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
Echuca is a town on the banks of the Murray River and Campaspe River in Victoria, Australia. The border town of Moama is adjacent on the northern side of the Murray River in New South Wales. Echuca is largest settlement in the Shire of Campaspe. At the time of the 2016 census, Echuca had a population of 12,906, the population of the combined Echuca and Moama townships was 20,424 at June 2016. Echuca lies within traditional Yorta Yorta country; the town's name is an Aboriginal word meaning "meeting of the waters". Echuca is close to the junction of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers, its position at the closest point of the Murray to Melbourne contributed to its development as a thriving river port city during the 19th century. Echuca was founded by one of the most enterprising figures of the early colonial period, an ex-convict named Henry Hopwood. In 1850 he purchased a small punt to ferry people and goods across the Murray River near the Campaspe junction; as the small settlement known as Hopwood's Ferry grew, it became the town of Echuca.
The Hopwood's Punt Post Office opened around 1854 and was renamed Echuca Post Office on 1 January 1855. While the settlers at Echuca treated the local Indigenous Australians with relative kindness, their way of life was irrevocably changed by their relationship with the Europeans. Smallpox threatened their well-being in the late 1820s to the 1850s, they were relegated to the role of fringe-dwellers, living on the banks of the Murray River, entering into the European economy as fishermen and farm labourers, by selling the possum rugs which they crafted. By the 1870s Echuca had risen to prominence as Australia's largest inland port. Being the point of shortest distance between the Murray River and the major city of Melbourne, Echuca was both a key river port and railway junction. Steam-driven paddleboats would arrive at the 400-metre long redgum Echuca Wharf, unloading it to be transported by rail to Melbourne. Wool, other grains and timber were the most common cargoes; the wharf has been listed as a Heritage Place on the Australian National Heritage List.
This industrial boom led to a expanding population, at one stage in excess of 15,000, with more than a hundred pubs rumoured to exist in the Echuca district at one time. An iron bridge was constructed over the Murray River in 1878 by the NSW Railways Department; the expansion of the railways from Melbourne to most parts of Victoria, as well as improvements to roads and fickle river conditions all combined to lessen Echuca's importance, by the 1890s the paddlesteamer fleet was in decline. An economic depression and the collapse of several banks ended Echuca's role as a major economic centre, its population began to disperse. According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 12,906 people in Echuca.. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 3.5% of the population. 84.7% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 1.8% and New Zealand 1.0%. 89.7% of people spoke only English at home. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 30.7%, Catholic 24.2% and Anglican 16.8% Echuca has a semi-arid climate.
Echuca is the administrative centre for the Shire of Campaspe Local Government Area. At state level, Echuca is represented by the Electoral district of Murray Plains. At federal level, Echuca is represented by the Division of Murray; the main industry in Echuca is tourism. Tourism earns about $250 million a year for the Echuca economy. Visitors are attracted to the town by its warm climate, the Murray River, recreational attractions, historical features, some of which have come to public awareness by the Nancy Cato novel All the Rivers Run, made into a TV miniseries; these include the Port of Echuca. Echuca is a major regional service economy. Agriculture is important to the region and dairy, sheep and cattle farms are all within close proximity; the port is home to the largest paddle steamer collection in the world, which includes the world's oldest operating wooden hulled paddle steamer, the PS Adelaide built in 1866. There are several historic vessels operating out of Echuca on a daily commercial basis such as PS Pevensey, PS Alexander Arbuthnot, PS Adelaide operating from the wharf and the PS Emmylou, PS Canberra and PV Pride of the Murray operating from Riverboat Dock, a short distance downstream from the main wharf.
These vessels conduct between 4-6 1hour cruises daily, while the PS Emmylou offers lunch and scenic cruises. There are a number of owned paddle steamers in Echuca, including the PS Hero, PS Henry Charles and the former Church of England mission steamer, PS Etona; as well as the paddle steamers there are numerous houseboats. The MV Mary Ann operates as a cruising restaurant all year round; the Port of Echuca is restoring the PS Success to full working order. When operational, it will be added to the fleet of paddle steamers at Echuca Wharf. Annual activities include the Southern 80 waterski race, the largest waterski race in the world, the Riverboats Music Festival, the Echuca Moama Weddings Expo, the Echuca Rotary Steam and Vintage Rally and the Echuca Moama Winter Blues Festival. In 1984, the Australian television mini-series, All the Rivers Run, based on a novel by Nancy Cato and starring Sigrid Thornton and John Waters, was filmed in and around Echuca; the local paddle steamers PS Pevensey and PS
Edmond John "Ned" Hogan was an Australian politician, the 30th Premier of Victoria. He was born in Wallace, where his Irish-born parents were small farmers. After attending a Roman Catholic primary school, he became a farm worker and a timber worker, spent some time on the goldfields of Western Australia. Hogan became active in Labor Party politics in Kalgoorlie. In 1912, he contracted typhoid. To recuperate, he took up farming at Ballan. In 1913, Hogan was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly for Warrenheip, an electorate near Ballarat, renamed Warrenheip and Grenville in 1927. Although it was not a natural Labor seat, it was Irish-Catholic, which helped Hogan, an active Catholic, retain it for 30 years. In 1914, he was elected to the Labor Party's state executive, becoming state president in 1922. Hogan was a fine speaker and soon became a leading figure in a parliamentary party, thin on talent. Victoria was Labor's weakest state and in the 1920s there seemed little chance it would win a state election.
In 1924, Hogan was made Minister for Agriculture and Railways in the short-lived minority government of George Prendergast. When Prendergast stepped down as leader in 1926, Hogan was the obvious choice to succeed him, his main drawback was his close association with the Melbourne horse-racing and gambling identity John Wren, suspected of corruption. The Wren connection alienated many middle-class voters from Labor through the 1930s. At the 1927 state election, Hogan was able to capitalise on resentment against rural over-representation in the state parliament, the consequent domination by the Country Party. Labor won 28 seats to the Country Party's ten. Hogan was able to form a government with the support of the four Country Progressive Party and two Liberal members. However, the alliance broke down in 1928 in the face a prolonged and violent industrial dispute on the Melbourne waterfront, in November his government was defeated in a confidence vote and he resigned, being succeeded by the Nationalist William McPherson, who had the support of the Victorian Country Party.
In 1929, the Country Party withdrew its support from McPherson's government and there was another election, fought just as the Great Depression was breaking over Australia. Hogan led Labor to its best result yet, winning 30 seats to the Nationalists' 17 and the Country Party's 11. A collection of Country Progressives and independents held the balance of power, they agreed to support a second Hogan government. Tom Tunnecliffe was Chief Secretary, John Cain was Minister for Railways and William Slater was Attorney-General; the Depression had a devastating effect on Victoria's economy and society, because the state was dependent on agricultural exports wheat and wool, for its income, those industries collapsed completely as demand in Britain dried up. By 1931, most Victorian farmers were bankrupt and about 25 percent of the workforce was unemployed. Hogan's government, in common with all other governments, had no solution to the disaster. If the Hogan government had been minded to attempt radical solutions, it was dependent on Country Progressive support in the Assembly, had only six members in the Legislative Council.
Hogan adopted the orthodox economic view that governments must balance their budgets, since the Council would not permit any increases in taxation, the only way to do that, in the face of falling government revenue, was to cut expenditure. That increased the burdens while providing no stimulus to the economy. There was little possibility of effective unemployment relief, although there were some government works to soak up unemployment, such as the building of Shrine of Remembrance and the Great Ocean Road. In August 1930, Hogan attended a conference with the other Premiers and the Labor Prime Minister, James Scullin, to consider what to do. On the advice of Sir Otto Niemeyer, a senior official of the Bank of England, they agreed to radical cuts to government spending and borrowing; this provoked a storm of protest in the Labor Party and trade unions, who regarded Scullin and Hogan as traitors. In June 1931, a second conference, produced the Premiers' Plan, which entailed further cuts in government spending, accompanied by increases in taxation on the wealthy.
In the circumstances, both of those measures further depressed the economy, while not satisfying either side of politics. The New South Wales Labor Party, led by Jack Lang, rebelled and, in November, Lang's supporters in the federal parliament voted to bring down the Scullin government. However, Hogan's government survived because the Country Party continued to support it from the cross benches; as well, the Nationalists, now renamed the United Australia Party, preferred to see Hogan implement the Premiers' Plan. In February 1932, Hogan travelled to London to talk to the banks about Victoria's desperate economic plight. While he was away, Tom Tunnecliffe was acting Premier, he was much more willing than Hogan to reject the Premiers' Plan; as a result, the Country Party withdrew its support and, in April, the government was defeated in a confidence vote. Tunnecliffe replaced Hogan as Labor leader and led the Labor campaign in the May election, now rejecting the Premiers' Plan completely; the Labor Party executive expelled everyone who had supported the Premiers' Plan, including Hogan, although it did not run a candidate against him in Warrenheip and Grenville.
At the elections the UAP won 31 seats to Labor's 16 and the reunited Country Party's 14. Hogan and one of his
John Alexander MacPherson
John Alexander MacPherson, Australian colonial politician, was the 7th Premier of Victoria. MacPherson was born at his father's property of Springbank on the Limestone Plains, in New South Wales: he was the first Premier of Victoria born in Australia, his father was a Scottish Presbyterian pastoralist. He came to the Port Phillip District as a child with his family and was educated at Scotch College and the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated in law, he was admitted to the Victorian bar in 1866 and practised law before becoming a pastoralist near Hamilton in the Western District. MacPherson was elected as a conservative to the Legislative Assembly for Portland in November 1864, for Dundas in February 1866. In September 1869, when the liberal Premier James McCulloch resigned, MacPherson was commissioned as Premier, his government had little prospect of survival. However it did succeed in passing an effective land selection act, allowing small farmers to select land on the squatters' pastoral runs, before being defeated in the Assembly and resigning in April 1870.
MacPherson served as Chief Secretary in the third McCulloch government in 1875 to 1877, before retiring from politics in July 1878, still aged only 44. In 1880 he returned to Britain and settled in Surrey, where he died in 1894, he married Louisa Featherstonhaugh in 1858: they had seven children. In a blog post on 30 October 2018, folk singer/songwriter and ballad collector Daniel Kelly asserted that John MacPherson is the identity behind many poems that were published in various Victorian newspapers from 1857 until 1874 under the pen name Ossian MacPherson. Ossian MacPherson was suggested to be a pseudonym used by James MacPherson. In particular, A Modest Minister, directly refers to the 1874 election that MacPherson was running in and the poem targets his opposition. More directly, an article in the Geelong Advertiser on 20 January 1871 directly refers to'Ossian' Macpherson as running in the 1971 election for Dundas. Since posting this article, a relative of an Ossian Macpherson has suggested that this was a real person and not a pseudonym.
It remains unclear if others, including John Alexander, may have used the existing reputation of the poet to publish under his name. Geoff Browne, A Biographical Register of the Victorian Parliament, 1900–84, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1985 Don Garden, Victoria: A History, Thomas Nelson, Melbourne, 1984 Kathleen Thompson and Geoffrey Serle, A Biographical Register of the Victorian Parliament, 1856–1900, Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1972 Raymond Wright, A People's Counsel. A History of the Parliament of Victoria, 1856–1990, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1992 Daniel Kelly, Who was Ossian Macpherson, Folk Lounge, 2018
William Shiels was an Australian colonial-era politician, serving as the 16th Premier of Victoria. Shiels was born in a city in the west of Ulster in the north of Ireland, he was born into an Ulster-Scots Presbyterian family and arrived in Melbourne as a child in 1853. He was educated at Scotch College and the University of Melbourne, where he graduated in law and arts, gaining a master's degree in law in 1885, he was called to the Melbourne bar in 1872 and was active in public life, being a noted campaigner for divorce law reform. Shiels was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly for Normanby in 1880, as a moderate liberal, holding that seat throughout his career, he was Attorney-General and Minister for Railways in the government of James Munro from 1890 to 1892. During this time Shiels was one of the few politicians to warn against the excesses of the Land Boom which swept Victoria between 1887 and 1891; as a result, when Munro resigned in the face of imminent bankruptcy in February 1892, the liberals turned to Shiels as a "clean" new leader, he became Premier.
The Shiels government responded to the financial disaster of the 1892 crash in the orthodox fashion of the time, cutting spending and increasing taxation to balance the budget – measures which only made the situation worse. The conservatives who had supported the coalition governments of Duncan Gillies and Munro opposed increased taxation, during 1892 they deserted Shiels. In January 1893 the conservative leader James Patterson moved a successful no-confidence motion, Shiels resigned. Shiels kept his reputation for integrity, he was Treasurer under Minister for Railways. In 1904, his health broke down and he retired to rural South Australia shortly before his death, aged only 56. Shiels is buried at Struan House, located on the Dukes HWY 10 km out of Naracoorte in South Australia's South East. Notes BibliographyGeoff Browne, A Biographical Register of the Victorian Parliament, 1900–84, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1985 Don Garden, Victoria: A History, Thomas Nelson, Melbourne, 1984 Kathleen Thompson and Geoffrey Serle, A Biographical Register of the Victorian Parliament, 1856–1900, Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1972 Raymond Wright, A People's Counsel.
A History of the Parliament of Victoria, 1856–1990, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1992 Serle, Percival. "Shiels, William". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson
James Goodall Francis, Australian colonial politician, was the 9th Premier of Victoria. Francis was born in London, emigrated to Van Diemen's Land in 1847, where he became a businessman, he became a leading Melbourne merchant. He was a director of president of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, he had eight sons and seven daughters. Francis was elected as a conservative for Richmond in 1859, also represented Warrnambool, he was seen as a leading representative of business interests. He was Vice-President of the Board of Land and Works and Commissioner of Public Works 1859–60, Commissioner of Trade and Customs 1863–68 in the second government of James McCulloch and Treasurer in the third McCulloch government 1870–71; when the liberal government of Charles Gavan Duffy was defeated in June 1872, Francis became Premier and Chief Secretary. Francis's government, like most of its predecessors, was dominated by the education and land issues, by conflict between the Assembly and the Legislative Council.
His government passed the 1872 Education Act, but was defeated when it tried to pass a bill establishing a procedure for resolving deadlocks between the two Houses. He resigned as a result in July 1874, he was a minister without portfolio in the government of James Service in 1880. He retired from politics in 1884, he died in Queenscliff in 1884. Geoff Browne, A Biographical Register of the Victorian Parliament, 1900-84, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1985 Don Garden, Victoria: A History, Thomas Nelson, Melbourne, 1984 Kathleen Thompson and Geoffrey Serle, A Biographical Register of the Victorian Parliament, 1856-1900, Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1972 Raymond Wright, A People's Counsel. A History of the Parliament of Victoria, 1856-1990, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1992
Sir Stanley Seymour Argyle KBE, Australian politician, was the 32nd Premier of Victoria. He was born in Kyneton, the son of a grazier, was educated at Brighton Grammar School and Trinity College within the University of Melbourne, where he graduated in medicine, he studied bacteriology at King's College London. After further study in the United Kingdom, he went into general practice in Kew, was a pioneer of radiology in Australia, he was a member of the Kew City Council 1898–1905 and was mayor in 1903–05. During World War I he was consultant radiologist to the Australian Imperial Force in Egypt and in France, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. After the war he invested in milk processing and citrus growing. Argyle was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly for the seat of Toorak in 1920, as an independent Nationalist, he was Chief Secretary and Minister for Health in the ministries of Harry Lawson, John Allan, Alexander Peacock and William McPherson between 1923 and 1928. When McPherson resigned as leader of the Nationalist Party, Argyle was chosen to succeed him, in 1931 the party was renamed the United Australia Party.
He led the opposition to Ned Hogan's minority Labor Party government, unable to cope with the effects of the Great Depression and was defeated at the May 1932 elections. Argyle formed a coalition government with the Country Party, led by Allan and by Albert Dunstan; the government had a huge majority – 45 seats to Labor's 16. Ministers included the rising star of the UAP, Robert Menzies, who became Deputy Premier, Attorney-General and Minister for Railways. Argyle, a firm fiscal conservative, held to the orthodox view that in a time of depression government spending must be cut so that the budget remained in balance; this soon brought him into conflict with both the trade unions and the farmers, but at the time there seemed to be no alternative policy. Argyle was lucky in that the economy began to improve from 1932, the unemployment rate fell from 27 percent in 1932 to 20 percent in 1934 and 14 percent in 1935; this led a reduction in unemployment relief payments and an increase in taxation revenue, easing the state's financial crisis.
Argyle fought the March 1935 election with an improving economy, a record of sound, if unimaginative, management. With the Labor Party opposition still divided and demoralised, he was rewarded with a second comfortable majority, his United Australia Party, but at this point he was unexpectedly betrayed by his erstwhile Country Party allies. The Country Party leader, Albert Dunstan, was a close friend of the gambling boss John Wren, very close to the Labor leader Tom Tunnecliffe. Wren, aided by the Victorian Labor Party President, Arthur Calwell, persuaded Dunstan to break off the coalition with Argyle and form a minority Country Party government, which Labor would support in return for some policy concessions. Dunstan agreed to this deal, in April 1935 he moved a successful no confidence vote in the government from which he had just resigned; the UAP never forgave the Country Party for this treachery. Henry Bolte Victoria's longest-serving Premier, was 27 in 1935, Dunstan's betrayal of Argyle lay behind his lifelong and intense dislike of the Country Party, whom he called "political prostitutes".
Argyle remained in politics as Leader of the Opposition until his death in 1940. Throughout his life, Argyle showed a keen interest in the quality of Melbourne's milk supply. Argyle founded the Willsmere Certificated Milk Co. in 1898, of which he was a director until 1920. As a member of the Legislative Assembly, he objected to the metropolitan milk bill, intended to improve the quality of Melbourne's milk. After the bill was held up in the Legislative Council in 1921, he was nominated to a committee to consider amendments, visited New Zealand to report on milk-supply there. Geoff Browne, A Biographical Register of the Victorian Parliament, 1900–84, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1985 Don Garden, Victoria: A History, Thomas Nelson, Melbourne, 1984 Kate White, John Cain and Victorian Labour 1917–1957, Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, 1982 Raymond Wright, A People's Counsel. A History of the Parliament of Victoria, 1856–1990, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1992