Australasia

Australasia, a region of Oceania, comprises Australia, New Zealand, neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean and, sometimes, the island of New Guinea (which is more often considered to be part of Melanesia). Charles de Brosses coined the term (as French Australasie) in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes[1] (1756). He derived it from the Latin for "south of Asia" and differentiated the area from Polynesia (to the east) and the southeast Pacific (Magellanica).[2] The bulk of Australasia sits on the Indo-Australian Plate, together with India.

Oceanias Regions
Regions of Oceania. New Zealand is considered as part both of Australasia and of Polynesia. Varying amounts of Melanesia (traditionally all of it) also count as part of Australasia.

Physical geography

LocationAustralasia
Australasia

Physiographically, Australasia includes New Zealand, Australia (including Tasmania), and Melanesia: Papua New Guinea and neighbouring islands north and east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean. The designation is sometimes applied to all the lands and islands of the Pacific Ocean lying between the equator and latitude 47° south. Papua New Guinea also includes approximately 600 offshore islands.

Most of Australasia lies on the southern portion of the Indo-Australian Plate, flanked by the Indian Ocean to the west and the Southern Ocean to the south. Peripheral territories lie on the Eurasian Plate to the northwest, the Philippine Plate to the north, and in the Pacific Ocean – including numerous marginal seas – atop the Pacific Plate to the north and east.

Human geography

Geopolitically, Australasia sometimes refers to Australia and New Zealand together – in the absence of another word limited to those two countries; however, the two countries are sometimes referred to collectively as the Antipodes. Sometimes the term also encompasses the island of New Guinea (Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian part of the island). Many organisations whose names include the prefix "[Royal] Australasian Society of ..." limit their scope of operation to just Australia and New Zealand.

Flag of Australasian team for Olympic games
The 1908–12 Australasian Olympic Flag

In the past, Australasia has been used as a name for combined Australia/New Zealand sporting teams. Examples include tennis between 1905 and 1915, when New Zealand and Australia combined to compete in the Davis Cup international tournament, and at the Olympic Games of 1908 and 1912.

Anthropologists, although disagreeing on details, generally support theories that call for a Southeastern Asian origin of indigenous island peoples in Australasia and neighbouring subregions. The first human habitation of Australia is estimated to have occurred 50,000 or more years ago. These first Australians were the ancestors of the Aboriginal Australians, who form the majority of today's indigenous Australians. They were mostly hunter-gatherers and arrived via land bridges and short sea-crossings from present-day Southeast Asia.

Ecological geography

Línea de Wallace
Wallace Line separates Australasian and Southeast Asian fauna.

From an ecological perspective the Australasia ecozone forms a distinct region with a common geologic and evolutionary history and a great many unique flora and fauna. In this context, Australasia is limited to Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, New Caledonia, and neighbouring islands, including the Indonesian islands from Lombok and Sulawesi eastward. The Wallace Line marks the biological divide from the Indomalaya ecozone of tropical AsiaBorneo and Bali lie on the western, Asian side.

Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia are all fragments of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana, the marks of which are still visible in the Christmas Island Seamount Province and other geophysical entities. These three land masses have been separated from other continents, and from one another, for millions of years. All of Australasia shares the Antarctic flora, although the northern, tropical islands also share many plants with Southeast Asia.

Mainland Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania are separated from one another by shallow continental shelves, and were linked together when the sea level was lower during the Ice Ages. They share a similar fauna which includes marsupial and monotreme mammals and ratite birds. Eucalypts are the predominant trees in much of Australia and New Guinea. New Zealand has no extant native land mammals aside from bats (though it once did), but also had ratite birds, including the kiwi and the extinct moa. The Australasia ecozone includes some nearby island groups, like Wallacea, the Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu, which were not formerly part of Gondwana, but which share many characteristic plants and animals with Australasia.

The Australasian ecozone is an ecological region that is coincident, but not synonymous (by some definitions), with the geographic region of Australasia. The ecozone includes Australia, the island of New Guinea (including Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian province of Papua), and the eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago, including the island of Sulawesi, the Maluku islands (the Indonesian provinces of Maluku and North Maluku) and islands of Lombok, Sumbawa, Sumba, Flores and Timor, often known as the Lesser Sundas. The Australasian ecozone also includes several Pacific island groups, including the Bismarck Archipelago, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and New Caledonia. New Zealand and its surrounding islands are a distinctive sub-region of the Australasian ecozone. The rest of Indonesia is part of the Indomalayan ecozone.

From a biological point of view, Australasia is a distinct region with a common evolutionary history and a great many unique plants and animals, some of them common to the entire area, others specific to particular parts but sharing a common ancestry. The long isolation of Australasia from other continents allowed it to evolve relatively independently, which makes it home to many unique families of plants and animals.

Australia and New Guinea are distinguished by their marsupial mammals, including kangaroos, possums, and wombats. The last remaining monotreme mammals, the echidnas and the platypus, are endemic to Australasia. Prior to the arrival of humans about 50,000 years ago, only about one-third of Australasian mammal species were placental.

The boundary between Australasia and Indomalaya follows the Wallace Line, named after the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace who noted the differences in mammal and bird fauna between the islands either side of the line. The Islands to the west of the line, including Java, Bali, Borneo, and the Philippines share a similar fauna with East Asia, including tigers, rhinoceros, and apes. During the ice ages, sea levels were lower, exposing the continental shelf that links these islands to one another and to Asia, and allowed Asian land animals to inhabit these islands. Similarly, Australia and New Guinea are linked by a shallow continental shelf, and were linked by a land bridge during the ice ages. A group of Australasian islands east of the Wallace Line, including Sulawesi, Halmahera, Lombok, Flores, Sumba, Sumbawa, and Timor, is separated by deep water from both the southeast Asian continental shelf and the Australia-New Guinea continental shelf. These islands are called Wallacea, and contain relatively few Australian or Asian mammals. While most land mammals found it difficult to cross the Wallace Line, many plant, bird, and reptile species were better able to make the crossing.

Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia are all portions of the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana, which started to break into smaller continents in the Cretaceous era, 130-65 million years ago. New Zealand broke away first, more than 80 million years ago, and Australia finally broke free from Antarctica about 45 million years ago. All the Australasian lands are home to the Antarctic flora, descended from the flora of southern Gondwana, including the coniferous podocarps and Araucaria pines, and the broadleafed southern beech (Nothofagus), and proteas (Proteaceae).

As Australia moved north into the desert latitudes, the continent became hotter and drier, and the soils poorer and leached of nutrients, causing the old Antarctic flora to retreat to the humid corners of the continent in favor of new drought and fire tolerant flora, dominated by the Eucalyptus, Casuarina, and Acacia trees, and by grasses and scrub where the rainfall was too scarce to support trees. Presently Australia is the smallest continent, and also the driest continent and the flattest (lowest in elevation) continent.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ de Brosses, Charles (1756). Histoire des navigations aux terres Australes. Contenant ce que l'on sçait des moeurs & des productions des contrées découvertes jusqu'à ce jour; & où il est traité de l'utilité d'y faire de plus amples découvertes, & des moyens d'y former un établissement [History of voyages to the Southern Lands. Containing what is known concerning the customes and products of the countries so far discovered; and treating of the usefulness of making broader discoveries there, and of the means of setting up an establishment there] (in French). Paris: Durand. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
  2. ^ Douglas, Bronwen (2014). Science, Voyages, and Encounters in Oceania, 1511-1850. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 6.

References

  • Richards, Kel (2006). "Australasia". Wordwatch. ABC News Radio. Retrieved 2006-09-30.

 This article incorporates text available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

External links

1905 International Lawn Tennis Challenge

The 1905 International Lawn Tennis Challenge was the fifth edition of what is now known as the Davis Cup. As defending champions, the British Isles team played host to the competition. The World Group ties were played at Queen's Club in London, England from 13–19 July, and the final was played on 21–24 July. Britain retained the Cup for their third championship.

1911 International Lawn Tennis Challenge

The 1911 International Lawn Tennis Challenge was the tenth edition of what is now known as the Davis Cup, named after the American tennis player Dwight F. Davis. After no country decided to challenge Australasia in 1910, only the British Isles and the United States would challenge for the Cup, for the third straight edition. Also for the third straight edition, the Americans would beat the British to earn the right to play for the Cup, and for the third straight edition, the Aussies would beat the Americans for the title.

For the first time, however, teams were allowed to use substitute players in dead rubbers, with the United States playing Maurice E. McLoughlin in singles after Australasia had clinched the final. The final also marked the first time a tie was played in New Zealand, when it was played at Lancaster Park in Christchurch. Anthony Wilding, whose home city was Christchurch, and Australian Norman Brookes won the 1907 tournament for Australasia; the first time that America had been beaten in this tournament. With Wilding being absent in Europe for the 1911 competition, the chances of the Australasian team were weakened.Rain delayed the beginning of the games scheduled for 29 December 1911, and the 1911 Davis Cup event was held between 1 and 3 January 1912. Norman Brookes beat Beals Wright in the opening match. Rodney Heath increased the lead for Australasia by beating William Larned. Australasia retained the Davis Cup through a win in the doubles, with Brookes and Alfred Dunlop being successful over Wright and Maurice E. McLoughlin. The fourth match was defaulted by Wright, and Larned stepped aside to give the younger McLoughlin the opportunity to play Brookes. After leading 2 sets to 1, Brookes came back and won the match, and gave Australasia a clean 5–0 victory.

1914 International Lawn Tennis Challenge

The 1914 International Lawn Tennis Challenge was the 13th edition of what is now known as the Davis Cup. The bulk of the competition returned to the United States for the first time since 1903. The United States fell to Australasia in the final, which was played at the West Side Tennis Club in New York City, New York on 13–15 August.

1919 International Lawn Tennis Challenge

The 1919 International Lawn Tennis Challenge was the 14th edition of what is now known as the Davis Cup. After not being played for four years during World War I, the competition resumed with four teams challenging Australasia for the cup. Australasia won the title from Great Britain. The final was played at the Double Bay Grounds in Sydney, Australasia on 16–21 January 1920.

1998 England rugby union tour of Australasia and South Africa

The 1998 England rugby union tour of Australasia and South Africa was a series of matches played in June and July 1998 by England national rugby union team.

Australasia GAA

The Australasia County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), or Australasian GAA, or Gaelic Football & Hurling Association of Australasia is one of the county boards of the GAA outside Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games all across Australasia. It is also responsible for Australasian inter-state matches, primarily conducted in an annual weeklong tournament. The association is made up of the Australian state associations of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, and the New Zealand associations of Wellington and Canterbury. A third New Zealand association - Auckland - is presently on hiatus from its membership of Australasia.

Australasia at the 1912 Summer Olympics

Australasia was the name of a combined team at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, consisting of 26 athletes from Australia and New Zealand. The combined team had also competed at the 1908 Games, but Australia and New Zealand would send separate teams to the next Games in 1920.

There were three New Zealanders in the 1912 team; Malcolm Champion, Anthony Wilding and George Hill. Wilding won a bronze medal in the men's indoor singles event, and Champion won a gold medal as part of the swimming relay team.

Australasia at the Olympics

Australasia was a combined team of athletes from Australia and the Dominion of New Zealand that competed together at the 1908 and 1912 Summer Olympics. When the Olympic Games resumed in 1920 after World War I, the two nations sent separate teams to the Games, and have done so ever since.

Australasian realm

The Australasian realm is a biogeographic realm that is coincident, but not synonymous (by some definitions), with the geographical region of Australasia. The realm includes Australia, the island of New Guinea (including Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian province of Papua), and the eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago, including the island of Sulawesi, the Moluccan islands (the Indonesian provinces of Maluku and North Maluku) and islands of Lombok, Sumbawa, Sumba, Flores, and Timor, often known as the Lesser Sundas. The Australasian realm also includes several Pacific island groups, including the Bismarck Archipelago, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and New Caledonia. New Zealand and its surrounding islands are a distinctive sub-region of the Australasian realm. The rest of Indonesia is part of the Indomalayan realm.From an ecological perspective the Australasian realm is a distinct region with a common geologic and evolutionary history and a great many unique plants and animals. In this context, Australasia is limited to Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, New Caledonia, and neighbouring islands, including the Indonesian islands from Lombok and Sulawesi eastward. The biological dividing line from the Indomalayan realm of tropical Asia is the Wallace Line: Borneo and Bali lie on the western, Asian side.

Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia are all fragments of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana, the marks of which are still visible in the Christmas Island Seamount Province and other geophysical entities. These three land masses have been separated from other continents, and from one another, for tens millions of years. All of Australasia shares the Antarctic flora, although the northern, tropical islands also share many plants with Southeast Asia.

Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania are separated from one another by shallow continental shelves, and were linked together when the sea level was lower during ice ages. They share a similar fauna which includes marsupial and monotreme mammals and ratite birds. Eucalypts are the predominant trees in much of Australia and New Guinea. New Zealand has no native land mammals, but also had ratite birds, including the kiwi and the moa. The Australasian realm includes some nearby island groups, like Wallacea, the Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu, which were not formerly part of Gondwana, but which share many characteristic plants and animals with Australasia.

Note that this zonation is based on flora; animals do not necessarily follow the same biogeographic boundaries. In the present case, many birds occur in both "Indomalayan" and "Australasian" regions, but not across the whole of either. On the other hand, there are few faunistic commonalities shared only by Australia and New Zealand, except some birds. Meanwhile, Australia, Melanesia and the Wallacea are united by a large share of similar animals, but few of these occur farther into the Pacific. On the other hand, much of the Polynesian fauna is related to that of Melanesia.

Geographical Names Board of New South Wales

The Geographical Names Board of New South Wales, a statutory authority of the Land and Property Information division, Department of Finance and Services in the Government of New South Wales, is the official body for naming and recording details of places and geographical names in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

Whilst the board is an independent body, it is responsible to the General Manager of Land and Property Information, currently Des Mooney (presently Chairman of the board); who reports to the Director General of the Department of Finance and Services, currently Michael Coutts-Trotter. Both the General Manager for Land and Property Information and the Director General of the Department report to the Minister for Finance and Services, currently Greg Pearce.

The board was established in 1966 pursuant to the Geographical Names Act 1966.

List of flag bearers for Australasia at the Olympics

This is a list of flag bearers who have represented Australasia at the Olympics.Flag bearers carry the national flag of their country at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

List of golfers with most PGA Tour of Australasia wins

This is a list of golfers who have recorded the most tournament wins on the PGA Tour of Australasia since it was established in 1911. It is currently known as the PGA Tour of Australasia. It was previously named the Australian Tour from 1973 to 1991. This list contains golfers who have won any number of events that are and/or have been recognized as professional golf events in Australia. There are some complications in preparing such a list, and different publications have produced different numbers.

The PGA Tour of Australasia is based in primarily in Australia with a few events held in neighbouring countries including New Zealand, China and Korea. Originally known as the Australian Tour, the tour was known simply as the Australasian Tour, or Australasian PGA Tour, until it was rebranded as the PGA Tour of Australasia.

The number of wins a player can accumulate on the PGA Tour of Australia depends in part on how many years he devotes to the tour. There have always been some leading Australian players or Australian Tour members from outside Australia who have gone on to play part or full-time on the U.S.-based PGA Tour and cut back their commitments in Australia, and this seems to be an increasing trend.

Many of the players on the list have won many events on other tours and unofficial events. The numbers in the "Majors" column are the total number of major championships the player won in his career whether or not he was a member of the Australian Tour at the time. U.S. Major Championships are not counted as Australian Tour victories, and do not count towards the Order of Merit. Players under 50 years of age are shown in bold.

Members of the World Golf Hall of Fame are annotated HoF.

This list is up to date through 2018 season.

List of impact craters in Australia

This list includes all 27 confirmed impact craters in Australia as listed in the Earth Impact Database.

Lists of World Heritage Sites

This is a list of lists of World Heritage Sites. A World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having special cultural or physical significance.

Myrtales

The Myrtales are an order of flowering plants placed as a sister to the eurosids II clade as of the publishing of the Eucalyptus grandis genome in June 2014. The APG III system of classification for angiosperms still places it within the eurosids. The following families are included as of APG III:

Alzateaceae S. A. Graham

Combretaceae R. Br. (leadwood family)

Crypteroniaceae A. DC.

Lythraceae J. St.-Hil. (loosestrife and pomegranate family)

Melastomataceae Juss. (including Memecylaceae DC.)

Myrtaceae Juss. (myrtle family; including Heteropyxidaceae Engl. & Gilg, Psiloxylaceae Croizat)

Onagraceae Juss. (evening primrose and Fuchsia family)

Penaeaceae Sweet ex Guill. (including Oliniaceae Arn., Rhynchocalycaceae L. A. S. Johnson & B. G. Briggs)

Vochysiaceae A. St.-Hil.The Cronquist system gives essentially the same composition, except the Vochysiaceae are removed to the order Polygalales, and the Thymelaeaceae are included. The families Sonneratiaceae, Trapaceae, and Punicaceae are removed from the Lythraceae. In the classification system of Dahlgren the Myrtales were in the superorder Myrtiflorae (also called Myrtanae). The APG III system agrees with the older Cronquist circumscriptions of treating Psiloxylaceae and Heteropyxidaceae within Myrtaceae, and Memecyclaceae within Melastomataceae.

Ellagitannins are reported in dicotyledoneous angiospermes, and notably in species in the order Myrtales.

National Basketball League (Australia)

The National Basketball League (NBL) is the pre-eminent professional men's basketball league in Australia and New Zealand. The league was founded in 1979 and is currently contested by eight teams; seven from Australia and one from New Zealand.

PGA Tour of Australasia

The PGA Tour of Australasia, currently known for sponsorship reasons as the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, is a professional golf tour for men. Official events on the tour count for World Golf Ranking points. The tour was formed in 1973 as the PGA Tour of Australia and adopted its current name in 1991.

Most of the leading players on the tour are Australian, with a smaller domestic contingent from New Zealand, but players from many other countries all over the world also participate. The very best Australasian players devote most of their time to the PGA Tour or the European Tour, typically returning home for two or three events each year or even not at all. Therefore, the Australasian Tour is a feeder for the larger tours. Some of the leading events are co-sanctioned by the European Tour to encourage higher ranked players to enter and to attract more sponsorship. Players with a background on the tour who have reached the world top 20 since the turn of the Millennium include Steve Elkington and Adam Scott. The leading tournaments on the tour include the Australian Open, the Australian PGA Championship, the Australian Masters and the New Zealand Open.

In November 2005 it was reported by the BBC that the tour was going through difficult times, with the schedule for the 2005/06 summer season reduced to six events, three of them co-sponsored by other tours. The Heineken Classic, which was the richest event in Australasia in 2005, was cancelled in 2006 due to the withdrawal of the sponsor. One factor in the tour's problems is the rise of the nearby Asian Tour. Tour chairman Wayne Grady, and player Mark Hensby both accused Australia's biggest golf icon Greg Norman, who is a US resident, of not doing enough to support the tour. Norman dismissed their comments.To earn a PGA Tour of Australasia card, one must place in the top 40 of the tour's qualifying school. To retain a Tour card, a golfer must finish in the top 60 of the Order of Merit. Golfers ranked 61st–75th are given conditional status and those ranked 61st to 100th are given entry to the final stage of Q School. Those outside the top 100 lose their Tour cards unless exempt by other means, such as top twenty on the career money list.

A win earns a two-year exemption for most events. Events considered Tier 1 are given three-year exemptions. Five-year exemptions are given to Order of Merit winners and the tour's three largest events (Australian PGA Championship, Australian Open, and Australian Masters). Entry to The Open Championship is given to the Order of Merit winner and the top three non-exempt players from the Australian Open.

Warner Music Australasia

Warner Music Australasia is the Australian division of the Warner Music Group. The company's operations also include distribution to New Zealand.

Woolworths Group (Australia)

Woolworths Group Limited is a major Australian company with extensive retail interest throughout Australia and New Zealand. It is the second largest company in Australia by revenue, after Perth-based retail-focused conglomerate Wesfarmers, and the second largest in New Zealand. In addition, Woolworths Group is the largest takeaway liquor retailer in Australia, the largest hotel and gaming poker machine operator in Australia, and was the 19th largest retailer in the world in 2008.Despite similar names, Woolworths Group has no affiliation with the F.W. Woolworth Company in the United States, the now-defunct Woolworths Group in the UK or the South African chain of retail stores, Woolworths Holdings Limited. Its main operations include supermarkets (under the Woolworths brand in Australia and the Countdown brand in New Zealand), liquor retailing (as BWS and Dan Murphy's in Australia), hotels and pubs under the Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH Group) umbrella, and discount department stores under the Big W name in Australia.

The company announced a loss of $1.235 billion for the 2016 financial year on 25 August 2016, the biggest in more than 20 years since it has been publicly listed on the ASX, mainly due to more than $2 billion in write-downs of the failed Masters business and losses in the Big W business.

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