Australia - Education
Australia's six states, the Northern Territory and the overseas possessions
each have their own state school system, but they are very similar. The system
usually consists of a voluntary preschool, a six-year elementary school, and a
high school that is either a 4-6-year vocational or a six-year general,
preparatory school; there is compulsory schooling until the age of 15. Tuition
is free at public schools, but more than 25% of the schools are private paid
schools; by far the vast majority of these are Catholic, and several have
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The English colonial power left the teaching to private individuals, mainly
to the Anglican and the Catholic Church. In 1862, the colony of Victoria
introduced free, compulsory education regardless of church affiliation. The
other states followed suit over the course of the century.
There are several private elite schools, but also the state system has
programs for particularly gifted children. Disabled people are integrated into
the regular system as far as possible. The difficult access to schools of the
large sparsely populated areas has been sought early on through the
establishment of correspondence schools (approximately 20,000 pupils), since
1950 also through the School of the Air using radio, television and fax (since
1985 via satellite communications and since the 2000's internet based). However,
the vast majority of Australian students go to a metropolitan school.
Since 1988, the Federal Government has taken over the planning and financing
of higher education in collaboration with the individual states. The educational
institutions are concentrated in the big cities along the coast, where in
addition to the prestigious old universities, a number of new universities and
higher education institutions have sprung up, a total of 41 universities and
over 150 higher education institutions (2009). The development from an elite
university following the English model to a mass university is reflected in the
legislation. The distinction between universities with and other higher
education institutions without a research obligation was abolished in 1988 and
replaced by a uniform national system that would better meet the needs of
business. Of the approximately 900,000 students are half women, who to a large
extent choose educations in the humanities as well as in the social and health
ETYMOLOGY: The word Australia comes from the Latin australis 'southern'.
ALSO KNOWN AS: Commonwealth of Australia
OFFICIAL NAME: Australia
CAPITAL CITY: Canberra
POPULATION: 23,755,400 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 7,692,000 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): English
RELIGION: Catholics 27%, Anglicans 24%, other Protestants
19%, other Christians 4%, Buddhists 1%, Muslims 1%, others 24%
COIN: Australian dollars
CURRENCY CODE: AUD
ENGLISH NAME: Commonwealth of Australia
POPULATION COMPOSITION: of European origin 91%, of Asian
origin 7%, Aboriginal 2%
GDP PER residents: $ 46,631 (2014)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 79.7 years, women 84.2 years (2011)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.933
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 2
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .au
Australia is a federal state in Oceania; the country consists of the
Australian continent with Tasmania and other surrounding islands. The so-called
external territories include the Cocos Islands, Christmas Island and the
uninhabited nature reserve Ashmore and Cartier Islands, all located in the
Indian Ocean; furthermore Norfolk and Lord Howe east of the mainland and the
isolated Heard and McDonalds. The Coral Sea Islands Territory encompasses a
large sea area with scattered coral islands and reefs off the northeast coast;
the area is uninhabited.
Together with New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and a large number of islands in
the Pacific Ocean, Australia forms the continent of Oceania.
Australia - religion
Still in the mid-1900's. the Anglican Church was undisputedly the largest
denomination, and the country's British background could also be traced in large
Presbyterian and Methodist congregations. The later immigration is changing the
church conditions radically. In 1991, approximately 1/4 of
the population declared Anglicans, small groups are unerede and Presbyterians.
Practical church work and personal piety continue to take precedence over
At the colonization in 1788, there were Catholics among the convicts, and the
Catholic share of the population increased in the 1800's. by deportation of
Irish rebels. Catholics make up in the 1990's around 1/4
of the population.
The Christian churches carry out a great deal of social work in the big
cities, among the Aborigines. The challenge of multiculturalism has led to an
increased emphasis on the purely Australian character of the churches, in
practical terms through the formation of, for example, Vietnamese-Anglican
congregations. No denomination is supported by the state.
Australia - Constitution
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Australia is from 1900. The
Central Legislature has two chambers, the Senate and the House of
Representatives. The Senate has 76 members elected by proportional
representation; there are 12 representatives from each of the six states plus
two from the federal capital, Canberra, and two from the Northern Territory,
which have special status. The members sit for six years with half on
re-election every three years. The House of Representatives has 148 members
elected in proportion to the states' population, but with a minimum
representation of five. They are elected by a form of majority voting in
single-member constituencies (see alternative voting)) and sits for a maximum of
three years. The executive power is formally vested in the British monarch,
represented by the Governor-General. He can, in principle, appoint and dismiss
the Prime Minister and the Government, but in reality the power lies with the
Government and the Prime Minister as long as they have the confidence of
Parliament. Up to 1975, the concentration of power in the federal government
increased, but since then the states have succeeded in increasing their powers
and strengthening their influence on parts of economic policy. Several of the
states have independent representations in a number of major countries.
Australia - legal system
The judicial system has followed British common law since 1788-model. In
1828, the British Parliament passed a law making all British law applicable in
Australia. Since the mid-1800's. However, the individual colonies also had their
own legislation, and when the federal state was established in 1900, each of the
six states had its own legal system, as the Federal Parliament's legislative
competence primarily applies to external matters as well as military, monetary,
customs, insurance and banking, negotiable documents, bankruptcy., trade
protection and family law. Furthermore, the Federal Parliament has the power to
legislate in other areas, fsv. they are related to those listed above, eg
treaties on environmental protection are considered to be covered by the concept
of external conditions. Other private and commercial law as well as criminal law
are determined in the individual Länder. Both the federal state and the states
have over time developed solutions that deviate from the rules that apply in
other common law countries. This applies, for example, to the family law rules
and the registration system. Nevertheless, the common law model is largely
preserved in all states. British law continues to be followed or emulated, just
as individual Australian courts still show great respect for the case law
developed in the UK. The same applies to the Australian High Court, which, as an
appellate body in the states' courts, contributes to the development of a
uniform practice throughout the country. British law continues to be followed or
emulated, just as individual Australian courts still show great respect for the
case law developed in the UK. The same applies to the Australian High Court,
which, as an appellate body in the states' courts, contributes to the
development of a uniform practice throughout the country. British law continues
to be followed or emulated, just as individual Australian courts still show
great respect for the case law developed in the UK. The same applies to the
Australian High Court, which, as an appellate body in the states' courts,
contributes to the development of a uniform practice throughout the country.
Australia - Economy
The economic policy of Australia in the years after World War II was based on
a high degree of self-sufficiency and significant public regulation. This
protection policy was intended to secure production and employment, but the side
effects were weak competitiveness and an undynamic labor market.
During the 1970's, economic policy became more market-oriented and the degree
of protectionism was reduced.
Market forces have been stimulated by e.g. by deregulating the financial
sector, and since the end of 1983 the currency, austr. dollars, not pegged to
Public companies in Australia (transport, water, electricity, etc.) are
characterized by low productivity compared to similar companies in other OECD
countries, but the sector has proved difficult to reform. The companies have
been faced with requirements for pricing policy and earning capacity, just as a
number of them, especially in the field of telecommunications, have been fully
or partially privatized.
In the early 1980's, Australia experienced one of the strongest post-war
recoveries, and economic growth was above the OECD average. The recovery led to
increasing balance of payments problems and external debt, and from 1985 a
tighter monetary policy was pursued to bring inflationary developments under
In the 1990's, unemployment temporarily reached over 10%, but nonetheless,
long-term, consumption-based economic growth did not interfere much with the
Asian crisis of the late 1990's or with the post-9/11 turmoil. After 2000,
inflation has and unemployment has been low and productivity has improved, not
least in the significant mining sector. Lack of investment in the mining sector
in particular and the global economic downturn have led to an increase in
unemployment, which in August 2013 was 5.8%. Exports, which are not commensurate
with imports, are gradually orienting themselves towards the Asian market,
especially Japan and China. Among the challenges ahead are growth in the number
of older people and income inequality, which is greater than in most
Australia has in recent years strengthened its economic and political
relations with the outside world; in particular to the Asian countries. On
Australian initiative, APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) was formed in
1989; it is now an important body for regional trade and cooperation issues. In
addition to Australia, APEC has members from Asia, the Americas and Oceania.
In 2010, Denmark's exports to Australia were DKK 4.8 billion. DKK and imports
749 mill. kr.
The Australian coinage system was originally based on the British pound. On
14 February 1966, the equivalent of the British pound, the Australian pound,
which had been introduced in 1931, was replaced by the Australian dollar, which
could be included in the decimal system.
Australia - social conditions
The Australian welfare state has its roots in the formation of strong unions
in the 1880's, when it became common to consider Australia as the paradise of
the working people. The crisis of the 1890's led to a clear setback for the
progressive forces of Australian society, but Australia continued as a pioneer
in the social field. The first social law dates from 1901 and formed the
foundation for an expanded social safety net. As early as 1909, the national
pension was introduced, in 1910 the disability pension and in 1912 the maternity
allowance. The social security schemes also include general health insurance,
unemployment insurance, widow's pension, child allowance and other family
benefits. The schemes are funded and administered by the Federal Government. I
1960 ' Like the rest of the Western world, Australia experienced a welfare boom
that led Australians to describe their country as "the happy country". Since
then, the economic downturn with social austerity as a result has also spread to
Australia without, however, having removed the foundation of the welfare state.
In relation to social conditions, Aborigines have a special status, being
subject to special social programs to improve their integration into modern
Australian society. Yet the indigenous people are still burdened by social
problems such as poor housing conditions, alcohol and other abuse and the
consequent higher mortality rate than the other Australians.
Australia - health conditions
Australia has a life expectancy of approximately 84.2 years for women and
79.7 years for men, just over a year higher than in Denmark (2011). In 30 years,
it has increased 6-7 years for both sexes. The mortality rate is 7 ‰. Infant
mortality is as in Denmark, approximately 3 pr. 1000 live births (2013).
The prolonged life expectancy is mainly due to a decrease in mortality from
cardiovascular diseases as well as from traffic accidents in younger people.
Mortality due to lung cancer is declining in men, but increasing in women. The
number of smokers is declining, now smokers are below 30% of both sexes. The
average alcohol intake is declining and is now below the Danish. There is a high
incidence of skin cancer (melanoma) in Australia, which the blonde descendants
of northern European immigrants are at high risk of developing due to the strong
solar radiation. Morbidity and mortality are more or less developing in parallel
with conditions in other developing countries.
The Aborigines differ from the rest of the population by having a poorer
state of health; this turns out at a higher infant mortality rate and a lower
Australia spends 9.8% of its GDP on healthcare (2010), which is on a par with
Denmark. The hospital system occupies almost 50% of the resources. approximately
2/3 of the costs covered by the state; the entire population is
covered by public health insurance, which can be supplemented by private
insurance. The hospital system has 89,000 beds, and there are approximately
70,000 active doctors.
A special element of health care is "The Royal Flying Doctor Service", which
assists isolated parts of the country.
Australia - Mass media
Australia's only nationwide omnibus newspaper, The Australian, was founded by
Rupert Murdochin 1964 as the first newspaper with the whole country as the
target group. Significant regionally anchored newspapers are The Sydney Morning
Herald (grdl. 1831) and The Age (grdl. 1854) from Melbourne, both edited with
clear British role models from the mid-1800's. Since its founding in 1831, The
Herald has seen it as its main task to monitor government and authorities, which
has given the newspaper appeal both to the elite and to a wider audience, while
The Age in its role as the classic serious newspaper has a pronounced elitist
touch. The tabloid newspaper The Daily Telegraph (grdl. 1879) is also published
in Sydney. The concentration of ownership within the print media is rising
sharply. Thus, in the early 2000's, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Australia
controlled 75% of circulation. Increasing immigration from Asia requires a
partly new press pattern,
Australia has had freedom of the press since government censorship was lifted
in 1824. Many newspapers emerged early due to the large distances between
cities. The newspapers could not compete with each other. Only Murdoch managed
from 1964 to climb the regional dividing lines with The Australian, edited in
Canberra and printed there as well as in Sydney and Melbourne.
The AAP (Australian Associated Press) was founded in Melbourne in 1935. In
addition to Australia, it serves many island states and autonomous territories
Radio broadcasting was officially launched in 1923, and the first ten
commercial stations opened in 1924-25. The public Australian Broadcasting
Corporation (ABC), with the British BBC as a model, was established in 1932 with
12 stations. Gradually more were added, and together they came to form the
nationwide network. Television opened in 1955-56 on ABC and a number of private
stations, several of which came within the three major commercial networks,
Seven, Nine and Ten. Public television was expanded in 1979 with the Special
Broadcasting Service, which serves the immigrant cultures of approximately 40
languages. It began in 1975 to send in colors to the general public; already in
1971 the television prevalence passed 90%, and in 1993 it was almost 100%.
approximately 80% had video while cable broadcast satellite TV did not occur.
The television supply was initially dominated by programs from the United
States and later partly from the United Kingdom. This was countered by quota
schemes that gradually increased the Australian share. The first Australian
television success was the 1965 variety series The Mavis Bramston Show, and
Graham Kennedy, which began in 1957, became the most popular studio host over
the years. Year-long comedy series and soap operas were the basis of the drama
production, which had an international breakthrough in the 1980's with
miniseries such as A Town like Alice (1980), shown in Denmark in 1983 and 1993.
Australia - visual art
In Australia's indigenous people, art was an integral part of their lives and
culture, see aborigines (art).
An Australian visual art with European roots was developed in the late 18th
century by the country's new residents, who reshaped the artistic conventions of
Europe in order to depict the distinctive Australian landscapes, the light, the
atmosphere and the colors.
Thomas Watling (1763-?) Was, like several other early artists, a deported
convict. In 1794 he painted his view of Sydney Cove in the picturesque
In the following century, a number of European-educated painters laid the
foundations for a special Australian tradition of landscape painting. Among
these was Eugène von Guérard (born in Vienna 1811, died in England 1901), who
painted mountain landscapes; furthermore, the Swiss-born Abram Louis Buvelot
(1814-88), who was a pioneer in outdoor painting in Australia. His landscape
paintings inspired the artists who painted au plein air in Heidelberg outside
Melbourne, among others. Tom Roberts (1856-1931), Frederick McCubbin
(1855-1917), Charles Conder (1868-1909) and Arthur Streeton (1867-1943).
John Peter Russell (1859-1930) emigrated to France, where he worked with
Auguste Rodin and Vincent van Gogh. The motifs of the Heidelberg painters
included towns, beaches, and farm workers, but their greatest achievement was
that they managed to reproduce the peculiarity of the light, the colors, and the
shapes of the vegetation. The image of Australia they created was preserved well
into the 20th century.
Hans Heysen (1877-1968) expanded the landscape motifs to include the desert;
Margaret Preston's (1875-1963) works were influenced by Aboriginal art, at the
same time as the Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira (1902-59) painted in the
Modernism, which was only slowly gaining ground, was the cause of conflict in
the mid-20th century, when a new generation of painters emerged. Among these
were the portrait and genre painter William Dobell (1899-1970), the
expressionist landscape painter Russell Drysdale (1912-81) and the figurative
expressionists Sidney Nolan (1917-92), Arthur Boyd (1920-99), Albert Tucker
(1914- 99) and John Perceval (1923-2000).
They adapted modern styles to Australian subjects that were often based on
past legends, such as Nolan's series of paintings inspired by legends about the
"bus ranger" Ned Kelly.
Also in many of these images it is the landscape that dominates. This
sustained interest in the Australian landscape culminated in the works of Fred
Williams' (1929-82) works, in which the landscape is simply depicted as fine
hues that have been dotted, ironed, scraped, stained and splashed on a solid
Such a depiction of the landscape is also seen in, for example, John Olsen's
(b. 1928) paintings. There is an interesting similarity between these works and
the ancient tradition in Aboriginal art, which thanks to The Papunya painters in
Central Australia since the 1970's have evolved so that today they occupy a
significant place in Australian art.
Australia - literature
Australia's literature has many beginnings: in the old world theories of a
southern continent, in the Aboriginalgreat song cycles, there are myths, moral
philosophy and precise maps at one and the same time, as well as in the stories
of the first explorers. The first poem in English written in Australia (1819) is
an ironic tribute to the kangaroo. It ends with seeing the continent as "an
afterlife, not created in the beginning - but created by the Fall". The first
literary genre to develop a special Australian form was the ballads of the
convicts. The different approaches suggest themes that have persisted in
Australian literature to this day: the idea of an as yet unknown continent,
where even maps and place names seem partly fictional; the singing of landscape,
flora and fauna, which is viewed both scientifically and
mysteriously-religiously, but often with self-irony; and an anti-authoritarian
revolt against the "system",
During colonial times, two attitudes to the continent crystallized. Some,
such as the first significant Australian-born poet Charles Harpur (1813-68),
attempted to capture the country's magnificent beauty, while the English-born
immigrant Marcus Clarke (1846-81) saw the landscape animated by a "strange
melancholy", deeply hostile to its alienation. This set the mood for Clarke's
novel For the Term of His Natural Life (1874), a still shocking aftermath of the
brutality of the penitentiary system. Escaped convicts and bush rangers, Robin
Hood-like highway robbers, were the heroes of the colonial popular ballads and
novels from James Tucker Ralph Rasleigh (1844) Rolf Boldrewoods (pseud.) Robbery
Under Arms(1882), while travelogues as well as diaries and letters written by
educated but isolated women in the bush provide a less romantic picture of
settler life. This applies, for example, to Catherine Helen Spence's novel Clara
The 1890's came to stand as the landmark period in which the Sydney magazine
The Bulletin created a popular national revival. An Australian identity was
formed, in the words of the historian Russel Ward's The Australian Legend
(1958), which, in contrast to "the American dream", pays homage to a stoic
endurance of inevitable defeats. This legend, which is egalitarian, carried by
the ideal of mateship, camaraderie, stems in part from the accumulated view of
life among convicts, gold diggers and the traveling land proletariat of shearers
and drovers(sheep shearers and cowboys), partly by an idealization of life in
the country, as it appears in AB "the Banjo" Paterson's (1864-1941) ballads
"Waltzing Mathilda" and "The Man from Snowy River". The national poet Henry
Lawson (1867-1922) is more realistic in his satirical verses and fine short
story art, which together with Joseph Furphy's (1843-1912) unique anti-novel
Such Is Life (1904) (whose title comes from the bus ranger Ned Kelly's last
words on the scaffold) stands as the epitome of an Australian tone in language
use: the almost overly understated, the black humor, a fantastic mix of the
lofty and the down-to-earth.
Both nationalist and socialist engagement have persisted in intellectual
culture through 1930's social realism with Katharine Susannah Pritchard
(1883-1969) as the strongest representative to this day, although "The Legend"
since the 1970's has been strongly criticized for, what it left out: women,
Aborigines, the urban population. After the turn of the century, the most
important Australian literature took another turn. John Shaw Neilson's
(1872-1942) melodic nature poetry stands outside the traditions, while Henry
Handel Richardson (pseudonym for Ethel Robertson, 1870-1946) introduced a
European naturalism both in the formation novel The Getting of Wisdom (1910) and
the trilogy The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney(1917-29). It depicts the
protagonist's divisions between the British Isles and Australia. This introduces
the theme of exile, which is found in Martin Boyd's (1893-1972) genealogical
novels and in the great left-wing radical portrayal of egomaniacal monsters
Christina Stead (1902-83). Also in the lives and works of several other
Australian writers, Europe often seems more real than Australia, including Nobel
laureate Patrick White (1912-90), whose novels are marked by a hate-love
relationship with Australia.
White is a central figure in the breakthrough of modernism in the mid-1900's.
In 1948 he returned to a Sydney, where the lyricist Kenneth Slessor (1901-71),
in the great poem Five Bells about the Port of Sydney, had introduced TS Eliot's
poetic forms into an otherwise anti-modernist environment. White's expressionist
prose turned like contemporary painting and poetry towards the national past,
but in a more individualistic slice than before. Explorers, bus rangers and
ordinary eccentrics became key figures in a symbolist and deep psychological
exploration of Australia as an existential phenomenon: "The Meaning of the
Country", as it is called in a poem by Randolph Stow (1935-2010), whose novel
Tourmaline (1963) with Whites Voss(1957) and A Fringe of Leaves (1976) became
the culmination of this flow. This metaphysical tradition is often seen, as
opposed to the social realist, as elitist and apolitical, but it was through
metaphysics that the fine lyricist and critic Judith Wright (1915-2000) found a
commitment to such important political issues as the environment and Aboriginal
Aborigines became increasingly visible in white Australian literature through
the 1960's and 1970's: best known is Thomas Keneally's (b. 1935) The Chant of
Jimmie Blacksmith (1972), but far more important is the lyricist Les Murray (b.
1938), who managed to reconcile "translations" of the Aboriginal poetic forms
and religious understanding of the country with a groundbreaking poetic use of
the images and rhythms of the spoken language, which he shared with Bruce Dawe
(b. 1930). Asia also moved closer, in CJ Koch's (1932-2013) novels such as The
Year of Living Dangerously (1978), while the image of Australia itself was
increasingly regionalized, not least among tropical-lush Queensland writers such
as Xavier Herbert (1901-84), Thea Astley (1925-2004) and David Malouf, which
represents partly the poetic language treatment, partly the baroque imagination
that has become characteristic of Australian fiction, perhaps most distinctly in
Hal Porter (1917-84).
With the 1970's came an explosion of experimental poetry, drama and fiction,
the most enduring space of which can probably be attributed to Frank Moorhouse's
(b. 1938) short stories with their ambiguous depictions of the youth uprising,
sexual liberation and strong feminism (with Germaine Greer as best known).
international representative). A strong surrealistic tendency came to dominate
Peter Carey's short stories and novels, which are transferred to an
international postmodernism. Of ethnic immigrant literatures, only the Greek has
a distinct tradition (in Greek and English) of the same strength as it is known
from North America. On the other hand, the Aborigines throughout the 1970's and
1980's made themselves increasingly popular in all genres, from autobiographies
such as Sally Morgans My Place(1987) to novels such as Colin Johnson/ Mudrooroo
Narogin's Doctor Wooreddy's Prescription for Enduring the Ending of the World
In 1973, Patrick White (1912-1990) became the first Australian winner of the
Nobel Prize in Literature. Another Nobel Prize winner, South African JM Coetzee,
became an Australian citizen in 2006 and has written several works with
Australia as a framework.
Australia - Theater
Just one and a half years after the colony's founding, the first theater
performances took place in Sydney. In June 1789, George Farquahar's comedy The
Recruiting Officer (1706) was played for the governor and his officers by a
dozen convicts in a primitive hut with decorations of painted cardboard, oil
lamps as stage lights, and entrance fees in kind. From the 1820's, groups of
convicts performed popular melodramas and farces at the Emu Plains Theater near
Penrith. 1830-50 theaters were established in Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide,
Melbourne and Perth; after 1860 also in Brisbane. Sydney's The Theater Royal was
built in 1833 with room for 1000 spectators; its repertoire ranged from
melodrama and farce to Shakespeare and opera.
Population growth and prosperity transformed the Australian theater industry
from semi-amateurism to a fully developed and lucrative profession. Improved
conditions for theater companies led to the arrival of many significant overseas
producers and artists in Australia in the following decades, including the
American actor and producer JC Williamson (1845-1913), whose company numbered a
staff of 650 permanent staff who traveled 77,000 miles by steamship. around
Australia and New Zealand with concerts and plays.
In the early 1900-t. the demand for a purely Australian drama arose, partly
caused by a flaring national feeling, partly in response to JC Williamson
Theaters Ltd. and its great influence, its non-Australian stars, and on the
competition from the silent film.
Several small theaters showed artistically and socially engaged drama. Allan
Wilkie's Shakespearean troupe toured during and after World War I with simple
The advent of radio gave a huge audience to new Australian radio drama with
serials like Gwen Meredith's Blue Hills (2250 episodes). In 1954, the Australian
Elizabethan Theater Trust was formed, which further stimulated Australian
theater. by providing financial support. A result of this in the following years
was a series of contemporary dramas that are considered milestones in Australian
In 1959, the National Institute of Dramatic Art was established with
educations for actors, directors and set designers. In the 1960's, an
experimental theater emerged that put controversial themes on the program, a
development that continued in group theaters such as Sydney's Nimrod Theater and
Melbourne's Australian Performing Group. At the same time, a new cultural
self-awareness emerged among Aboriginal actors and playwrights.
The Australian Council for the Arts was established in 1968, to distribute
state aid to theater activities, just as a number of cultural centers were
erected, e.g. Sydney Opera House 1973; Melbourne got its Victorian Arts Center
in 1982. While the 1980's were marked by increasing state support for the
development of quality and versatility in the competition with commercial
theater, economic decline from 1991 resulted in cuts, and theaters increasingly
had to resort to sponsorship and audience-safe repertoire.
Australia - dance
Australia has a rich dance life exciting from a traditional, national dance
culture with ritual tribal dance (Aboriginal dance, eg corroboree, with special
emphasis on foot and hand movements) for a professional who includes both
classical and new dance with a number of companies, schools and universities. A
ballet life began little by little in the mid-1800's, when schools were opened
in both Melbourne and Sydney. European companies toured, and this became
especially important in the 1900's. with visits by well-known ballerinas such as
the Danish-English Adeline Genée (1878-1970), first time in 1913, the Canadian
Maud Allen (1883-1956) in 1914 and first and foremost with Anna Pavlova, who in
1926 and 1929 made a colossal impression. Each tour "left" a dancer or an
educator. Among the most significant was the Danish dancer Helene Kirsova (b.
Ellen Wittrup, 1911-62) and the Czech dancer and choreographer Edouard
Borovansky (1902-59), who opened schools in resp. Sydney (1940) and Melbourne
(1939). From the last spring in 1940 The Australian Ballet, which formed the
basis of the present company of the same name. With headquarters in Melbourne,
this was founded in 1962 with Peggy van Praagh (1910-90) as the first ballet
director and with strong threads to English ballet life. In 1965-76 she led the
company in collaboration with the dancer, actor and choreographer Robert
Helpmann (1909-86). 1983-96, the English dancer Maina Gielgud (b. 1945) was
artistic director. The Danish dancer Paul Gnatt (1923-95) also played a
significant role in the construction of the new Australian ballet life. The
Australian Ballet is today the leading classical company in Australia, which
also has a number of other ballet ensembles.
In modern dance, it became important that Gertrud Bodenwieser (1890-1959)
from Vienna in 1939 opened a school in Sydney and toured with her company.
Australian Dance Theater, founded in 1965 in Adelaide by Elisabeth Dalman, is
the oldest professional modern dance company.
Australia - music
Immigrants had difficulty relating to Aboriginal music, and it took a long
time for Australian composers to emerge. Percy Grainger (1862-1961) was one of
the first to create a special Australian music, inspired by the landscape and by
a belief that cultures in the New World were rooted in a Nordic tradition. This
is where his close relationship with Denmark and his collaboration with Evald
Tang Kristensen come from.
Margaret Sutherland (1897-1984) rejected the folk music tradition; her
renewed conception of harmony and tonality gained importance especially for
chamber music. John Antill (1904-1986) borrowed from the Aboriginal music in the
ballet Corroboree (1946), while a sextet for didgeridoo and the wind quintet
(1971) by George Dreyfus (born Wuppertal, 1928) shows a more ambiguous
understanding of the original music. Peter Sculthorpe (1929-2014) belongs to the
same generation of composers who made the art of music flourish; with his
innovative style in works such as Sun Music 1-4 (1965-1967), Mangrove (1979),
Earth Cry(1986) he has distanced himself from European tradition and
incorporated Asian and Aboriginal forms of expression. Conversely, Richard Meale
(1932-2009) unites European and Asian elements in his often very complex works;
his opera Voss (1988) is based on Nobel laureate Patrick White's novel of the
Australia has fostered a number of prominent artists, including sopranos
Nellie Melba and Joan Sutherland.
Australia - film
As early as 1896, short reportage films began to be made in Australia, and
the world's first hour-long feature film was Australian: The Brothers Taits The
Story of the Kelly Gang (1906). Audiences flocked to see the story of the famous
bandit and his fight against the authorities, and the success boosted film
production. The year 1911 was a highlight; approximately 50 films, of which 20
lasted more than an hour.
Competition from Hollywood quickly caused this production to decline, and
proposals for import restrictions were rejected despite the persistent efforts
of director Raymond Longford, known for his subtle everyday poetry in films such
as A Sentimental Bloke (1919).
The costly transition to sound film created further problems for the
country's strained film industry. However, the prolific Charles Chauvel gained
international success with one of his films, Forty Thousand Horsemen (1940),
about three fearless war comrades. One was played by the tall and taciturn Chips
Rafferty, the epitome of the Australian male ideal: bold, undisturbed, hardened
by life on the plains.
A number of state-produced documentaries received honorable mention, but in
addition, Australia's own production of films was almost extinct after 1945.
British and American companies still produced films in Australia, such as Harry
Watts The Overlanders (1946, Under Australia's Sky) and Fred Zinnemann's The
Sundowners (1960, Remove Horizons), both with Chips Rafferty.
In 1970, the picture changed radically. Extensive state support for films was
introduced and the result was a boom; from 1970 to 1985, over 400 films were
shot. In 1975 came Peter Weir's atmospheric Picnic at Hanging Rock (The
Excursion), which drew foreign attention to Australia's cinematic boom.
Gillian Armstrong's delicate portrayal of a woman's development into a
writer, My Brillant Career (1979, My Brilliant Career), was seen and praised
everywhere, as were George Miller's Mad Max (1979) and Bruce Beresford's Breaker
Morant (1981, Strong Wills). Weir, Armstrong, Miller, Beresford and star Mel
Gibson were all brought to Hollywood. Among the directors still working in
Australia is the gifted Paul Cox (b. 1940), known for his empathetic portrayals
of everyday life.
In 1986 came Australia's biggest box office success to date, Crocodile
Dundee, which, like the Mad Max films, was made for an international audience.
It is a humorous description of the clash between the depraved world of the
townspeople and the bold, athletic wilderness Australian who still retains his
This important motif takes a tragic turn in Weirs Gallipoli (1981, The Road
of Honor to Gallipoli), whose story of two brave young men sacrificed in a mad
war brings together a number of the main themes of Australian film: Fellowship,
distrust of authorities and authorities as well as the grandeur of the
Australian landscape and the men it nurtures.
In the 1990's, a number of Australian comedies, all with a fabulous touch,
gained international attention: Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom (1992), Stephan
Elliotts (b. 1963) The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994,
Desert Queen Priscilla), PJ Hogans (b.1963) Muriel's Wedding (1994, Muriel's
wedding) and Chris Noonans (b.1952) Babe (1995, Babe - the brave pig).
In recent years, Australia has also managed to attract a number of major
American film productions, such as Star Wars II-III (2002, 2005) and Superman
In 2008, Baz Luhrmann's epic Australia premiered and became one of
Australia's biggest international audience successes. Following not least Mel
Gibson's international success, Australia has continued to export acting stars
to Hollywood, including Eric Bana (b.1963), Cate Blanchett, Guy Pearce, Russell
Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Heath Ledger, Naomi Watts and Chris
Australia - wine
Wines from Australia have gained international recognition since 1960, as
increasing local consumption led the wine industry to invest in new technology.
Modern methods of temperature control of the fermentation on large stainless
steel tanks provide clean and fruity wines.
Australia has been a pioneer for wines designed for specific taste
preferences, including through the use of wine consultants who provide guidance
in production. The production is polarized in terms of quality between large
quantities, correctly made but industrial wine and small quantities of quality
wine. In 2009, Australia had a market share in Denmark of 12.4%.
Australia has approximately 150,000 ha of vineyards (2012), which produces
approximately 750 million liters of wine, which is roughly equivalent to the
production in Bordeaux. There are over 2000 wineries, but the ten largest
wineries account for about 90% of production. Wine is grown in all states and
under all climatic conditions, even in the sun-drenched desert at Alice Springs,
but New South Wales with 26.3%, Victoria with 17.1% and especially South
Australia with 48% of the country's vintage is dominant.
The success of Australian wines is due to quite a few grape varieties. Most
red wines are made from shiraz (known as syrah in France), cabernet sauvignon
and most recently pinot noir. The main white varieties are muscat, riesling,
marsanne, chardonnay, sémillon and sauvignon.
The origin and type of wine are often stated on the label. Australia does not
yet have an appellation system like the French AOC, but the wineries are
constantly experimenting and each setting their own standard for the quality of
the house. At annual competitions, the wines are blinded and judged by experts
who award coveted medals. Australian wines are often made from a blend from
several areas and from several grapes. If the label indicates a district, at
least 80% of the wine must be grown there. The main districts of New South Wales
are Hunter Valley, Riverina and Mudgee. In South Australia it is Barossa,
Coonawarra, Clare, McLaren Vale and Padthaway. At Perth, the Swan River and
Margaret River are new and promising areas.
Australian wines are generally good for food. Most can be drunk right away,
but top wines of cabernet, shiraz and a few Riesling can last for up to 20
Australia - sports
Aboriginal culture is rich in games and games, such as hunting games, long
and precision throws, canoe competitions, swimming and diving. The white
settlers brought and copied British sporting ideals in the new environment, but
also added changes, especially in ball games.
Australian football (Australian Rules) is a mixture of football and rugby
with a little inspiration from hurling, and the rather violent game is the big
sport in the winter months. The dominant summer sport is cricket, and especially
the test matches against England, India and Pakistan occupy the whole nation.
Swimming is both a widespread leisure activity and the sport in which Australia
has achieved the greatest international results. approximately half of all
Olympic gold medals won are picked up in swimming. Dawn Fraser (b. 1937) won
Olympic gold in the 100m freestyle three times in a row.
In tennis, Australia has topped the list of winners in major international
tournaments, and Rod Laver is one of the most title-winning singles players
ever. The Australian Open tennis tournament, held in Melbourne in January, is
one of four Grand Slam ® tournaments. Surfing is practiced by millions of
Australians, and the country has made its mark on the professional world
championships since its launch in 1976. Sailing is widespread, and Australia has
achieved good results in the major ocean races, including America's Cup and
Admiral's Cup. Australia has hosted the Olympics twice with Melbourne and Sydney
as host cities in respectively. 1956 and 2000.
Australia - wildlife
Of all continents, Australia has the most distinctive wildlife. However,
there are common features with especially Southeast Asia (the Oriental region),
and certain groups of Australian insects have their closest relatives in South
Africa or southern South America. Along with New Guinea and other surrounding
islands, Australia forms the Australian region of zoo geography.
Australia's mammalian fauna is special in the absolute dominance of
marsupials. Marsupials are found beyond Australia only on the American
continents. De approximately 170 species of Australian marsupials show parallels
to the richness of form that placental mammals exhibit in other parts of the
world (in placental mammals, the fetus is nourished via a placenta, placenta).
For example, kangaroos play a role similar to that of ruminants, and marsupials,
marsupials, etc. correspond to predators, while the marsupial lives as moles
Of the placental mammals, only bats, some species of the mouse family and the
wild dog dingo, which were probably introduced by Australia's native residents,
the Aborigines, are found in Australia. The laying mammals, marsupials and
platypus are found only in Australia and New Guinea. In recent times, many
animal species have been introduced to Australia by humans, including the
rabbit, which with its large populations has developed into a serious pest.
Several families of birds are found only in Australia or the Australian
region. Among these endemic groups are, for example, emu, lyre tails and birds
of paradise; the latter is also found in New Guinea. The bird fauna is also
distinguished by a wealth of parrots.
Australia - Climate
Australia is the hot and dry continent. The majority are located in the
subtropical climate belt with long hot summers and short mild winters. Farthest
to the north is a tropical climate with summer temperatures above 30 °C on
average. Tasmania and the highest parts of the Australian Alps have a mild
temperate climate. Here there are areas with winter rain and a characteristic
forest and maki vegetation. For the continent as a whole, the annual rainfall is
less than 25 cm, and the majority is desert, bush steppe and grass steppe. In
the easternmost regions, up to 200 cm of precipitation falls, and here there is
subtropical forest and savannah. In the northernmost regions, a lot of summer
rain falls, and here there is tropical forest and savannah.
Australia lies north of the distinctive and unbroken westerly belt of the
southern hemisphere. A fairly stable high pressure over the southern Indian
Ocean is the backdrop for the still windy southeast passage. This wind blows
from colder to warmer regions and is therefore low in precipitation. This
results in the very dry climate that characterizes the whole of Western and SW
Australia. Several coastal towns in Western Australia do not receive rainfall
The sea east of Australia is, especially in late summer, characterized by
tropical cyclones. At intervals, the north and east coasts are hit by these
willy-willies, which with hurricane winds and heavy rainfall can cause great