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Oceania - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Land Down Under. Oceania. Oceania. Oceania is made up of 23 countries, spread over 10,000 islands. It covers over 3.3 million square miles, but only has 0.5 percent of the world’s population!

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  • Oceania is made up of 23 countries, spread over 10,000 islands.
  • It covers over 3.3 million square miles, but only has 0.5 percent of the world’s population!
  • There is great diversity– everything from desert wilderness to tropical islands to active volcanos.
  • Australia is the largest island. Other major islands include New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
a n island a country a continent


an island ~ a country ~ a continent

Sixth largest country (about the size of the US

Smallest & flattest continent

2/3 classified as outback (hot & arid land)

Majority of population lives near the coast

Settled by European colonial powers such as Great Britain & France


Australia has a temperate climate, which means there are many sunny days with mild temperatures.

Australia is located below the equator, so its seasons are opposite of ours. Summer is from December to March and winter is from June to August.

The coastal areas get plenty of rain, while the interior stays dry.

The outback is warm during the day, but chilly at night.

natural resources
Natural Resources

Many natural resources, such as uranium, natural gas & zinc, can be found along the coastline.

One of Australia’s largest natural resources is coal, which is used for energy. They produce enough to provide electricity for the island and sell the rest.

Australia also has huge deposits of iron ore, (used to make steel) and gold (used to make coins and jewelry).

There are huge ranches in the Outback where sheep are raised to produce wool.

geographic features
Geographic Features
  • Coral Sea
    • Located on the northeast coast of Australia
    • Covers more than 280,00 square miles
    • Location of a major WW 2 battle
    • Home to many types of marine life
geographic features1
Geographic Features
  • Great Barrier Reef—
    • It is the largest coral reef system in the world
    • It is more than 1200 miles long (longer than the Great Wall of China!
    • It is located in the Coral Sea on the northeast coast
geographic features2
Geographic Features
  • Ayers Rock—
    • Also called Mount Uluru
    • Most famous natural landmark
    • Located in central Australia
    • 1142 feet high
    • Sacred site of the Aborigines
geographic features3
Geographic Features
  • Great Victoria Desert
    • Largest desert in Australia
    • Named for Queen Victoria of England by Ernest Giles, the first European to cross it

When settlers arrived, there were 750,000 Aborigines, or native Australians, living on the continent. Today only 1% of Australia’s population is Aborigine.

These natives formed approximately 500 tribes, each associated with its own language and stretch of territory.

The Aborigines lived by hunting and gathering food.

They had a semi-nomadic lifestyle (which means they moved as they needed to for food sources).

Family units were vitally important, as all members of a tribe were related.

Each tribe was led by religious leaders, with no political chief or formal government, and was broken down into bands (hunting groups)

Spirituality and religion played a major role in the Aboriginal culture.

There were many myths and rituals connected to both the tribe's ancestors and the creators of the world, none of whom ever died but merged with the natural world and thus remained a part of the present.

These myths and rituals, were known as the Dreaming or the Dreamtime, and reflected a belief in the continuity of existence and harmony with the world.

They were also a source of inspiration for much aboriginal art, including paintings, carved objects, symbolic weapons and poetic chants


The settlers viewed the natives as barbarians, seizing tribal land and, in many cases, taking it by force.

Many Aborigines died of disease, starvation, cultural dislocation and neglect.

Today, there are fewer than 230,000 Aborigines in Australia.

Only 39% finish a high school education, compared to 75% of non-indigenous students in Australia.


Australia was settled by Great Britain during the colonial period.




Australian ports were a life-line. The Australian colonies were totally dependent on ships for supplies and news from the 'motherland', Great Britain.


1600’s Abel Tasman discovered Tasmania, New Zealand, the Tonga and the Fiji Islands, and was the first circumnavigator of Australia

1770 - James Cook explored & mapped Eastern Australia .

1623 - Jan Carstensz reported to the Dutch East India captains of seeing a dry land, no use to mankind, whose inhabitants were 'the poorest and most wretched creatures ever seen'.

prisoners as colonists
Prisoners as Colonists
  • American Revolution forced the British to stop sending prisoners to Georgia (used as a penal colony at the time)
    • Great Britain had to start looking for another place to send its prisoners…
  • Australia seemed like a good choice: no chance of escape, no colonies around it, and very few indigenous people lived there
australian culture language
Australian Culture-- Language

Although Australians share a common language with Great Britain and America, they have a unique accent & vocabulary.



Review Questions- Australia’s Colonization

1. Which explorer claimed Australia for Great Britain?

2. Which coast of Australia did the above explorer claim for the British in 1770?

3. What type of people were the first British colonists in Australia?

4. What were the 3 main reasons that the British wanted to colonize Australia?

5. Why does Australia have a mix of Catholic and Protestant beliefs unlike some other places settled by Europeans?

6. What ended up happening to the Aborigines that were native to Australia?

australian culture religion
Australian Culture-- Religion

Religions in Australia reflect their heritage.

Over 70% claim to be Christian, with almost half being either Anglican or Catholic.

This goes back to the time when England sent Catholic prisoners from Ireland and when Anglican missionaries came during colonization.


Australia has mixed economy and has the least government control .

Supply & demand determine the 3 economic questions:

What to produce?

How to produce it?

Whom to produce it for?

People can own their own businesses and produce what they want.

Their currency is the Australian dollar.

Australia’s economy was originally based on agriculture.

Mining coal and iron ore became important in the 1960’s.

Australia developed trade relations with China & Japan and are working to develop some free trade agreements.

They export coal, iron ore & wool.

Australia import most of their products from China & the U.S.

They import computers, machinery & petroleum.

Tariffs, Quotas & Embargoes

A tariff is a tax on imported goods. An example of a tariff in Australia would be if China wanted to sell boomerangs in Australia, they might have to pay $100 to do so. The purpose of a tariff is to protect domestic businesses.

Quotas are restrictions on the amount of a product that can be imported. An example would be if Australia only allowed 20 Chinese boomerangs to be imported. The purpose of quotas is to encourage consumers to buy domestic products.

Embargoes prohibit trade with another country. An example would be if Australia refused to allow Chinese boomerangs to be sold because they were made in a factory that allowed child labor. The purpose of an embargo is to try to force a country to change its policy on an issue.
Factors that affect GDP

Human capital (labor): Australia has invested in their work force by offering free public education and skill training.

Capital: Australia has invested in factories, machines & technology.

Natural Resources: Australia has developed a strong export trade in coal, iron ore and uranium. There is also a large market for gold and diamonds.

Entrepreneurs: Australia encourages new business and provides training on how to get started.


Australia has a federal parliamentary democracy.

Federal: It has a central government with 6 state governments.

Parliamentary: The legislative branch makes the laws.

Democracy: Citizens are highly involved.

states territories
States & Territories:
  • Six states:
    • Tasmania
    • Victoria
    • Queensland
    • New South Wales
    • South Australia
    • Western Australia
  • Two territories
    • Northern Territory
    • Australian Capital Territory
  • do not have the right to convene their own government or pass laws
  • typically the Australian Government makes the laws for the territories
  • granted the right of self-government, but can be taken away
  • represent the six British colonies that joined together to create the Commonwealth of Australia
  • have a constitutional right to convene a state parliament and pass certain laws
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II

Leader of majority party chosen

Officially commissions




Suggests bills



Governor- general

Prime Minister


Makes sure decisions

benefit Australians

Queen’s representative in Australia

House of representatives

voting rights
Voting Rights

Everyone over 18 is REQUIRED to vote.

If you do not vote and do not have a good excuse (sick, in jail, handicapped, etc.) you must pay a fine.

This began in 1924 because over half the citizens did not vote.

Now over 90% vote in each election.


Personal Rights & Freedoms:

  • Australia does not have a formal “Bill of Rights” like the U.S., but instead has “understood freedoms”.
  • These include the right to vote, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and equal rights.