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The Commonwealth of Australia is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the world's smallest continent and a number of islands in the Southern, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Australia's neighbouring countries are Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east.

The continent of Australia has been inhabited for more than 42,000 years by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. After sporadic visits by European explorers and merchants from the 17th century onwards, the eastern half of the continent was claimed by the British in 1770, and officially settled as the penal colony of New South Wales on 26 January 1788. As the population grew and new areas were explored, another five largely self-governing Crown colonies were successively established over the course of the 19th century.

On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Since federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system and remains a Commonwealth realm. The current population of around 21 million is concentrated mainly in the coastal cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

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Alan Kippax (25 May 1897–5 September 1972) was a cricketer for New South Wales (NSW) and Australia. Regarded as one of the great stylists of Australian cricket during the interwar period, Kippax overcame a late start to Test cricket to become a regular in the Australian team between 1928–29 and 1932–33. A middle-order batsman, he toured England twice, and at domestic level was a prolific scorer and a highly considered leader of NSW for eight years. To an extent, his Test figures did not correspond with his great success for NSW and he is best remembered for a performance in domestic cricket — a world record last wicket partnership, set during a Sheffield Shield match in 1928–29. His career curtailed due to the controversial Bodyline tactics employed by England on their 1932–33 tour of Australia. Kippax wrote a book denouncing the tactics after the series concluded.

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Wattle Point wind farm near Edithburgh, South Australia.

Wattle Point Wind Farm is a wind farm near Edithburgh on the coast of South Australia. Upon officially opening in June 2005 it became Australia's largest wind farm at 91 megawatts. The installation consists of 55 wind turbines and was built at a cost of around AU$165 million.

Photo credit: Scott Davis


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