The Australian

The Australian is a broadsheet newspaper published in Australia from Monday to Saturday each week since 14 July 1964, and is the country's most circulated nationally distributed newspaper, available in each state and territory.[1] It rivals with other nationally distributed newspapers like the business-focused Australian Financial Review and The Saturday Paper. The Australian is owned by News Corp Australia.

The Australian
The Australian cover 26 July 2017
The Australian front cover on 26 July 2017
FormatBroadsheet, Online, App
Owner(s)News Corp Australia
EditorJohn Lehmann
Editor-in-chiefChris Dore
Founded14 July 1964
Headquarters2 Holt Street, Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia
Circulation104,165 (Daily, 2015)
230,182 (Weekend, 2015)
100,000 (Digital, 2018)

Parent companies

The Australian is published by News Corp Australia, an asset of News Corp, which also owns the sole daily newspapers in Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin, and the most circulated metropolitan daily newspapers in Sydney and Melbourne.[2] News Corp's Chairman and Founder is Rupert Murdoch.

The Australian integrates content from overseas newspapers owned by News Corp Australia's international parent News Corp, including The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London.[2]


The first edition of The Australian was published by Rupert Murdoch on 15 July 1964, becoming the third national newspaper in Australia following shipping newspaper Daily Commercial News (1891)[3] and Australian Financial Review (1951). Unlike other original Murdoch newspapers, it is not a tabloid publication.[4] At the time, a national paper was considered commercially unfeasible, as newspapers mostly relied on local advertising for their revenue. The Australian was printed in Canberra, then plates flown to other cities for copying.[5] From its inception the paper struggled for financial viability and ran at a loss for several decades.[4]

The Australian's first editor was Maxwell Newton, before leaving the newspaper within a year,[5] and was succeeded by Walter Kommer, and then by Adrian Deamer. Under his editorship The Australian encouraged female journalists, and was the first mainstream daily newspaper to hire an Aboriginal reporter, John Newfong.[6]

During the 1975 election, campaigning against the Whitlam government by its owner led to the newspaper's journalists striking over editorial direction.[5]

Editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell was appointed in 2002 and retired on 11 December 2015; he was replaced by Paul Whittaker formerly editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph.[7]

In May 2010, the newspaper launched the first Australian newspaper iPad app.[8]

In October 2011 The Australian announced that it was planning to become the first general newspaper in Australia to introduce a paywall, with the introduction of a $2.95 per week charge for readers to view premium content on its website, mobile phone and tablet applications.[9] The paywall was officially launched on 24 October, with a free 3 month trial.[10]

In September 2017 The Australian launched their Chinese website.[11]

In October 2018 it was announced that Chris Dore, former editor of The Daily Telegraph, would be taking over as editor-in-chief.[12]


Daily sections include National News (The Nation) followed by Worldwide News (Worldwide), Sport and Business News (Business). Contained within each issue is a prominent op/ed section, including regular columnists and non-regular contributors. Other regular sections include Technology (AustralianIT), Media (edited by Darren Davidson since 2015), Features, Legal Affairs, Aviation, Defence, Horse-Racing (Thoroughbreds), The Arts, Health, Wealth and Higher Education. A Travel & Indulgence section is included on Saturdays, along with The Inquirer, an in-depth analysis of major stories of the week, alongside much political commentary. Saturday lift-outs include Review, focusing on books, arts, film and television, and The Weekend Australian Magazine, the only national weekly glossy insert magazine. A glossy magazine, Wish, is published on the first Friday of the month.

"The Australian has long maintained a focus on issues relating to Aboriginal disadvantage."[2] It also devotes attention to the information technology, Defence and mining industries,[2] as well as the science, economics, and politics of climate change. It has also published numerous "special reports" into Australian energy policy.

The Australian Literary Review was a monthly supplement from September 2006 to October 2011.[13]

Editorial and opinion pages

Former editor Paul Kelly stated in 1991 that "The Australian has established itself in the marketplace as a newspaper that strongly supports economic libertarianism".[14] Laurie Clancy asserted in 2004 that the newspaper "is generally conservative in tone and heavily oriented toward business; it has a range of columnists of varying political persuasions but mostly to the right."[15] Former editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell has said that the editorial and op-ed pages of the newspaper are centre-right.[16]

In 2007 Crikey described the newspaper as generally in support of the Liberal Party and the then-Coalition government, but has pragmatically supported Labor governments in the past as well.[17] In 2007 The Australian announced their support for the Rudd Australian Labor Party in the Federal election.[18]

The Australian presents varying views on climate change, publishing articles by those who disagree with the scientific consensus such as Ian Plimer, and authors who agree with the scientific consensus such as Tim Flannery and Bjørn Lomborg.[19] A 2011 study of the previous seven years of articles claimed that four out of every five articles were opposed to taking action on climate change.[20][21]

In 2010 the ABC's Media Watch presenter Paul Barry accused The Australian of waging a campaign against the Australian Greens, and the Greens' federal leader Bob Brown wrote that The Australian has "stepped out of the fourth estate by seeing itself as a determinant of democracy in Australia." In response, The Australian opined that "Greens leader Bob Brown has accused The Australian of trying to wreck the alliance between the Greens and Labor. We wear Senator Brown's criticism with pride. We believe he and his Green colleagues are hypocrites; that they are bad for the nation; and that they should be destroyed at the ballot box."[22]

The Australian has been criticised by some media commentators for helping to promote a right-wing agenda, and encouraging political polarisation in Australia.[23][24][25]

Notable stories

AWB kickback scandal

Caroline Overington, a senior journalist writing for The Australian reported in 2005 about the Australian Wheat Board funnelling hundreds of millions of dollars to Iraq and the government of Saddam Hussein before the start of the Iraq War.[26] This story became known as the AWB oil-for-wheat scandal, and resulted in a commission of inquiry into the matter.[27] Overington received a Walkley award for her coverage.[28]

Stimulus Watch

In 2009, The Australian ran many articles about the Rudd Government's Building the Education Revolution policy, which uncovered evidence of over-pricing, financial waste and mismanagement of the building of improvements to schools such as halls, gymnasiums and libraries. On the newspaper's website, there was a section named "Stimulus Watch", subtitled "How your Billions Are Being Spent", which contained a large collection of such articles.[29]

The following year, other media outlets also reported these issues and the policy turned into a political embarrassment for the government, which until then had been able to ignore The Australian's reports. Along with the government's insulation stimulus policy, it contributed to criticisms, perceptions of incompetence and general dissatisfaction with the government's performance.[30] [31]

On 16 July 2010 it was reported that Julia Gillard had admitted that the school-building program was flawed and that errors had been made because the program was designed in haste to protect jobs during the global financial crisis.[32]

AWU Affair

In 2011 Glenn Milne reported on the allegations against Prime Minister Julia Gillard concerning the AWU affair including a claim regarding Gillard's living arrangements with Australian Workers' Union official Bruce Wilson. Gillard contacted the chief executive of The Australian, resulting in the story being removed and an apology and retraction posted in its place.[33]

On 18 August 2012 Hedley Thomas reported that Gillard had left her job as a partner with law firm Slater and Gordon as a direct result of a secret internal investigation in 1995 into corrupt conduct on behalf of her then-boyfriend Ralph Blewett.[34] The story was ignored for a long time by other media outlets until after Gillard held a press conference to respond to the allegations against her.[35] In 2013 the Fair Work Commission commenced initial inquiries into allegations of improper union financial conduct, and the government initiated a judicial inquiry into the AWU affair in December of that year as part of a royal commission into trade unions.[36]

The Teacher’s Pet

The Teachers Pet, an investigation into the disappearance of Lynette Dawson, is a podcast written by Hedley Thomas and Slade Gibson that ran in 2018. It was credited with generating new leads that led to the subsequent arrest of Chris Dawson for the murder of his wife,[37]and the setting up of police enquiry Strike Force Southwood to explore claims of sexual assaults and student-teacher relationships at several Sydney high schools brought up on the podcast.[38] The series has had 28 million downloads,[39] was the number one Australian podcast and reached number one in the UK, Canada and New Zealand.[40] Both Hedley and Gibson received Gold Walkley awards for their work on the series.[41]

Columnists and contributors

Regular columnists include Janet Albrechtsen, Troy Bramston, Paul Kelly, Chris Kenny, Brendan O'Neill, Nicolas Rothwell, Imre Salusinszky, Niki Savva, Angela Shanahan, Dennis Shanahan, Greg Sheridan, Judith Sloan, Emma Jane, Peter van Onselen, Graham Richardson and Phillip Adams. It also features daily cartoons from Peter Nicholson.

Occasional contributors include Gregory Melleuish, Kevin Donnelly, Caroline Overington, Tom Switzer, James Allan, Hal G.P. Colebatch, Luke Slattery, Noel Pearson, Bettina Arndt, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott and Lucian Boz.

Former columnists include Mike Steketee, David Burchell, Michael Stutchbury, Simon Adamek, George Megalogenis, Glenn Milne, Cordelia Fine,[42] Alan Wood, Michael Costa, P. P. McGuinness, Michael Costello, Frank Devine, Matt Price and Christopher Pearson. Former cartoonists include Bill Leak.

Australian of the Year Award

In 1971, The Australian instituted their own "Australian of the Year award" separate from and often different to the Australian of the Year chosen by the government's National Australia Day Council. Starting in 1968, the official award had long had links to the Victorian Australia Day Council, and at the time there was a public perception it was state based. As a national newspaper, The Australian felt they were better situated to create an award that more truly represented all of Australia.[43] Nominees are suggested by readers, decided upon by an editorial board, and awarded in January of every year.[44]


As of March 2015, the weekday edition circulation was 104,165 and the weekend edition was 230,182, falling 6.5 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively compared to the same period in 2014. The Australian had 67,561 paid digital subscribers in the same period.[45]

In the June quarter of 2013, the average print circulation for The Australian on weekdays was 116,655 and 254,891 for The Weekend Australian. Both were down (9.8 and 10.8 %) compared to the June quarter the previous year.[46]

According to third-party web analytics providers Alexa and SimilarWeb, The Australian's website,, is the 72nd and 223rd most visited website in Australia respectively, as of August 2015.[47][48] SimilarWeb rates the site as the 23rd most visited news website in Australia, attracting almost 3 million visitors per month.[48][49]

According to Roy Morgan Research, in September 2018 The Australian had a readership of 303,000.[1]


The paper has won Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association awards on several occasions;

  • 2007 Online Newspaper of the Year award[50]
  • 2017 Daily Newspaper of the Year, Weekend Newspaper of the Year and Best Mobile site categories[51][52]

Several journalists writing for The Australian have received Walkley awards for their investigative reporting.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Australian Newspaper Readership, 12 months to September 2018". Roy Morgan. September 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Manning, James (10 March 2008). "National daily plans new business website and monthly colour magazine". MediaWeek. Sydney, Australia (854): 3, 7, 8.
  3. ^ Daily commercial news and shipping list, National Library of Australia Trove, archived from the original on 26 March 2014
  4. ^ a b Cryle, Denis (2008). Murdoch's flagship (PDF). Melbourne University Press. ISBN 978-0-522-85675-0. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 March 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Tiffen, Rodney. "The Australian at forty-five". Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  6. ^ Cryle, Denis (2008). Murdoch's Flagship: The First Twenty-five Years of the Australian Newspaper. Academic Monographs. p. 174. ISBN 9780522859911 – via Google books.
  7. ^ Davidson, Darren (2 December 2015). "Chris Mitchell retires, Paul Whittaker new editor-in-chief of The Australian". The Australian. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  8. ^ Omar Dabbagh (17 May 2010). "The Australian launches iPad newspaper app". PC World. IDG Communications. Archived from the original on 22 May 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  9. ^ Dick, Tim (18 October 2011). "Australian to charge $2.95 a week for all online content". The Age. Melbourne. Archived from the original on 18 October 2011.
  10. ^ "Paywall turns The Australian gold". B&T Weekly. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2018 – via Proquest. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  11. ^ Kallios, Natarsha; Connellan, Matt (21 September 2017). "The Australian newspaper launches Chinese language website". SBS News. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  12. ^ Duke, Jennifer (7 October 2018). "Paul Whittaker appointed Sky News CEO in News Corp shake-up". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  13. ^ "The Australian Literary Review". Austlit. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  14. ^ Manne, Robert, ed. (2005). Do Not Disturb: Is the Media Failing Australia?. Black Inc. p. 60. ISBN 9780975076941.
  15. ^ Clancy, Laurie (2004). Culture and customs of Australia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-313-32169-6.
  16. ^ Mitchell, Chris (9 March 2006). The Media Report Archived 17 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Australian Broadcasting Company.
  17. ^ "Crikey Bias-o-meter: The newspapers". Crikey. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Election 07: The newpapers' choice this time round". Crikey. 23 November 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  19. ^ Jowit, Juliette (30 August 2010). "Bjørn Lomborg: $100bn a year needed to fight climate change". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013.
  20. ^ Lowe, Ian (November 2011). "Newspaper Biased Against Climate Change". Australasian Science. Archived from the original on 22 September 2017.
  21. ^ "News Corp is Bad News". ABC News. 21 November 2011. Archived from the original on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  22. ^ Barry, Paul. "Gunning for The Greens". Media Watch. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  23. ^ Muller, Denis (19 June 2017). "Mixed media: how Australia's newspapers became locked in a war of left versus right". The Conversation. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  24. ^ Simons, Margaret (June 2014). "The decline of the 'Australian'". The Monthly. Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  25. ^ Buckell, Jim (7 December 2015). "Ideology runs rampant at Rupert Murdoch's Australian newspaper". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  26. ^ Cica, Natasha (18 May 2007). "Kickback". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 14 May 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  27. ^ Caroline Overington (May 2007). "Kickback:Inside the Australian Wheat Board scandal". Allen & Unwin. Archived from the original on 30 June 2016.
  28. ^ "Walkley Award winners announced". The Age. 30 November 2006. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  29. ^ various (2009). "Stimulus Watch". The Australian. News Limited.
  30. ^ Tim Blair (21 April 2016). "Incompetence And Waste Versus Waste And Incompetence". The Australian. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  31. ^ Geoff Rossiter (19 April 2019). "Kevin Rudd: Literally the most incompetent and cowardly Prime Minister in Australian history". The Australian. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  32. ^ Matthew Franklin and Patricia Karvelas (16 July 2010). "Julia Gillard admits school mistakes". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  33. ^ Wright, Tony (30 August 2011). "Bombshell for Gillard explodes under Murdoch press". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  34. ^ Hedley Thomas (18 August 2012). "Revealed: Julia Gillard lost her job after law firm's secret investigation". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  35. ^ Chris Kenny (16 February 2013). "Aunty still in denial, but proving political bias is as easy as ABC". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  36. ^ "Abbott government to launch royal commission into union 'slush funds'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 December 2013.
  37. ^ McGowan, Michael (6 December 2018). "Husband charged with wife's murder after hit podcast". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  38. ^ Saunokonoko, Mark (20 August 2018). "Teacher's Pet podcast: Law firm explores NSW school sex abuse claims". 9 news. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  39. ^ Cockburn, Paige; Sas, Nick (6 December 2018). "The power of the podcast — in Lynette Dawson's case was it a help or hindrance?". ABC News. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  40. ^ David Murray (17 August 2018). "The Teacher's Pet: Podcast on hold pending further developments". The Australian. News Corporation. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  41. ^ "Hedley Thomas, Slade Gibson win Gold Walkley for true crime podcast". ABC News. 23 November 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  42. ^ "Cordelia Fine". Cordelia Fine. 31 July 2011. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  43. ^ "Whose Australian of the Year?". Australian of the Year Awards. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  44. ^ Walker, Jamie (21 January 2017). "The Australian's Australians of the Year 2017". The Australian. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  45. ^ Davidson, Darren (15 May 2015). "Newspaper circulation declines moderating as digital sales soar". The Australian. Retrieved 18 May 2015. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  46. ^ Knott, Matthew (16 August 2013). "Newspaper circulation results shocker: the contagion edition". Crikey. Private Media. Archived from the original on 27 August 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  47. ^ " Site Overview". Alexa. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  48. ^ a b " Analytics". SimilarWeb. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  49. ^ "Top 50 sites in Australia for News And Media". SimilarWeb. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  50. ^ Elks, Sarah (9 August 2007). "The Australian wins online newspaper award".
  51. ^ Bennet Lindsay (7 September 2017). "Winners of the 2017 Newspaper of the Year Awards revealed". Adnews. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  52. ^ "The Australian wins three major awards at Newspaper Of The Year". Mediaweek. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2019.

External links


Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. It is documented that Aborigines spoke languages that can be classified into about 250 groups. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.

Being the oldest, flattest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi). A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, which boosted the population of the country. Nevertheless, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications, banking and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites.Australia is a highly developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy. It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, and has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks highly in quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism.

Australian Army

The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) commands the ADF, the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army (CA). The CA is therefore subordinate to the CDF, but is also directly responsible to the Minister for Defence. Although Australian soldiers have been involved in a number of minor and major conflicts throughout its history, only in World War II has Australian territory come under direct attack.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is Australia's national broadcaster founded in 1929. It is currently principally funded by direct grants from the Australian government, but is expressly independent of government and partisan politics. The ABC plays a leading role in journalistic independence and is fundamental in the history of broadcasting in Australia.

Modelled on the BBC in the United Kingdom, it was originally financed by consumer licence fees on broadcasting receivers. Licence fees were abolished in 1973 and replaced principally by direct government grants, as well as revenue from commercial activities related to its core broadcasting mission.

The ABC now provides television, radio, online and mobile services throughout metropolitan and regional Australia and overseas through ABC Australia and Radio Australia. The ABC headquarters is in Ultimo, an inner-city suburb of Sydney, New South Wales.

Australian Bureau of Statistics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is the independent statistical agency of the Government of Australia. The ABS provides key statistics on a wide range of economic, population, environmental and social issues, to assist and encourage informed decision making, research and discussion within governments and the community.

Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory, formerly known as the Federal Capital Territory until 1938 and commonly referred to as the ACT, is a federal territory of Australia containing the Australian capital city of Canberra and some surrounding townships. It is located in the south-east of the country and enclaved within the state of New South Wales. Founded after federation as the seat of government for the new nation, all important institutions of the Australian federal government are centred in the Territory.

On 1 January 1901, federation of the colonies of Australia was achieved. Section 125 of the new Australian Constitution provided that land, situated in New South Wales and at least 100 miles (160 km) from Sydney, would be ceded to the new federal government. Following discussion and exploration of various areas within New South Wales, the Seat of Government Act 1908 was passed in 1908 which specified a capital in the Yass-Canberra region. The territory was transferred to the Commonwealth by New South Wales in 1911, two years prior to the capital city being founded and formally named as Canberra in 1913.

While the overwhelming majority of the population reside in the city of Canberra in the ACT's north-east, the Territory also includes some surrounding townships such as Williamsdale, Naas, Uriarra, Tharwa and Hall. The ACT also includes the Namadgi National Park which comprises the majority of land area of the Territory. Despite a common misconception, the Jervis Bay Territory is not part of the ACT although the laws of the Australian Capital Territory apply as if Jervis Bay did form part of the ACT. The Territory has a relatively dry, contintental climate experiencing warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters.

The Australian Capital Territory is home to many important institutions of the federal government, national monuments and museums. This includes the Parliament of Australia, the High Court of Australia, the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Australian War Memorial. It also hosts the majority of foreign embassies in Australia as well as regional headquarters of many international organisations, not-for-profit groups, lobbying groups and professional associations. Several major universities also have campuses in the ACT including the Australian National University, the University of Canberra, the University of New South Wales, Charles Sturt University and the Australian Catholic University.

A locally elected legislative assembly has governed the Territory since 1988. However, the Commonwealth maintains authority over the Territory and may overturn local laws. It still maintains control over the area known as the Parliamentary Triangle through the National Capital Authority. Residents of the Territory elect three members to the House of Representatives and two Senators to the Australian Senate.

With 419,200 residents, the Australian Capital Territory is second smallest mainland state or territory by population. At the 2016 census, the median weekly income for people in the Territory aged over 15 was $998 and higher than the national average of $662. The average level of degree qualification in the ACT is also higher than the national average. Within the ACT, 37.1% of the population hold a bachelor's degree level or above education compared to the national figure of 20%.

Australian Labor Party

The Australian Labor Party (ALP), commonly known as Labor, was historically spelt both as Labour and as Labor. The ALP, which adopted the formal name Australian Labour Party in 1908, but changed the spelling to Labor in 1912, is a major centre-left political party in Australia. The party has been in opposition at the federal level since the 2013 election. Bill Shorten has been the party's federal parliamentary leader since 13 October 2013. The party is a federal party with branches in each state and territory. Labor is in government in the states of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and in both the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. The party competes against the Liberal/National Coalition for political office at the federal and state (and sometimes local) levels. It is the oldest political party in Australia.

Labor's constitution has long stated: "The Australian Labor Party is a democratic socialist party and has the objective of the democratic socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange, to the extent necessary to eliminate exploitation and other anti-social features in these fields". This "socialist objective" was introduced in 1921, but was later qualified by two further objectives: "maintenance of and support for a competitive non-monopolistic private sector" and "the right to own private property". Labor governments have not attempted the "democratic socialisation" of any industry since the 1940s, when the Chifley Government failed to nationalise the private banks, and in fact have privatised several industries such as aviation and banking. Labor's current National Platform describes the party as "a modern social democratic party".The ALP was not founded as a federal party until after the first sitting of the Australian Parliament in 1901. Nevertheless, it is regarded as descended from labour parties founded in the various Australian colonies by the emerging labour movement in Australia, formally beginning in 1891. Labor is thus the country's oldest political party. Colonial labour parties contested seats from 1891, and federal seats following Federation at the 1901 federal election. The ALP formed the world's first Labour Party government, as well as the world's first social democratic government at a national level. Labor was the first party in Australia to win a majority in either house of the Australian Parliament, at the 1910 federal election. The Australian Labor Party at both a federal and state/colony level predates, among others, both the British Labour Party and the New Zealand Labour Party in party formation, government, and policy implementation. Internationally, the ALP is a member of the Progressive Alliance network of social-democratic parties, having previously been a member of the Socialist International.

Australian National University

The Australian National University (ANU) is a national research university located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Its main campus in Acton encompasses seven teaching and research colleges, in addition to several national academies and institutes.Founded in 1946, it is the only university to have been created by the Parliament of Australia. Originally a postgraduate research university, ANU commenced undergraduate teaching in 1960 when it integrated the Canberra University College, which had been established in 1929 as a campus of the University of Melbourne. ANU enrolls 10,052 undergraduate and 10,840 postgraduate students and employs 3,753 staff. The university's endowment stood at A$1.13 billion in 2012.ANU is regarded as one of the world's leading research universities. It is ranked 1st in Australia and the whole of Oceania, 24th in the world by the 2019 QS World University Rankings, and 49th in the world (second in Australia) by the 2019 Times Higher Education. ANU was named the world's 7th (first in Australia) most international university in a 2017 study by Times Higher Education. In the 2017 Times Higher Education Global Employability University Ranking, an annual ranking of university graduates' employability, ANU was ranked 21st in the world (first in Australia). ANU is ranked 100th (first in Australia) in the CWTS Leiden ranking. The university is particularly well known for its programmes in the arts and social sciences, and ranks among the best in the world for a number of disciplines including politics and international relations, social policy, and geography.ANU counts six Nobel laureates and 49 Rhodes scholars among its faculty and alumni. The university has educated two prime ministers, 30 current Australian ambassadors and more than a dozen current heads of government departments of Australia. The latest releases of ANU's scholarly publications are held through ANU Press online.

Australian dollar

The Australian dollar (sign: $; code: AUD) is the currency of Australia (including its external territories Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island), and of three independent Pacific Island states, specifically Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu. It was introduced on 14 February 1966 when the pre-decimal Australian pound, with subunits of shillings and pence, was replaced by the new decimal currency, the Australian dollar.

Within Australia, it is almost always abbreviated with the dollar sign ($), with A$ or AU$ sometimes used to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is subdivided into 100 cents.

In 2016, the Australian dollar was the fifth most traded currency in world foreign exchange markets, accounting for 6.9% of the world's daily share (down from 8.6% in 2013) behind the United States dollar, the European Union's euro, the Japanese yen and the United Kingdom's pound sterling. The Australian dollar is popular with currency traders, because of the comparatively high interest rates in Australia, the relative freedom of the foreign exchange market from government intervention, the general stability of Australia's economy and political system, and the prevailing view that the Australian dollar offers diversification benefits in a portfolio containing the major world currencies, especially because of its greater exposure to Asian economies and the commodities cycle.The Australian dollar was legal tender of Papua New Guinea until 1 January 1976, when the Papua New Guinean kina became the sole legal tender there.


Canberra ( (listen))

is the capital city of Australia. With a population of 410,301, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne. A resident of Canberra is known as a Canberran. Although Canberra is the capital and seat of government, many federal government ministries have secondary seats in state capital cities, as do the Governor-General and the Prime Minister.

The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city outside of any state, similar to Washington, D.C., in the United States, or Brasília in Brazil. Following an international contest for the city's design, a blueprint by American architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. The Griffins' plan featured geometric motifs such as circles, hexagons and triangles, and was centred on axes aligned with significant topographical landmarks in the Australian Capital Territory.

The city's design was influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation. The growth and development of Canberra were hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, which exacerbated a series of planning disputes and the ineffectiveness of a procession of bodies that were created in turn to oversee the development of the city. The national capital emerged as a thriving city after World War II, as Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies championed its development and the National Capital Development Commission was formed with executive powers. Although the Australian Capital Territory is now self-governing, the Commonwealth Government retains some influence through the National Capital Authority.

As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the official residence of the Monarch's representative the Governor-General, the High Court and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance, such as the Australian War Memorial, Australian National University, Royal Australian Mint, Australian Institute of Sport, National Gallery, National Museum and the National Library. The Australian Army's officer corps is trained at the Royal Military College, Duntroon and the Australian Defence Force Academy is also located in the capital.

The ACT is independent of any state to prevent any one state from gaining an advantage by hosting the seat of Commonwealth power. The ACT has voting representation in the Commonwealth Parliament, and has its own Legislative Assembly and government, similar to the states.

As the city has a high proportion of public servants, the Commonwealth Government contributes the largest percentage of Gross State Product and is the largest single employer in Canberra, although no longer the majority employer. Compared to the national averages, the unemployment rate is lower and the average income higher; tertiary education levels are higher, while the population is younger. Property prices are relatively high, in part due to comparatively restrictive development regulations.

Divisions of the Australian House of Representatives

In Australia, electoral districts for the Australian House of Representatives are called divisions or more commonly referred to as electorates or seats. There are currently 150 single-member electorates for the Australian House of Representatives.

Flag of Australia

The flag of Australia is a defaced Blue Ensign: a blue field with the Union Jack in the canton (upper hoist quarter), and a large white seven-pointed star known as the Commonwealth Star in the lower hoist quarter. The fly contains a representation of the Southern Cross constellation, made up of five white stars – one small five-pointed star and four, larger, seven-pointed stars. There are other official flags representing Australia, its people and core functions of government.

The flag's original design (with a six-pointed Commonwealth Star) was chosen in 1901 from entries in a competition held following Federation, and was first flown in Melbourne on 3 September 1901, the date proclaimed as Australian National Flag Day. A slightly different design was approved by King Edward VII in 1903. The seven-pointed commonwealth star version was introduced by a proclamation dated 8 December 1908. The dimensions were formally gazetted in 1934, and in 1954 the flag became recognised by, and legally defined in, the Flags Act 1953, as the "Australian National Flag".

Government of Australia

The Government of Australia is the government of the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. It is also commonly referred to as the Australian Government, the Commonwealth Government, Her Majesty's Government, or the Federal Government.

The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states. The terms of this contract are embodied in the Australian Constitution, which was drawn up at a Constitutional Convention and ratified by the people of the colonies at referendums. The Australian head of state is the Queen of Australia who is represented by the Governor-General of Australia, with executive powers delegated by constitutional convention to the Australian head of government, the Prime Minister of Australia.

The Government of the Commonwealth of Australia is divided into three branches: the executive branch, composed of the Federal Executive Council, presided by the Governor-General, which delegates powers to the Cabinet of Australia, led by the Prime Minister; the legislative branch, composed of the Parliament of Australia's House of Representatives and Senate; and the judicial branch, composed of the High Court of Australia and the federal courts. Separation of powers is implied by the structure of the Constitution, the three branches of government being set out in separate chapters (chapters I to III). The Australian system of government combines elements of the Westminster and Washington systems with unique Australian characteristics, and has been characterised as a "Washminster mutation".

Indigenous Australians

Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous Australians is a matter of debate among researchers. The earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP.Although there are a number of commonalities between Indigenous Aboriginal Australians, there is also a great diversity among different Indigenous communities and societies in Australia, each with its own mixture of cultures, customs and languages. In present-day Australia these groups are further divided into local communities. At the time of initial European settlement, over 250 languages were spoken; it is currently estimated that 120 to 145 of these remain in use, but only 13 of these are not considered endangered. Aboriginal people today mostly speak English, with Aboriginal phrases and words being added to create Australian Aboriginal English (which also has a tangible influence of Indigenous languages in the phonology and grammatical structure). The population of Indigenous Australians at the time of permanent European settlement is contentious and has been estimated at between 318,000 and 1,000,000 with the distribution being similar to that of the current Australian population, the majority living in the south-east, centred along the Murray River. A population collapse principally from disease followed European settlement beginning with a smallpox epidemic spreading three years after the arrival of Europeans. Massacres and war by British settlers also contributed to depopulation. The characterisation of this violence as genocide is controversial and disputed.Since 1995, the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag have been among the official flags of Australia.

Israel Folau

Israel Folau (Tongan: Isileli Folau; born 3 April 1989) is an Australian professional rugby player who played for the New South Wales Waratahs in the Super Rugby. He has previously played professional rugby league and Australian rules football.

Folau played rugby league for the Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League (NRL) from 2007 to 2008, where he broke the record for most tries in a debut year. He then played with the Brisbane Broncos from 2009 to 2010. Playing as a wing or centre, Folau represented Queensland in the State of Origin and Australia, becoming the youngest player to play for both teams.

In 2011, Folau joined the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the Australian Football League (AFL) and played for two seasons. In December 2012, Folau announced he was to switch codes again, this time for rugby union, and signed a one-year contract with the Waratahs. He made his international debut for Australia in 2013 against the British & Irish Lions. "Israel Folau Street" was named in his honour on October 2010 in a suburb of Goodna, Ipswich, Queensland where Folau played junior rugby league.Following anti-gay comments made on his social media accounts in April 2019, Rugby Australia announced their intention to void Folau's contract and remove him permanently from the Australian national team. That same day the chairman of the Australian Rugby League, Peter Beattie, announced that Folau would be banned from any NRL team in the future.


Melbourne ( (listen) MEL-bərn) is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 5 million (19% of the population of Australia), and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".The city was founded on 30 August 1835, in the then-British colony of New South Wales, by free settlers from the colony of Van Diemen’s Land (modern-day Tasmania). It was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837 and named in honour of the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. In 1851, four years after Queen Victoria declared it a city, Melbourne became the capital of the new colony of Victoria. In the wake of the 1850s Victorian gold rush, the city entered a lengthy boom period that, by the late 1880s, had transformed it into one of the world's largest and wealthiest metropolises. After the federation of Australia in 1901, it served as interim seat of government of the new nation until Canberra became the permanent capital in 1927. Today, it is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region and ranks 15th in the Global Financial Centres Index.The city is home to many of the best-known cultural institutions in the nation, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. It is also the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries and Australian contemporary dance. More recently, it has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a global centre for street art, live music and theatre. It is the host city of annual international events such as the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup, and has also hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Due to it rating highly in entertainment, tourism and sport, as well as education, health care, research and development, the EIU currently ranks it the second most liveable city in the world.The main airport serving the city is Melbourne Airport (also referred to as Tullamarine Airport), which is the second busiest in Australia, and Australia's busiest seaport the Port of Melbourne. Its main metropolitan rail terminus is Flinders Street station and its main regional rail and road coach terminus is Southern Cross station. It also has the most extensive freeway network in Australia and the largest urban tram network in the world.

New South Wales

New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.The Colony of New South Wales was founded as a penal colony in 1788. It originally comprised more than half of the Australian mainland with its western boundary set at 129th meridian east in 1825. The colony also included the island territories of New Zealand, Van Diemen's Land, Lord Howe Island, and Norfolk Island. During the 19th century, most of the colony's area was detached to form separate British colonies that eventually became New Zealand and the various states and territories of Australia. However, the Swan River Colony has never been administered as part of New South Wales.

Lord Howe Island remains part of New South Wales, while Norfolk Island has become a federal territory, as have the areas now known as the Australian Capital Territory and the Jervis Bay Territory.


Qantas Airways (; ASX: QAN) is the flag carrier of Australia and its largest airline by fleet size, international flights and international destinations. It is the third oldest airline in the world, after KLM and Avianca having been founded in November 1920; it began international passenger flights in May 1935. The Qantas name comes from "QANTAS", an acronym for its original name, "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services", and it is nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo". Qantas is a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance.

The airline is based in the Sydney suburb of Mascot with its main hub at Sydney Airport. As of March 2014, Qantas had a 65% share of the Australian domestic market and carried 14.9% of all passengers travelling in and out of Australia. Various subsidiary airlines operate to regional centres and on some trunk routes within Australia under the QantasLink banner. Qantas also owns Jetstar Airways, a low-cost airline that operates both international services from Australia and domestic services within Australia and New Zealand; and holds stakes in a number of other Jetstar-branded airlines.

Royal Australian Air Force

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), formed March 1921, is the aerial warfare branch of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). It operates the majority of the ADF's fixed wing aircraft, although both the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy also operate aircraft in various roles. It directly continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps (AFC), formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF provides support across a spectrum of operations such as air superiority, precision strikes, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, air mobility, space surveillance, and humanitarian support.

The RAAF took part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts. During the early years of the Second World War a number of RAAF bomber, fighter, reconnaissance and other squadrons served in Britain, and with the Desert Air Force located in North Africa and the Mediterranean. From 1942, a large number of RAAF units were formed in Australia, and fought in South West Pacific Area. Thousands of Australians also served with other Commonwealth air forces in Europe, including during the bomber offensive against Germany. By the time the war ended, a total of 216,900 men and women served in the RAAF, of whom 10,562 were killed in action.Later the RAAF served in the Berlin Airlift, Korean War, Malayan Emergency, Indonesia–Malaysia Confrontation and Vietnam War. More recently, the RAAF has participated in operations in East Timor, the Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan, and the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The RAAF has 259 aircraft, of which 110 are combat aircraft.

States and territories of Australia

The states and territories are the first-level administrative divisions of the Commonwealth of Australia. They are the second level of government in Australia, located between the federal and local government tiers.

The country comprises six states: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. They retain a degree of sovereignty, being the successors of the previous Australian colonies. The states each have their own parliaments, able to legislate over certain residual and concurrent power areas.

Two of the three internal territories, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), function in reality as states themselves. The ACT and Northern Territory each possess their own level of self-government through their respective legislative assemblies, but instead derive their power from the Commonwealth, theoretically revocable at any time. The third internal territory, the Jervis Bay Territory, is a territory in its own right and is the product of Australia's complex relationship with its capital city. Rather than having the same level of autonomy as the states and the two other internal territories, Jervis Bay instead has services provided by arrangement from New South Wales and the ACT.

Australia also consists of seven external territories. These do not comprise Australia proper, but are nevertheless under Australian sovereignty. Only three of the external territories have a permanent population, and as a result, they are all directly administered by the federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (or the Department of the Environment and Energy in the case of the Australian Antarctic Territory). Norfolk Island was partially self-governing, until this was revoked in 2015.

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