Coordinates: 27°S 133°E / 27°S 133°E / -27; 133
Australia (/ɒˈstreɪliə/, /ə-/, colloquially /-jə/), officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia, is an Oceanian 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. Neighbouring countries include Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east.
For about 50,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who spoke languages grouped into roughly 250 language groups. After the European discovery of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades; the continent was explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies were established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Since federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy comprising six states and several territories. The population of 24 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated in the eastern states and on the coast.
"Australia" is a song by the British rock band The Kinks, appearing on their 1969 album, Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). It was written by the band's main songwriter, Ray Davies.
In the song, the character Derek (who is featured in the story line of Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)) attempts to convince his father, Arthur, of the great opportunities available in Australia, where there's "no drug addiction" and you can "surf like they do in the U.S.A." Derek's advertisement is compared to John Smith, who campaigned for America in a similar manner, by author Thomas Kitts.
The song also features a jam sequence lasting for approximately half the song, which is atypical for The Kinks. In the Australian single edit, this section is removed by editing an earlier section of the song into another section during a drum beat, which is then followed by a fade-out.
"Australia" was only released in most countries on the Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) album, where it was the closing track on side one. However, in Australia, a dramatically cut down version of the song was released as a single, with another Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) track, "She's Bought a Hat Like Princess Marina", on the B-side. However, the single was commercially unsuccessful.
Australia (Whore of the world) is a climate change protest song written by singer-songwriter John Gordon and released in late 2010. The song laments Australia's mining culture - especially coal mining in Australia and coal exports - likening the country to a 'mining whore'.
It has featured in a wide variety of Australian press and online media, including mining forums, and continues to garner attention due to its controversial and provocative message. Music press have hailed the song as one of the great contemporary Australian protest songs. The Melbourne Age went as far as to say that Midnight Oil's 'Blue Sky Mine' has nothing on 'Australia (Whore of the World)'. The Song has been banned by ABC Local Radio Southern Queensland (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) as being too provocative for a conservative audience. ABC Southern Queensland encompasses the Toowoomba and Darling Downs region which is the region where Gordon hails from originally and where he has performed the song at a number of anti-mining rallies. The song has however received airplay in other parts of Australia from the ABC, and has been showcased on the national flagship ABC Environment website. As of May 2011, Gordon is contesting the Toowoomba ruling with the case currently before the independent ABC Consumer and Audience review board.