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Australian Union Day

Australia, the smallest continent and one of the largest countries on Earth, lying between the Pacific and Indian oceans in the Southern Hemisphere. Australia’s capital is Canberra, located in the southeast between the larger and more important economic and cultural centres of Sydney and Melbourne. The Australian mainland extends from west to east for nearly 2,500 miles (4,000 km) and from Cape York Peninsula in the northeast to Wilsons Promontory in the southeast for nearly 2,000 miles (3,200 km). To the south, Australian jurisdiction extends a further 310 miles (500 km) to the southern extremity of the island of Tasmania, and in the north it extends to the southern shores of Papua New Guinea. Australia is separated from Indonesia to the northwest by the Timor and Arafura seas, from Papua New Guinea to the northeast by the Coral Sea and the Torres Strait, from the Coral Sea Islands Territory by the Great Barrier Reef, from New Zealand to the southeast by the Tasman Sea, and from Antarctica in the far south by the Indian Ocean. Australia has been called “the Oldest Continent,” “the Last of Lands,” and “the Last Frontier.” Those descriptions typify the world’s fascination with Australia, but they are somewhat unsatisfactory. In simple physical terms, the age of much of the continent is certainly impressive—most of the rocks providing the foundation of Australian landforms were formed during Precambrian and Paleozoic time (some 4.6 billion to 252 million years ago)—but the ages of the cores of all the continents are approximately the same. On the other hand, whereas the landscape history of extensive areas in Europe and North America has been profoundly influenced by events and processes that occurred since late in the last Ice Age—roughly the past 25,000 years—in Australia scientists use a more extensive timescale that takes into account the great antiquity of the continent’s landscape. Australia is the last of lands only in the sense that it was the last continent, apart from Antarctica, to be explored by Europeans. At least 60,000 years before European explorers sailed into the South Pacific, the first Aboriginal explorers had arrived from Asia, and by 20,000 years ago they had spread throughout the mainland and its chief island outlier, Tasmania. When Captain Arthur Phillip of the British Royal Navy landed with the First Fleet at Botany Bay in 1788, there may have been between 250,000 and 500,000 Aboriginals, though some estimates are much higher. Largely nomadic hunters and gatherers, the Aboriginals had already transformed the primeval landscape, principally by the use of fire, and, contrary to common European perceptions, they had established robust, semipermanent settlements in well-favoured localities. The American-style concept of a national “frontier” moving outward along a line of settlement is also inappropriate. There was, rather, a series of comparatively independent expansions from the margins of the various colonies, which were not joined in an independent federated union until 1901. Frontier metaphors were long employed to suggest the existence of yet another extension of Europe and especially of an outpost of Anglo-Celtic culture in the distant “antipodes.” The most striking characteristics of the vast country are its global isolation, its low relief, and the aridity of much of its surface. If, like the English novelist D.H. Lawrence, visitors from the Northern Hemisphere are at first overwhelmed by “the vast, uninhabited land and by the grey charred bush…so phantom-like, so ghostly, with its tall, pale trees and many dead trees, like corpses,” they should remember that to Australians the bush—that sparsely populated Inland or Outback beyond the Great Dividing Range of mountains running along the Pacific coast and separating it from the cities in the east—is familiar and evokes nostalgia. It still retains some of the mystical quality it had for the first explorers searching for inland seas and great rivers, and it remains a symbol of Australia’s strength and independence; the Outback poem by A.B. (“Banjo”) Paterson, “Waltzing Matilda,” is the unofficial national anthem of Australia known the world over. Australia’s isolation from other continents explains much of the singularity of its plant and animal life. Its unique flora and fauna include hundreds of kinds of eucalyptus trees and the only egg-laying mammals on Earth, the platypus and echidna. Other plants and animals associated with Australia are various acacias (Acacia pycnantha [golden wattle] is the national flower) and dingoes, kangaroos, koalas, and kookaburras. The Great Barrier Reef, off the east coast of Queensland, is the greatest mass of coral in the world and one of the world’s foremost tourist attractions. The country’s low relief results from the long and extensive erosive action of the forces of wind, rain, and the heat of the sun during the great periods of geologic time when the continental mass was elevated well above sea level. Isolation is also a pronounced characteristic of much of the social landscape beyond the large coastal cities. But an equally significant feature of modern Australian society is the representation of a broad spectrum of cultures drawn from many lands, a development stemming from immigration that is transforming the strong Anglo-Celtic orientation of Australian culture. Assimilation, of course, is seldom a quick and easy process, and minority rights, multiculturalism, and race-related issues have played a large part in contemporary Australian politics. In the late 1990s these issues sparked a conservative backlash. Australia has a federal form of government, with a national government for the Commonwealth of Australia and individual state governments (those of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania). Each state has a constitution, and its government exercises a limited degree of sovereignty. There are also two internal territories: Northern Territory, established as a self-governing territory in 1978, and the Australian Capital Territory (including the city of Canberra), which attained self-governing status in 1988. The federal authorities govern the external territories of Norfolk Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island, Ashmore and Cartier islands, the Coral Sea Islands, and Heard Island and McDonald Islands and claim the Australian Antarctic Territory, an area larger than Australia itself. Papua New Guinea, formerly an Australian external territory, gained its independence in 1975. Historically part of the British Empire and now a member of the Commonwealth, Australia is a relatively prosperous independent country. Australians are in many respects fortunate in that they do not share their continent—which is only a little smaller than the United States—with any other country. Extremely remote from their traditional allies and trading partners—it is some 12,000 miles (19,000 km) from Australia to Great Britain via the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal and about 7,000 miles (11,000 km) across the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of the United States—Australians have become more interested in the proximity of huge potential markets in Asia and in the highly competitive industrialized economies of China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Australia, the continent and the country, may have been quite isolated at the beginning of the 20th century, but it entered the 21st century a culturally diverse land brimming with confidence, an attitude encouraged by the worldwide fascination with the land “Down Under” and demonstrated when Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympic Games. Geologic history The earliest known manifestations of the geologic record of the Australian continent are 4.4-billion-year-old detrital grains of zircon in metasedimentary rocks that were deposited from 3.7 to 3.3 billion years ago. Based on that and other findings, the Precambrian rocks in Australia have been determined to range in age from about 3.7 billion to 541 million years (i.e., to the end of Precambrian time). They are succeeded by rocks of the Paleozoic Era, which extended to about 252 million years ago; of the Mesozoic Era, which lasted until about 66 million years ago; and of the Cenozoic Era, the past 66 million years. For millions of years Australia was part of the supercontinent of Pangaea and subsequently its southern segment, Gondwanaland (or Gondwana). Its separate existence was finally assured by the severing of the last connection between Tasmania and Antarctica, but it has been drifting toward the Southeast Asian landmass. As a continent, Australia thus encompasses two extremes: on the one hand, it contains the oldest known earth material while, on the other, it has stood as a free continent only since about 35 million years ago and is in the process—in terms of geologic time—of merging with Asia, so that its life span as a continent will be of relatively short duration. (See also geochronology: Geologic history of the Earth.) General considerations - Tectonic framework The map of the structural features of Australia and the surrounding region shows the distribution of the main tectonic units. The primary distinction is between the plates of oceanic lithosphere, generated within the past 160 million years by seafloor spreading at the oceanic ridges, and the continental lithosphere, accumulated over the past 4 billion years. (The lithosphere is the outer rock shell of the Earth that consists of the crust and the uppermost portion of the underlying mantle; see plate tectonics.) The largest area of oldest rocks is the Western Shield, comprising the western half of the continent, which has been eroded to a low relief. The youngest rocks are found in the growing fold belt of the Banda arcs and in New Guinea at the boundary between the Indian-Australian plate and the Eurasian and Pacific plates. The modern fold belts are separated from Australia by a “moat” (the Timor Trough) and a wide shelf (the Timor and Arafura seas). The northern half of the Australian margin is completed by the North West Shelf and the Exmouth Plateau on the west and by the Great Barrier Reef and the Queensland Plateau on the east. Precambrian rocks occupy three tectonic environments. The first is in shields, such as the Yilgarn and Pilbara blocks of the Western Shield, enclosed by later orogenic (mountain) belts. The second is as the basement to a younger cover of Phanerozoic sediment (deposited during the past 541 million years); for example, all the sedimentary basins west of the Tasman Line are underlain by Precambrian basement. The third is as relicts in younger orogenic belts, as in the Georgetown Inlier of northern Queensland and in the western half of Tasmania. Rocks of Paleozoic age occur either in flat-lying sedimentary basins, such as the Canning Basin, or within belts, such as the east–west-trending Amadeus Transverse Zone and north-trending Tasman Fold Belt. Mesozoic and Cenozoic rocks occur in widely distributed (though poorly exposed) basins onshore (the Great Artesian Basin in the eastern centre). Offshore they occur on the western, southern, and eastern margins, including beneath Bass Strait, which separates Australia from Tasmania, and to the north in the submerged ground between the Banda arcs/New Guinea and the mainland. More … Source: https://www.britannica.com/place/Australia

AUSTRALIA THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE | BEST PLACES TO VISIT | TOP ATTRACTIONS

Australia is a wild and beautiful place, a land whose color palette of red outback sands and Technicolor reefs frames sophisticated cities and soulful Indigenous stories. Top Attractions: Sydney Opera House Sydney Harbor Bridge Great Ocean Road Melbourne

Australian Aboriginal Art in Prague

Aboriginal Art in Prague Exhibition starts this Friday at 7 p.m. at Oko Bistro in #Vinohrady. A side event of the 8th Aussie & Kiwi Film Fest and an unique opportunity to see Australian contemporary Indigenous fine art in the Czech Republic.

AnzacDay

It was an honour to commemorate #ANZACDay2021 in Warsaw today with New Zealand Ambassador and with strong support from our kind Polish hosts. 🇦🇺🇵🇱🇳🇿 #LestWeForget #wewillrememberthem.

Dear Australians and New Zealanders

As you may know, every year on Anzac Day, 25 April, the Australian and New Zealand Embassies, with the generous support of the Warsaw Garrison, have traditionally held a public Anzac Day ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw. The ceremony has been well-attended by representatives of the Polish Government, the diplomatic community, veterans’ groups, and the local Australian and New Zealand community.

Spotkanie Marszałek Sejmu z Ambasadorem Australii

We wtorek 9 lutego wizytę u marszałek Sejmu Elżbiety Witek złożył ambasador Związku Australijskiego Lloyd David Hargreave Brodrick. W trakcie rozmowy poruszono m.in. tematy bezpieczeństwa i współpracy gospodarczej. Rozmówcy wyrazili przekonanie, iż niezależnie od odległości geograficznej, Polskę i Australię łączą wspólne wartości demokratyczne oraz interesy strategiczne w dziedzinie bezpieczeństwa, w tym przywiązanie do porządku międzynarodowego opartego na prawie oraz silne więzi sojusznicze z USA.

Australian Union Day

History of Australian unions What is a union? Unions are the organisations that workers create when they come together to get a fair go at work. When you are in a union you always know that someone has your back. Unions reflect the fact that workers are stronger when they stick together. Throughout Australia’s history, unions have given working people a voice in their workplaces, but also in broader society. If you believe in the fair go and a better deal for working people, then join your union today. The origins of Australia’s union movement: 1791 – 1900 The British invasion and colonisation of Australia was based upon the violent displacement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from their land. From the outset, the Indigenous owners resisted this colonisation by the British. Early colonial life was underpinned by the transportation of convicts to Australia to serve terms of imprisonment and to be used as forced labour. The convicts were subject to brutal conditions and strict punishment if they stepped out of line. But harsh conditions create rebels. As early as 1791 there is evidence of convicts taking strike action to demand that their rations be distributed weekly. The most substantial act of convict resistance came in 1804 when a group of deportees, mostly from Ireland, launched an all-out rebellion in New South Wales. Inspired by the Irish independence movement, these convicts broke from their imprisonment and planned an armed uprising. They gathered at Rouse Hill, which they renamed Vinegar Hill in tribute to one of the most famous battles during the Irish revolution of 1798. The Australian Vinegar Hill rebels experienced a similar fate to their Irish counterparts, crushed by British military might. But it was clear that colonial authorities could not ill-treat the convicts without fear of reaction. Indigenous resistance and convict mutiny established a tradition of opposition to power and privilege in Australia. As the economy grew in the 1820s a recognisable working class formed and began to add to this rebellious legacy. In 1824 coopers went on strike, using a picket line for the first time in the country. In 1829 typographers on the Australian newspaper struck for higher wages. Workers in other trades soon followed: bakers, shoemakers, carpenters, seamen, and even whalers. All protested low wages and poor conditions by banding together and withdrawing their labour. Colonial authorities were outraged at this impertinence and sought to keep working people in “their place”. In 1828 New South Wales introduced its Masters’ and Servants Act, under which the refusal to work could end in prosecution. In the 1830s labourers formed societies to represent their interests. These weren’t quite unions as we know them today. They were much smaller, usually having only 20 – 60 members, and were mainly concerned with pooling funds to protect against sickness and unemployment. Between 1830 and 1850 around twenty workers’ societies were founded in Sydney and about a dozen in Melbourne. Though not massive in number they started an important trend of working people coming together to protect their own interests. This reached a new level in the 1850s. The Gold Rush of that decade saw an explosion of wealth in the colony of Victoria and a mass migration down under. Many of these new migrants had been activists in the British labour movement or the Irish independence struggle. They came seeking greater freedom and the opportunity to make a fortune under new skies. The reality did not always match expectation. Miners on the gold fields, the diggers, were soon disaffected by colonial rule. Miners could not own the land that they worked and were at constant threat of eviction. They were forced to purchase an expensive license issued by the police at often extortionate rates. More …. Score: https://www.actu.org.au/about-the-actu/history-of-australian-unions

Ambasador Australii z wizytą w krakowskim magistracie

Gospodarka i pandemia COVID-19 były głównymi tematami pierwszej oficjalnej wizyty Ambasadora Australii Lloyda Brodricka w Krakowie, która odbyła się w dniu 29 września 2020 r. Ambasador Brodrick swoją misję w Polsce rozpoczął w październiku 2019 r. Małopolskę odwiedzał już wcześniej, uczestnicząc m.in. w uroczystościach rocznicowych w byłym obozie Auschwitz-Birkenau i zwiedzając nasze miasto wraz z rodziną.

Wizyta ambasadora Australii w Instytucie Pamięci Narodowej

Dr Mateusz Szpytma, zastępca prezesa IPN, spotkał się w siedzibie Instytutu z ambasadorem Australii w Polsce Lloydem Brodrickiem. Spotkanie odbyło się z inicjatywy strony australijskiej. Ambasador Brodrick, zainteresowany historią Polski i specyfiką działalności IPN, zadał wiele pytań o zakres, charakter i sposób funkcjonowania instytucji.

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