HISTORY Australia's Aboriginal people, the original inhabitants of the Australian continent, arrived from Asia at least 50,000 years ago. Parts of the continent were mapped by Dutch navigators in the seventeenth century and by French and British navigators the following century, but it was not until 1770 that Captain James Cook charted the east coast and claimed it for Britain. From 1788, Britain established penal colonies in New South Wales and Tasmania and later in Western Australia. Free settlers followed in increasing numbers, gradually outnumbering convicts
Australia’s Aboriginal people are the first inhabitants of Australia and arrived from Asia at least 50.000 years ago. They formed many different tribes and were largely nomadic hunters. There are now about 400.000 Aborigines living in Australia, about 2% of the population.
Ayer’s Rock or Uluru is the largest monolith in the world and is sacred to the Aborigines.
The boomerang is the most famous weapon of the Aborigines used not only for hunting but also for warfare. Their most popular musical instrument is the didgeridoo used in ceremonies and funerals.
WILDLIFE-ANIMALS OF AUSTRALIA Kangaroos are herbivores, and they eat a wide variety of plants, including grasses, shrubs, tree leaves. A kangaroo can grow to between 1 to 3 meters tall, and they can weigh between 18 to 100 kilograms, depending on the species.
Koalas are herbivorous marsupials and mainly eat the leaves from eucalyptus trees.
The Tasmanian Devil is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world.
The Platypus is a semiaquatic mammal which lays eggs instead of giving birth.
The Great White Shark is the most dangerous shark in the world.
The Mulga Snake is the most venomous snake in Australia and one of the deadliest in the world.
BIGGEST CITIES IN AUSTRALIA SYDNEY is the biggest city in Australia, famous for the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House.
MELBOURNE is a multicultural city, an important financial centre and the cultural capital of Australia.
ADELAIDE is the capital of South Australia and is considered the most liveable city in Australia.
PERTH is the capital of Western Australia and is the most isolated city in Australia because it is so far away from the other cities.
FAMOUS SIGHTS IN AUSTRALIA The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system in the world covering an area of 2.300 kilometres and is considered as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island located off the coast of South Australia.
Coober Pedy is a mining town in the desert famous for its underground residences.
The Great Ocean Road, which stretches along the eastern coast, was built by Australian soldiers dedicated to those who died in World War 1 and is one of the most important tourist attractions in Australia.
GREEKS IN AUSTRALIA The first Greek migrants arrived in Australia in the 1850s. The main reason for this is because the Greeks were attracted to the discovery of gold in the country. In 1901 there were 878 native Greeks living in Australia, many of whom were employed in shops and restaurants. From then on the number of Greeks immigrating to Australia increased steadily and there were big Greek communities in Melbourne and Sydney.
The Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne was founded in 1897 and in 1901 the Greek Orthodox Church was established. The first Greek language newspaper was issued in 1913. The Greek community in Australia is estimated at 600,000 -700.000 most of which live in Melbourne (47%) and Sydney(27%). Today there are thousands notable Greek Australians in business, education, films, journalism, music, sports and politics.