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is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands.
It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area.
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".
These include the western plains of New South Wales, and the Einasleigh Uplands, Barkly Tableland, and Mulga Lands of inland Queensland.
The northernmost point of the east coast is the tropical-rainforested Cape York Peninsula.
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.Search all UQ websites or browse the sites below Some of the below sites provide functionality and databases that cannot be accessed via the search field above.If you cannot find what you are after, try visiting the relevant site directly.The first settlement led to the foundation of Sydney, and the exploration and settlement of other regions.A government policy of "assimilation" beginning with the Aboriginal Protection Act 1869 resulted in the removal of many Aboriginal children from their families and communities—often referred to as the Stolen Generations—a practice which may also have contributed to the decline in the indigenous population.
The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland, and the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent (in 1606), are attributed to the Dutch.