Catalonia is an autonomous community in Spain on the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona and Tarragona; the capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia, it is bordered by France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan and the Aranese dialect of Occitan. In the late 8th century, the counties of the March of Gothia and the Hispanic March were established by the Frankish kingdom as feudal vassals across and near the eastern Pyrenees as a defensive barrier against Muslim invasions; the eastern counties of these marches were united under the rule of the Frankish vassal, the count of Barcelona, were called Catalonia.
In the 10th century the County of Barcelona became independent de facto. In 1137, Barcelona and the Kingdom of Aragon were united by marriage under the Crown of Aragon; the de jure end of Frankish rule was ratified by French and Aragonese monarchs in the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258. The Principality of Catalonia developed its own institutional system, such as courts, constitutions, becoming the base for the Crown of Aragon's naval power and expansionism in the Mediterranean. In the Middle Ages, Catalan literature flourished. During the last Medieval centuries natural disasters, social turmoils and military conflicts affected the Principality. Between 1469 and 1516, the king of Aragon and the queen of Castile married and ruled their realms together, retaining all of their distinct institutions and legislation. During the Franco-Spanish War, Catalonia revolted against a large and burdensome presence of the royal army in its territory, being proclaimed a republic under French protection. Within a brief period France took full control of Catalonia, until it was reconquered by the Spanish army.
Under the terms of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, the Spanish Crown ceded the northern parts of Catalonia the County of Roussillon, to France. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Crown of Aragon sided against the Bourbon Philip V of Spain; this led to the eclipse of Catalan as a language of literature, replaced by Spanish. Along the 18th century, Catalonia experienced economic growth, reinforced in the late quarter of the century when the Castile's trade monopoly with American colonies ended. In the 19th century, Catalonia was affected by the Napoleonic and Carlist Wars. In the second third of the century, Catalonia experienced significant industrialisation; as wealth from the industrial expansion grew, Catalonia saw a cultural renaissance coupled with incipient nationalism while several workers movements appeared. In 1914, the four Catalan provinces formed a commonwealth, with the return of democracy during the Second Spanish Republic, the Generalitat of Catalonia was restored as an autonomous government.
After the Spanish Civil War, the Francoist dictatorship enacted repressive measures, abolishing Catalan self-government and banning the official use of the Catalan language again. After a first period of autarky, from the late 1950s through to the 1970s Catalonia saw rapid economic growth, drawing many workers from across Spain, making Barcelona one of Europe's largest industrial metropolitan areas and turning Catalonia into a major tourist destination. Since the Spanish transition to democracy, Catalonia has regained considerable autonomy in political, educational and cultural affairs and is now one of the most economically dynamic communities of Spain. In the 2010s there has been growing support for Catalan independence. On 27 October 2017, the Catalan Parliament declared independence from Spain following a disputed referendum; the Spanish Senate voted in favour of enforcing direct rule by removing the entire Catalan government and calling a snap regional election for 21 December. On 2 November of the same year, the Spanish Supreme Court imprisoned 7 former ministers of the Catalan government on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds, while several others—including then-President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont—fled to other European countries.
The name Catalonia—Catalunya in Catalan, spelled Cathalonia, or Cathalaunia in Medieval Latin—began to be used for the homeland of the Catalans in the late 11th century and was used before as a territorial reference to the group of counties that comprised part of the March of Gothia and March of Hispania under the control of the Count of Barcelona and his relatives. The origin of the name Catalunya is subject to diverse interpretations because of a lack of evidence. One theory suggests that Catalunya derives from the name Gothia Launia, since the origins of the Catalan counts and people were found in the March of Gothia, known as Gothia, whence Gothlan
The Memphis Grizzlies are an American professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee. The Grizzlies compete in the National Basketball Association as a member team of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the Grizzlies play their home games at FedExForum. The team is owned by Robert Pera; the Grizzlies are the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues based in the city of Memphis. The team was established as the Vancouver Grizzlies, an expansion team that joined the NBA for the 1995–96 season. After the 2000–01 season concluded, the Grizzlies moved to Memphis; the Vancouver Grizzlies were a Canadian professional basketball team based in Vancouver, British Columbia. They were part of the Midwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association; the team was established in 1995, along with the Toronto Raptors, as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada. Following the 2000–01 season, the team relocated to Memphis, United States, were renamed as the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies played their home games at General Motors Place for the entirety of their six seasons in Vancouver. The Vancouver Grizzlies applied to the NBA to relocate to Memphis on March 26, 2001, granted on July 3; as a result, the Grizzlies became the first major professional sports team from the "big four" major leagues to permanently play its home games in Memphis, as well as leaving the Toronto Raptors to be the only Canadian basketball team in the NBA. Memphis became the easternmost city in the Western Conference. In their first three seasons in Memphis, the Grizzlies played their home games at the Pyramid Arena. In the 2001 NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks chose Pau Gasol as the third overall pick, traded to the Grizzlies. Forward Shane Battier was selected with the sixth pick in the same draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies, they acquired Jason Williams from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Mike Bibby that same year. After the Grizzlies' first season in Memphis, Gasol won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
However, despite the strong draft class, general manager Billy Knight was let go. After Knight's departure and the season, the team hired former Los Angeles Laker and Hall of Famer Jerry West as general manager in 2002, who received the 2003–04 NBA Executive of the Year Award. After West's arrival the team was changed a great deal from Knight's team, with the removal of Sidney Lowe as head coach after 0–8 start to the season and a great deal of player movement, with players such as Mike Miller and James Posey becoming vital to the team's success. During the 2002–03 season, Hubie Brown was hired to coach the Grizzlies. Brown won the NBA Coach of the Year Award during the next season when the Grizzlies made the NBA playoffs for the first time in team history in 2004 as the sixth seed in the Western Conference in a drastic change from being perennially one of the worst teams in the NBA, they won a record 50 games under Gasol and Williams. In the playoffs they faced the San Antonio Spurs. Brown stepped down as head coach during the 2004–05 season.
At the time of his resignation, the Grizzlies had a losing record but West hired TNT analyst and former coach Mike Fratello to replace Brown. The Grizzlies' record improved and the team advanced to the postseason for the second consecutive season. However, the Grizzlies were swept out in the first round again, this time by the Phoenix Suns. After the season, which ended with anger between Fratello and many of the players, namely Bonzi Wells and Jason Williams, the team had an active 2005 off-season in which they revamped the team and added veterans. While the Grizzlies lost Wells, Stromile Swift, James Posey, they acquired Damon Stoudamire, Bobby Jackson, Hakim Warrick, Eddie Jones, they made the playoffs for the third consecutive year as well. With their record they had the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs and would face the Dallas Mavericks, who swept the Grizzlies in four games. Following the 2006 NBA draft, Jerry West traded Shane Battier to the Houston Rockets for their first round pick Rudy Gay and Stromile Swift.
Before the 2006–07 season, they suffered a blow when Gasol broke his left foot while playing for Spain in the World Championships. The Grizzlies started the season 5–17 without Gasol, went 1–7 while he was limited to about 25 minutes per game. At that point, Fratello was replaced by Tony Barone, Sr. as interim coach. Barone was the team's player personnel director and had never coached an NBA game though he had coached at the collegiate level for both Creighton and Texas A&M being named coach of the year in their conferences three times during his tenure; the Grizzlies finished the 2006–07 season with a league-worst 22–60 record, Jerry West announced his resignation from his position as the team's general manager shortly after the end of the regular season. The team hired Marc Iavaroni, with the Phoenix Suns as an assistant coach, to be the team's new head coach. Despite the last-place finish, the Grizzlies, who held the best chance of landing the first pick, ended up with the fourth pick in the 2007 NBA draft, with which the Grizzlies selected Mike Conley, Jr.
On June 18, 2007, the Grizzlies named former Boston Celtics general manager Chris Wallace as the team's general manager and vice president of basketball operations, replacing the retired West. A few days they hired former Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic head coach Johnny Davis, longtime NBA assistant coach Gordon Chiesa, the head coach of the 2007 NBA Development League champion Dakota Wizards, David Joerger, as the team's new assistant coaches. Gene Bartow was named the Grizzlies' president of basketb
Vic is the capital of the comarca of Osona, in the Barcelona Province, Spain. Vic's location is 69 km from Barcelona and 60 km from Girona, Spain. Vic's position has made it one of the most important towns in central Catalonia. Vic lies in the middle of the Plain of Vic, equidistant from the Pyrenees. Vic is famous for its persistent fog in winter as a result of a persistent thermal inversion with temperatures as low as -10 °C and an absolute record of -24 °C. Episodes of cold and severe snowstorms are noticeable. In summer, storms are common during the dry season, typical of the Mediterranean climate of coastal Catalonia. For that reason the natural vegetation includes the pubescent oak typical of the sub-Mediterranean climates of eastern France, Northern Italy and the Balkans. Vic is of ancient origin. In past times it was called Ausa by the Romans. Iberian coins bearing this name have been found there; the Visigoths called it Ausona. Sewage caps on sidewalks around the city will read "Vich", an old form of the name.
During the 8th and 9th centuries, Vic sat in the Spanish Marches that separated Frankish and Islamic forces. It was destroyed in 788 during a Muslim incursion. Afterwards only one quarter was rebuilt, called Vicus Ausonensis, from which the name Vic was derived, it was repopulated by Wilfred the Hairy in 878 who gained control over the high part of the city and gave up the lowest part to the bishop to construct the episcopal see. From on, the city was ruled by the count of Barcelona and by the bishop of Vic. At a council in Toulouges in 1027, the bishop of Vic established the first Peace and Truce of God that helped reduce private warfare. During the 18th century the city was the first focus of the rebellion against the centralist policy of King Philip V of Spain; the conflict became the War of the Spanish Succession. In the early 20th century Vic had 9500 inhabitants, in 1992 it hosted Roller Hockey events of the Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics; the town has been described as "a hotbed of secessionist sentiment".
The bishopric is a suffragan of the archbishopric of Tarragona, bounded on the north by Girona, on the east by Girona and Barcelona, on the south by Barcelona and Tarragona, on the west by Tarragona and Lleida. It lies within the four Catalan provinces, but the greater part of it in that of Barcelona; the introduction of Christianity was undoubtedly early, as martyrs of Ausa are recorded in the time of Emperor Decius, in the earliest records of the Tarraconensian sees the Bishop of Vic is one of the first mentioned. None, however, is mentioned by name until 516 when Cinidius is named as assisting at the provincial Council of Tarragona and Girona. Aquilinus attended the third Council of Toledo. With this bishop ends the history of the Church of Ausona before the Saracen invasion; the reconquest of Vic was begun in the time of Louis the Pious, who confided the civil government to Borrell, Count of Ausona, all ecclesiastical matters being under the direction of the Archbishop of Narbonne. In 826 Vic fell once more into the hands of the Moors and was reconquered by Wilfred the Hairy, independent Count of Barcelona.
Count Wilfred dedicated the famous monastery of Ripoll to the Blessed Virgin, obtained from the Archbishop of Narbonne the consecration of Godmarus as Bishop of Vic. The bishops and the family of Montcada disputed the right of sovereignty over the city until 1315, when Bishop Berenguer Saguardia ceded his rights to the king, James II, who purchased the rights of the Montcada. Bishop Atto is worthy of mention as a great promoter of education. Many persons availed themselves of the advantages offered by his reforms, among them Gerbert, monk from Aurillac, afterwards Pope Sylvester II, distinguished for his learning. Another of the most illustrious bishops of Vic was Oliba, son of the Count of Besalú, Abbot of Ripoll where he reconstructed and richly decorated the church; the dedication took place 15 January 1032. He with the help of Ermessenda, Countess of Barcelona, reconstructed the cathedral and dedicated it to Sts. Peter and Paul on 31 August 1038. In the time of his successor Guillem of Balsareny the relics of its patron saints, the martyrs Lucianus and Marcianus, were found at Vic, a council was held for the restoration of peace among the faithful.
Berenguer Sunifred reformed the chapter, introducing regular observance. Berenguer obtained for himself the dignity of Archbishop of Tarragona, contested by the Bishop of Narbonne. Among the Spanish bishops who attended the Council of Trent was Acisclo Moya de Contreras, Bishop of Vic, accompanied by the theologian Pedro Mercado. Among more recent bishops, Josep Morgades deserves special mention, he restored the monastery of Ripoll and pillaged by the revolutionists, reconsecrated its church on 1 July 1893. He established at Vic an archaeological museum where he collected many treasures of medieval art, dispersed among the ancient churches of the diocese; the next Bishop of Vic was a man of great culture and learning. Other celebrated natives of the Vic diocese include:Saint Anthony Mary Claret, archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, confessor of Isabella II of Spain and founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in North America known as the Claretians. Archbishop Joseph Sadoc Alemany and first archbishop of San Francisco, California.
Among other ce
John Houston Stockton is an American former professional basketball player. He spent his entire professional playing career as a point guard for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association, from 1984 to 2003. Stockton is regarded as one of the greatest point guards of all time, holding the NBA records for most career assists and steals by wide margins, he is a ten-time NBA All-Star, a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. In 2015, Stockton became an assistant coach for the Montana State University women's basketball team. Stockton was born in Spokane, Washington, to Clementine Frei and Jack Stockton, Stockton's ancestry is Irish and Swiss German, he attended grade school at St. Aloysius and moved on to high school at Gonzaga Prep and graduated in 1980, after breaking the city record for points scored in a single basketball season. After considering offers from Don Monson at Idaho and Mike Montgomery at Montana, both in the Big Sky Conference, Stockton decided to stay in Spokane and play college basketball for Dan Fitzgerald at Gonzaga University.
He became the third generation in his family at GU. Fitzgerald was the athletic director. During his senior year for the Bulldogs in 1984, Stockton averaged 20.9 points per game, shooting 57% from the field. The Zags posted a 17–11 record, their best in 17 years, Stockton led the West Coast Athletic Conference in scoring and steals, he was one of 74 college seniors invited to the spring tryouts for the 1984 U. S. Olympic team, coached by Bob Knight. Stockton made the initial cut in April to the final twenty, but was one of four released in May in the ultimate cut to 16 players. Though not selected, the experience led him to meet friend, Karl Malone. In June 1984, Stockton was selected by the Utah Jazz in the first round of the 1984 NBA draft with the 16th overall pick. A relative unknown during his college career, his stock rose in the months before the draft; the announcement of his selection to the thousands of Jazz fans gathered at the Salt Palace on draft day was met with a stunned silence. Stockton became the starting point guard for the Jazz in the 1986–87 season.
In 1988–89, he played in his first All-Star Game, led the NBA in assists per game for the first of nine consecutive seasons. In 1992, Stockton and the Jazz reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time, but were defeated by the Portland Trail Blazers in six games. Along with Malone, Stockton was named co-MVP of the All-Star Game in 1993. Stockton and the Jazz reached the Conference Finals again in 1994 and 1996, but lost to the Houston Rockets and the Seattle SuperSonics, respectively. Utah led the Western Conference with 64 wins in the 1996 -- 97 season; the team again reached the Western Conference Finals. In Game Six of the Conference Finals, Stockton scored 25 points and made a buzzer-beating, game-winning three-point shot over the Houston Rockets' Charles Barkley to send the Jazz to the first of two consecutive NBA Finals appearances. Stockton's game-winner became known as "The Shot"; the Jazz were defeated by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in six games in the Finals. Stockton missed the first 18 games of the 1997–98 season with a knee injury, but the Jazz returned to the NBA Finals and again faced the Bulls.
In Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, Stockton made a three-pointer with 41.9 seconds left to give the Jazz a lead, but Bulls guard Michael Jordan made two field goals to put his team ahead 87–86. Stockton missed a three-point attempt with 5.2 seconds left and said in a post-game interview that he felt confident that the shot would go in. The Bulls again defeated the Jazz in six games; the Jazz made the NBA Playoffs every season during Stockton's 19-year NBA career. On May 2, 2003, Stockton announced his retirement with a released statement instead of the customary news conference; the Jazz held a retirement ceremony for him, in which Salt Lake City renamed the street in front of the venue known as Delta Center, where the Jazz play, John Stockton Drive. Stockton would declare that despite being still content with the game and how well he was playing, his growing family made him feel that "sitting in the hotel room waiting for games wasn't making up for what I was missing at home."Stockton's number 12 jersey was retired by the Jazz during a game on November 22, 2004.
A statue of Stockton can be seen in front of the Vivint Smart Home Arena. The Malone and Stockton statues stand on a bronze plaque commemorating their achievements together. Stockton was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. Stockton was inducted into the Hall of Fame along with the rest of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team in 2010. Stockton, along with other NBA stars, played on the basketball team in that year's Olympics in Barcelona, Spain; the 1992 team was the first U. S. Olympic squad to feature NBA players; the team became known as the Dream Team. Stockton played on the 1996 U. S. men's Olympic basketball team. Stockton won gold medals with both 1996 teams. Stockton was known for his unassuming
2001 NBA draft
The 2001 NBA draft took place on June 27, 2001 in New York City, New York. Kwame Brown became the first high school player to be drafted with the first overall pick in the history of the NBA; the selection of Kwame Brown by the Washington Wizards, over players that have gone on to have more successful NBA careers, has been a source of great criticism, with Brown having been labeled one of the worst draft busts in NBA history. Several international players from this draft, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker and Mehmet Okur, became NBA All-Stars; this was the last draft. This was the final draft participated by the Charlotte Hornets until 2014. Minnesota Timberwolves forfeited their first-round pick due to salary cap violations, it would be the first of two first rounders that would have to forfeit their picks during the early 2000s. These players were not selected in the draft but have played at least one game in the NBA. NBA.com: 2001 NBA Draft Basketball Reference: 2001 NBA Draft
The point guard called the one or point, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. A point guard has the most specialized role of any position. Point guards are expected to run the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that it gets to the right player at the right time. Above all, the point guard must understand and accept their coach's game plan. While the point guard must understand and accept the coach's gameplan, they must be able to adapt to what the defense is allowing, they must control the pace of the game. A point guard, like other player positions in basketball, specializes in certain skills. A point guard's primary job is to facilitate scoring opportunities for his/her team, or sometimes for themselves. Lee Rose has described a point guard as a coach on the floor, who can handle and distribute the ball to teammates; this involves setting up plays on the court, getting the ball to the teammate in the best position to score, controlling the tempo of the game.
A point guard should know when and how to instigate a fast break and when and how to initiate the more deliberate sets. Point guards are expected to be vocal floor leaders. A point guard needs always to have in mind the times on the shot clock and the game clock, the score, the numbers of remaining timeouts for both teams, etc. Among the taller players who have enjoyed success at the position is Ben Simmons, who at 6’ 10” won the 2018 National Basketball Association Rookie of the Year Award. Behind him is Magic Johnson, who at 6’ 9” won the National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Award three times in his career. Other point guards who have been named NBA MVP include Russell Westbrook, Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson, Allen Iverson, Derrick Rose and two-time winners Steve Nash and Stephen Curry. In the NBA, point guards are about 6' 4" or shorter, average about 6' 2" whereas in the WNBA, point guards are 5' 9" or shorter. Having above-average size is considered advantageous, although size is secondary to situational awareness, speed and ball handling skills.
Shorter players tend to be better dribblers since they are closer to the floor, thus have better control of the ball while dribbling. After an opponent scores, it is the point guard who brings the ball down court to begin an offensive play. Passing skills, ball handling, court vision are crucial. Speed is important. Point guards are valued more for their assist totals than for their scoring. Another major evaluation factor is assist-to-turnover ratio, which reflects the decision-making skills of the player. Still, a first-rate point guard should have a reasonably effective jump shot; the point guard is positioned on the perimeter of the play, so as to have the best view of the action. This is a necessity because of the point guard's many leadership obligations. Many times, the point guard is referred to by announcers as a "coach on the floor" or a "floor general". In the past, this was true, as several point guards such as Lenny Wilkens served their teams as player-coaches; this is not so common anymore, as most coaches are now specialized in coaching and are non-players.
Some point guards are still given a great deal of leeway in the offense. Point guards who are not given this much freedom, are still extensions of their coach on the floor and must display good leadership skills. Along with leadership and a general basketball acumen, ball-handling is a skill of great importance to a point guard. Speaking, the point guard is the player in possession of the ball for the most time during a game and is responsible for maintaining possession of the ball for his team in the face of any pressure from the opponents. Point guards must be able to maintain possession of the ball in crowded spaces and in traffic and be able to advance the ball quickly. A point guard that has enough ball-handling skill and quickness to be able to drive to the basket in a half-court set is very valuable and considered by some to be a must for a successful offense. After ball-handling and scoring are the most important areas of the game for a point guard; as the primary decision-maker for a team, a point guard's passing ability determines how well a point guard is able to put his decision into play.
It is one thing to be able to recognize the player, in a tactically advantageous position, but it is another thing to be able to deliver the ball to that player. For this reason, a point guard is but not always, more skilled and focused on passing than shooting. However, a good jump shot and the ability to score off a drive to the basket are still valuable skills. A point guard will use his ability to score in order to augment his effectiveness as a decision maker and play maker. In addition to the traditional role of the point guard, modern teams have found new ways to utilize the position. Notably, several modern point guards have used a successful style of post play, a tactic practiced by much larger centers and forwards. Working off of the fact that the opposing point guard is in all probability an undersized player with limited strength, several modern point guards have developed games close to the basket that include being able to utilize the drop step, spin move, fade away jump shot. In recent years, the sport's shift from a fundamental style of play to a more athletic, scoring-oriented game resulted in the proliferation of so-called combo guards at the po
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