Moving ToAustralia

IF YOU'RE MOVING TO AUSTRALIA FROM SOUTH AFRICA, HAVING DECIDED THAT THE LAID-BACK LIFESTYLE AND STUNNING SCENERY OF AUSTRALIA ARE GOOD ENOUGH REASONS FOR PACKING YOUR BAGS AND LEAVING SOUTH AFRICA, YOU'D BE WELL-ADVISED TO SPEAK TO US ABOUT MOVING YOUR PERSONAL BELONGINGS AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

Points of Interest

Sydney Opera House

ULURU

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Darling Harbour

HISTORY

Aboriginal Australians arrived on the Australian mainland by sea from Maritime Southeast Asia between 40,000 and 70,000 years ago. The artistic, musical and spiritual traditions they established are among the longest surviving such traditions in human history. The first known landing in Australia by Europeans was by Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606. Twenty-nine other Dutch navigators explored the western and southern coasts in the 17th century, and dubbed the continent New Holland. Macassan trepangers visited Australia’s northern coasts after 1720, possibly earlier. Other European explorers followed until, in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook charted the east coast of Australia for Great Britain and returned with accounts favouring colonisation at Botany Bay (now in Sydney), New South Wales.

ECONOMY

The economy of Australia is highly developed and one of the largest mixed market economies in the world, with a GDP of AUD$1.69 trillion as of 2017. Australia is a wealthy country; it generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications, banking and manufacturing. It has a market economy, a relatively high GDP per capita, and a relatively low rate of poverty. In terms of average wealth, Australia ranked second in the world after Switzerland in 2013, although the nation’s poverty rate increased from 10.2% to 11.8%, from 2000/01 to 2013. Some of Australia’s large companies include but are not limited to: Wesfarmers, Woolworths, Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac, ANZ, Macquarie Group, Telstra and Caltex Australia. The currency of Australia and its territories is the Australian dollar which it shares with several Pacific nation states.

Government & Politics

Australia is a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II at its apex as the Queen of Australia, a role that is distinct from her position as monarch of the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen is represented in Australia by the Governor-General at the federal level and by the Governors at the state level, who by convention act on the advice of her ministers. Thus, in practice the Governor-General has no actual decision-making or de facto governmental role, and merely acts as a legal figurehead for the actions of the Prime Minister and the Federal Executive Council.

Geography

The geography of Australia encompasses a wide variety of biogeographic regions being the world’s smallest continent but the sixth-largest country in the world. The population of Australia is concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts. The geography of the country is extremely diverse, ranging from the snow-capped mountains of the Australian Alps and Tasmania to large deserts, tropical and temperate forests. Neighbouring countries include Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the French dependency of New Caledonia to the east, and New Zealand to the southeast.

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Culture

Since 1788, the primary influence behind Australian culture has been Anglo-Celtic Western culture, with some Indigenous influences. The divergence and evolution that has occurred in the ensuing centuries has resulted in a distinctive Australian culture. Since the mid-20th century, American popular culture has strongly influenced Australia, particularly through television and cinema. Other cultural influences come from neighbouring Asian countries, and through large-scale immigration from non-English-speaking nations.

Arts

Miles Franklin is the namesake of Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, awarded annually to the best novel about Australian life. Its first recipient, Patrick White, went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973. Australian winners of the Booker Prize include Peter Carey, Thomas Keneally and Richard Flanagan. Author David Malouf, playwright David Williamson and poet Les Murray are also renowned literary figures.

Many of Australia’s performing arts companies receive funding through the federal government’s Australia Council. There is a symphony orchestra in each state, and a national opera company, Opera Australia, well known for its famous soprano Joan Sutherland. At the beginning of the 20th century, Nellie Melba was one of the world’s leading opera singers. Ballet and dance are represented by The Australian Ballet and various state companies. Each state has a publicly funded theatre company.

Media

The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), the world’s first feature length film, spurred a boom in Australian cinema during the silent film era. After World War I, Hollywood monopolised the industry, and by the 1960s Australian film production had effectively ceased. With the benefit of government support, the Australian New Wave of the 1970s brought provocative and successful films, many exploring themes of national identity, such as Wake in Fright and Gallipoli, while “Crocodile” Dundee and the Ozploitation movement’s Mad Max series became international blockbusters.

Australia has two public broadcasters (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the multicultural Special Broadcasting Service), three commercial television networks, several pay-TV services, and numerous public, non-profit television and radio stations. Each major city has at least one daily newspaper, and there are two national daily newspapers, The Australian and The Australian Financial Review.

Cuisine

Miles Franklin is the namesake of Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, awarded annually to the best novel about Australian life. Its first recipient, Patrick White, went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973. Australian winners of the Booker Prize include Peter Carey, Thomas Keneally and Richard Flanagan. Author David Malouf, playwright David Williamson and poet Les Murray are also renowned literary figures.

Many of Australia’s performing arts companies receive funding through the federal government’s Australia Council. There is a symphony orchestra in each state, and a national opera company, Opera Australia, well known for its famous soprano Joan Sutherland. At the beginning of the 20th century, Nellie Melba was one of the world’s leading opera singers. Ballet and dance are represented by The Australian Ballet and various state companies. Each state has a publicly funded theatre company.

Sports & Recreations

The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), the world’s first feature length film, spurred a boom in Australian cinema during the silent film era. After World War I, Hollywood monopolised the industry, and by the 1960s Australian film production had effectively ceased. With the benefit of government support, the Australian New Wave of the 1970s brought provocative and successful films, many exploring themes of national identity, such as Wake in Fright and Gallipoli, while “Crocodile” Dundee and the Ozploitation movement’s Mad Max series became international blockbusters.

Australia has two public broadcasters (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the multicultural Special Broadcasting Service), three commercial television networks, several pay-TV services, and numerous public, non-profit television and radio stations. Each major city has at least one daily newspaper, and there are two national daily newspapers, The Australian and The Australian Financial Review.

Demographic

Language
Religion
Education

Language

Australian English

A major variety of the English language, used throughout Australia. Although English has no official status in the Constitution, Australian English is the country’s national and de facto official language as it is the first language of the majority of the population.

Australian English began to diverge from British English after the founding of the Colony of New South Wales in 1788 and was recognized as being different from British English by 1820. It arose from the intermingling of early settlers from a great variety of mutually intelligible dialectal regions of the British Isles and quickly developed into a distinct variety of English, which differs considerably from other varieties of English in vocabulary, accent, pronunciation, register, grammar and spelling.

RELIGION

Australia has no state religion. Section 116 of the Australian Constitution prohibits the federal government from making any law to establish any religion, impose any religious observance, or prohibit the free exercise of any religion.

52.1% of Australians were counted as Christian, including 22.6% as Roman Catholic and 13.3% as Anglican; 30.1% of the population reported having “no religion”; 7.3% identify with non-Christian religions

HEALTH

The third and seventh highest life expectancy of males and females respectively in the world.

Medicare is Australia’s universal health care system, which is the primary health scheme that subsidizes most medical costs in Australia for all Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Medical costs of visitors to Australia may be covered by travel insurance or under a reciprocal health agreement. In addition, people who are not covered by the Medicare scheme or wish to be covered for out-of-pocket medical or hospital costs can take out voluntary private health insurance, which is also subsidized by the federal government.

In addition to Medicare, there is a separate Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme funded by the federal government which considerably subsidizes a range of prescription medications.

EDUCATION

School attendance, or registration for home schooling, is compulsory throughout Australia. Education is the responsibility of the individual states and territories so the rules vary between states, but in general children are required to attend school from the age of about 5 until about 16.

In some states (e.g., Western Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales), children aged 16–17 are required to either attend school or participate in vocational training, such as an apprenticeship.

Australia has 37 government-funded universities and two private universities, as well as a number of other specialist institutions that provide approved courses at the higher education level.

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