SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Australia

Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the population of 26 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Indigenous Australians inhabited the continent for about 65,000 years prior to the first arrival of Dutch explorers in the early 17th century, who named it New Holland. In 1770, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the time of an 1850s gold rush, most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.

On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Australia is the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, it has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east, mountain ranges in the south-east, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications, banking and international education. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy, it has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's eighth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 29% of the population.

Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties, political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum, the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories; until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts.

The name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". Several famous early cartographers made use of the word Australia on maps. Gerardus Mercator used the phrase climata australia on his double cordiform map of the world of 1538, as did Gemma Frisius, Mercator's teacher and collaborator, on his own cordiform wall map in 1540. Australia appears in a book on astronomy by Cyriaco Jacob zum Barth published in Frankfurt-am-Main in 1545; the first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office.

Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land"; the latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is known to have begun at least 65,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; the Madjedbebe rock shelter in Arnhem Land is recognised as the oldest site showing the presence of humans in Australia. The oldest human remains found are the Lake Mungo remains, which have been dated to around 41,000 years ago; these people were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime.

The Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of th

White Furniture Company

White Furniture Company, was a major American producer of hand-crafted fine furniture for over a century. Founded by the White Brothers of Mebane, North Carolina, the factory notably produced furnishings for the US government and the Grove Park Inn. In 1881, brothers Dave and Will White founded White Furniture Company, they used $275 from working as telegraph operators as capital. Their father, Stephen A. White III, had acquired an amount of debt. Dave and Will pledged to repay their father's creditors, such was the catalyst behind starting the factory. Will White served as president of Dave White as general manager. "The White Brothers were aggressive businessmen who took their place in the town, who, like many in the New South, equated industrial growth with civic duty and regional pride." Working with only a plane and a boiler, the initial manufacturing was limited to only round oak dining tables and wagon wheels. While reaching an early success in 1886, a local businessman invested funds to expand White Furniture and purchase more advanced machinery.

Within a brief time, the company employed 32 people and manufactured tables, a bedroom set. The solid-oak bedroom set sold for nine dollars and included a bed and washstand. In 1906, under the command of Chief Engineer John Frank Stevens, hundreds of new building were built in Panama; these buildings were created to house army engineers and canal workers constructing the Panama Canal. The US government was in need of furniture for both enlisted men and American officers in Panama, the bulk of the contracts was awarded to White's. A local newspaper reported, "The first installment of furniture for the Panama Canal, contracted for the government with the White Furniture Company; this train of cars was handsomely placarded, each car bearing a 20-foot banner worded'FROM THE WHITE FURNITURE CO. MEBANE, N. C. FOR U. S. GOVERNMENT, PANAMA CANAL,' and the company trademark,'The White Line Guarantees Satisfaction.'" This was the first time a government contract of this type had been awarded to a'southern factory'.

A total of 58 boxcars was whipped from North Carolina to the Panama Canal. Just one year after being awarded the Panama contracts, in 1907, White Furniture Company was awarded "Best manufacturer of American furniture" at the Jamestown Exhibition

R. A. K. Mason

Ronald Allison Kells Mason was described by Allen Curnow as New Zealand's "first wholly original, unmistakably gifted poet". He was born in Penrose, Auckland on 10 January 1905, he was educated at Auckland Grammar School. Mason was the holder of the Robert Burns Fellowship at the University of Otago in 1962, he died in Takapuna, Auckland on 13 July 1971. The Beggar Penny Broadsheet No New Thing End of Day This Dark Will Lighten China Dances and Other Poems Collected Poems Squire Speaks Frontier Forsaken: An Outline History of the Cook Islands Four Short Stories 1931–1935 Poems:R. A. K. Mason