

Major Languages Spoken: Chinese, English, Italian, Japanese, Fijian Hindi

Map of Australia

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Commonwealth of Australia

Country Name (short form): Australia

Country Name (local long form): none

Country Name (local short form): none

Name of Capital: Canberra

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Australia: New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, East Timor

Land Area: 7617930 sq km

Water Area: 68920 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states

Coastline: 25,760 km

National Holiday: Australia Day, 26 January (1788); ANZAC Day (commemorated as the anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25 April (1915)

International Phone Code: 61

Currency Code: Australian dollar (AUD)

Internet Country Code: .au

US Embassy Location: Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2600

US Embassy Mailing Address: APO AP 96549


Australia flag

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ALS provides translation support equipped for all situations. Whether it is for personal documents, legal, or corporate needs, ALS has certified translators for more than 150 languages and dialects. All bilingual professionals are certified for interpreting languages in spoken and written form. Translations are done in a timely manner with the option of rush delivery. ALS International can also provide a free quote for many our interpreting services.

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