Реферат "The land down under"
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Minsk State Linguistic University
The land down under
In this paper I will tell some fun facts about Australia, "The Land Down Under". Australia is the world's smallest continent but is also the sixth largest country in the world. If it is summer here then it's winter there! Australia has some incredibly hot weather and some of the world's greatest animals and forests. The hottest temperature actually reached 53.1C in 1889. If you want to go to Australia you should learn some of their unusual lingo. Yes, they do speak English but they have their own language for almost everything. Australia is referred to as "The Island Continent".
Australia ( /??stre?lj?/), officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Neighboring countries include Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the northeast and New Zealand to the southeast.
For at least 40,000 years before European settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who belonged to one or more of roughly 250 language groups. After discovery 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; the continent was explored and an additional five self-governing Crown Colonies were established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Since Federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system which functions as a federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The federation comprises six states and several territories. The population of 22.6 million is heavily concentrated in the Eastern states and is highly urbanized.
A highly developed country, Australia is the world's thirteenth largest economy and has the world's seventh-highest per capita income. Australia's military expenditure is the world's twelfth largest. With the second-highest human development index globally, Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Australia is a member of the G20, OECD, WTO, APEC, UN, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, and the Pacific Islands Forum. 
Pronounced [??st?ж?lj?, -li?] in Australian English, the name Australia is derived from the Latin australis, meaning "southern". The country has been referred to colloquially as Oz since the early 20th century. Aussie is a common colloquial term for "Australian".
Legends of Terra Australis Incognita--an "unknown land of the South"--date back to Roman times and were commonplace in medieval geography, although not based on any documented knowledge of the continent. Following European discovery, names for the Australian landmass were often references to the famed Terra Australis.
The flag of Australia is a defaced Blue Ensign: a blue field with the Union Flag 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.
The flag's original design was chosen in 1901 from entries in a worldwide competition held following Federation. It was first flown in Melbourne on 3 September 1901. A slightly different design was approved by King Edward VII in 1902. Over the next few years, the exact specifications of the flag were changed several times both intentionally and as a result of confusion. The current specifications were formally gazetted in 1934, and in 1954 the flag became recognized by, and legally defined in, the Flags Act 1953, as the "Australian National Flag".
Unusual Australian Facts
* Swimming - In 1838 it was declared illegal to swim at public beaches during the day! This law was enforced until 1902.
* The secret ballot was first used in Victoria and South Australia following the granting of responsible government. Other states introduced secret ballots as follows: 1856 - Victoria & South Australia 1858 - New South Wales & Tasmania 1859 - Queensland 1893 - Western Australia. The secret ballot was referred to as 'kangaroo voting'. World wide, secret voting is often referred to as the 'Australian ballot.
* Female vote - Australia was the second country to give women the vote.
* In 1932, Francis De Groot, a retired cavalry officer, managed to get himself selected as part of the honour guard at the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. When the ribbon was about to be cut, he galloped forward on his horse and slashed the ribbon with his sword, declaring the bridge open in the name of 'the decent citizens of New South Wales'. The ribbon was then tied back together and the ceremony continued. De Groot was carried off to a mental hospital, declared insane and later fined for the replacement cost of one ribbon.
* Independence for WA- In April 1933, 68 per cent of West Australians voted in favour of seceding from the Commonwealth of Australia. However, they needed permission from the British Parliament before they could officially become a new country. Meanwhile, Australia's Federal Parliament was arguing that Britain should not interfere in Australian politics. The end result was that Britain never made a decision. Consequently, Western Australian remained part of the Commonwealth.
* In 1954, Bob Hawke was immortalised by the Guinness Book of Records for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob later became the Prime Minister of Australia.
*Sir John Robertson, five times premier of New South Wales, drank a pint of rum every morning for 35 years. Later said: 'none of the men who have left footprints in this country have been cold water men.'
* Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim at Cheviot Beach, near Portsea on 17th December 1967, and was never seen again. The event has been referred to as 'the swim that needed no towel'.
* Until 1984, Australia's National anthem was "God save the Queen/King."
* Cartoonists - A cartoon is a drawing that makes a satirical, witty, or humorous point. On 17 July 1924, the world's first society of cartoonists, the Black and White Artists' Society, was formed in Sydney.
* Yowie sighting - In 1987, the Alice Springs police station received a call from a frightened family. The family had stopped for a cup of tea after a morning of rabbit hunting. Then a huge ape like creature, two meters tall and covered in hair, leapt out of an empty water tank and began walking towards them. The family fled to their truck and the creature ran after them before disappearing into the bush. The man, Frank Burns believed it was a man however the women, Phyllis Kenny, told the press she could tell the difference between man and beast and this was definitely a beast. The following day police searched the area and found a man, 203 centimetres tall weighing a estimated 127-159 kg (or about two Oprah Winfreys) sitting naked by the roadside. The man was then taken to a local mental hospital.
*Australia day - January 26, Australia day, is the anniversary of ships arriving in Sydney carrying a load of Convicts.
*Australia was the 3rd country, after the US and Russia, to launch a satellite into orbit. It was for the British, using a 'Blue Streak' rocket
*A census taken in 1828 found that half the population of NSW were Convicts, and that former Convicts made up nearly half of the free population.
*It is estimated that by the time transportation ended in 1868, 40 per cent of Australia's English-speaking population were convicts.
*In 2007, it was estimated that 22 per cent of living Australians had a convict ancestor.
*Convicts were not sent to Australia for serious crimes. Serious crimes, such as murder, rape, or impersonating an Egyptian were given the death sentence in England.
*Crimes punishable by transportation included recommending that politicians get paid, starting a union, stealing fish from a river or pond, embezzlement, receiving or buying stolen goods, setting fire to underwood, petty theft, or being suspected of supporting Irish terrorism.
* Alcohol- It has been reported that the first European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per head of population than any other community in the history of mankind.
* Police force - Australia's first police force was a band of 12 of the most well behaved Convicts.
* Mass moonings - In 1832, 300 female Convicts at the Cascade...