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Portal:Australia

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Coat of Arms of Australia.svg

Australia (/əˈstrliə, ɒ-/ (About this sound listen)), 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. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney.

For about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who in documented times have spoken languages classifiable into roughly 250 groups. After the European discovery of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, 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. 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 several territories.

Australia has the world's 13th-largest economy and tenth-highest per capita income (IMF). With the second-highest human development index globally, the country ranks highly in quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and civil liberties and political rights. Australia is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the Pacific Islands Forum. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia has the world's 9th largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population.

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Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet in 1945.

Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet (3 September 1899 – 31 August 1985), usually known as Macfarlane or Mac Burnet, was an Australian virologist best known for his contributions to immunology. Burnet received his M.D. from the University of Melbourne in 1924, and his PhD from the University of London in 1928. He went on to conduct pioneering research on bacteriophages and viruses at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, and served as director of the Institute from 1944 to 1956. His virology research resulted in significant discoveries concerning their nature and replication and their interaction with the immune system. Burnet was co-recipient of the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for demonstrating acquired immune tolerance, research which later provided the platform for developing methods of transplanting organs. For his contributions to Australian science, he was made the first Australian of the Year in 1960, and in 1978 a Knight of the Order of Australia. He was recognised internationally for his achievements: in addition to the Nobel, he received the Lasker Award and the Royal and Copley Medals from the Royal Society, honorary doctorates, and distinguished service honours from the Commonwealth and Japan.

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A view of Manly Beach looking North from above the Manly Surf Lifesaving Club at the Southern end of the beach.

Manly Beach is a well-known beach situated off Manly in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney. There are three main sections known as Queenscliff, North Steyne, and South Steyne, from North to South. Located near Sydney Harbour National Park, it is the city's most popular beach after Bondi.

Photo credit: Petesmiles

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19 July:

Members of the Australian 53rd Battalion on July 19, 1916 before the Battle of Fromelles. Only three of the men pictured survived the battle; all three were wounded.

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For a topic outline on this subject, see Outline of Australia.

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