Mernda is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 27 km north-east of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Whittlesea. At the 2016 Census, Mernda had a population of 16,458; the area was known as Yan Yean until 1893, when it was renamed Yan Yean South. It was in 1913 that the locality was renamed Mernda, derived from a Woiwurrung word meaning earth. In 1913, Mernda contained a school, a Methodist church, a Catholic church, a bakery/store, a railway station and a mechanics' institute, as well as the Bridge Inn Hotel; the Post Office opened on 19 February 1875 as Yan Yean and was renamed Yan Yean South in 1892 and Mernda in 1913. The area is now being suburbanised with several new estates under construction; the suburb of Mernda consists of a number of new and developing housing subdivisions offering in the new communities of Mernda Villages, Settlers Hill, Everton Gardens, Bridge Inn Rise, Berry Lane, Mernda Ridge, Woodland Waters, Hawkstowe and Renaissance Rise.
A strategic transport plan developed by the Victorian State Government has earmarked Mernda to be're-connected' to the rail system by 2027, the'South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance' are seeking an earlier completion date of 2014 due to rising population and congestion in the area. Passenger trains are now running from Mernda for the first time in 60 years from Sunday 26 August 2018, thanks to the Alliance for their continued lobbying. In 2004, residents formed the Mernda and District Residents Association to lobby for the town to be connected to the natural gas pipeline about to be laid in the area; the group was successful and residents now enjoy this essential service. Mernda is located 15 minutes' drive to RMIT University Bundoora Campus & 30 minutes to La Trobe University. Mernda has two primary schools; the two higher secondary colleges Gilson College, Mernda campus and Ivanhoe Grammar School plenty campus co-educational from Prep to Year 12 are located in Bridge Inn Road in Doreen. Plenty Valley Christian College is a Prep to year 12 co-educational private school located 5 minutes drive from Mernda.
In December 2015 construction of two new government schools began. Mernda Central P-12 College located on Breadalbane Avenue and Mernda South Primary School located on Riverdale Boulevard are slated to open in January 2017. Mernda is well known for its sporting teams in the Northern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne; the Mernda Football Club have a long and successful history dating back more than 100 years in the Whittlesea District Football League, the Diamond Valley Football League and its successor the Northern Football League. They have won 18 Premierships in that time; the Mernda Cricket Club has been successful in the region, playing finals and winning Championships in both the JIKA Cricket Association and the Diamond Valley Cricket Association. After winning the Money Shield in season 2006/07 and making the step to A Grade cricket, Mernda won their first Barclay Shield in season 2008/09. Mernda enjoyed success in the lower grades of the DVCA during that season, winning the E Grade premiership.
In the 2011 Census, there were 6,508 people in Mernda of these, 49.3% were male and 50.7% were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 0.9% of the population. The median age of people in Mernda was 29 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 25.2% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 3.2% of the population. In Mernda 28.2% of people were attending an educational institution. Of these, 33.9% were in primary school, 19.0% in secondary school and 19.3% in a tertiary or technical institution in Mernda, with 76.1% of people born in Australia. The most common countries of birth were England 2.9%, India 1.9%, Italy 1.3%, New Zealand 1.2% and Sri Lanka 1.1%. The 4000 square metre Mernda Villages Shopping Centre is located at the corner of Kalkallo Way and Mernda Village Drive and features a Woolworths supermarket and 10 speciality stores; the centre includes 180 car spaces and bicycle facilities. Mernda is located just a 10-minute drive to Westfield Plenty Valley Shopping Centre and Pacific Epping.
Mernda Junction Shopping Centre opened in February 2019, is located on the corner of Plenty Road and Bridge Inn Road. It features a Coles supermarket, Chemist Warehouse, as well as 15 specialty shops, cafes/restaurants and services. A Bunnings Warehouse opened on Plenty Road in January 2019; the Mernda Villages post office is located on Mernda Village Drive. Mernda Village Medical & Dental is located along Mernda Village Drive opposite Woolworths. Maternal Health Services is located in the Mernda Villages Community Activity Centre. Mernda Villages Community Activity Centre, provides an early learning centre, mobile library service. Child care, Maternal Health Services and an array of activities available at the new state of the art Mernda Villages Community Activity Centre. A mobile library manged by Yarra Plenty Regional Library visits the centre. Media related to Mernda at Wikimedia Commons
Whittlesea is a town in Victoria, Australia, 40 kilometres north-east from Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Whittlesea. At the 2016 census, Whittlesea had a population of 5,611; the Post Office opened on 1 September 1853 as Plenty and was renamed Whittlesea in 1864. The town may have been named in England. A school opened in a single stone building in 1878 and is to this day the home to Whittlesea Primary School; the railway to Whittlesea was opened on 23 December 1889 as an extension to what is now the Mernda line, closed in December 1959. When the original railway was in operation Whittlesea had a large logging trade, taking the timber from Kinglake, Whittlesea region toward greater Melbourne for milling. There were two saw mills in operation. At its timber producing peak Whittlesea had several pubs to help house the temporary timber workers. On 7 February 2009 and subsequent days thereafter, Whittlesea acted as a focal point of for firefighting and relief efforts during the Black Saturday bushfires.
In a firefighting context Whittlesea Fire Station and its members play an important role in managing firefighting operations around the Mount Disappointment and Kinglake areas. The township acted as a focal point for relief efforts, attracting support from the larger Victorian and Australian communities. Although located only a few kilometres from the outer fringes of metropolitan Melbourne, Whittlesea lies outside the Urban Growth Boundaries of the Melbourne 2030 metropolitan development plan, it is therefore expected to maintain its status as a separate town until 2030 and beyond. City of Whittlesea planning policy for Whittlesea township envisages minimal growth over the next decade so that the township will retain its rural character; the town has a local volunteer fire brigade as well as a limited hours Police station. On 22 January 2009 Health Minister Daniel Andrews opened an ambulance station in Whittlesea; this station operates between the hours of 10 pm daily. This was a 2006 state election promise made by the Bracks Labor Government.
Local attractions include the Funfields Theme Park, Torourrong Reservoir, Yan Yean Reservoir, Bear's Castle and the old Courthouse. Whittlesea Library, managed by Yarra Plenty Regional Library is part of the Whittlesea Community Activity Centre. Whittlesea Kindergarten Whittlesea Secondary College Whittlesea Primary School St. Mary's Catholic Parish Primary School In 1866, it was gazetted that a ground will be used for the game of cricket. Whittlesea Cricket Club was formed, is the longest serving community sports club in the township. In the 2016/17 season, the Club celebrated its 150th Anniversary, it plays in the Diamond Valley Cricket Association, with representation from seniors and veterans. Whittlesea Football Club, an Australian Rules football team, competes in the Northern Football League. Golfers play at the course of the Whittlesea Country Club on Humevale Road in neighbouring Humevale. Whittlesea Tennis Club on Laurel Street competes in Diamond Valley Leagues. A tennis club was set up early on by local Residents.
A pivotal person helping to establish and develop this was a Mr Jack Wailes who helped establish the Whittlesea Golf Course as a run entity. Laural street was the original site of the famous Rural Whittlesea Agricultural show. There are the following sporting/ social clubs: Australian Rules Football Club, Bowls Club, Masons, Golf Club, Pony Club, Motorbike Club c/o K&J Thomas. A team represents Whittlesea in Darts, it participates in the Northern Darts Association at the Royal Mail Hotel. The team is participating in C Grade of the N. D. A. Whittlesea Fire Brigade is the local branch of the Country Fire Authority or CFA, serves the township as well as surrounding communities. On 16 October 2008 the brigade celebrated 60 years since the formation of the Whittlesea Urban Fire Brigade. Earlier in that year the brigade celebrated winning the C aggregate and the Victorian State Urban Championships held on the long weekend in March; this was the brigades first win at state in the 60-year history of competing.
City of Whittlesea Web Site Whittlesea Visitor Guide - Whittlesea.com.au City of Whittlesea Development Bulletin, 2006 History of Whittlesea Whittlesea Fire Brigade
Edward "Ned" Kelly was an Australian bushranger, gang leader and convicted police murderer. One of the last bushrangers, by far the most famous, he is best known for wearing a suit of bulletproof armour during his final shootout with the police. Kelly was born in the British colony of Victoria as the third of eight children to Irish parents, his father, a transported convict, died shortly after serving a six-month prison sentence, leaving Kelly aged 12, as the eldest male of the household. The Kellys were a poor selector family who saw themselves as downtrodden by the Squattocracy and as victims of police persecution. While a teenager, Kelly was arrested for associating with bushranger Harry Power, served two prison terms for a variety of offences, the longest stretch being from 1871 to 1874 on a conviction of receiving a stolen horse, he joined the "Greta mob", a group of bush larrikins known for stock theft. A violent confrontation with a policeman occurred at the Kelly family's home in 1878, Kelly was indicted for his attempted murder.
Fleeing to the bush, Kelly vowed to avenge his mother, imprisoned for her role in the incident. After he, his brother Dan, two associates—Joe Byrne and Steve Hart—shot dead three policemen, the Government of Victoria proclaimed them outlaws. Kelly and his gang eluded the police for two years, thanks in part to the support of an extensive network of sympathisers; the gang's crime spree included raids on Euroa and Jerilderie, the killing of Aaron Sherritt, a sympathiser turned police informer. In a manifesto letter, Kelly—denouncing the police, the Victorian government and the British Empire—set down his own account of the events leading up to his outlawry. Demanding justice for his family and the rural poor, he threatened dire consequences against those who defied him. In 1880, when Kelly's attempt to derail and ambush a police train failed, he and his gang, dressed in armour fashioned from stolen plough mouldboards, engaged in a final gun battle with the police at Glenrowan. Kelly, the only survivor, was wounded by police fire and captured.
Despite thousands of supporters attending rallies and signing a petition for his reprieve, Kelly was tried and sentenced to death by hanging, carried out at the Old Melbourne Gaol. His last words were famously reported to have been, "Such is life". Historian Geoffrey Serle called Kelly and his gang "the last expression of the lawless frontier in what was becoming a organised and educated society, the last protest of the mighty bush now tethered with iron rails to Melbourne and the world". In the century after his death, Kelly became a cultural icon, inspiring numerous works in the arts, is the subject of more biographies than any other Australian. Kelly continues to cause division in his homeland: some celebrate him as Australia's equivalent of Robin Hood, while others regard him as a murderous villain undeserving of his folk hero status. Journalist Martin Flanagan wrote: "What makes Ned a legend is not that everyone sees him the same—it's that everyone sees him. Like a bushfire on the horizon casting its red glow into the night."
Kelly's father, John Kelly, was born in 1820 in Ireland, to Thomas and Mary. At the age of 21, he was found guilty of stealing two pigs and was transported on the Prince Regent, arriving at Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land on 2 January 1842. After he received his Certificate of Freedom on 11 January 1848, Red Kelly moved to Victoria and found work at James Quinn's farm at Wallan Wallan as a bush carpenter, he subsequently turned his attention to gold-digging, at which he was successful and which enabled him to purchase a small freehold for £615 in Beveridge, just north of Melbourne. On 18 November 1850, at the age of 30, Red Kelly married Ellen Quinn, his employer's 18-year-old daughter, at St Francis Church by Father Gerald Ward. Edward Kelly was his parents' third child, named after Red's closest brother; the exact date of his birth is not known, but a number of lines of evidence, including a 1963 interview with family descendants Paddy and Charles Griffiths, a record from his mother, a note from a school inspector, all suggest his birth was in December 1854.
Ned Kelly was baptised by an Augustinian priest, Charles O'Hea, who administered last rites to Kelly before his execution. In 1864, the Kelly family moved to Avenel, near Seymour, where they soon attracted the attention of local police; as a boy Kelly became familiar with the bush. In Avenel he risked his life to save another boy from drowning in Hughes Creek. In 1865, Red was imprisoned for having meat in his possession. Unable to pay the twenty-five pound fine, he was sentenced to six months with hard labour, served at Kilmore jail. Once released, Red drank which had an fatal effect on his health. In November 1866 his body started to swell from dropsy and he died at Avenel on 27 December 1866, he and his wife had eight children: Mary Jane, Margaret, Dan, James and Grace. The saga surrounding his father and his treatment by the police made a strong impression on the young Kelly. A few years the family selected 88 acres of uncultivated and untitled farmland at Eleven Mile Creek near the Greta area of Victoria.
In the dispute with the established graziers on whose land the Kellys were encroaching, they were suspected many times of cattle or horse stealing, but never convicted. In all, eighteen charges were brought against members
Kilmore is a town in the Australian state of Victoria. Located 60 kilometres north of Melbourne, it is contentiously claimed as Victoria's oldest inland settled town. Kilmore Post Office opened on 1 February 1843 and, with Ovens which opened the same day, were the fifth and sixth to open in the Port Phillip District and the first two inland offices. Kilmore was a stronghold of early Celtic settlers from Ireland and Cornwall, remains a strong Celtic area to this day. In the mid-1850s Kilmore was the electorate of the Irish-born Premier of John O'Shanassy. O'Shanassy, an Irish Catholic, was the bane of the Protestant establishment in Melbourne and this affected those who lived in Kilmore. O'Shanassy's supporters were referred to as'O'Rowdies' and O'Shanassy as the'Rowdy King". A Melbourne Punch cartoon "Freedom of Election at Kilmore" depicted the 1859 election day in the town as a wild barney of Irishmen; the town hosts a market on the last Saturday of each month, a Celtic Festival each June. Many of Kilmore's oldest extant buildings are made of bluestone including the hospital, old court house, former post office, some churches, a gaol, a monument to Hume and Hovell near the golf course.
At the 2016 census, Kilmore had a population of 7,958. 80.0% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 3.2% and China 1.3%. 87.4% of people only spoke English at home. The most common responses for religion were Catholic 33.5%, No Religion 31.0% and Anglican 13.2%. Kilmore is serviced by a V-Line Passenger train service on the Seymour / Shepparton Line; the locality is serviced by Mitchell Transit - providing a Town Bus route and intra municipal service covering the towns of Wallan, Kilmore and Seymour within the Mitchell Shire. A railway used to ascend from Heathcote Junction on the Sydney–Melbourne line, passed through Kilmore with the main branch running onto Heathcote; the Heathcote branch line was closed in 1969 and dismantled. An operational tram museum utilises part of the old railway right of way between Kilmore and Bylands. Still today, many parts of the track are still in place like the old cobblestone platform of the original railway station.
Most of this though has been grown over. Kilmore is served by a railway station on the main line; the Post Office at Kilmore East opened on 1 September 1872 as Gavan Duffy and was renamed Kilmore East two months and closed in 1976. Though Kilmore is located close to Melbourne, it still retains the "Township" atmosphere, it is serviced by Melbourne radio and Television, offers local media services. Newspaper - North Central Review Radio - 98.3 OKR FM, Narrow-cast Radio - 87.6 Hit FM Narrow-cast The town has two private secondary schools and two primary schools. The Kilmore International school is the only school in Australia to use the International Baccalaureate and not offer a local high school qualification such as the VCE; the Australian Training College is based in Kilmore and has been operating since 1994 delivering a range of nationally accredited courses including hospitality, management and assessment, horticulture to name a few. Johnny Gilbert, member of Ben Hall's gang John O'Shanassy, Premier of Victoria Lieutenant Leslie Maygar, Victoria Cross recipient in for his action in the Boer War Phillip Stoneman - Local lead guitar player for 3’s Company Old Kilmore Gaol Kilmore Historical Society Kilmore Celtic Festival and Kilmore Mechanics' Institute Ferreting and Finding Your Way Around Historic Kilmore Country Kilmore Catholic Cemetery Kilmore General Cemetery
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2, comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, is the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley, it has a population of 4.9 million, its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians". The city was founded on 30 August 1835, in the then-British colony of New South Wales, by free settlers from the colony of Van Diemen’s Land, it was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837 and named in honour of the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. In 1851, four years after Queen Victoria declared it a city, Melbourne became the capital of the new colony of Victoria. In the wake of the 1850s Victorian gold rush, the city entered a lengthy boom period that, by the late 1880s, had transformed it into one of the world's largest and wealthiest metropolises.
After the federation of Australia in 1901, it served as interim seat of government of the new nation until Canberra became the permanent capital in 1927. Today, it is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region and ranks 15th in the Global Financial Centres Index; the city is home to many of the best-known cultural institutions in the nation, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. It is the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries and Australian contemporary dance. More it has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a global centre for street art, live music and theatre, it is the host city of annual international events such as the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup, has hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Due to it rating in entertainment and sport, as well as education, health care and development, the EIU ranks it the second most liveable city in the world.
The main airport serving the city is Melbourne Airport, the second busiest in Australia, Australia's busiest seaport the Port of Melbourne. Its main metropolitan rail terminus is Flinders Street station and its main regional rail and road coach terminus is Southern Cross station, it has the most extensive freeway network in Australia and the largest urban tram network in the world. Indigenous Australians have lived in the Melbourne area for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years; when European settlers arrived in the 19th-century, under 2,000 hunter-gatherers from three regional tribes—the Wurundjeri and Wathaurong—inhabited the area. It was an important meeting place for the clans of the Kulin nation alliance and a vital source of food and water; the first British settlement in Victoria part of the penal colony of New South Wales, was established by Colonel David Collins in October 1803, at Sullivan Bay, near present-day Sorrento. The following year, due to a perceived lack of resources, these settlers relocated to Van Diemen's Land and founded the city of Hobart.
It would be 30 years. In May and June 1835, John Batman, a leading member of the Port Phillip Association in Van Diemen's Land, explored the Melbourne area, claimed to have negotiated a purchase of 600,000 acres with eight Wurundjeri elders. Batman selected a site on the northern bank of the Yarra River, declaring that "this will be the place for a village" before returning to Van Diemen's Land. In August 1835, another group of Vandemonian settlers arrived in the area and established a settlement at the site of the current Melbourne Immigration Museum. Batman and his group arrived the following month and the two groups agreed to share the settlement known by the native name of Dootigala. Batman's Treaty with the Aborigines was annulled by Richard Bourke, the Governor of New South Wales, with compensation paid to members of the association. In 1836, Bourke declared the city the administrative capital of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, commissioned the first plan for its urban layout, the Hoddle Grid, in 1837.
Known as Batmania, the settlement was named Melbourne in 1837 after the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, whose seat was Melbourne Hall in the market town of Melbourne, Derbyshire. That year, the settlement's general post office opened with that name. Between 1836 and 1842, Victorian Aboriginal groups were dispossessed of their land by European settlers. By January 1844, there were said to be 675 Aborigines resident in squalid camps in Melbourne; the British Colonial Office appointed five Aboriginal Protectors for the Aborigines of Victoria, in 1839, however their work was nullified by a land policy that favoured squatters who took possession of Aboriginal lands. By 1845, fewer than 240 wealthy Europeans held all the pastoral licences issued in Victoria and became a powerful political and economic force in Victoria for generations to come. Letters patent of Queen Victoria, issued on 25 June 1847, declared Melbourne a city. On 1 July 1851, the Port Phillip District separated from New South Wales to become the Colony of Victoria, with Melbourne as its capital.
The discovery of gold in Victoria in mid-1851 sparked a
Beechworth is a well-preserved historical town located in the north-east of Victoria, famous for its major growth during the gold rush days of the mid-1850s. At the 2011 census, Beechworth had a population of 2,789. Beechworth's many historical buildings are well preserved and the town has re-invented itself and evolved into a popular tourist destination and growing wine-producing centre. Used for grazing by the settler David Reid, the area was known as Mayday Hills until 1853, when it was renamed Beechworth; the Post Office opened on 1 May 1853 as Spring Creek and was renamed Beechworth on 1 January 1854. In its golden heyday from 1852 -- 1857, this was a fabulous gold centre of government. At its wildest moments of gold discoveries, Woods related how an early party of prospectors retrieved a pan of gold weighing 14 pounds 14 lb. Another lucky party, said Woods, cleared some 50 pounds 50 lb of gold in a week, and so began a rush into this remote region. During the first election campaign in 1855, one candidate, Daniel Cameron, rode a horse shod with solid gold horseshoes.
The extravagance of this event is still commemorated as the logo for Beechworth is a golden horseshoe. At the time, Beechworth was far removed from the centre of colonial administration in Melbourne both in distance and time taken to travel; the local debates around the potential railway into Beechworth encompassed a broad gauge option or a narrow gauge system, between Wangaratta and Beechworth and these debates and options appeared in the Ovens and Murray Advertiser newspaper. In the 1890s a narrow gauge system did eventuate nearby, running from Wangaratta to Whitfield. A railway, the broad gauge, arrived at Beechworth in September 1876, but by that stage the town and its gold production was waning; the rail line was closed in 1977 and dismantled, after 101 years of service. During its boom times, Beechworth town boasted a range of industries including, a tannery, boot makers, a brewery, livestock sale yards, it had schools, a convent, hotels, a prison with imposing stone walls, a hospital, a mental hospital, court house, police barracks, stage coach companies and a powder magazine.
In its golden days and women arrived from, the United States, United Kingdom and China. At its peak, Beechworth town had over 3,100 residents. Surrounding areas and mining camps sprang up as thousands of miners rushed into areas such as Spring Creek, Reedy Creek, Silver Creek, the Nine Mile Creek and the Woolshed increasing the population on the Ovens to around 22,000; the Chinese were not resided on the outskirts. Numerous controls and enforced regulations and licence checks existed against the Chinese miners.. Beechworth Cemetery has a large preserved section of early Chinese miners/pioneers; the presence of the Chinese goldminers around Beechworth and throughout Victoria's north-eastern region created social unrest and these are recorded in O'Brien's. Like many Australian country towns associated with the early goldfields, Beechworth had its share of colourful characters and villains. Among the infamous during the 1870s was the one-time Livery Stable owner the'Dog Officer', at some other time the'Pound Officer' and another time shire revenue officer, John Phelan.
Phelan was correspondent to the newspapers and advertiser. His official and officious escapades were mockingly reported in the local paper. Robert O'Hara Burke, leader of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition was stationed in Beechworth as Senior Inspector of Police from 1854 to 1857. Policeman John Sadleir, one of the Kelly Gang pursuers, was stationed in Beechworth during its early days; the Burke Museum is located in Loch Street and holds a rich source of primary materials on Beechworth and the surrounding districts golden past. Source materials include newspapers, artefacts, paintings, published local histories and unpublished theses on the district and displays dating back to the gold discoveries, early Chinese miners and workings of the 1850s. For family and academic researchers this museum is a gold mine. Isaac Isaacs was Australia's first native-born Governor-General, appointed in 1931; the Isaac family move to Beechworth to help Isaac gain a better quality education, in 1867, first enrolling him in the Common school in the Beechworth Grammar School.
He became dux in his first year. In his second year he was employed part-time as an assistant teacher at the school, took up after school tutoring of fellow students. In September 1870, when Isaacs was just 15 years old, he passed his examination as a pupil teacher and taught at the school from until 1873. Isaacs was next employed as an assistant teacher at the Beechworth State School, the successor to the Common school. From 1875 Isaacs moved to undertake Law studies, his connection to Beechworth was re-established when he was elected as the member for Bogong in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from May 1892 until May 1893 and between June 1893 and May 1901. Isaacs further represented Beechworth and surrounding areas when he was elected to the first Federal Parliament in 1901 to the seat of Indi, he served until 1906. The outlaw Ned Kelly had many links to Beechworth – he spent time in HM Prison Beechworth and fought a famous boxing bout with Isaiah "Wild" Wright in the back of a local hotel.
Aaron Sherritt and Joe Byrne of the Kelly Gang came from the Woolshed goldmining camp, outside of Beec
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 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. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 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 1850s 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. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia 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 and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, 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 and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. 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 is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% 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 and 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 and 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". 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 estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants 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 their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s