Enclosed by theIndian and South Pacific Ocean lies the smallest continent and thesixth-largest country in the world, Australia.
Home to many unique plants and animals,Australia is a beauty like no other. From its dazzling beaches to its blazinghot deserts, Australia is a fascinating country with an endless number of placesto explore. However, Australia is not just a beautiful landscape.
Australia hasa fascinating history, interesting current events, and a rich literaryhistory. Similar to manyislands in the Pacific Ocean, Australia was inhabited long before Britishsettlers arrived. According to Robert Prosser in his book “Countries of theWorld Australia”, “The first inhabitants were the Aborigines, who migrated fromSoutheast Asia at least 50,000 years ago.
In 1788 approximately 300,000Aborigines were scattered across the country in seminomadic groups. Today manyAborigines remain, though their lifestyles have largely changed” (9). Relatingto this Survival International writes,Evidence suggeststhat these communities managed their environment carefully to ensure a steadysupply of food, bringing wild yams into gardens which they irrigated, forexample.
Those aboriginal tribes who lived inland in the bush and the desertlived by hunting and gathering, burning the undergrowth to encourage the growthof plants favored by the game they hunted. They were experts in seeking outwater. Like the culture and the people in Hawai?i, Aborigineshad a close relationship with the land. Prosser insists that, “According totradition, the homeland belonged to the tribal group (not individuals) andpossessed deep religious meaning” (24). European settlementin Eastern Australia in 1788 brought disaster and tragedy to the Aboriginalpeople and their culture. Prosser states, They were pushedoff their lands and denied legal rights. Government and missionary policiesdiscouraged or banned traditional ways of life and even languages. Aboriginalpeoples had no resistance to diseases such as small pox and measles, which wereintroduced by Europeans.
Europeans misunderstood Australian conditions. Theyoverused the land, killed wildlife and sapped water supplies. They degraded theenvironmental resources on which Aboriginals depended. (24)Many Aborigines were killed bydiseases brought by the Europeans which greatly reduced their numbers.
In anattempt to erase their culture and language aboriginal children were taken fromtheir families and raised by white families. Similar to what happened to otherPacific Islanders, Aborigines almost lost their culture and their way of life. Sadly,Aborigines still face racist… They still struggle to revive their culture tothis day.
Apart from its beauty, Australia, likeevery other country around the world, has many economic, social, andenvironmental issues. A substantial economic issue that Australians face todayis the expensive cost of living there. Mccrindleclaims that,88% of Australians feel the cost ofliving pressures are greater today than 5 years ago. While Western Australiahad the same percentage as the national average when analyzing the increaseoverall, in the extreme increase category it had the highest response at 63%(compared to the national average of 47%). The strongest response overall wasgiven by South Australians, with 95% feeling an increase in cost of livingpressures” (2). Sydney, a major city in Australia,is one of the top 25 most expensive cities to live in the world. With gas andpower bills being ranked first in cost increases, followed by grocery prices,water bills, health-care costs, housing costs, and education expenses.
ManyAustralians report that the cost of these utilities rising has had a majorimpact on their cost of living. ____ reports,More Tasmaniansthan other Australians report paying power and gas bill that have increasedsignificantly in price in the last 5 years. In a similar way, respondents fromthe ACT report high cost increases in the cost of housing over the last 5 yearswhen compared to other states (78% report that they’ve experienced costincreases that have had a significant impact on their cost of living, comparedto the national average of 43%).