Portal:Australia/Featured article/2007

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

purge cache

Weeks in 2007[edit]

Week 1

Ian Thorpe (born 13 October 1982), also known as the Thorpedo or Thorpey, is a former Australian freestyle swimmer who is regarded as one of the greatest freestyle swimmers of all time. He has won five Olympic Games gold medals, the most won by any Australian, and has won more World Championship golds than any other swimmer. Thorpe is the only person to have been named World Swimmer of the Year four times by Swimming World magazine, and was the Australian swimmer of the year from 1999 to 2003. His athletic achievements have made him Australia's most popular athlete, with his philanthropy and clean image earning him further recognition as the Young Australian of the Year in 2000. At the age of 14, he became the youngest male ever to represent Australia, and his victory in the 400 metre freestyle a few months later at the 1998 Perth World Championships made him the youngest ever individual male World Champion. After that victory, Thorpe dominated the 400 m freestyle, winning the event at every Olympic, World, Commonwealth and Pan Pacific event until his break after the 2004 Olympics. He announced his retirement from swimming on 21 November 2006, after illness and waning motivation had prevented a return to form.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 2

The Ashes urn

The Ashes is a biennial Test cricket series, played between England and Australia. It is international cricket's oldest and most celebrated rivalry, dating back to 1882. The series is named after a satirical obituary published in The Sporting Times in 1882 after the match at The Oval, in which Australia beat England in England for the first time. The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. The English media dubbed the next English tour, to Australia (1882-83) as the quest to regain The Ashes. A small terracotta urn was presented to the England captain Ivo Bligh by a group of Melbourne women at some point during the 1882-83 tour of Australia. The contents of the urn are reputed to be the ashes of an item of cricket equipment, possibly a bail, ball or stump. The urn is not used as the trophy for the Ashes series, and whichever side "holds" the Ashes, the urn normally remains in the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum at Lord's. Since the 1998-99 Ashes series, a Waterford crystal representation of the Ashes urn has been presented to the winners of an Ashes series as the official trophy.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 3

Three of Canberra's best-known landmarks, Lake Burley Griffin (foreground), Old and New Parliament House.

The history of the Australian Capital Territory as a Territory of Australia began after the Federation of Australia in 1901, when it was created in law as the site for Australia's capital city Canberra. The region has a long prior history of human habitation before the Territory's creation, however, with evidence of Indigenous Australian settlement dating back at least 21,000 years. The region formed the traditional lands associated with the Ngunnawal people and several other linguistic groups, an association known through both early European settler accounts and the oral histories of the peoples themselves. Following the colonisation of Australia by the British, the 19th century saw the initial European exploration and settlement of the area and their encounters with the local indigenous peoples, beginning with the first explorations in 1820 and shortly followed by the first European settlements in 1824. In the early 20th century, the development of the region took an unusual turn when it was chosen as the site for the creation of Australia's capital city in 1908. The planning and construction of Canberra followed, with the Parliament of Australia finally moving there in 1927, and the Territory officially becoming the Australian Capital Territory in 1938. The political development of the Territory began in 1949, when it was given its first representative in the Parliament of Australia, and was completed when it became an autonomous territory when self-government was granted in 1988.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 4

Three of Canberra's best-known landmarks, Lake Burley Griffin (foreground), Old and New Parliament House.

The history of the Australian Capital Territory as a Territory of Australia began after the Federation of Australia in 1901, when it was created in law as the site for Australia's capital city Canberra. The region has a long prior history of human habitation before the Territory's creation, however, with evidence of Indigenous Australian settlement dating back at least 21,000 years. The region formed the traditional lands associated with the Ngunnawal people and several other linguistic groups, an association known through both early European settler accounts and the oral histories of the peoples themselves. Following the colonisation of Australia by the British, the 19th century saw the initial European exploration and settlement of the area and their encounters with the local indigenous peoples, beginning with the first explorations in 1820 and shortly followed by the first European settlements in 1824. In the early 20th century, the development of the region took an unusual turn when it was chosen as the site for the creation of Australia's capital city in 1908. The planning and construction of Canberra followed, with the Parliament of Australia finally moving there in 1927, and the Territory officially becoming the Australian Capital Territory in 1938. The political development of the Territory began in 1949, when it was given its first representative in the Parliament of Australia, and was completed when it became an autonomous territory when self-government was granted in 1988.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 5

The street sign for ACDC Lane, named in the band's honour.

AC/DC are a hard rock band formed in Sydney, Australia in 1973 by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young. The band are considered pioneers of hard rock, alongside bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath. Its members, however, have always classified their music as "rock 'n' roll". AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. Membership remained stable until bassist Cliff Williams replaced Mark Evans in 1977. In 1979, the band recorded their highly successful album, Highway to Hell. Lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on February 19, 1980, after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The group briefly considered disbanding, but soon ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson was selected as Scott's replacement. Later that year, the band released their biggest-selling album, Back in Black. The band's next album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, was also highly successful and was the first hard rock album to reach #1 in the United States. AC/DC declined in popularity, however, soon after the departure of drummer Phil Rudd in 1983. Poor record sales continued until the release of The Razor's Edge in 1990. Phil Rudd returned in 1994 and contributed to the band's 1995 album Ballbreaker. Stiff Upper Lip was released in 2000 and was well-received by critics. A new album is expected in 2007. AC/DC have sold more than 150 million albums worldwide, including more than 68 million albums in the US. Back in Black has sold 42 million units worldwide, including 21 million in the U.S., making it the second-highest-selling album ever, and the biggest-selling album by any band. The band are ranked fourth on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 6

Façade of the Parliament of South Australia.

Legislative elections for the 51st Parliament of South Australia were held in the state of South Australia on 18 March 2006, and were conducted by the independent State Electoral Office. The centre-left Australian Labor Party, in government since 2002 under Premier Mike Rann, gained a 7.7 percent statewide swing, resulting in the first Labor majority government since the 1985 election, with 28 of the 47 House of Assembly (lower house) seats. The centre-right Liberal Party of Australia, led by Rob Kerin, achieved their worst lower house result in any South Australian election, with 31.9% of seats. In addition to the major party results, all three sitting independents and a sitting Nationals SA member retained their lower house seats. In the Legislative Council (upper house), both major parties each finished with a total of eight seats, with Labor winning four and the Liberals winning three. No Pokies independent Nick Xenophon polled an unprecedented (for an independent or minor party) 20.5 percent, resulting in both Xenophon and his running mate, Ann Bressington being elected. Family First had a second member elected, the Democrats vote collapsed leaving one remaining member, and the SA Greens won a seat for the first time.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 7

Bondi Junction railway station on the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra railway line.

The Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra railway line is a commuter railway line in the eastern and southern suburbs of Sydney, that has become part of the city's CityRail rail network. Along with the South Coast Line, an intercity line that uses the Illawara Line tracks out of Sydney, the line was originally constructed in the 1880s to Wollongong to take advantage of agricultural and mining potentials in the Illawarra area. In 1926, it became the first railway in New South Wales to run electric train services. Today the railway consists of three connected lines: the original Illawarra Line; a branch line between Sutherland and Cronulla (the Cronulla Line), which opened on a former tramway alignment in 1939; and an underground rail link between the Sydney CBD and Bondi Junction, the Eastern Suburbs Line, which opened in 1979. The railway currently operates as a relatively high-frequency independent line today, that has been noted by the New South Wales Government to be the most reliable line in Sydney. Operationally and historically, the entire line from the Illawarra Junction at Redfern to its terminus in Bomaderry on the South Coast was known as the "Illawarra Line", however, since 1989, CityRail has marketed the suburban services to Waterfall and Cronulla as the "Illawarra line" and interurban services south to Wollongong and Bomaderry as the South Coast Line. The line is coloured an azure blue on CityRail's timetables and other promotional materials.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 8

Thomas Playford circa 1956.

Sir Thomas Playford (July 5, 1896 – 16 June 1981) was a prominent South Australian politician and farmer. He served continuously as Premier of South Australia from 5 November 1938 to 10 March 1965, the longest term of any democratically elected leader in the history of the Commonwealth of Nations. His tenure as premier was marked by a period of population and economic growth unmatched by any other Australian state. Born into an old political family, he grew up on the family farm in Norton Summit before enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force in World War I, fighting in Gallipoli and Western Europe. In office, Playford used his negotiating skills to encourage industry to relocate to South Australia during World War II, and built upon this in the post-war boom years. Playford took a unique, strong and direct approach to the premiership and personally oversaw his industrial initiatives. His string of election wins were assisted by a system of electoral malapportionment that bore his name, the 'Playmander'. However, Playford and his party failed to adapt to changing social mores and eventually lost office in the 1965 election.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 9
Litoria aurea.

The Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea) is a ground-dwelling tree frog native to eastern Australia. It is also known as the Green Bell Frog, Green and Golden Swamp Frog and Green Frog. Measuring 11 centimetres (4.3 in) in length, the Green and Golden Bell Frog is one of the largest Australian frogs. Many populations, particularly in the Sydney region, are in areas of frequent disturbance, including golf courses, disused industrial land, brick pits and landfill areas. Once one of the most common frogs in south-east Australia, the Green and Golden Bell Frog has undergone major population declines, leading to its current classification as globally vulnerable. Population numbers have continued to decline and major threats include habitat loss and degradation, pollution, introduced species, parasites and pathogens, such as the amphibian chytrid fungus.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 10
High Court of Australia.

Al-Kateb v Godwin was an important Australian court case decided in the High Court of Australia on 6 August 2004. It concerned a stateless man who was detained under the policy of mandatory immigration detention. His application for a protection visa had been denied, and because he was stateless no other country would accept him. The issue in the case was whether indefinite immigration detention was lawful, and the court ultimately decided that it was. The court considered two main questions, firstly, whether the Migration Act 1958 (the legislation which governs immigration in Australia) permitted a person in Al-Kateb's situation to be detained indefinitely, and secondly, if it did, whether that was permissible under the Constitution of Australia. A majority of the court decided that the Act did allow indefinite detention, and that the Act was not unconstitutional.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 11
Inflorescence of B. epica

Banksia epica is a shrub that grows on the south coast of Western Australia. A spreading bush with wedge-shaped serrated leaves and large creamy-yellow flower spikes, it grows up to 3½ metres (11½ ft) high. It is known only from two isolated populations in the remote south east of the state, near the western edge of the Great Australian Bight. Both populations occur amongst coastal heath on cliff-top dunes of siliceous sand. One of the most recently described Banksia species, it was probably seen by Edward John Eyre in 1841, but was not collected until 1973, and was only recognised as a distinct species in 1988. There has been very little research on the species since then, so knowledge of its ecology and cultivation potential is limited. It is placed in Banksia ser. Cyrtostylis, alongside its close relative, the well-known and widely cultivated B. media (Southern Plains Banksia).

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 12
Aintree Eglinton Reserve

Hamersley is a residential suburb fourteen kilometres north-northwest of the central business district of Perth, the capital of Western Australia, and six kilometres from the Indian Ocean. The suburb adjoins two major arterial roads — Mitchell Freeway to the west and Reid Highway to the south — and is within the City of Stirling local government area. It was built during the late 1960s and 1970s as part of the Government of Western Australia's response to rapidly increasing land prices across the metropolitan area. Prior to development, Hamersley was a remote district covered in jarrah, marri, banksia and other vegetation typical of the Swan Coastal Plain, with small areas having been cleared for small-scale agriculture such as market gardening and poultry farming. Rapid growth in areas further north removed the focus from Hamersley, which was completed in 1981, remaining relatively stable since. Significant reserves of remnant bushland are retained in parts of the suburb. The guyed tower was constructed in 1939 and is a landmark in the region, although it has become a local political issue over the past decade.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 13
Adam Gilchrist

Adam Gilchrist (born 14 November 1971 in Bellingen, New South Wales), nicknamed Gilly or Church. He made his first-class debut in 1992, going on to make his first One-day International appearance in 1996 and his Test debut in 1999. He has been Australia's vice-captain in both forms of the game since 2000, captaining the team when regular captains Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting were unavailable. Gilchrist is an aggressive left-handed batsman and effective wicket-keeper, combining the two roles for the Australian national team and is considered to be one of the best wicket-keeper-batsmen in the history of the game. His strike rate is amongst the highest in the history of both One-day and Test cricket and he currently holds the record for the second fastest century in Test match cricket. Gilchrist is also noted for having been reprimanded for outbursts on the pitch a number of times during his playing career, including being fined significant portions of his match fee. He is also renowned for walking when he considers himself to be out, sometimes even contrary to the decision of the umpire. During his career, he has played for Australia in 90 Test matches and over 250 One-day internationals and will represent his country for a third successive ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 14

Central Coast Mariners Football Club, also known as The Mariners or The Coast, are an Australian professional football (soccer) team based on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. They participate in the A-League and are one of three teams from the state of New South Wales playing in the competition. The Mariners were the first professional club from the Central Coast to compete in a national competition, and were formed during 2004 for the foundation of the A-League in 2005–06. Despite being considered one of the smaller franchises at the inception of the A-League competition, Central Coast qualified for the first four domestic finals after their establishment. The Mariners had a successful first season, winning the 2005 Pre-Season Cup and losing in the A-League grand final to Sydney FC. They made the final of the Pre-Season Cup again in 2006, however lost to Adelaide United. The Mariners came sixth in the 2006–07 A-League competition, and failed to qualify for the finals series.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 15
The north portico of the Shrine, showing the sculptures in the pediment, clearly inspired by those of the Parthenon. The central figure is the "Call to Arms."

The Shrine of Remembrance, located in St Kilda Road, Melbourne, is one of the largest war memorials in Australia. It was built as a memorial to the men and women of Victoria who served in World War I, but soon came to be seen as Australia's major memorial to all the 60,000 Australians who died in that war. It now serves as a memorial for all Australians who served in war and it is the site of annual observances of ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day. The Shrine's design, by Melbourne architects (and war veterans) Phillip Hudson and James Wardrop, is based on the ancient Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It features a massive pyramid-shaped structure, with classical porticos at the head of wide flights of steps on the northern and southern sides. After overcoming intense criticism of its grandiosity, the foundation stone was laid on 11 November 1927 and in 1934 the Duke of Gloucester formally dedicated the Shrine to a crowd of 300,000.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 16

Façade of the Parliament of South Australia.

The Liberal Movement, usually referred to as the LM, was a minor South Australian political party that flourished in the 1970s. Stemming from discontent within the ranks of the Liberal and Country League, it was first formed by former Premier Steele Hall as an internal group in 1972 in response to a lack of reform within its parent. A year later, when tensions heightened between the LCL's conservative wing and the LM, it was established on its own as a progressive liberal party. When still part of the league, it had eleven representatives; on its own, it initially had three. In the federal election of 1974, it succeeded in electing Hall to the Australian Senate, and in the 1975 state election, it gained an additional member, narrowly failing to dislodge the incumbent Don Dunstan-led Labor Government in coalition with other non-Labor parties. The limited success of the LM and internal decline led to it being absorbed back into the LCL in 1976, newly renamed as the Liberal Party of Australia. A wing of the LM did not rejoin the Liberals and instead formed a new party, the New LM. The New LM, along with the Australia Party and Don Chipp, went on form the nucleus of the Australian Democrats, which subsequently went on to hold the balance of power in both federal and state upper houses. The LM and its successor parties were an early voice for what is termed small-l liberalism in Australia.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 17

The Central Basin and Captain Cook water jet looking towards the National Library and Parliament House

Lake Burley Griffin is a large lake in the centre of Canberra, Australia's federal capital city. It was created in 1963 after the Molonglo River, which runs through the city centre, was dammed. It is named after Walter Burley Griffin, the architect who won the design competition for the city of Canberra. It should be noted that 'Burley' was Griffin's middle name, not part of his surname. The lake is located in the approximate geographic centre of the city, according to Griffin's original designs. Numerous important institutions, such as the National Library of Australia lie on its shores, and Parliament House is a short distance away. Its surrounds are also quite popular with recreational users, particularly in the warmer months. Though swimming in the lake is uncommon, it is used for a wide variety of other activities, such as rowing, fishing, and sailing. The lake's flow is regulated by the 33 metre tall Scrivener Dam, which is designed to handle a once in 5000 year flood event. In times of drought, water levels can fall below desired limits; so to compensate, water is released from the Googong Dam, located on a tributary of the Molonglo River.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 18

A chapel built by Australian POWs at the Changi Prison Camp where Woodruff was held during World War II.

Michael Woodruff was a British surgeon and scientist principally remembered for his research into organ transplantation. Though born in London, Woodruff spent his youth in Australia, where he earned degrees in electrical engineering and medicine. Having completed his studies shortly after the outbreak of World War II, he joined the Australian Army Medical Corps, but was soon captured by Japanese forces and imprisoned in the Changi Prison Camp. While there, he devised an ingenious method of extracting nutrients from agricultural wastes to prevent malnutrition among his fellow POWs. At the conclusion of the war, Woodruff returned to Britain and began a long career as an academic surgeon, mixing clinical work and research. By the end of the 1950s, his study of aspects of transplantation biology such as rejection and immunosuppression led to his making the first kidney transplant in the United Kingdom, on October 30, 1960. For this and his other scientific work, Woodruff was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1968 and knighted in 1969. Although retiring from surgical work in 1976, he remained an active figure in the scientific community, researching cancer and serving on the boards of various medical and scientific organisations.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 19

Holden VE Commodore.

The Holden VE Commodore is the fourteenth and current model of the Holden Commodore, a full-size car produced by Holden, the Australian subsidiary of General Motors. The car was officially presented at a media launch in Melbourne on 16 July 2006, which was broadcast live on the Internet. With a sales debut on 14 August 2006, it is the first Commodore to be entirely designed and engineered in Australia. All previous generations from the original VB Commodore had been based on European sourced platforms from Opel that had been adapted both mechanically and in size for the local market. The engines and transmissions of the VE are mainly carry-overs from the previous VZ model, except for a new six-speed automatic transmission offered on selected trim levels. Holden released the VE Commodore to the New Zealand market in September 2006. This was followed by the achievement of the prestigious Wheels Car of the Year award on 23 January 2007. Before the release of the VE model, Holden confirmed that station wagon and utility body styles of the VE would not be launched for some time. Holden will instead manufacture two parallel generations of Commodores until the VE variants are released.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 20

Garran at Anzac Day celebrations at the cenotaph in Martin Place, Sydney, 25 April 1944.

Sir Robert Garran GCMG KC (10 February 1867 – 11 January 1957) was an Australian lawyer and public servant, an early leading expert in Australian constitutional law, the first employee of the Government of Australia and the first Solicitor-General of Australia. Garran spent thirty-one years as permanent head of the Attorney-General's Department, giving advice to ten different Prime Ministers (from Barton to Lyons). He played a significant behind-the-scenes role in the Australian federation movement, as adviser to Edmund Barton and chair of the Drafting Committee at the 1897-1898 Constitutional Convention. Garran was also an important figure in the development of the city of Canberra during its early years. He founded several important cultural associations, organised the creation of the Canberra University College, and later contributed to the establishment of the Australian National University. Garran published several books throughout his lifetime, covering such topics as constitutional law, the history of federalism in Australia, and German language poetry.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 21
Cane Toad (Bufo marinus)

The Cane Toad is a large, terrestrial true toad native to Central and South America. It is a member of the genus Bufo, which includes hundreds of different true toad species in different habitats throughout the world. The Cane Toad is a prolific breeder; females lay single-clump spawns with large numbers of eggs. Its reproductive success is partly due to opportunistic feeding: it has a diet, unusual among frogs, of both dead and living matter. Adults average 10 to 15 centimetres (4–6 in) in length, the largest recorded specimen weighed 2.65 kilograms (5.84 lb) and measured 38 centimetres (15 in) from snout to vent. The Cane Toad has large poison glands, and adults and tadpoles are highly toxic to most animals if ingested. Because of its voracious appetite, the Cane Toad has been introduced to many regions of the Pacific as a method of agricultural pest control, notably in the case of Australia in 1935, and derives its common name from its use against sugar cane pests. The Cane Toad is considered a pest in many of its introduced regions, as its toxic skin kills many native predators when ingested.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 22
Bill O'Reilly, Australian cricketer

Bill O'Reilly, often known as Tiger O'Reilly, (20 December 1905 – 6 October 1992), was an Australian cricketer, rated as one of the greatest bowlers of all time. Following his retirement from playing, he became a well-respected cricket writer and broadcaster. O'Reilly was one of the best spin bowlers ever to play cricket. He delivered the ball from a two-fingered grip at close to medium pace with great accuracy, and could produce leg breaks, googlies, and top spinners, with no discernible change in his action. A tall man for his day (around 188 cm, 6 ft 2 in), he whirled his arms to an unusual extent and had a low point of delivery that meant it was very difficult for the batsman to read the flight of the ball out of his hand. As well as his skill, O'Reilly was also known for his competitiveness, and bowled with the aggression of a paceman.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 23
Otto at Ring*Con 2006 in Fulda, Germany

Miranda Otto (born December 16, 1967) is an Australian Film Institute-nominated and Logie Award-winning Australian actress. The daughter of actors Barry and Lindsay Otto, she began acting at age nineteen, and has performed in a variety of low-budget and major studio films. Otto's first major film appearance was in 1986's Emma's War, in which she played a teenager who moves to Australia's bush country during World War II. After a decade of critically acclaimed roles in Australian films, Otto gained Hollywood's attention after appearing in supporting roles in The Thin Red Line (1998) and What Lies Beneath (2000). Her breakthrough role was in 2002, when her character Éowyn was introduced to audiences in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Otto's private life, including her relationships with actors Richard Roxburgh and Peter O'Brien, has been much discussed in the media. In 2007, she is scheduled to appear in the miniseries The Starter Wife and the American television series Cashmere Mafia.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 24
The Waterfall Gully waterfall in the Adelaide Foothills

Waterfall Gully is a small suburb in the South Australian city of Adelaide. It is located in the foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges around five kilometres east of Adelaide's central business district (CBD). For the most part, the suburb encompasses one long gully with First Creek at its centre and Waterfall Gully Road adjacent to the creek. At one end of the gully is the waterfall for which the suburb was named. Part of the Burnside Council, it is bounded to the north by the suburb of Burnside, to the north-east by Greenhill, to the south-east by Cleland Conservation Park, to the south-west by Leawood Gardens and to the north-west by Mount Osmond. Waterfall Gully is rich in history and has been a popular attraction since Adelaide's early colonists discovered the area in the nineteenth century. Home to a number of residents and increasingly frequented by tourists, Waterfall Gully has undergone extensive developments in recent years.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 25
The Waterfall Gully waterfall in the Adelaide Foothills

Waterfall Gully is a small suburb in the South Australian city of Adelaide. It is located in the foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges around five kilometres east of Adelaide's central business district (CBD). For the most part, the suburb encompasses one long gully with First Creek at its centre and Waterfall Gully Road adjacent to the creek. At one end of the gully is the waterfall for which the suburb was named. Part of the Burnside Council, it is bounded to the north by the suburb of Burnside, to the north-east by Greenhill, to the south-east by Cleland Conservation Park, to the south-west by Leawood Gardens and to the north-west by Mount Osmond. Waterfall Gully is rich in history and has been a popular attraction since Adelaide's early colonists discovered the area in the nineteenth century. Home to a number of residents and increasingly frequented by tourists, Waterfall Gully has undergone extensive developments in recent years.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 26
AHS Centaur following her conversion to hospital ship. The Red Cross designation "47" can be seen on the bow

Australian Hospital Ship (AHS) Centaur was a hospital ship active during World War II, which was attacked and sunk by a Japanese submarine in 1943. Of the 332 medical personnel and crew aboard, 268 died. Centaur served in both civilian and military capabilities and during her career was involved in towing a damaged Japanese whale-chaser and recovering German survivors of the engagement between HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran. Following her early-1943 conversion to a hospital ship, Centaur served with the Second Australian Imperial Force. Before dawn on 14 May 1943, while on her second voyage, Centaur was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine off North Stradbroke Island, Queensland. The majority of the 332 aboard died in the attack and the 64 survivors waited 36 hours for rescued. The attack resulted in public outrage as it was considered to be a war crime. Protests were made by the Australian and British governments to Japan and efforts were made to discover the people responsible so they could be tried at a war crimes tribunal. Despite this, it was not until 1979 that the attacking submarine, I-177, was identified. Efforts to locate the final resting place of the ship have been made but, with the exception of a false identification made in 1995 and standing until 2003, the location of Centaur is still unknown, as is the reason for the attack.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 27
Short track speed skater Mark McNee, third from left at the 2004 World Cup in Saguenay. His uniform features the green and gold and the Southern Cross

Australia (IOC code: AUS) first competed in the Winter Olympic Games in 1936 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and has participated in every Winter Olympics since, with the exception of the 1948 Games in St. Moritz. Australia achieved its first medal, a bronze, in 1994 in the men's 5,000 metres short track relay event. Zali Steggall gained Australia's first individual medal in 1998 when she won bronze in the slalom event. In 2002, Steven Bradbury won gold in the 1,000 metres short track speed skating and Alisa Camplin won gold in the aerials event, making Australia the only southern hemisphere country to have ever accomplished gold at a Winter Olympics. Australia sent 40 competitors to compete in 10 sports at the 2006 Games in Turin, a record number of athletes and events for the nation. For the first time, there was a stated aim of winning a medal, and this goal was achieved when Dale Begg-Smith won the gold medal in men's moguls freestyle skiing. Camplin attained her second medal, a bronze in the aerials event.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 28
Short track speed skater Mark McNee, third from left at the 2004 World Cup in Saguenay. His uniform features the green and gold and the Southern Cross

Australia (IOC code: AUS) first competed in the Winter Olympic Games in 1936 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and has participated in every Winter Olympics since, with the exception of the 1948 Games in St. Moritz. Australia achieved its first medal, a bronze, in 1994 in the men's 5,000 metres short track relay event. Zali Steggall gained Australia's first individual medal in 1998 when she won bronze in the slalom event. In 2002, Steven Bradbury won gold in the 1,000 metres short track speed skating and Alisa Camplin won gold in the aerials event, making Australia the only southern hemisphere country to have ever accomplished gold at a Winter Olympics. Australia sent 40 competitors to compete in 10 sports at the 2006 Games in Turin, a record number of athletes and events for the nation. For the first time, there was a stated aim of winning a medal, and this goal was achieved when Dale Begg-Smith won the gold medal in men's moguls freestyle skiing. Camplin attained her second medal, a bronze in the aerials event.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 29
Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet in 1945.

Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet (3 September 1899 – 31 August 1985), usually known as Macfarlane or Mac Burnet, was an Australian virologist best known for his contributions to immunology. Burnet received his M.D. from the University of Melbourne in 1924, and his PhD from the University of London in 1928. He went on to conduct pioneering research on bacteriophages and viruses at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, and served as director of the Institute from 1944 to 1956. His virology research resulted in significant discoveries concerning their nature and replication and their interaction with the immune system. Burnet was co-recipient of the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for demonstrating acquired immune tolerance, research which later provided the platform for developing methods of transplanting organs. For his contributions to Australian science, he was made the first Australian of the Year in 1960, and in 1978 a Knight of the Order of Australia. He was recognised internationally for his achievements: in addition to the Nobel, he received the Lasker Award and the Royal and Copley Medals from the Royal Society, honorary doctorates, and distinguished service honours from the Commonwealth and Japan.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 30
Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet in 1945.

Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet (3 September 1899 – 31 August 1985), usually known as Macfarlane or Mac Burnet, was an Australian virologist best known for his contributions to immunology. Burnet received his M.D. from the University of Melbourne in 1924, and his PhD from the University of London in 1928. He went on to conduct pioneering research on bacteriophages and viruses at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, and served as director of the Institute from 1944 to 1956. His virology research resulted in significant discoveries concerning their nature and replication and their interaction with the immune system. Burnet was co-recipient of the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for demonstrating acquired immune tolerance, research which later provided the platform for developing methods of transplanting organs. For his contributions to Australian science, he was made the first Australian of the Year in 1960, and in 1978 a Knight of the Order of Australia. He was recognised internationally for his achievements: in addition to the Nobel, he received the Lasker Award and the Royal and Copley Medals from the Royal Society, honorary doctorates, and distinguished service honours from the Commonwealth and Japan.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 31
Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet in 1945.

Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet (3 September 1899 – 31 August 1985), usually known as Macfarlane or Mac Burnet, was an Australian virologist best known for his contributions to immunology. Burnet received his M.D. from the University of Melbourne in 1924, and his PhD from the University of London in 1928. He went on to conduct pioneering research on bacteriophages and viruses at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, and served as director of the Institute from 1944 to 1956. His virology research resulted in significant discoveries concerning their nature and replication and their interaction with the immune system. Burnet was co-recipient of the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for demonstrating acquired immune tolerance, research which later provided the platform for developing methods of transplanting organs. For his contributions to Australian science, he was made the first Australian of the Year in 1960, and in 1978 a Knight of the Order of Australia. He was recognised internationally for his achievements: in addition to the Nobel, he received the Lasker Award and the Royal and Copley Medals from the Royal Society, honorary doctorates, and distinguished service honours from the Commonwealth and Japan.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 32

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Australia. It consists of the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force and a number of 'tri-service' units. During the first decades of the 20th century, the Australian Government established three separate armed services. Each service had an independent chain of command. In 1976, the Government made a strategic change and established the ADF to place the services under a single headquarters. Over time, the degree of integration has increased and tri-service headquarters, logistics and training institutions have supplanted many single-service establishments. The ADF is technologically sophisticated but relatively small. Although the ADF's 51,000 full-time active-duty personnel and 19,400 reservists make it the largest military in Oceania, it is much smaller than most Asian militaries. Nonetheless, the ADF is able to deploy forces in multiple locations outside Australia.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 33
More usual red styles on orange colour, Erowal Bay, NSW.

Banksia ericifolia, the Heath-leaved Banksia (also known as the Lantern Banksia or Heath Banksia), is a species of woody shrub of the Proteaceae family native to Australia; it occurs in two separate regions of Central and Northern New South Wales east of the Great Dividing Range. Well known for its orange or red autumn inflorescences, which contrast with its green fine-leaved heath-like foliage, it is generally encountered as a medium to large shrub that can reach 6 m (20 ft) high and wide, though is usually half that size. In exposed heathlands and coastal areas it is more often 1-2 m (3-7 ft). Banksia ericifolia was one of the original Banksia species collected by Joseph Banks around Botany Bay in 1770 and was named by Carl Linnaeus the Younger, son of Carolus Linnaeus, in 1782. A distinctive plant, it has been split into two subspecies: Banksia ericifolia subspecies ericifolia of the Sydney region and Banksia ericifolia subspecies macrantha of the New South Wales Far North Coast which was recognised in 1996. Banksia ericifolia has been widely grown in Australian gardens on the east coast for many years as well as being used to a limited extent in the cut flower industry. Compact dwarf cultivars such as Banksia 'Little Eric' have become more popular in recent years with the trend toward smaller gardens.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 34

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.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 35
The New Parliament House Canberra

Canberra is the capital city of Australia and with a population of just over 323,000 is Australia's largest inland city. Canberra was selected as the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between Sydney and Melbourne and is unusual amongst Australian capital cities as an entirely purpose-built, planned city. Following an international contest for the city's design, a design by Chicago architect Walter Burley Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. Although the growth and development of Canberra was hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, it emerged as a thriving city post-World War II. As Australia's seat of government, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court of Australia and numerous government departments; it is also the location of numerous social and cultural institutions of national significance. The federal government contributes the largest percentage of Gross State Product and is the largest employer in Canberra. Canberra is also a popular destination for domestic and international tourists.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 36
The New Parliament House Canberra

Canberra is the capital city of Australia and with a population of just over 323,000 is Australia's largest inland city. Canberra was selected as the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between Sydney and Melbourne and is unusual amongst Australian capital cities as an entirely purpose-built, planned city. Following an international contest for the city's design, a design by Chicago architect Walter Burley Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. Although the growth and development of Canberra was hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, it emerged as a thriving city post-World War II. As Australia's seat of government, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court of Australia and numerous government departments; it is also the location of numerous social and cultural institutions of national significance. The federal government contributes the largest percentage of Gross State Product and is the largest employer in Canberra. Canberra is also a popular destination for domestic and international tourists.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 37
The New Parliament House Canberra

Canberra is the capital city of Australia and with a population of just over 323,000 is Australia's largest inland city. Canberra was selected as the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between Sydney and Melbourne and is unusual amongst Australian capital cities as an entirely purpose-built, planned city. Following an international contest for the city's design, a design by Chicago architect Walter Burley Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. Although the growth and development of Canberra was hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, it emerged as a thriving city post-World War II. As Australia's seat of government, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court of Australia and numerous government departments; it is also the location of numerous social and cultural institutions of national significance. The federal government contributes the largest percentage of Gross State Product and is the largest employer in Canberra. Canberra is also a popular destination for domestic and international tourists.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 38
Portrait of Yagan by George Cruikshank

Yagan was a Noongar warrior who played a key part in early indigenous Australian resistance to European settlement and rule in the area of Perth, Western Australia. After he led a series of attacks in which white settlers were murdered, a bounty was offered for his capture dead or alive, and he was shot dead by a young settler. Yagan's death has passed into Western Australian folklore as a symbol of the unjust and sometimes brutal treatment of the indigenous peoples of Australia by colonial settlers. Yagan's head was removed and taken to Britain, where it was exhibited as an "anthropological curiosity". It spent over a century in storage at a museum before being buried in an unmarked grave in 1964. In 1993 its location was identified, and four years later it was exhumed and repatriated to Australia. Since then, the issue of its proper reburial has become a source of great controversy and conflict amongst the indigenous people of the Perth area. To date, the head remains unburied.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 39
Portrait of Yagan by George Cruikshank

Yagan was a Noongar warrior who played a key part in early indigenous Australian resistance to European settlement and rule in the area of Perth, Western Australia. After he led a series of attacks in which white settlers were murdered, a bounty was offered for his capture dead or alive, and he was shot dead by a young settler in 1833. Yagan's death has passed into Western Australian folklore as a symbol of the unjust and sometimes brutal treatment of the indigenous peoples of Australia by colonial settlers. Yagan's head was removed and taken to Britain, where it was exhibited as an "anthropological curiosity". It spent over a century in storage at a museum before being buried in an unmarked grave in 1964. In 1993 its location was identified, and four years later it was exhumed and repatriated to Australia. Since then, the issue of its proper reburial has become a source of great controversy and conflict amongst the indigenous people of the Perth area. To date, the head remains unburied.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 40
Portrait of Yagan by George Cruikshank

Yagan was a Noongar warrior who played a key part in early indigenous Australian resistance to European settlement and rule in the area of Perth, Western Australia. After he led a series of attacks in which white settlers were murdered, a bounty was offered for his capture dead or alive, and he was shot dead by a young settler in 1833. Yagan's death has passed into Western Australian folklore as a symbol of the unjust and sometimes brutal treatment of the indigenous peoples of Australia by colonial settlers. Yagan's head was removed and taken to Britain, where it was exhibited as an "anthropological curiosity". It spent over a century in storage at a museum before being buried in an unmarked grave in 1964. In 1993 its location was identified, and four years later it was exhumed and repatriated to Australia. Since then, the issue of its proper reburial has become a source of great controversy and conflict amongst the indigenous people of the Perth area. To date, the head remains unburied.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 41
Portrait of Yagan by George Cruikshank

Yagan was a Noongar warrior who played a key part in early indigenous Australian resistance to European settlement and rule in the area of Perth, Western Australia. After he led a series of attacks in which white settlers were murdered, a bounty was offered for his capture dead or alive, and he was shot dead by a young settler in 1833. Yagan's death has passed into Western Australian folklore as a symbol of the unjust and sometimes brutal treatment of the indigenous peoples of Australia by colonial settlers. Yagan's head was removed and taken to Britain, where it was exhibited as an "anthropological curiosity". It spent over a century in storage at a museum before being buried in an unmarked grave in 1964. In 1993 its location was identified, and four years later it was exhumed and repatriated to Australia. Since then, the issue of its proper reburial has become a source of great controversy and conflict amongst the indigenous people of the Perth area. To date, the head remains unburied.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 42
Yarralumla is home to most foreign missions in Australia, including the Chinese Embassy pictured.

Yarralumla (35°18′S 149°06′E / 35.300°S 149.100°E / -35.300; 149.100) is a large suburb in the inner south of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. Located approximately 3.5 kilometres south-west of the city centre, Yarralumla extends for much of the southern bank of Lake Burley Griffin. Europeans first settled in the area in 1828. It was officially named Yarralumla after the local Ngunnawal Indigenous Australian name for the area in 1834. Fredrick Campbell built a large homestead on his property in 1891 that now serves as Government House, the official residence of the Governor-General of Australia. The suburb was officially gazetted in 1928 and today is home to approximately 3000 people and many diplomatic missions. Although Yarralumla is one of the largest suburbs in Canberra by area, its population remains quite small because more than half of its area consists of open space or non-residential developments. In recent years, it has become one of Canberra's most desirable and expensive suburbs because of its leafy streets, lakeside setting and central location.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 43
Yarralumla is home to most foreign missions in Australia, including the Chinese Embassy pictured.

Yarralumla (35°18′S 149°06′E / 35.300°S 149.100°E / -35.300; 149.100) is a large suburb in the inner south of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. Located approximately 3.5 kilometres south-west of the city centre, Yarralumla extends for much of the southern bank of Lake Burley Griffin. Europeans first settled in the area in 1828. It was officially named Yarralumla after the local Ngunnawal Indigenous Australian name for the area in 1834. Fredrick Campbell built a large homestead on his property in 1891 that now serves as Government House, the official residence of the Governor-General of Australia. The suburb was officially gazetted in 1928 and today is home to approximately 3000 people and many diplomatic missions. Although Yarralumla is one of the largest suburbs in Canberra by area, its population remains quite small because more than half of its area consists of open space or non-residential developments. In recent years, it has become one of Canberra's most desirable and expensive suburbs because of its leafy streets, lakeside setting and central location.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 44
Mike Rann, Premier of South Australia, retained government in the 2006 South Australian election

The general election for the 51st Parliament of South Australia was held in the state of South Australia on 18 March 2006, and was conducted by the independent State Electoral Office. The centre-left Australian Labor Party, in government since 2002 under Premier Mike Rann (pictured), gained six Liberal-held seats and a 7.7 percent statewide two-party preferred swing, resulting in the first Labor majority government since the 1985 election with 28 of the 47 House of Assembly (lower house) seats, a net gain of five seats. The centre-right Liberal Party of Australia, led by Rob Kerin, regained a former independent seat while losing seats - the net result of 15 seats was the lowest Liberal result in any South Australian election. Independent members Bob Such and Rory McEwen retained their seats, with Kris Hanna successfully changing from Labor to an independent member. The sitting Nationals SA member Karlene Maywald retained her seat.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 45
Mike Rann, Premier of South Australia, retained government in the 2006 South Australian election

The general election for the 51st Parliament of South Australia was held in the state of South Australia on 18 March 2006, and was conducted by the independent State Electoral Office. The centre-left Australian Labor Party, in government since 2002 under Premier Mike Rann (pictured), gained six Liberal-held seats and a 7.7 percent statewide two-party preferred swing, resulting in the first Labor majority government since the 1985 election with 28 of the 47 House of Assembly (lower house) seats, a net gain of five seats. The centre-right Liberal Party of Australia, led by Rob Kerin, regained a former independent seat while losing seats - the net result of 15 seats was the lowest Liberal result in any South Australian election. Independent members Bob Such and Rory McEwen retained their seats, with Kris Hanna successfully changing from Labor to an independent member. The sitting Nationals SA member Karlene Maywald retained her seat.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 46

The Murrumbidgee River at Balranald

The Riverina is an agricultural region of south-western New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The Riverina is distinguished from other Australian regions due to the combination of flat plains, warm to hot climate and an ample supply of water for irrigation. This combination has allowed the Riverina to develop into one of the most productive and agriculturally diverse areas of Australia. Bordered on the south by the state of Victoria and on the east by the Great Dividing Range, the Riverina covers those areas of New South Wales in the Murray and Murrumbidgee drainage zones to their confluence in the west.

Home to Aboriginal groups for over 40,000 years, the Riverina was originally settled by Europeans in the mid 19th century as a pastoral region providing beef and wool to markets in Australia and beyond. In the 20th century, the development of major irrigation areas in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys has led to the introduction of crops such as rice and wine grapes. The Riverina has strong cultural ties to Victoria and the region was the source of much of the impetus behind the federation of Australian colonies.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 47

Powderfinger performing at the Across the Great Divide tour in Sydney, September 2007.

Powderfinger is an alternative rock band based in Australia. The band formed in Brisbane, Australia, in 1989, and their lineup since 1992 has consisted of vocalist Bernard Fanning, guitarists Darren Middleton and Ian Haug, bassist John Collins, and drummer Jon Coghill.

Powderfinger became a commercial success with their third studio album Internationalist in 1998. Since then, they have released several hit singles and award-winning works, including a total of fifteen ARIA Awards. Numerous Powderfinger albums have reached platinum status multiple times, and rankings in the top 100 of Australian music charts. Odyssey Number Five, Powderfinger's most successful to date, earned over eight platinum certifications and ARIA Awards in five different categories. The announcement of a two month-long nationwide tour with Silverchair entitled the Across the Great Divide tour followed the release of their sixth studio album, Dream Days at the Hotel Existence in June 2007.

Across their 15-year career, Powderfinger has been active in practicing philanthropic acts. In 2005, Powderfinger performed at a WaveAid concert in Sydney, to help raise funds for areas affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. In October 2007, performed at a concert in the Sydney Opera House for breast cancer victims and their families. The aim of their recent tour was to promote the efforts of Reconciliation Australia, and to promote awareness of the 17-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 48

Karmichael Hunt

Karmichael Hunt (born 17 November 1986 in Auckland, New Zealand) is a professional rugby league footballer for the Brisbane Broncos in the Australian National Rugby League (NRL) competition. Hunt primarily plays in the fullback position, but he also played on the wing and at halfback. Hunt has played first-grade rugby league for Brisbane since 2004, and was part of the Broncos' competition-winning team in 2006. He has represented the Queensland Maroons in the interstate State of Origin series and the Australian Kangaroos at international level.

Hunt made his NRL debut in 2004 and played every game that season, winning the Dally M Rookie of the Year award. In a controversial move, Hunt chose to play for Australia instead of his native New Zealand, citing a lifelong dream of playing for Queensland in State of Origin. After a downturn in 2005, Hunt's 2006 performances resulted in his selection for Queensland and Australia.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 49

Chappell in the early 1970s

Ian Michael Chappell (born 26 September 1943), is a former cricketer who played for South Australia and Australia. He captained Australia between 1971 and 1975 before taking a central role in the breakaway World Series Cricket organisation. Born into a cricketing family—his grandfather and brother also captained Australia—Chappell made a hesitant start to international cricket playing as a right-hand middle-order batsman and spin bowler. He found his niche when promoted to bat at number three. Known as “Chappelli”, he earned a reputation as one of the greatest captains the game has seen. Chappell's blunt verbal manner led to a series of confrontations with opposition players and cricket administrators; the issue of sledging first arose during his tenure as captain and he was a driving force behind the professionalisation of Australian cricket in the 1970s.

John Arlott called him, “a cricketer of effect rather than the graces”. An animated presence at the batting crease, he constantly adjusted his equipment and clothing, and restlessly tapped his bat on the ground as the bowler ran in. Basing his game on a sound defence learned during many hours of childhood lessons, Chappell employed the drive and square cut to full effect. He had an idiosyncratic method of playing back and across to a ball of full length and driving wide of mid on, but his trademark shot was the hook. A specialist slip fielder, he was the fourth player to take one hundred Test catches.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 50

Male Fairy-wren in breeding plumage

The Variegated Fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti) is a fairy-wren that lives in diverse habitats spread across most of Australia. Four subspecies are recognised. The brightly coloured breeding male has chestnut shoulders and blue crown and ear coverts, while non-breeding males, females and juveniles have predominantly grey-brown plumage. Notably, females of the two subspecies rogersi and dulcis (previously termed Lavender-flanked Fairy-wren) have mainly blue-grey plumage.

Like other fairy-wrens, the Variegated Fairy-wren is a cooperative breeding species, with small groups of birds maintaining and defending small territories year-round. Groups consist of a socially monogamous pair with several helper birds who assist in raising the young. Male wrens pluck yellow petals and display them to females as part of a courtship display. These birds are primarily insectivorous and forage and live in the shelter of scrubby vegetation across 90% of continental Australia, which is a wider range than that of any other fairy-wren.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 51

An Emu at Melbourne Zoo

The Emu /ˈmjuː/, Dromaius novaehollandiae, is the largest bird native to Australia and the only extant member of the genus Dromaius. It is also the second-largest extant bird in the world by height, after its ratite relative, the ostrich. The soft-feathered, brown, flightless birds reach up to 2 m (6 ft) in height. The Emu is common over most of mainland Australia, although it avoids heavily populated areas, dense forest and arid areas. Emus can travel great distances at a fast, economical trot and, if necessary, can sprint at 50 km/h (30 mph) for some distance at a time. They are opportunistically nomadic and may travel long distances to find food; they feed on a variety of plants and insects.

The Emu subspecies that previously inhabited Tasmania became extinct following the European settlement of Australia in 1788; the distribution of the mainland subspecies has also been affected by human activities. Once common on the east coast, Emu are now uncommon; by contrast, the development of agriculture and the provision of water for stock in the interior of the continent have increased the range of the Emu in arid regions. Emus are farmed for their meat, oil and leather.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history


Week 52

Red Kangaroo

The fauna of Australia consists of a huge variety of unique animals; some 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 90% of fish and insects and 93% of amphibians that inhabit the continent are endemic to Australia. This high level of endemism can be attributed to the continent's long geographic isolation, tectonic stability, and the effects of an unusual pattern of climate change on the soil and flora over geological time.

A unique feature of Australia's fauna is the relative scarcity of native placental mammals. Consequently the marsupials, a group of mammals that raise their young in a pouch, including the macropods, opossums and dasyuromorphs, occupy many of the ecological niches placental animals occupy elsewhere in the world. Australia is home to two of the five known extant species of monotremes, and has numerous venomous species, which include the Platypus, spiders, scorpions, octopus, jellyfish, molluscs, stonefish, and stingrays. Uniquely, Australia has more venomous than non-venomous species of snakes.

The settlement of Australia by Indigenous Australians more than 40,000 years ago, and by Europeans from 1788, has significantly affected the fauna. Hunting, the introduction of non-native species, and land-management practices involving the modification or destruction of habitats have led to numerous extinctions. Some examples include the Paradise Parrot, Pig-footed Bandicoot and the Broad-faced Potoroo. Unsustainable land use still threatens the survival of many species. To target threats to the survival of its fauna, Australia has passed wide-ranging federal and state legislation and established numerous protected areas.

ArchiveRead more...


view - edit - history