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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. Australia is the largest country by area in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country. Australia is the oldest, flattest, and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils. It is a megadiverse country, and its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes and climates, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east, tropical savannas in the north, and mountain ranges in the south-east.

The ancestors of Aboriginal Australians began arriving from south-east Asia approximately 65,000 years ago, during the last ice age. Arriving by sea, they settled the continent and had formed approximately 250 distinct language groups by the time of European settlement, maintaining some of the longest known continuing artistic and religious traditions in the world. Australia's written history commenced with the European maritime exploration of Australia. The Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon was the first known European to reach Australia, in 1606. In 1770, the British explorer James Cook mapped and claimed the east coast of Australia for Great Britain, and the First Fleet of British ships arrived at Sydney in 1788 to establish the penal colony of New South Wales. The European population grew in subsequent decades, and by the end of the 1850s gold rush, most of the continent had been explored by European settlers and an additional five self-governing British colonies established. Democratic parliaments were gradually established through the 19th century, culminating with a vote for the federation of the six colonies and foundation of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901. This began a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom, highlighted by the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942, and culminating in the Australia Act 1986.

Australia is a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Australia's population of nearly 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Canberra is the nation's capital, while its most populous city and financial centre is Sydney.The next four largest cities are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. It is ethnically diverse and multicultural, the product of large-scale immigration, with almost half of the population having one parent born overseas. Australia's abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade relations are crucial to the country's economy, which generates its income from various sources including services, mining exports, banking, manufacturing, agriculture and international education. Australia ranks amongst the highest in the world for quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights.

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The Barry Sheene Medal is an annual award honouring the achievements of a driver in the Supercars Championship, an Australian touring car series. Tony Cochrane, the chairman of the championship's organising body Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company (AVESCO), instigated the award in 2003. The medal is named after the two-time Grand Prix motorcycle world champion and motor racing television commentator Barry Sheene. It is presented to the driver adjudged to have displayed "outstanding leadership, media interaction, character, personality, fan appeal and sportsmanship throughout the season". A panel of motor racing journalists individually award three drivers scores of three, two and one points after every event of the season. The results are announced at the series' end-of-season gala in Sydney. (Full article...)
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Faith Leech 1956.jpg
Leech at 1956 Olympics
Faith Yvonne Leech (31 March 1941 – 14 September 2013) was an Australian freestyle swimmer who won a gold medal in the 4×100–metre freestyle relay and bronze in the 100-metre freestyle at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. (Full article...)

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21 April 2023 –
Wreckage of the Imperial Japanese Navy ship SS Montevideo Maru, sunk during World War II, is found after 81 years in the South China Sea, off the coast of Luzon Island. The ship, which was carrying over 1,000 prisoners of war, including 850 Australian POWs, represented the largest loss of life for the Australian armed forces during the Second World War. (CNN)
20 April 2023 – Solar eclipse of April 20, 2023
A hybrid solar eclipse occurs across the South Pacific in Australia, East Timor, and Indonesia. (The New York Times) (People)
17 April 2023 – Recycling in Australia
Further sites of illicit soft plastic storage are found in Sydney after the collapse of commercial plastic recycler REDcycle. After taking $20 million from Coles and Woolworths to recycle soft plastics at 2,000 locations, the company instead stored 12,000 tonnes of plastics at more than 44 locations across Australia. (9 News) (The Guardian)
13 April 2023 – 2022–23 Australian region cyclone season
Cyclone Ilsa
Cyclone Ilsa makes landfall between De Grey and Pardoo Roadhouse in Western Australia, Australia, as a category five cyclone. (ABC News Australia)
1 April 2023 –
Professor Alan Jamieson of the University of Western Australia's Minderoo-UWA Deep Sea Research Centre announces that his team has captured footage of a snailfish species, Pseudoliparis belyaevi, swimming at 8,336 metres (27,349 ft) in the Izu–Ogasawara Trench off Japan's southern coast. This is the lowest depth recorded for any fish, and closest to the estimated maximum depth possible for fish to survive. (BBC News)

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Consider joining WikiProject Australia, a WikiProject dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of topics related to Australia. The project page and its subpages contain suggestions on formatting and style of articles, which can be discussed at the project's notice board. To participate, simply add your name to the project members page.

As of 2 May 2023, there are 197,704 articles within the scope of WikiProject Australia. Including non-article pages, such as talk pages, redirects, categories, etcetera, there are 493,986 pages in the project.

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This page was last updated at 2023-05-02 14:09 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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