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is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands.
The first ship and crew to chart the Australian coast and meet with Aboriginal people was the Duyfken captained by Dutch navigator, Willem Janszoon.Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", and "the Wide Brown Land".The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country".Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts.Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under" (usually shortened to just "Down Under").Melbourne was the temporary seat of government from 1901 to 1927 while Canberra was being constructed.After World War II Australia encouraged immigration from mainland Europe.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.Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney.For about 50,000 years 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.