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10 facts about Australia

Whether you’re thinking about studying in Australia or ready to jump on the plane with visa and health insurance in hand, you’ll need our quick cheat to give you a rundown on what to expect.

Population

24 million

Prime Minister

Malcolm Turnbull is the leader of the Liberal Party and has been the Australian Prime Minister since 2015.

Capital city

Canberra is the capital city of Australia and amusingly was built because Melbourne and Sydney couldn’t decide which should be the capital.

What’s the language?

The national language is English but over 300 languages are spoken in Australian homes. The most common are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese and Greek.

And the religion?

Australia prides itself on multiculturalism. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are the original people of the land, the English colonised in 1770 and today immigrants from over 200 countries also call Australia home. Australians embrace a range of religious beliefs – the following and more are found in almost every major city.

Roman Catholicism (25.3%)

Anglicanism (17.1%)

Other Christian (18.7%)

Buddhism (2.5%)

Islam (2.2%)

Hinduism (1.3%)

Other religions (1.2%)

No religion (22.3%)

Not stated or unclear (9.4%)

What’s the money like?

The Australian dollar (AUD) comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes, each a different colour. Coins come in silver 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent pieces and gold one and two dollar values.

And the weather?

The weather varies across the country. Most of the country experiences four seasons but the north is more tropical and has wet and dry seasons. Unlike the northern hemisphere, Australia’s summer is December to February; autumn is March to May; winter is June to August; and spring is September to November.

National symbols

Australia’s national colours are green and gold, the colours of its national floral emblem, the Golden Wattle.

National animals

The Emu and Red Kangaroo are Australian’s national animals that appear on the Commonwealth Coat of Arms shield.

National Anthem

Advance Australia Fair has been Australia’s official national anthem since 19 April 1984.

Australians all let us rejoice,

For we are young and free;

We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil;

Our home is girt by sea;

Our land abounds in nature’s gifts

Of beauty rich and rare;

In history’s page, let every stage

Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing,

Advance Australia Fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross

We’ll toil with hearts and hands;

To make this Commonwealth of ours

Renowned of all the lands;

For those who’ve come across the seas

We’ve boundless plains to share;

With courage let us all combine

To Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing,

Advance Australia Fair.

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