Australia 101


This course is designed for us to familiarise Australia's colourful culture, geography and it's people.


Table of  Contents:

I. Geography

II. Society and Culture

III. Introduction to Australian Holidays

I. Geography

States and Territories


Mainland Australia is the world’s largest island but also the smallest continent. The country is divided into six states and two territories.

a.)Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

b.) New South Wales

c.) Northern Territory

d.) Queensland

e.) South Australia

f.) Tasmania

g.) Victoria

h.) Western Australia

*Australia also administers Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos (or Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Heard and McDonald Islands, Norfolk Island and the Australian Antarctic Territory (covering 42 per cent of the Antarctic continent) as external territories.

**Credits to


Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) bounds the national capital of Canberra and is the centre of government. The Australian Capital Territory is located approximately 290 kilometres (180 miles) south of Sydney and is home to a number of important national institutions, including Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and the National Gallery of Australia.

New South Wales (NSW)

New South Wales (NSW) is Australia’s oldest and most populous state. New South Wales was originally settled as a penal colony on the shores of Port Jackson where the bustling capital city of Sydney now stands. Sydney is the nation’s largest city and is renowned for its idyllic beaches, great walks and world-class dining. New South Wales is also home to popular attractions including the Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley wine region.

Northern Territory (NT)

At the top end of Australia lies the Northern Territory (NT). Darwin, on the northern coast, is the capital, and Alice Springs is the principal inland town. Alice Springs is the physical heart of Australia, almost exactly at the nation's geographical centre. The Northern Territory is home to the famous Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Kakadu National Park.

Queensland (QLD)

Queensland (QLD) is Australia’s second-largest state (in size) and is home to the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, the world’s most extensive subtropical rainforest and the beautiful Queensland Islands – including the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. Brisbane is the state’s capital; it enjoys more winter sunshine and warmth than most Australian cities and is perfect for outdoor activities and water sports.

South Australia (SA)

South Australia (SA) sits in the southern central part of the country and covers some of the aridest parts of the continent. The state’s capital is Adelaide and is a great base for exploring the Barossa wineries, the Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island. South Australia has a thriving arts scene and is known as the ‘Festival State’, with more than 500 events and festivals taking place there each year.

Tasmania (TAS)

Tasmania (TAS) is separated from mainland Australia by the Bass Strait and is the smallest state in Australia. The capital, Hobart, was founded in 1804 as a penal colony and is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney. One-fifth of Tasmania is covered by national parks and wilderness – abundant in driving routes and walking trails – and it is one of the world’s most mountainous islands.

Victoria (VIC)

Victoria (VIC) is the smallest of the mainland states in size but is home to the country’s second most populated city, Melbourne. Often referred to as the nation’s cultural capital, Melbourne is famed for its graffiti laneways, fashion-forward boutiques and booming café scene. Victorians' enthusiasm for the sport is also legendary and this is where Australian Rules football began. The only thing more sacred than the footy is Melbournians love of coffee, and here you’ll find some of Australia’s best flat whites, cappuccinos and piccolo lattes.

Western Australia (WA)

Western Australia (WA) is Australia’s largest state and is a place of true contrasts: from the desert in the east to 13,000 kilometres of pristine coastline on the west. The state’s capital is Perth; the fourth most populous city in Australia and famed for its uncrowded beaches, parklands and fresh seafood. Off the coast of Esperance, in the state’s south, is Middle Island, which is home to the extraordinary pink-coloured Lake Hillier.

Map of Australia

Drop the correct State name on the blank map.
  • Western Australia
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • New South Wales
  • ACT
  • Victoria
  • Tasmania

II. Society and Culture

People and Interests

Australians are generally laid-back, open and direct. They say what they mean and are generally more individual and outgoing than many other cultures.

You may think that most Australians live in the 'outback' out in the country. In fact, more than three-quarters of Australians live in cities and in urban centres, mainly along the coast.

Some key values that reflect the Australian way of life include:

  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of religion
  • Democracy
  • Equality regardless of sex, marital status, religion, nationality, disability or sexual preference
  • Peacefulness
  • A 'fair go' (equal opportunity) for all and support for the underdog.

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Diverse Culture

Australians come from a rich variety of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds. While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the original inhabitants of the land, immigrants from about 200 countries also call Australia home.

Until the 1970s, the majority of immigrants to Australia came from Europe. These days Australia receives many more immigrants from Asia, and since 1996 the number of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East has almost doubled.

Australia's immigration policy welcomes people from all over the world and does not discriminate on racial, cultural or religious grounds. Australians embrace the spectrum of religious beliefs and Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and other places of worship are found in almost every major city.

Australia is modern, contemporary and multicultural and this is reflected in its buildings, fashion, recreation and foods.

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Sport is an important part of Australian culture dating back to the early colonial period. CricketAustralian rules footballrugby union and horse racing are among the earliest organised sports in Australia. Sports has shaped the Australian national identity through events such as the Ashes, the Melbourne Cup and the America's Cup.

There are a number of professional sport leagues in Australia, including the Australian Football League (AFL) (Australian rules football), the Big Bash League (BBL) and Sheffield Shield (cricket), the National Basketball League and the Women's National Basketball League, the A-League and the W-League (soccer), the Australian Baseball League, the National Rugby League (rugby league), Super Rugby (rugby union), the ANZ Championship (netball) and the International V8 Supercars Championship (touring car racing). Attendance for the A-League, AFL and NRL over the course of a single season tops six million.

As a nation, Australia has competed in many international events, including the Olympics and Paralympics. The country has also twice hosted the Summer Olympics in Melbourne (1956) and Sydney (2000), as well as the Commonwealth Games on four occasions.

The city of Melbourne is famous for its major sports events and is often considered the 'sporting capital'.

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Are there traits similar to your country's culture?

III. Introduction to Australian Holidays

Public Holidays

Public holidays are special opportunities to relax. They’re gifts Australians get every couple of months – a day or two off work without having to burn any annual leave.

What makes these public holidays even better is how they can be mixed with a weekend – and even a day or two of precious annual leave – to create a heavenly long weekend! These long weekends are really where the magic happens.

New Year's Day

Australia Day

Good Friday

Easter Monday

Anzac Day

Christmas Day

Boxing Day

Queens Birthday

Labour Day

Matching Type

  • Boxing Day
    This public holiday is celebrated on 26th December in several countries as part of the Christmas holidays.
  • Anzac Day
    It marks the anniversary of the first key military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
  • Australia Day
    It marks the arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales on that date in 1788, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain by Captain Arthur
  • Labour Day
    It commemorates the achievements of organised labour to implement the eight-hour day in the middle of the nineteenth century.
  • Queens' Birthday
    In Australia, except in the states of Queensland and Western Australia, it is celebrated on the second Monday of June. The holiday also marks the start of the Australian ski season.