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17. Other English speaking countries of your choice

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17. Other English speaking countries of your choice – Australia Location, borders Administrative division (states / regions / islands) Geographical features: mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, national parks Major cities (know / show at least 3) The political system / government / flag Typical sports Culture / festivals and holidays / food / famous people Nationalities / languages Fauna / flora Geography Australia is a continent between the Indian and the Southern Pacific Ocean. It is the smallest continent in the world, but the world's 6th largest country. Much of the centre of Australia is flat (=plochý, rovnatý), but there are some mountains of which Uluru (Ayers Rock) is the best known. Australia's climate is quite different from the rest of the world. It is the driest inhabited continent on earth, and the center of the country has one of the lowest rainfall rates in the world. About three−quarters of the country can be described as arid or semi−arid. History Aborigines and Torres Straight Islanders were the original Australians. Different languages and cultures varied between the groups, depending on which part of the country they lived in. Beginning in 1606, European explorers discovered the huge island, but it wasn't until 1770, that British Captain James Cook made a scientific voyage to the South Pacific and mapped Australia's eastern coast. He was the first to claim the country for Britain. The British decided to use its new country as a penal colony(=trestanecká kolonie), meaning they would keep prisoners there. In 1788, 11 ships carrying 1500 people, mostly convicts(=trestanci), arrived in what is now known as Sydney Harbor. Life in the prison was brutal. The prisoners had to work hard and experienced cruel physical punishment for not following orders. In 1868 were the transports of women and men stopped. Unfortunately, the new settlers disrupted(=narušili)the lifestyle of the indigenous(=domorodý)people and many became sick from new illnesses and died. In 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia was founded and the six colonies (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania) federated as sovereign(=suverénní)states. Political system A federation in 1901 united the six states under a single constitution. It now has a federal government that operates as a democratic, federal state system that recognizes the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. People About 70 per cent of the population lives in the country's large cities such as Melbourne and Sydney. English is the common language, however more than 200 languages are spoken throughout the country. Holidays Australia celebrates Australia Day on January 26, to remember the day the first British ships came to the country in 1788. At the end of April, the country celebrates Anzac Day, to remember Australian and New Zealand soldiers killed in battles. The Queen's Birthday is celebrated on the second Monday of June in all of Australia except Western Australia, which celebrates it in late September. Sydney Sydney might not be the capital of Australia, but it’s probably the best known city. It’s the largest city in the country and an important financial and cultural centre. Thanks to an unique location alongside a spectacular natural harbour on the hills surrounding Port Jackson, Sydney is often called theHarbour City. Sydney was used as a penal (prison) settlement from 1788 until 1850. In the 1850s a new wave of people arrived in the city. Many of them were searching for gold. They included the first Chinese immigrants, who opened small businesses in the city. The city’s population continued to grow in the 20th century, attracting people from all over the world. In the seventies, many famous Australian bands such as Midnight Oil or and AC/DC started their careers in the city. In more recent years, Sydney has become a popular place to make films. Some Hollywood blockbusters (successful films) that were shot there include The Matrix, Mission Impossible II and the Star Wars prequels. Locally, Rugby League is extremely popular and Sydney has several rugby teams. For many people, the most famous sporting event was the Olympic Games in 2000. Today, Sydney is a popular tourist destination. People come to see the landmarks and to enjoy the mild climate, relaxed atmosphere and truly cosmopolitan culture. Sydney is known for its famous landmark on the waterfront which is the Sydney Opera House. It is admired for its dramatic roof, which was designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon to resemble(=vypadá)the sails of a ship. In 2007, the Sydney Opera House was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a masterpiece of 20th century architecture.

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