Talk:Australia/Archive 16

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Literacy rate. NOT 99%!

Under Education we told that Australia has "an adult literacy rate that is assumed to be 99%". That's a figure I've been hearing for over 50 years, without ever seeing evidence for it. More recently, some proper research has been performed. At [[1]] we have a 2000 report by The Australian Council for Adult Literacy which says "In Australia today, one in five adults do not have the literacy skills to effectively participate in everyday life." There are several other sources that give figures closer to this than the 99% historical myth. And it corresponds much more realistically with what I see daily as a secondary teacher in big Australian city. Can we finally drop this pretence of 99% literacy for Australia? HiLo48 (talk) 07:36, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

"Under Education we told that Australia has "an adult literacy rate that is assumed to be 99%"." Yep, 99% is definitely too high to be realistic, haha. ;) Hayden120 (talk) 07:54, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Yeah. OK smartypants. Glad I could prove my point! HiLo48 (talk) 08:15, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
No hard feelings, eh? I was just having a little bit of fun. Face-smile.svg Hayden120 (talk) 06:11, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Well i presume the figure comes from this report. [2] It states on page 216 of the PDF (labelled as 205 within the document),
"Many developed countries, having attained high levels of literacy, no longer collect basic literacy statistics and thus are not included in the UIS data. In calculating the HDI, a literacy rate of 99.0% is assumed for these countries if they do not report adult literacy information."
Australia appears as one of those countries in this report (page 181 of the PDF, labelled 171). It sounds a pretty unfair and misleading way of doing things, but at least it is an international source and not simply the government of Australia claiming its 99%. If there are other reliable sources suggesting another figure then perhaps it should be included, but the 99% assumed by this report could always remain as well. BritishWatcher (talk) 12:27, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh and the CIA world Fact Book says 99% for Australia as well [3] BritishWatcher (talk) 12:31, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
99% of claims of "99%" are exaggeration! If the report states there are 'assumptions' from non-reporting countries, that is a disclaimer of being a reliable source. I know the CIA fact book is unverifiable source, only circular references and guarded sources, they may consider lit'racy to be the ability to fill in a ballot paper. The report from the Aust. C of Adult lit. could be presented as evidence for a funding claim, and is also questionable. They probably reference a selection of reliable sources, that could be useful for a fact in the article. Cygnis insignis (talk) 12:53, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah yes, Reliable sources, eh? I'm beginning to think that my very small sample based, personal observations might make me the most reliable source going on this matter. And nobody should trust me! Really, the most honest thing to say might be "No reliable figure available". HiLo48 (talk) 13:00, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
What about saying something like there are no detailed reliable figures on the literacy rate but international reports and the CIA world Fact book use the 99% figure. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:06, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
For an article on education in England it just uses the CIA figure with no clarification or attempt to dispute it. So if we just added the CIA / that report as a source the 99% could remain. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:09, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
But it would be wrong. And we all know that. What is coming out of this discussion is that sources regarded as reliable on many issues are wrong on this matter, certainly for Australia, and probably also for many other countries in the 99% category. There must come a time when the status of a normally "reliable" source has to be questioned. HiLo48 (talk) 22:11, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

The lower literacy figures are sourced from the ABS' 1996 Survey of Adult Literacy and the follow-up 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey. However, it is important to note that these surveys measured functional literacy, which is a rather different concept from the basic ability to read. Virtually everybody in Australia has basic literacy (eg, the ability to read written documents) but the two ABS surveys (which were part of international surveys) found that a lower proportion have the ability to understand the kinds of documents they encounter in day-to-day life. These surveys also took basic literacy as a given and tested respondents' ability to understand, interpret and act upon written material they were presented with. Both the above surveys were developed and coordinated by the OECD and its definition of 'functional literacy' is available here. It should also be noted that the ABS surveys are measures of adult literacy and exclude people aged under 15 and over 74 as well as people living in remote areas which are hard to survey. As such, the above discussion is comparing apples and oranges. The figures sourced from the UNDP's Human Development Report are perfectly reliable (the UNDP gets its Australian figures from the ABS and both are highly reputable statistical organisations) and probably entirely accurate, it's just that the concepts differ. To draw analogy, virtually everyone can read a newspaper article (basic literacy), but only a smaller proportion can accurately interpret the article and/or act upon it (functional literacy). To cut a long story short, there's a case to be made for using 'functional literacy' rather than 'basic literacy', but the two concepts shouldn't be confused and data on functional literacy are only available for the small numbers of (mainly rich) countries which participated in the OECD surveys. Nick-D (talk) 02:55, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Nick-D. Nice explanation. I'm aware of the definitional differences (and difficulties), but is there actually a source that supports your claim that "Virtually everybody in Australia has basic literacy (eg, the ability to read written documents)" and "virtually everyone can read a newspaper article"? I don't mean an "assumed" figure, as we started with. I do meet a surprising number of secondary students who seem unable to read at all. They use many strategies to get around the problem. And I think the proportion is increasing. OK, that's WP:OR, which doesn't count until someone else publishes my results, but it's pretty obvious stuff in certain demographics. HiLo48 (talk) 03:17, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Given that you were comparing basic and functional literacy in your original post I thought it was worth spelling out the difference. I'm not actually aware of any survey - other than the school-age NAPLAN test and its equivalents - that tests basic literacy. Given that Australia did dramatically better than Italy in the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS) and Italy is stated as having a 98.9% basic literacy rate in the HDR there seems to be no reason to doubt that the 99% figure is about right, particularly as its the one used by the UNDP. I'd be all for adding the ALLS results to the 'education' section of the article though as I do agree that this is a much better measure than basic literacy and the PISA results are already there. Nick-D (talk) 05:01, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh dear, not NAPLAN. Students labelled as "Integration students", which can include many kids with learning difficulties, don't have to sit the test. Depending on how determined a school is to fudge the figures, and it's easy, the kids who can't read don't sit the test. Pointless exercise for statistical results. (It can be useful for individuals who can read and do try.) HiLo48 (talk) 07:37, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
  • The fact that the literacy figure is an "assumed" one makes it essentially useless. That is, the article would be more accurate if it reported Australia's compulsory schooling structure without the pointless editorialising that this contributes "to an adult literacy rate that is assumed to be 99%". As well as omitting that altogether, I would add the functional lit data. hamiltonstone (talk) 02:38, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

John Howard's political affiliations

John Howard is mentioned in this article as a 'conservative commentator'[1], and yet when you click his name, his article claims that he supports the 'liberal' party in Australia, protectionism, increased taxes, more regulations on employers, and other increases in the size and role of the Australian government[2]. Since the John Howard article describes him as a 'liberal', why does this article call him a 'conservative'? Captain Vimes (talk) 21:13, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

In Australia the Liberal party is much more conservative than its labor counterpart. John Howard is a member of the Liberal party, and is therefore conservative. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 22:56, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the name of the conservative party in Australia is the Liberal Party. (And Australia's labour party spells its name Labor Party, without the "u" that would be expected in Australian English spelling.) Commentators on the Australian political scene often draw distinctions between "small l liberals", which corresponds to liberals elsewhere, and members of the Liberal Party. (Oh, and Australia also has a Coalition, with the capital C, which is a permanent arrangement between the Liberal Party and the National Party, whether in government or not. And the National Party really only represents non-city people in a country where most people live in the cities. We have "small c" coalitions too from time to time. ) I hope that explains a fairly confusing situation. HiLo48 (talk) 23:13, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I believe the "Liberal Party" was founded on concepts of Economic liberalism, hence their name. The word "liberal" has several senses: [4] Format (talk) 07:53, 6 July 2010 (UTC)


I recently attempted to change

Aussie is common colloquially, as an adjective and noun for "Australian"


Aussie is a common colloquialism for the adjective and noun "Australian"

but was reverted by AussieLegend with "Previous version was correct". Other opinions would be welcome. Anthony (talk) 13:20, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Whilst I couldn't say the original version is grammatically incorrect, I believe that Anthony's version is better phrased. Cheers, AusTerrapin (talk) 00:28, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Anthony's version is a cold, clinical analysis of the relationship between the words "Aussie" and "Australian" which is appropriate in a dictionary, but Wikipedia is not a dictionary. The current version is less clinical and more accurately represents how "Aussie" relates to "Australian", which is a more encyclopaedic treatment. --AussieLegend (talk) 01:13, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I think Anthony's version reads much better Chipmunkdavis (talk) 12:46, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

I made the change per above discussion. [5] Anthony (talk) 20:02, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

I still feel that a cold, clinical analysis of a word is not what is needed here. As I said, this is an encyclopaedia, not a dictionary. --AussieLegend (talk) 23:51, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree that Anthony's alternative sounds and scans better (now 4:1, I believe). There is no guideline that states analysis of a word should be warm and passionate as opposed to cold and clinical. WWGB (talk) 00:02, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I actually prefer "Aussie is a common colloquial term for "Australian"", because I don't really see the need to define or limit the parts of speech in such a simple statement. But if I'm not entitled to "write in" my candidate then Anthony's is marginally better, though I certainly wouldn't cross the street to argue about it :)  Begoontalk 00:24, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Your suggestion makes more sense than either of the options. --AussieLegend (talk) 08:17, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Begoon's suggestion is an improvement on both previous options. Anthony (talk) 08:24, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok - I've altered it, in that case, as the discussion seems to have come to an end here.  Begoontalk 03:18, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Capital cities template

First, I know this is better suited to the talk page for the template itself, or Norfolk Island or Kingston, but it seems more likely I'll get a response here.

Am I the only one who feels Kingston is inappropriate in this list? I think it should contain the capitals from only the 6 states and 2 mainland territories. And even if more are appropriate, I'd argue that territories like Christmas Island are better suited, as they have less self governance to my knowledge. I just thought it was strange that Norfolk was put up amongst the other states and territories without the other external territories. (talk) 10:18, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Question answered (or at least responded to) in my post on the actual discussion page for this. Should I delete this here then? (Sorry, wasn't signed in when I posted this). Anoldtreeok (talk) 07:31, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Linkrot not Cultural Institutions

From External links


Edit request from, 5 August 2010

{{editsemiprotected}} Please amend the reference that the Aborigines have inhabited Australia for 40,0000 years.

The Aborigines refer to the time before Europeans as 'the dreamtime'. Thank you. (talk) 10:57, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Not done: The article already links to: Indigenous_Australians, and the information you requested to add is already suitably included at Indigenous_Australians#Belief_systems. Thanks  Begoontalk 11:10, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Australia's strength in Football

Would somebody please explain to Yellow Monkey that Australia's FIFA rankings of 20 and 14 are more significant than of that the national cricket team (for instance) which only competes against 7 nations (and one combination) most of which are at best economical "developing" and most are emerging. Please stop him reverting my edits out of hand especially when he is a cricket fanatic and will not accept that it is not a significant sport internationally - at least not on the same scale as football or even rugby. Silent Billy (talk) 13:26, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Haven't been watching the reverts, but I would suggest that you too are taking a confrontational approach in wanting to call your favourite sport football in a country where it doesn't go by that name among the general public. Football can mean any of four codes in Australia, and soccer is NOT the most popular. Maybe a bit of give and take is needed. HiLo48 (talk) 21:48, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Even if Soccer may be bigger world wide, I'd still say Cricket is much much more significant in Australia than Soccer. Anoldtreeok (talk) 07:35, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
And Aussie rules/AFL, a game played only in this country, is more significant within Australia than either. :) Orderinchaos 10:52, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Fair dinkum you blokes are living in the 20th century. Australia's national football teams are ranked in the top 20 of ranked nations. That is they are "stronger" tan the very great majority of countries that participate in international competitions which is in both case greater than 120. The women's team are currently Asian champions. Cricket (Test) is played by just 10 participants most of which are either emerging economies, have minuscule populations, are not even nations or a combination of all three. If a first world country like Australia can't be "strong" against such sides then something would be very wrong. Likewise the other listed sports where Australia is supposedly "strong". In particular international RL is a joke as it has been since the 1970s. It is noticeable that sports where Australia used to be "strong" like golf and tennis are carefully excluded. As for cricket when the likes of Lara opine that the sport is dying and press reports in January this year suggested that CA was fudging attendance figures. The participation rates given by CA seem to be questionable too given that they include Kanga cricket etc. Silent Billy (talk) 15:00, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
I must admit to not really being into football but I didn't know we had national football teams with international rankings. I know we have one in soccer, the Associationfootballoos or something like that. Oh no, that's right, they're called the Socceroos, because in Australia the game is most widely known as soccer, not association football. It's just as well, because "real" football (by Australian standards) is far more popular than soccer, no matter how much the association football fans, who can become quite rabid in their support of the game, wish it weren't. --AussieLegend (talk) 15:33, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
I'll summarise AussieLegend's post. SilentBilly, stop calling it football, and you might get somewhere. HiLo48 (talk) 22:10, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, soccer (not football, hence socceroos) is much more important internationally then real aussie footy, it is not as important in Australia. Sure Australians have mentioned it alot lately, but that's because we made it to the world cup, and were once again unjustly treated by the refs :( But either way, don't attack other sports to try and raise yours (or other countries for that matter). Chipmunkdavis (talk) 22:18, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't intend denigrate other sports or countries but it is true to say that it is easier for a nation with a developed economy to dominate a sport where there are few other competitive national teams and where those teams are from countries with less developed economies and/or small populations. Also note that the term "Socceroos" is in fact a nickname, almost a hypocorism, and may be regarded a clever play on the last syllable of the common name given to many marsupials and the colloquialism "soccer". A number of Australia national teams have nicknames derived from the names commonly applied to marsupials eg the "Kangaroos:, the "Wallabies", the "Koalas" and the "Wallaroos". The name was made up by a journalist and used in his reports on an international tour made by the Australian national association football team in the 1960s to describe the team in a shorthand way in his match reports. Thus it is not a name made up by marketing people and has the stood the test of time and is more or less instantly recognisable in much the same way as "All Blacks" and "Springboks" are although it is obviously much less venerable and probably without the the same kudos. I can't quite see the issue with describing association football as "football" where the context is clear.Silent Billy (talk) 08:10, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
There is no issue at all with describing association football as "football" where the context is clear. That happens often in articles where the context is European, African or South American. But if the article has anything to with Australia or North America, clarification is necessary. As for the name Socceroos, the marketing people at FFA seem quite happy for it to remain in use. It is a very well known and totally unambiguous name for the team HiLo48 (talk) 08:37, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
More than 10 countries play cricket, except some of them are excluded on grounds of competency from playing in Test cricket, same as the World Cup finals. If football was the same then the Pacific Islands, N Korea, Saudi etc would not be playing Test football either. Bangladesh is closer to winning the cricket world cup than Australia is to winning the football world cup. Two Bangladesh players would be picked in squads of all the other major countries. No Australian would get selected in a Brazil or Germany squad. SB, your belief that because a person likes something, they must regard is as the best and disrespect everything else is nonsense, else everyone would only barrack for the superpower teams. The listing is based on consistency success in the last 20 years, not four years, as otherwise things such as diving, aerial skiing, kayaking, and gymnastics would get in. Australia's ladies' gymnastics team has been coming in the top 10 and top 5 on occasions. Australia has been undefeated in 29 consec WC cricket matches, 28 wins. Obviously the teams are not the standard as Germany or the Netherlands, but at least half were not minnow teams; in football Australia hasn't even done that in Asian matches (JPN and Korea are the only competent teams) and made heavy work of Arab minnows, even losing to Iraq and Kuwait twice. In any case, we went through this last year and the Socceroos haven't made progress since then, so it's pointless YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 01:03, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Australia has beaten Japan twice and drawn twice in competitive matches in recent years so I guess that makes Japan a minnow too. Australia has also beaten England and beaten and drawn with the Netherlands in what you regard as an appropriate time frame - although these were friendlies. You should really recuse yourself from this matter - you are apparently someone who derives an income from writing about cricket and therefore it is in your interest to promote it. I see that Australia's much vaunted record in the now more or less moribund OD version of cricket includes wins against the powerhouses of Netherlands, Scotland and Ireland plus sundry teams from economically distressed and war torn areas. Your statement In any case, we went through this last year and the Socceroos haven't made progress since then, so it's pointless smacks of the height of arrogance. Since when has it been not allowed to re-visit such matters here. Are you saying because you have made your mind up that that's the end of the matter? Silent Billy (talk) 05:11, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I suspect the problem here is caused by the fact that the article tries to list what sports Australia is strong in. Why must the article restrict itself to listing what Australia is good at? Soccer is an immensely popular world sport, and it doesn't seem unreasonable for this article to contain a sentence on Australia's performance in it, whether it be good, bad or indifferent. This is true for all of the most popular world sports.

I propose we replace the commentary on what sports Australia is good at, with commentary on how Australia performs in the most popular world sports. I think such a change would remove the subjectivity on which this dispute is based, would be more informative to the reader, and no less concise.

Hesperian 02:09, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

So would we make comments on how many Australians speak Arabic, Chinese, Spanish etc, and how many can read/write as opposed to it. If things are mentioned because the world likes it regardless of its status in a given country, one would stick things in every Islamic country's page about how western pop is not allowed etc etc YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 03:27, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Hesperian that this could be a more profitable way of looking at the issue. There would also be nothing to prevent an addendum to the section to mention Sports particularly popular in Australia. Incidentally, population considered, there is nothing at all shabby about a top 20 soccer ranking and a narrow exit from the group stage of the World Cup. My last comment is added with the perspective that I am English, and an Australian resident.  Begoontalk 02:19, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Two distinct aspects of sport need to be covered. The major international sports at which Australia is highly ranked are important, but also important are the sports in which a lot of Australians participate or watch. Obviously Australian football is hugely popular outside NSW and Qld, because it involves a lot of the population, so it should be mentioned because of its cultural impact, but it would not crack a mention if only international success was counted. HiLo48 (talk) 02:28, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that was the point I was trying to make. Because the article is supposed to be for an international audience, discuss Australia in relation to popular International sports first - then go on to discuss other sports particularly popular in Australia. Obviously, there is some overlap, but as a basic structural approach it makes sense.  Begoontalk 02:36, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
If that happens you end up with a situation where baseball, track and field, ice hockey will need big chunks, and gymnastics has more serious competition than most as well, probably kayaking, wrestling (popular in E Europe) etc and we'll be flooded YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 03:27, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Only if no common sense is applied. We're talking about a basic structure, not a mandatory list. You've chosen lots of "reductio ad absurdum" examples to make your point, which is fair enough, but nobody suggested anything like that. All that was said was - start with a discussion of how Australia performs in popular World sports (maybe "where the World sport can, with common sense, be viewed as relevant to Australia" should have been added.) - then go on to discuss other sports of particular significance to Australia itself. It was an idea to give some shape and context, and as such it's a good idea IMO.  Begoontalk 03:48, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Hesperian and Begoon on this, noting that cricket is an international sport. hamiltonstone (talk) 02:53, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Strangely, you'll get no argument from this Englishman in Australia against cricket being a popular, international sport :-)  Begoontalk 04:23, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
YM for your information at least two current Australian national association football team members (in both the men's and women's teams) would be in line to be considered for most other national sides (including Brazil) and probably get selected some of the time. The problem here is that an editor has a proprietorial view of the article's content and refuses to countenance any other view setting up his own very convenient straw standard to use to "decide" what sport is to be included and what isn't. The fact is that Australia is stronger than the vast majority of national association football teams and this fact should be imparted to the readers of the article who might otherwise be left with the impression that Australia only plays a few sports at a first class level such sports being what most of the world's population would regard as idiosyncratic at best. Silent Billy (talk) 06:23, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Australia is stronger than the "vast majority" of countries in almost every sport, as you only have to be 20th to be ahead of 90% of them. So which Australians would make the 11+3 subs of Spain, Brazil, Netherlands etc? Cahill better than Fabregas (a sub?) Lol YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 03:07, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
You really are being silly YM. The question of whether one player or another would be good enough to make another nation's team is entirely subjective. In any event a national team does not always inculde the "best" players available for selection - there are other factors that come into play as national cricket team selections amply demonstrate. In cricket and most of the other sports you suggest Australia is "strong" in are only played by a few countries at first class level and for most readers of this article are likely an irrelevancy. Let's try to make the article relevant and tell people about Australia's strength in a sport that is followed by more people than all the "strong" sports combined. Silent Billy (talk) 04:48, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Billy - there should be something in the article about soccer, but what you are trying to add is far too much. Just a simple mention of the rankings is enough. HiLo48 (talk) 06:33, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

I added the detail because YM originally said that there was nothing verifiable in the statement that Australia's national association football teams are "strong". Silent Billy (talk) 06:57, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

How is Socceroos have more space than even swimming any sort of argument for the non-inclusion of the information? If we are really worried about the size of the article then lets move everything off to Sport in Australia. Silent Billy (talk) 07:05, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

A quick summary should be fine for soccer I think. Slightly changed Billy's input (without citation for now)
"Australia's national soccer teams have in recent years increased in their international standing; the men's national team has been officially ranked in the top 30 nations since June 2009, whilst the women's national team has been ranked in the top 20 since 2003." Chipmunkdavis (talk) 07:09, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
That seems to have the basic rankings and state that it is recent compared to other sports Chipmunkdavis (talk) 07:20, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Unless there is some hugely cogent argument aginst I will add that sentence in the near future. Silent Billy (talk) 23:14, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Yeah there is. Those rankings are projections based on the computer guessing and extrapolating. YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 00:14, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Foreign relations and military - Too high?

It just seems to me that for an Australia article the "Foreign relations and military" section is too high up, and comes before information that seems more relevant to Australia in general. The only reason I can see why it would be that far up is because it does to some degree make sense for it to be after the sections on politics, but I still would say other sections like geography and climate would make more sense to come before Foreign relations and military.

I quickly looked through the history and discussion archives for this article and I couldn't find anyone bringing this up, so sorry if it has been before. It just doesn't seem right to me. Anoldtreeok (talk) 07:05, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

I think it's up there because Australia is geopolitically important, and as you said because it is after politics. Furthermore, this seems to be the convention across country articles. I'm sure there's a country template somewhere that is used for such articles, but I don't know where it is. I'm sure if more editors agree with you it could be changed though, as one could argue that as it covers a continent (ooh debate right there) that its climate and geography are more important. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 07:12, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
No one else has weighed in, so I guess we can assume it was only me who felt that this wasn't right. No point worrying about it then.Anoldtreeok (talk) 02:48, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

NSW foundation date

Formally, it happened on 7 February 1788, not on 26 January 1788. See Governor of New South Wales: "Captain Arthur Phillip assumed office as Governor of New South Wales on 7 February 1788, when the Colony of New South Wales, the first British settlement in Australia, was formally founded".

I guess we still have to mention 26 January 1788, being the significant date as far as the history of the (small c) colony is concerned, but we must not mislead readers about the true facts. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 02:02, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Australia the island

I see we're back on this again. For reference, here are some previous discussions:

Australia was an island but part of the world now believes that it's not and that Greenland is now the largest island. --AussieLegend (talk) 10:59, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Some people say Australia is a continent and therefore not an island, some say Australia is an island and Australasia or Oceania is the continent which Australia is part of. On all continent divisions in Wikipedia, we use Oceania. The UN also uses Oceania as a division of the world. We should mention both opinions in the article since sources can be found for both arguments. McLerristarr | Mclay1 11:18, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Seems to me that all we will end up being sure about is that there are different opinions out there. The problem will be those at either end of the spectrum who are certain about their position. I suggest wording along the lines of "Some see Australia as a continent, some see it as an island, and some see it as both." HiLo48 (talk) 11:23, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
In the U.S. we are taught that islands and continents are mutually exclusive. For somewhat complex reasons, Australia is considered a continent (one of seven by our count) and cannot be an island. Greenland is the largest island and cannot be a continent. If different definitions of island and continent are used that would allow Australia to be both an island and a continent, then Eurasia is the world’s largest island, and Greenland is (perhaps) the smallest continent. —Stephen (talk) 12:00, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
And there's one of those certain opinions. I've already attached a source to the article (now deleted, I think), an Australian government website, that said it was both continent and island. My point is that there are diverse views on this. Your OR about Greenland and Eurasia comes a far second behind reliable sources. HiLo48 (talk) 12:10, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but if we accept the opinion of the Australian politician who wrote the webpage, then Australia is neither the largest island nor the smallest continent. —Stephen (talk) 12:18, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
That's YOUR conclusion, which, while it may seem very logical, counts for little here. What the reliable sources say is what matters, And they differ in what they say. Our article should include the different views, rather than trying to claim that one is better than another. HiLo48 (talk) 12:21, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
I very much doubt it was written by an 'Australian politician' so I do not know where you get that view from. It would have been sourced from Geoscience Australia and for a non-Australia source. Bidgee (talk) 12:25, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Why is this of any consequence? It's just words either way. It's not like it changes anything. really, who cares? --Merbabu (talk) 12:27, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Everything in an encyclopaedia is "just words" (and pictures). Of course it matters what we write. McLerristarr | Mclay1 12:55, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
The fact that Australians speak English, that the population is 21 million, that we have 6 states, that we have a westminster system of government, etc, etc, is of consequence. But does it matter that we may or may not be the worlds smallest continent and/or the world's biggest island? I'm not suggesting we shouldn't get our facts right - I'm suggesting we think about what "facts" we include. Are we writing an encyclopedia, or playing trivial pursuit? --Merbabu (talk) 12:59, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
It seems relevant to Australia, what is currently written is what I learned in primary school. I do agree however that the statement is slightly be all and end all, maybe add the some think or it is often said Chipmunkdavis (talk) 13:03, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
If we were writing a book, then it would matter what we included and what we didn't because of costing etc. But this is an online encyclopaedia. There is no reason to include a fact such as that. You may not find it interesting but some people would. If information exists and it can be sourced, I see no reason why it should not be included in Wikipedia.
I learnt in primary school from some teachers that Australasia is the continent, which is what is says in Continent. I learnt from other teachers that Australia is a continent, which is also mentioned in Continent. I've often heard Australia described as an island nation. I don't think Australia being a continent or island is written into the curriculum; it's down to the individual teacher's research. They're both opinions and both can be sourced so both should be mentioned. McLerristarr | Mclay1 13:09, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Lot's of things can be sourced, and many of these may be "interesting" to some readers. But we can't put them all here - not by a long shot. (it's even sillier when it's actually not a clear cut case that everyone agrees on) --Merbabu (talk) 13:16, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
"continent" is a geographical concept. Use to form groupings of countries for some geopolitical or classification purpose is secondary. "Oceania" is not a continent.

If we keep the sentence "Australia is the Earth’s largest island but smallest continent" (and I make no comment as to whether we should), it should be under Geography and climate, not Etymology (which is where it currently is). Mitch Ames (talk) 13:20, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree that Australia (this article) is more about the country rather then the geography of the country but It fits in the Geography and climate section. Bidgee (talk) 13:22, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
That's definitely geography rather than etymology. I do suggest wording it better though, "Australia is the world's smallest continent, and considered by some to be its largest island" or something. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 13:26, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
No, because it's only considered by some to be a continent too. However, it definitely should be in the geography section. I have no idea why anyone would put it under etymology. McLerristarr | Mclay1 13:37, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Well that should be said too? Maybe the statement should just be reworked into the geography section. A sentence or two explaining the continent, probably with a link to Australia (continent) and then a sentence discussing it's status as an island. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 13:44, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps it has escaped your attentions, but this is already suitably covered at the beginning of the geography section. To quote:

The world's smallest continent and sixth largest country by total area, Australia—owing to its size and isolation—is often dubbed the 'island continent' and variably considered the world's largest island.

This all that need be said - no more, no less. Now, please, do go find something useful to do. Perhaps start with actually reading the article? — cj | talk 14:49, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

It appears nobody bothered to follow the links that I provided at the beginning of this section either, or at least they never got all the way through. The beginning of the second last sentence in the last link is "This assertion should be refactored and moved down to the geography section". --AussieLegend (talk) 15:58, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Who reads these days... I apologise for that pointless discussion on behalf of all those involved (although perhaps, CJ, you should be civil in future). McLerristarr | Mclay1 16:02, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
OK. I agree. This info is better in Geography. But the category Continents is obviously still valid. Don't remove it while this discussion is still underway. HiLo48 (talk) 21:01, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
The category continents is NOT valid. There is already an article about the continent of Australia, this article is about the country only. If they are both in Category:Continents than it's just repeated info in the category. McLerristarr | Mclay1 23:23, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Does it really matter that it's included twice? I'm seeing Merbabu's point here. --AussieLegend (talk) 23:46, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
It matters because this page is not about a continent so should be not be included in the continent category. Having both pages on Australia in the category is just over-categorisation. McLerristarr | Mclay1 01:15, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
The sovereign state of Australia, which this article is about, includes territories which are not part of the continent of Australia. McLerristarr | Mclay1 01:17, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
McLerristarr, being frank in silly situations is not being uncivil. I'd suggest, however, that throwing policy at established users perhaps is. But to the matter at hand, I agree, there is no need to categorise this article under continents. We have a specialised article, Australia (continent), for that purpose.
Which is leads me to a point, I think, that ought be remembered: this article is an overview article. We shouldn't be so concerned to cover everything herein; where things get too particular, or too complex, we have daughter articles for further elaboration. Moreover, please remember (generally speaking) that this a featured article, and that edits to it should be considered and within keeping of its high standard. — cj | talk 02:16, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

I know we're not meant to compare what is said on other wikipedia pages, but the New Guinea page says that it is the second largest island in the world, which is based on the idea that Greenland is the largest. So it seems on wikipeda at least that Australia is considered a continent and not an island. Though I know that's not considered a good argument by wikipedia, just thought I would mention it. It could mean there's sources out there being ignored. EDIT: looking more into it, it doesn't specifically disagree that Australia is an island, it just puts it under continent, and starts the list at Greenland because of that. It brings up the argument that some don't consider Australia an island. hereAnoldtreeok (talk) 01:34, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

All sentiments that are adequately captured in the existing sentence.—cj | talk 02:16, 18 August 2010 (UTC)


In light of the large quantity of vandalism I've moved this article's protection status to semi-protection. From my examination, all the attempted edits which have been made by new or unregistered in recent weeks under pending changes have been disallowed so semi-protection will reduce the workload of other editors while not hindering the article's development. Nick-D (talk) 09:50, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

You have put full protection on the article and not semi. Bidgee (talk) 09:58, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Whoops! Fixed. Nick-D (talk) 11:10, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Independence section in table

The independence section has been changed to include dates such as the statute of westminster (1941) and the australia act (1986)

we became independent in 1901, and any of these other dates are confusing and misleading.

the statute of westminster just meant that all commonwealth countries were considered equals with the UK

the australia act meant that state privy councils (in law) couldnt appeal to a commonwealth court (which they hadnt done for many many many years)

these are really just pieces of random legislation that do not relate to the date we became a nation.

remove. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Saruman-the-white (talkcontribs) 22:01, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

It hasn't been changed recently, it's been like that for a long time. A previous and extremely lengthy discussion confirmed that issues such as the Statute of Westminster are important. --AussieLegend (talk) 23:43, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
They may be important, but not enough to be included in that particular location. The version in the article text (history section) is accurate and helpful. In terms of headline summary data (without explanation), I would have said the table data is confusing. I agree with Saruman that the single independence date of 1901 would be a more accurate summary reflection of reality. hamiltonstone (talk) 03:31, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
It's confusing because we didn't become independent in a single event. In a nutshell, the constitution created the Commonwealth, the Statute of Westminster gave us important powers that we didn't have before WWII and the Australia Act finally gave us full independence. The Statute of Westminster Adoption Act was forced into the article after the lengthy discussion of which I spoke. That can probably go but the other three are all extremely significant to when we gained our independence, which wasn't complete until the Australia Act. Claiming that we gained our independence on any single date is misleading. --AussieLegend (talk) 03:54, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
You are entirely correct, but it is a summary claim which is not misleading. As the article itself points out, for example, the privy council appeal powers were already largely present in name only by the time they were formally rescinded. The data as presented in the template table offers no explanation (and cannot, given the available space) as to why we are suggesting Australia has four independence dates. Australia became a sovereign country in 1901, and all explanations of the extent to which that should be qualified already accurately exist in the body text. The template table should be about providing meaningful information to a reader, not information that will confuse them. hamiltonstone (talk) 04:09, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
AussieLegend is correct. That powers were not used is not to say they could not have been, and the formal date of their repeal is really the only relevant date. To say that "Australia became a sovereign country in 1901" is also incorrect, at least in the way we understand it today. True Australia became a single nation in 1901, but legally the relationship with the UK was little different than that which had previously existed with the several self-governing colonies. Until the adoption of the Statute of Westminster, the UK could have repealed self-government at any time. Absurd? Not at all, look at the case of Newfoundland, for instance. When Menzies said in 1939 "Britain is at war, therefore Australia is at war", he was just stating what everybody took for granted, Australians, Britains, and if they thought about it, even the Germans. Australian independence was an evolutionary process, not a product of revolutionary change, and to pick a single date is just misleading. --Michael Johnson (talk) 04:47, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm glad we all agree on the facts, but I still don't agree as to what is a meaningful summary for lay readers (which is all we are talking about here). Michael, whether, practically rather than legally speaking, the UK could have repealed self-government is debatable, but surely an important point is that it did not? The Newfoundland case is indeed instructive in regard to this debate - the take-over was at Newfoundland's request - and this, I think, is the sort of thing that the ordinary person's understanding of the meaning of "Independence" comes down to, and which should be reflected in the summary information on the article page, while always ensuring that the complete explanation is offered in the article text. But I can see I may be arguing a minority view :-) hamiltonstone (talk) 05:28, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I think Hamiltonstone summed it up perfectly when he said the statute of westminster was significant and the aust act arguably did represent something, however as you say, it was an evolutionary project which is too complicated to summarise in the table, but rather in the main article. People will not have a clue what either the stat westminster or aust act are, i know if i was from a foreign country i would simply look at it, which has no explanation, and believe we werent sovereign until 1986. jan 1st 1901 is the date australians have celebrated our independence, so for the summary section leave it at that. elaborate in the main body. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Saruman-the-white (talkcontribs) 09:09, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

A single date is misleading. As for readers not knowing what the acts are, they're linked to articles that fully explain them so it's not a problem. --AussieLegend (talk) 10:50, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
1 January 1901 is most definitely NOT the date Australians celebrate their independence. Was the word "independence" mentioned in any of the official celebrations during the Centenary of Federation in 2001? I doubt it. It was the coming together of the 6 colonies into a single, new nation, but was it an independent nation in the sense we think of Australia today? Very much NOT, and nobody of the time thought that was the case. It was much more like one super-colony replacing 6 smaller ones. The Australian Prime Minister did not have direct access to the monarch; he advised the British Prime Minister, who took advice from the British Civil Service and then, if and only if he considered the matter was important enough, would he bother the monarch with it. Australia had no separate foreign affairs presence until after World War II; until then, British diplomats would speak for Australia, or rather, they would present the British view and that automatically extended to Australia. As Michael said above, Menzies saw no need to make a separate declaration of war with Germany in 1939 - Chamberlain had declared Britain was at war with Germany, and that was that, it was an automatic thing as far as Australia was concerned. The same obviously held true in 1914. Are these the hallmarks of an independent nation? -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 11:18, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
And another thing, Australian Citizenship didn't exist until 1949, before then Australians considered themselves to be British subjects. I think independence of your country would involve being a citizen of it, not another country, wouldn't it? -- (talk) 00:32, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Somewhere I have a fairly reputable quote along the lines of "Australia became independent at some point between 1901 and 1986". In other words, there was no single date. The constitution act was certainly significant. Gallipoli, Anzac Day, was significant. The statutes of Westminster and the first Australian governor general were too. Then the Australian Dollar. The Australia act (1986) was a legal formalisation establishing that the UK parliament could no longer make Australian law. By legal definitions, this created independence, although few noticed it happen. Many insist that Australia is still not independent, not until it is a republic. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 15:41, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Image of Port Arthur - link "gaol"?

The word "gaol" in the text for the image of Port Arthur should be linked to the corresponding wiki article . As a non-native English speaker i had no clue, gaol is a type of jail. GermanJoe (talk) 11:22, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

You seem to know now, without the link. --AussieLegend (talk) 11:32, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Hmmmm. Gaol is British English. Jail is American English. Australian English is much closer to British English than American English. Port Arthur was built by the British. Gaol is hardly a mystery spelling. It may not be the English you learnt, but it's perfectly normal English. HiLo48 (talk) 11:36, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
It's an okay idea to link it. Words like "Gaol" and "Quay" are anachronisms in English, with spelling and pronunciation from different times. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 11:49, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

The solution is a definitional link? We've worked hard to keep them out of the article. (WP:OVERLINK). Since when we do now start providing definitions to non-English speakers? On it's own, it's hardly a big deal, but let's not set any poor precedents. --Merbabu (talk) 12:18, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't see this as a non-English speaker problem. It's an American English problem. Too many of the speakers (and teachers in the case of our questioner?) of that form of English seem unaware that there is another very valid form of the language spoken and written in the country where it all started. On Wikipedia I often find myself re-correcting "corrections" made by Americans of colour to color, flavour to flavor, etc. Our questioner was just unlucky in which version he was taught. HiLo48 (talk) 20:46, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I was taught about both gaol and jail during my primary schooling days, issue now is only jail is taught in schools which is wrong. In Darwin the use of the two spellings is still in use, Fannie Bay Gaol (now a museum) and Berrimah Jail (rarely used now)/Prison/Correctional centre. But I have noticed that "Jail" is slowly being phrased out with prison and/or correctional centre taking its place. Bidgee (talk) 04:15, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Ha ha – my vote goes for "Port Arthur Correctional Facility" then. That will make it much clearer for our German readers. we could also put gefängnis in just to make sure ;-). --Merbabu (talk) 05:06, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
We are here to help all readers understand topics better regardless of education or native language link it up if people are not has just been proven..Overlink dose not trump easy of use or understanding of native words...Moxy (talk) 06:01, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I do not really agree but I guess it is a minor thing in the scheme of things. However, User:Tony1 may not be as forgiving as me. “:-)” (note, all text linked “ease of use” and “understanding”) --Merbabu (talk) 06:35, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
It's an Australian article about Australia mostly written by Australians in Australian English. My Australian dictionary (Macquarie) includes gaol, with no qualifications at all. I'm certain the same would apply in any British dictionary. It's good that out questioner has now learnt a new English word, but it's not the job of Wikipedia's editors to try to guess which words non-native English speakers won't know. HiLo48 (talk) 07:39, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

"Association football (soccer)" rather than just "soccer"

Could I please have some help here. I have changed the word "soccer" to "Association football (soccer)" but "Yellow Monkey" has once again reverted and is now accusing me of being a troll. "Association football" is the proper description of the game and the use of "soccer" is as hurtful as using, I dunno, "Paddy" to describe a person of Irish origin. There is no evidence that the term "soccer" is used any more commonly to describe the game in Australia - certainly outside of Victoria and Tasmania. Is there some sort of adjudication process we can put this up to? Silent Billy (talk) 00:36, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

In the northern states of Australia Aussie Rules football is referred to as 'AFL', should we thus use AFL in reference to the sport on all wikipadia pages? No. The recognised name of the code is association football, and that that is what it should be referred to on all wikipedia pages regardless of local colloqualisms in which specific codes are referred to solely as football. If people do not know what association football is, then they need to educate themselves. An encyclopedia is the means to achieve that. Calling the sport 'soccer' in articles is akin to referring to Kevin Rudd as 'KRUDD' in any article relating to him. It is offensive because he deserves to be recongised officially by his proper name. "Yellow Monkey" needs to drop the ignorant agenda. Aussie sportsman (talk) 01:22, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Per WP:ENGVAR why not this [[Association football|soccer]], is the same sport. TbhotchTalk C.
Billy, good on you for arguing your case here once again. The list used here includes horse racing, surfing, soccer, and motor racing. This is adequate. There's also an internal link to Australian rules football which is esp. helpful for overseas readers. The usage on the Sports_in_Australia page is "soccer (Association_football)". You might note that the Sports_in_Australia page includes links to many codes, but they are not needed here.
You should be encouraged for stimulating debate; now we should wait for a consensus. wcrosbie, Melbourne, Australia 01:43, 7 August 2010 (UTC) 01:39, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
That is inadequate. Association football is one of the most (if not the most) popular participation sports in the country and deserves a much more significant mention in this article then it currently receives. One unlinked, incorrect mention for such a significant sport is pathetic. Australian Rules for example is linked multiple times..yet it is the only sport in the lower section which is linked. I would not be happy with [[Association football|soccer]] soccer .. that is akin to listing aussie rules as [[australian rules football|AFL] [[australian rules football|AFL]. Association football is the politically correct name for the sport and that is how it should be written...include (soccer) for the sake of the simple folk but the sport is association football Aussie sportsman (talk) 01:55, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but "soccer" and "football" are the common names of the sport in this country, and Wikipedia's policy is to use only official names when the common names are not appropriate. The term "soccer" is not akin to the name "AFL", the term "soccer" is more like the name "Aussie rules" as they are both derivations of their respective full names. AFL is a football competition more akin to FA football competition. -- (talk) 12:10, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Nobody calls the game "association football" in Australia. Thats a rather retro englishism which would only ever be used in a disambiguating context. In Australia the only choices to call it are "soccer" or "football".Eregli bob (talk) 12:59, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

As it says when editing this page, this page is in Australian English. The Australian English term is soccer. We have always said soccer, it is what is used in the maquarie dictionary. Football is British english, not Australian English, this page must be kept faithful to Australian English, its an article on Australia, not Britain. I'm sure most people will understand soccer, because its also the american english term. this article is in english, and 3/4 of the english speaking as a 1st language people in the world are from the US, and then if you add australian english which also uses soccer, youve got the vast majority of the eng speaking world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Saruman-the-white (talkcontribs) 02:27, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Where is there any evidence that this term is "Australian English" the usage is limited to those who are anti-Association football. It is "football" everywhere else. Silent Billy (talk) 02:37, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
It is football only in the UK, and maybe Ireland. In Australia the sport is called soccer, I didn't even know the term Association football before I found in on wikipedia, and I'm sure barely anyone in Australia does. It's only the 4th most popular sport "football" sport in Australia. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 02:56, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Good on you Chips for admitting your former ignorance. But the fact that you apparently were so poorly read that you had not heard of the term "association football" is not a argument for the use of the term "soccer" in the article. Where is there evidence for your proposition that the game is known as "football" only in two countries? Silent Billy (talk) 03:04, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
In Australian articles we use the terms used in Australia and not elsewhere. Even SBS uses soccer. Bidgee (talk) 03:07, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
And Fox use "AFL" for ' rules and I and many people in NSW call Aussie Rules "kick 'n' giggle" or liken it "eight year olds playing rugby union" but that doesn;t mean we should use those terms here. Back up your suppositions with verifiable evidence. Silent Billy (talk) 03:16, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Per WP:BURDEN it is up to you Billy to prove that association football or football is commonly used in Australia. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 03:18, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Well I do know (as I am sure that you do) that "Association football" is not as commonly used to refer to the code as "football" is. The Roar and SMH refer to "Association football" as "football" for starters. Silent Billy (talk) 03:37, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
SIlent Billy - How on earth can calling the game soccer be hurtful. Virtually every Victorian, soccer fans or not, is comfortable with it. I know lots of quite rabid enthusiasts (I call them my friends!) who call it soccer. Why does is hurt you? The name in Victoria is not going to change any time soon. It can't. The name football has a distinct other purpose. Oh, and I suspect it's wider than Vic and Tas. It would also include SA, WA and NT. I will add, however, that I'm pretty well aware that the convention on Wikipedia is to call the game Association football wherever there is the possibility of confusion, such as in the USA and Australia. HiLo48 (talk) 07:02, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Hilo48 - a lot of Australians don't live in Victoria and have no wish to either. Silent Billy (talk) 11:50, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Talk about Déjà vu. I'm sure we've been over this whole soccer thing before.
"the use of "soccer" is as hurtful as" - Don't you think you're being overly dramatic here? How is using the common name for the game hirtful. Perhaps you should read the association football article which states in its opening sentence, "Association football, commonly known as football or soccer".
"the usage is limited to those who are anti-Association football." - I'm sorry, but this is complete and utter bullshit. I turned 50 in December and, as far back as I can remember, it has always been called soccer in Australia, even by the fans, hence the "Soccerroos" and not the "Association footballoos". It's only been in recent years, when the sport has apparently started to become more popular here that the term "association football" has come into any use outside of the most rabid fans. Soccer clubs have always been called "football" or "soccer" clubs, never "association football" clubs.
The arguments you're using here really don't help give your arguments credibility. Getting so upset over the fact that soccer is the common name would be like me (an IT consultant) getting upset over many people calling the system unit of their PC a "hard drive". Just accept the truth and move on. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:25, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

sorry mate, you made your point very well without knowing it by saying "its football everywhere else". you are exactly right, its football everywhere else (except the usa) AND AUSTRALIA. its not the australian term, as used in the maquarie dictionary or by the vast majority of australians, you dug your own grave on this one mate, sorry. soccer it stays. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Saruman-the-white (talkcontribs) 00:06, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

The argument about soccer v football from a linguistic perspective is of course easy. Yes in some countries, we need addendums to distinguish between different types of football. But this isn't the heart of the matter. The question is one of dominance.

The eggball aficionados are suggesting 'soccer' is fine as a differentiator on the assumption that something else in its vicinity, will be called "football". They perpetuates the key semantic property of 'soccer' - it unalterable sense of "otherness". If he makes the argument that NOTHING should be called football and every code should have its own handle, then so be it, but as it stands, this isn't the case.

Thats a spurious assumption you are making. The word "football" is now so compromised by its various alternative meanings that it is difficult to use it for anything in an unqualified way. In fact, I would agree with the idea that nothing should be called just "football".

I'm amazed that of all things some here have used South Africa as a counter point. The word "soccer" was thrust upon the sport there by white men describing a black man's passion, or vice as many saw it. It contained none of the Edwardian values of Rugby Football, and therefore didn't deserve the word football. So much of the meaning behind "soccer" when South African's use it, is about otherness, of minority, of difference, of inferiority. Likewise, if an Irishman likes "Association football", he'll call it "football". If he hates it, or if he equates football with British imperialism and an affront to his sense of independence, he'll call it "soccer".

In the six letters of "soccer" is imbued a put down that can only be explained through an understanding of semantics, and putting it into historical context. When "soccer" is used by football supporters, it rolls unceremoniously off the tongue. But when used by its many detractors, it is punctuated and bulletted into our vernacular as a reminder that "there is only one true football in this town buddy, and it ain't your football."

"Soccer" is a dirty word. It is used to symbolise the past problems of the sport in Australia. When "soccer" was the word commonly used in Australia by the code itself it was a game for ", sheilas wogs and poofters", today that has changed - "football" is the right term to use.

The fallaciousness of the argument put by the Victorians above that their usage should be adopted by the whole of Australia is laughably self evident.

I notice Bidgee is too weak to cut and paste the MD entry here. That must be because it does not actually support his argument (you're not the only one with a sub maaaaaaaaaate) Silent Billy (talk) 01:14, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

An example of how the word "soccer" has evolved and is is used as vindictive insult in Victoria appears on the Melbourne tabloid website: ... most Aussies still see Soccer as the backward foreign ehtnicgame. Silent Billy (talk) 01:24, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

"I notice Bidgee is too weak to cut and paste the MD entry here." A rather lame personal attack but no I'm not weak since adding copyrighted content will get myself blocked, I suggest you get the MD or get an account online. Bidgee (talk) 06:37, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Billy - I find it hurtful when paranoid bullies completely ignore my seriously thought out contributions. So I will post again, hoping you will pay some attention this time.
How on earth can calling the game soccer be hurtful. Virtually every Victorian, soccer fans or not, is comfortable with it. I know lots of quite rabid enthusiasts (I call them my friends!) who call it soccer. Why does is hurt you? The name in Victoria is not going to change any time soon. It can't. The name football has a distinct other purpose. Oh, and I suspect it's wider than Vic and Tas. It would also include SA, WA and NT. I will add, however, that I'm pretty well aware that the convention on Wikipedia is to call the game Association football wherever there is the possibility of confusion, such as in the USA and Australia. HiLo48 (talk) 01:38, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
"Virtually every Victorian, soccer fans or not, is comfortable with it." - have you got a verifiable source for that? It's a ridiculous thing to claim. Silent Billy (talk) 01:45, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Of course I don't have a verifiable source for what I said Billy, apart from living here for 60+ years. I don't need a source. I spoke common sense. I spoke from experience. If you still want to fight over this, I think YOU need a verifiable source that tells us some Victorians ARE hurt by the name soccer. Maybe you could start by checking with all the clubs called soccer clubs. Stop making such a big issue over this. I like soccer. I played it as a kid. The town I lived in had the state league champions one year. The local soccer club. We were all very proud. It just makes no sense to call it football here. So let's go with Association football when discussing Australia. (I'm quite happy with the name Australian football for the local code too. It would be dumb to call it simply football.) We have four professional sports called football here, and at least two others played at amateur level. No-one owns the name football in Australia. HiLo48 (talk) 02:06, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
"The eggball aficionados" - I'm afraid your non-NPOV slip is showing. Have you already forgotten "the use of "soccer" is as hurtful as" and "the usage is limited to those who are anti-Association football"? "Eggball" isn't a recognised nickname for any sport that I'm aware. Why should you expect others to use official names when you clearly can't do the same?
"I'm amazed that of all things some here have used South Africa as a counter point. The word "soccer" was thrust upon the sport there by white men describing a black man's passion" - I'm not sure what South Africa has to do with anything. According to both Association football and Names for association football, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford "-er" abbreviation of the word "association".
"bulletted into our vernacular as a reminder that "there is only one true football in this town buddy, and it ain't your football."" - "Our" vernacular? I assume you must be American.
""Soccer" is a dirty word." - In your opinion. Soccer is widely used throughout the world. From Association football: "Today the sport is known as football in English-speaking countries in which it is the most popular football code; where other codes are more popular, the sport is more commonly referred to as soccer." From Names for association football: "The term association football has never been widely used, although in England some clubs in rugby league strongholds adopted the suffix Association Football Club (AFC) to avoid confusion with the dominant sport in their area."
"it was a game for ", sheilas wogs and poofters"," - When would that have been? Soccer has been popular in Australia for Australia as long as I can remember, although it has always been overshadowed by league. I've never heard it referred to in the derogatory manner that you've used, although I have occasionally heard it to as "wogball", mainly because it was primarily popular with immigrants from Europe.
"I notice Bidgee is too weak to cut and paste the MD entry here." - Please, comment on content, not on the contributor. That sort of tone is uncivil. --AussieLegend (talk) 01:58, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
I am sorry to have used the term "eggball" but my intention was to point out that one could use a pejorative term for the rugby and Australian rules codes. Silent Billy (talk) 03:03, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Back on to topic, I think it should be called soccer in articles about australia, per WP:COMMONNAME. Also, the Australian team is called Socceroos, which says alot. I myself have no problem with calling it football, and I do sometimes, depending on the context (such as when watching the world cup). It's a great game, however, in Australia it is mainly known as soccer. So in the article we should leave it as such. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 02:36, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
It's a great game, however, in Australia it is mainly known as soccer. - do you have a verifiable source for this? Silent Billy (talk) 11:54, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Rowe, David (2003) "Sport and the Repudiation of the Global" International Review for the Sociology of Sport 38:3.4 "In countries where it is known as ‘soccer’, like Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US, the linguistic marker signifies that it is not the dominant code of football." - Bilby (talk) 12:13, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters, An Incomplete Biography of Johnny Warren & Soccer is a best-selling book by Johnny Warren, tracing the growth of soccer in Australia, especially in the post-WWII years. The title refers to alleged sexist, racist and homophobic attitudes towards football exhibited frequently by many Australians and especially the major city media in Australia through this period. A Google search for the term, without Warren's name finds 13,000 stand-alone references to the term. Mitch Ames (talk) 03:26, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Google hits don't mean much. Many of those hits refer specifically to the book, Put it in inverted commas and there are 8,350 hits. A search on my first attempt to be elected to parliament got 100,000 hits, without specifying the electorate got 157,000. --AussieLegend (talk) 03:53, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
That supporters of one code use disparaging terms to describe another, or its supporters, is hardly news. Our Billy did it himself with eggball up above. Australians have been very creative over the years with terms to insult other forms of football. HiLo48 (talk) 04:05, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Wow - what a waste of valuable collective editing time. And a generally uncivil one at that too. There must be at least 30 posts in this section. Would it not be better for editors to spend their (presumably limited) editing time doing something more constructive? --Merbabu (talk) 07:06, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Just had a look at Silent Billy's Talk page. He has already been repeatedly warned for disruptive editing around the word soccer. While he clearly generally makes a valuable contribution to Wikipedia, his unrealistic obsession with eliminating that word from Australian usage is clearly on display. I don't think we have a tool in Wikipedia to ban people from using a particular word in their edits. It would avoid these troll discussions if we could. HiLo48 (talk) 07:56, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
SilentBilly says it was all a misunderstanding, and it was sorted out later. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 11:54, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry if you thought this argument was over but I'm starting it again. Association football should be used not "soccer". "Soccer" is a colloquial term that has only become the proper term in America. No official bodies in Australia use the term "soccer". Just football is the official name in Australia but to disambiguate it from other forms of football, association football can be used. "Soccer" was the official name in Australia until the last 10 or so years when it was changed. That's the reason so many (especially older) people still call it "soccer". It's those people who prevent Australia from moving into the present. In an encyclopaedia, the sports correct name should be used. "Soccer" is offensive to those who love the sport and "football" is confusing to those who like one of football's derivatives. Association football should be used as a neutral term. McLerristarr (Mclay1) (talk) 14:16, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

The Australian team's official nickname is the Socceroos. The sport of Association football is known as soccer in Australia. Colloquialism's fulfill WP:COMMONNAME anyway. This talk about moving Australia into the present is quite POV. Saying soccer is offensive to those who love the sport is just plain wrong. I know plenty of Australians who enjoy the game, and call it Soccer. Soccer is the term used in Australia. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:31, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
As far as I understand it, the attempt to rebrand the sport as Association Football, which mostly seems to be a marketing move to take the ethnic overtones from the sport, only stems from the 2003 Crawford Report. While the national body accepted the recommendation, the rebranding process has only been going for a few years. It would appear that the rebranding is having an impact, but I haven't seen anything to suggest that soccer has been replaced in common usage, and quite a bit to suggest that it hasn't been. I guess there's still an argument that we should go with what the offcial bodies now use, but I'm more inclined to go with common parlance, myself. - Bilby (talk) 15:01, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
I would regard the clubs that call themselves soccer clubs as official bodies. Many towns and suburbs in Victoria, Tasmania, SA, WA and NT have soccer and football clubs, the latter playing Australian football. The soccer clubs are unlikely to rename themselves to be football clubs in those situations. HiLo48 (talk) 18:37, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
What I find offensive is somebody having the audacity to claim that the older people are preventing Australia from moving into the present simply because they use a term that has been in wide use for over a hundred years. It reminds me of the new neighbour who moves in next door, turns his rap music up at 2am and parks across your driveway and then tells you that you need to change. --AussieLegend (talk) 15:41, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes but there would be remedies for the incumbent neighbour. But what if the incumbent had a dog that was in the habit of leaving a daily deposit on the new neighbour's doorstep and had been doing so for years. Would the new neighbour just have to grin and clean it up each day or would he be justified in asking the incumbent to control his dog? Silent Billy (talk) 22:16, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Congratulations, you've missed the point entirely. --AussieLegend (talk) 23:25, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
You were the one who started with the neighbour analogy. I just wanted to point out that one could take it to its absurd limit. I had hped that gentle irony might be the way to do that. Silent Billy (talk) 02:59, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
If you're going to blame the older generation for not allowing Australia to move on, then you have to blame the younger generation (of which I'm a part of) as well, because I have never heard anyone refer to Soccer as Association football. I've even heard many people argue that it is only and should only be known as Soccer. Of course, that is based on my personal experience only, but that's why I find it hard to believe your claim that the younger generation accepts Association football as the name and the older generation is holding us back. Anoldtreeok (talk) 00:21, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I am not having a go at any generation but it has to be said that if you have not heard of "Association football" that really is your problem. I am sure that you could find people who would insist that gays should be described as "p-------" but that wouldn't mean that we should change Wp to suit them would it? Silent Billy (talk) 02:59, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
uninvolved editors views
After reading this long and arduous discussion..i see valid points on both sides...That being said i have never heard anyone anywhere refer to the sport as "Association football". What i see is an attempt to change socially view on the subject by rewording the term. From what i have seem here on wiki about the history it is clearly called soccer for many generations and only recently has the term "Association football" been implemented by the new governing body. So here at wikipidia we should use the term that has meaning to the majority of people. It is nice to see the governing body trying to change this but its clealy not a wide view yet despite the attempts to push this view threw. I have also never heard anyone refer to "Soccer" as an offensive term. Would it be possible to see a reference to this fact, because i have not seen one reference to indicate that any of this view are noting but personal feelings. In fact i see no references for anything. As for linking Association football don't you guys think its best to link to your countries governing body and not the general term...As an over view article you should try to link to just your counties sub-subject and not the main article. Moxy (talk) 15:18, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
This article in the Sydney Morning Herald suggests that there may be flaws in your analysis. Silent Billy (talk) 21:48, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, Craig Foster, ex-SOCCERoo, writing for the SMH says so. Let's be realistic about the football and linguistic divide in Australia. All need to look at the Barassi Line. HiLo48 (talk) 00:35, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Indeed Craig Foster is a former Socceroo. However the term "socceroo" is applied to the senior mens' national football team and has a history of around 43 years attached to it. But just because that is the team name does not mean that the game's proper name is "soccer" which as you well know is a colloquialism. Like wise you may or may not be aware that the senior mens' international rubgy league team are called the "Kangaroos" but that doesn;t mean we should call that football code "kanga" does it? Silent Billy (talk) 02:48, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I read Craig Foster's article you referred to and it was POV spin for the use of "football" over "soccer". BTW he has an agenda, it's not like he's impartial! He even referred to the sport of Australian football as AFL, which shows some of his ignorance. -- (talk) 13:00, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Congratulations on ignoring most of my post, particularly the bit that pointed out that in more than half the country soccer is NOT a colloquialism. That you cannot recognise that is very sad. HiLo48 (talk) 03:53, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Google search term Google hits
soccer site:au 2,240,000 (99.57%)
"association football" site:au 9780 (0.43%)

Enough said, I think. Hesperian 04:23, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I know that Football Federation Australia are trying to promote the term 'football' over 'soccer', but that has failed to really penetrate as yet. Realistically, the primary code is the one known as "football" - hence rugby league in NSW and Queensland, and AFL elsewhere. I do detect the beginnings of change but it will be a long way before the default reaction to calling soccer football is a perplexed look requiring the talker to explain...Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:52, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Comment: "AFL" is a competition not a sport. Please refer to Australian football as either Australian rules football or Australian football not AFL. (Referring to this sport as "AFL" is offensive to those who love the game, particularly from outside Vic, such as WA, SA and Tas, and expats from these states in Qld and NSW.) -- (talk) 13:11, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
It seems to me that even the Football Federation of Victoria are happy to use the term "soccer" as in It has had several name changes over the years, but has survived as the governing body of soccer in Victoria since this time. and In order to provide for the future development of women's soccer...FFV So it can't be as offensive as some claim. Soccer is clearly the term most Aussies use, just look at the media. --Michael Johnson (talk) 06:21, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that you can use what passes for the "media" in Melbourne as your sample. You do appreciate that the self-absorbed provincialism of both the rags and the television stations is pretty much a laughing stock in the rest of Australia. There was a reason that they had to put the ABC's HQ in Sydney... there would have never been anything but coverage of Vic otherwise. Silent Billy (talk) 01:45, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
No, the reason why ABC 24's HQ is in Sydney is because ABC's HQ has always been located there and most of the major national media outlets in this country is HQed in Sydney, it has nothing to do with the quality of news and sport reporting. Do you have proof that Melbourne's television stations are the "laughing stock in the rest of Australia"? This sounds like offensive POV aimed at hurting people from Melbourne, because they prefer to call association football "soccer". Please, try to remain WP:CIVIL. -- (talk) 13:28, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Straw poll

So after a long debate lets look at what the consensus is here...although is seems pretty clear its soccer... For the record lets do this properly. I see 3 possibilities all that could link to Association football until you have an article called Australian soccer or Australian Association football. PS, I do think expanding articles related to this debate that clearly is real world should be updated or improved Football (word) and Names for association football.

  1. Call it Association football
  2. Call it Football
  3. Call it Soccer

Soccer as it seems to be more prevalent (that is club names usage etc..)Moxy (talk) 06:55, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer is the obvious, simple, unambiguous name for the game in Australia.(See below. Begoon convinced me.) My only qualification would be that some here (mostly one) have claimed that it is offensive and hurtful. It's certainly not where I come from, but if a reliable source saying that can be referenced from here, I would be happy to go with Association football. Just Football would be just silly, due to its ambiguity. HiLo48 (talk) 07:16, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Association football - Explanation: I'm English, moved to Australia 15 years ago. I have no issue with the AFL or NRL guys appropriating "football" and "footy" - those are the local sports, and that's only natural. However, for an international encyclopedia, I think the international term should be used - regardless of the page being written in "Australian English" (I'm unclear how anyone could decide what is or isn't officially in the Australian English dialect.) As a round ball fan, I confess I cringe every time I hear the term soccer, and I think the wishes of the people who follow the sport, and those involved in the sport, which, from the linked article and other stuff I've seen, are clearly to move away from the name, should be given some weight, particularly since all they want is for the worldwide consensus to prevail. There you go - that's a "semi insider, semi outsider" view. I'm only voting because you placed a poll - I certainly shan't be joining in all the madcap fun you've had in the rest of this discussion - it's not that important to me, and I certainly don't expect this view to prevail :-)  Begoontalk 07:31, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Begoon - Exactly why do you cringe? Genuine question. As I said, it's not cringeworthy where I come from (Victoria), but I'm open to a good explanation. I'm looking for a rational answer. Previous anti-soccer campaigners in this discussion weren't great for the cause. HiLo48 (talk) 07:40, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Ok - I'll try to explain - but that's all - I'm not letting you loons drag me into this :-) The problem is that it just seems to me that, given "soccer" is only originally an abbreviation of "Association", it can feel derogatory to those involved. The proper, internationally accepted name is Association Football, hell, Soccer even redirects there... It feels somehow dismissive, or second class to have one of the world's most popular sports referred to this way. But then I grew up in England, and the cringing probably comes from hearing Americans use the term, and feeling a little hurt that they couldn't even use the proper name for my favourite sport. It's not anything concrete that I can directly explain, but I can guarantee you there are a lot of people who would understand. Anyway - that wasn't the real reason for my vote - using the proper name was - I'd rather see a direct link than a disambig or redirect, or soccer piped. As I say, I know the Aussies frequenting this page won't largely agree - I live here (lol)  Begoontalk 07:52, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Association football - Amended vote. I can rise above the loon insult and accept Begoon's explanation! (It helps that it's the American usage that annoys him. It would annoy me too.) HiLo48 (talk) 08:02, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, I wasn't trying to convince anyone - I don't think there's much doubt which way the vote will go. However, just to demonstrate that statistics can show all sorts of things, I found it fascinating that, after looking at Hesperian's numbers above, I did a Google for just the term football, using the Google "Pages from Australia" link. When you actually look what sport the top 10 results were about (ignoring the "businesses bit" that comes up, though they did split about the same...):
No.1 AFL
No. 2,3,4,5,6 - Round ball
No. 7,8,9,10 - AFL
The next 10 were split 5/5 too.
Not saying it means anything at all, but surprised me nevertheless.  Begoontalk 09:33, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Wow that's really interesting. Now I really wish I knew googles search algorithm. I would hazard a guess to say that those are probably mostly official/club/team websites? Do rugby league/union groups call their game football? I've actually never heard it called that, and I've lived in Brisbane. Actually, never really heard AFL being called football without the Australian in front of it, usually the highly colloquial footy ;) Chipmunkdavis (talk) 10:03, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
No, not really club sites - of the first 5 - Football Australia's site, Fox Sports results, Craig Foster's article, Football NSW, and SBS World Cup 2010 website - so actually, not a club site in there. AFL had Carlton/Richmond for 2/5 club sites - one to the AFL, one to AFL Victoria and one to an AFL chat site.  Begoontalk 10:13, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Calling Australian football "AFL" is what makes me cringe. And it's worse than calling association football "soccer", because in the history of Australia football, it has never been called AFL until recently, when the Sydney media — which is dominant in this country — needed to call the sport something other than football, because up there rugby league and soccer are both called "football" — particularly by fans of those respective sports. So, as the AFL dominates Australian football, they call the sport by that dominant organisation, but by going along with this logic rugby league and soccer should be called "NRL" and "A-league or FFA" respectively. My point is, though, that you have to accept that some people are going to call the sport something other than what you would prefer, however incorrect that it might be in your mind, you have to accept that it's used and move on. BTW I'd rather use "association football" for soccer and "Australian football" for Australian rules football, but according to the manual of style for names the preference is for common names and whether you like it or not soccer is the most common name for the sport in this country, and probably in the English speaking world. -- (talk) 14:30, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, absolutely, I agree that we need to accept the consensus, I think if you look at my posts you'll see I've been very clear on that. I'm also sorry if my using AFL was "cringeworthy" to you. I'm English, and have lived in NSW for 15 years, so have had very limited exposure to that form of the game. I merely used the term because I was describing the Google Search results, and that's what they used. I am 100% in favour of consensus being followed - all I've done is share my personal opinion, knowing it would be bound to be minority here, as my contribution to the forming of that consensus. I've not, I hope, implied at all that I won't "accept that some people are going to call the sport something other than what (I) would prefer". If I gave that impression, I'm truly sorry - it certainly was not my intention.  Begoontalk 14:50, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
What do you call "recently"? When I lived in Melbourne in the late 70s it was called "VFL". The change to AFL started in the '80s, when other states started competing more against Victorian clubs. It certainly wasn't driven by the Sydney media; at that time VFL was treated as a virus in NSW, with supporters being shunned, and coverage being almost nil. --AussieLegend (talk) 16:12, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
You may have misunderstood because at that time there were two major competitions in Victoria, the "VFL" and the "VFA", and to disambiguate between the two, supporters used either VFL or VFA to refer to their respective competitions and sport. It must also be mentioned that the VFL and VFA had slightly different rules (not as different as the rules between rugby union and rugby league), but in general the sport was just referred to as footy, football or Aussie rules. -- (talk) 13:45, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer - It's the common name. Calling it association football makes me cringe. --AussieLegend (talk) 08:17, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer - I definitely do appreciate the counter arguments offered, and know quite well the cringing at perceived 'american words' ;) (note on that: soccer was actually a term invented in England, to distinguish the two types of 'Football', Association Football [soccer] and Rugby [Ruggers]!) However, I don't think Association Football, is the common name worldwide or in Australia. It is usually either Football or Soccer. The Association football page was named that way to prevent either side erupting in a huge war over the name, and it quite a good compromise there. However, I do think that this article should reflect the main usage of the country in question, which although officially changed by some of the clubs, is still soccer. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 08:29, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer Pretty much per the statistics posted by Hesperian. It's clearly the common name for the sport in Australia. Nick-D (talk) 08:31, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer Given that we've resorted to polling, I guess I don't need to give a reason - except to say, that it is by far the most common name. --Merbabu (talk) 08:33, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer From the information presented, it seems to be more common. SCΛRECROW 09:09, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer. The most commonly used name.--Dmol (talk) 09:11, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Association football – obviously no one calls it "association football" because it's long and doesn't sound good. People either call it football or soccer. Football would be confusing for Australians so association football seems a good compromise and no one can argue it is not called association football. In fact, official bodies only call it football, but the first word is for the sake of disambiguating it. As for the point about football clubs calling themselves "soccer clubs", that's because they named themselves before the official change. My two local football clubs merged together several years ago and when they named the new club, they had to end the name with "Football Club". "Soccer" is a nickname and not appropriate for an encyclopaedia. I am also English living in Australia and "soccer" makes me cringe for the same reason as Begoon. "Soccer" is an American word and the sport is called football in Australia so "soccer" is not Australian English. McLerristarr (Mclay1) (talk) 10:01, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer is what people call the sport. Soccer is not an american word! They're just the common example of the users of that name. Besides, soccer was an official word of the Australian clubs until very recently, so it's not exactly a nickname. It hasn't moved into common usage yet.Chipmunkdavis (talk) 10:22, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Likewise. I can't help myself. Soccer is NOT a nickname!!!!!!!!! It's NOT just an American name!!!!!! Where I live it's the proper, common and only name used for the game since it began in Australia over 100 years ago. Australian football started before soccer was codified in the UK. So, if a town around here has a football club, it will almost always be Australian football. The round ball club has to call itself the soccer club for uniqueness. No-one here is offended. No-one here cringes. I acknowledge that things are different elsewhere. I just wish the round ball bigots would appreciate and understand what the truth and reality is here. HiLo48 (talk) 10:27, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually, they're both right, you know, soccer was an English abbreviation from Association, to disambiguate rugby. It just never caught on in England because the round ball game was so much more popular. It's perceived as American now because they picked it up to use as their own disambiguation from Gridiron. I still dislike it, though - for the personal prejudices I explained above, and if I had the choice I wouldn't use it in the article. I don't have the choice, though - and as I have to tolerate it on a regular basis in RL anyway, having it used here, whilst not being my preference, certainly won't make me lose any sleep  Begoontalk 10:36, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Apologies about your personal preferences Begoon :) Believe me, I know how you feel. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 10:47, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm quite surprised that "Soccer is American" is still being bandied about. Association football and Names for association football have been mentioned and linked to a number of times now. Maybe the association football fans should actually read the articles about the sport. --10:50, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
It's still American, even if the word wasn't invented in America. "Honor" is the American spelling of "honour" but they didn't invent the spelling. McLerristarr (Mclay1) (talk) 13:39, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Honor is considered 'american' spelling, but that is because that is where it is most used. If you say something is 'american', it is implied that it is exclusively used there, or its current usage spread from there, like websters dropping of u's. Soccer came to Australia I think from Ireland, where people sometimes call it soccer due to Gaelic football. It is as 'australian' a word as it is 'american'. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 13:44, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer - Calling it anything but what it is most commonly called in Australia makes little sense. Anoldtreeok (talk) 10:51, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Just a thought, though chaps - since the problem seems to be that the world mostly calls it one thing, but we want to preserve the local name - have we considered something for the first mention like:


  • Soccer, the historically used name in Australia for Association Football, used to distinguish it from the two traditionally more popular local forms, AFL and Rugby League...

and then referring to it as soccer on subsequent mentions? I know it seems like an awful mouthful, but if it were reworded a bit, maybe, it would serve to give a bit of history and information along with its verbosity, and, after all, as an encyclopedia, I guess that's the sort of historical and contextual information we might even be supposed to be giving here?  Begoontalk 10:51, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

It makes more sense to call it soccer, since everyone knows what that is and it's not a mouthful. --AussieLegend (talk) 10:57, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Ah, ok, I edit conflicted with you adding the second line, but if you think the context and explanation for people who could be unaware of the reasons behind it is unencyclopedic, fair enough - that's why I was reluctant to join an argument between 2 names.  Begoontalk 11:02, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the current debate is just about one tiny mention where soccer is just part of a list of sports played in Australia. There's no space for any contextual information. As an aside, I don't think the world mostly calls it anything. Within the english-speaking world, the majority probably call is Soccer (country and population wise). Within other areas, native names sometimes correspond with a literal translation of "Football", such as the tagalog "putbol", sometimes the correlation is less clear. In no way as simple as local vs international name! Chipmunkdavis (talk) 11:08, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
No, that's fair enough - I was pretty much done here anyway. Just thought it worth mentioning that if it can provoke this much discussion on the talk page, maybe it was worth some context in the article. As I said, no doubt about which view will prevail - but it would have been nice if the article could benefit from these thousands of words here by more than just getting the "winning" name enshrined.  Begoontalk 11:16, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer, per the Macquarie Dictionary. Soccer should remain until association football is used widely in Australia, which is not the case yet. Bidgee (talk) 11:03, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Bidgee the MD does not say that at all. Football is defined as ...any game in which the kicking of a ball has a large part... It then goes on the suggest that "soccer" is "preferred" in "general use" to describe Association football, but I am not sure what "preferred" means etymologically speaking as it were. Mind you this is after mentioning that the use of "football" for Association football is likely to cause a "shift in usage". It is hard to tell how old this entry is and if it is not recent then it is likely to be less authoritative. Silent Billy (talk) 11:36, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Doesn't matter what you think, soccer is more widely used then "football" and "Association football". Even the Collins Dictionary uses "Soccer". Bidgee (talk) 11:43, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer. I don't care about what Australians use; I care about the reader's experience in reading the article. If we use soccer, everyone will know what it means, and some readers will cringe. If we use Association football, a substantial proportion of our readership will have no idea what we are talking about, and some of those who do will cringe. Soccer wins. Hesperian 11:36, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Who do you think the readership of the article is? I would suggest that is mainly non-Australians who in the mainly use "football" to describe the game, Has anyone got any reliable stats on this? By the way I would remind everyone that my point is that the game should be described as "association football (soccer)" and not just "soccer". Silent Billy (talk) 11:41, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't think so. There's a famous journalism quote, the details of which escape me at the moment, but the gist is that people want to read what they already know. And it's true: we'd rather read page and pages of analysis of a football game we've already seen, than read about a match we didn't get to see. I would say that the readership of this article is overwhelmingly Australian. Hesperian 12:19, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Just say if 5000 people from the US read the article and only 2000 people from Australia doesn't mean we should use US English, fact is we use Australian English (spelling, terms, ect). Bidgee (talk) 11:51, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Association football is it's correct name. Changing it to an Americanised nick name is simply ridiculous Cbowden9000 (talk) 12:43, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

It's not an 'american' name. See Names for association football Chipmunkdavis (talk) 12:52, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Déjà vu again.[6] --AussieLegend (talk) 13:32, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer, as per the Macquarie, it's obviously the Australian English term, the FFA's push of "Football" is simply a re-branding attempt, which of itself should not be viewed as overriding accepted usage by the bulk of the population. --Barkly St End (talk) 13:56, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

The definition of "football" in the MD is full described elsewhere here. Its usage is not limited to Australian Rules or any other code for that matter. I am just arguing that we should use the term "Association football (soccer)" here rather than just "soccer". 01:37, 10 August 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Silent Billy (talkcontribs)

Association football, as it's already in use throughout multiple articles related to Football in Australia, including the title of the article regarding the national team, the article regarding the sport as a whole in Australia, articles regarding under-age national teams also use Association Football. It's also written as Association Football (soccer) on the "Sport in Australia" template . If people here wanted it to remain soccer, they should've participated in the debates that took place when these articles were being created. I should also point out that 'soccer' is currently a redirect to Association football, and wiki policy as it stands is to use Association Football.Macktheknifeau (talk) 14:36, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

If you're suggesting that it is 'wiki policy' to refer to things only by their article name, then you are mistaken. Hesperian 01:53, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
(EC)Good example of other stuff exists, just because those articles use doesn't mean the consensus is Association football. Also what policy states we have to use Association football even though the common name is Soccer? Bidgee (talk) 01:56, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer because of context. Most readers would know exactly what it means, even if they don't like it. Plus it is the most common Australian term for the sport. "Football" is clearly not available, and "Association football" is not a common name for the game, just reading the article without following the link will leave many people confused (altho I argued for it as title for the main article of the sport - but there the context is different). --Michael Johnson (talk) 02:08, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

  • Soccer because of its prevalent use in Australia, and to varying extents in other English language countries (this being the English language wikipedia). Notwithstanding what the associations themselves now call themselves, "soccer" is the commonly understood and used name for the game in (I believe) Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. If anyone in, say, the UK doesn't know what soccer is, surely the simple piped link will set them straight in a second. It is also the case that an Australian lay reader who does not follow sport (a category into which I generally fall) would probably not know what "association football" actually was - whereas the reverse situation is unlikely to obtain (I doubt a British lay reader would suffer the same problem with "soccer"). hamiltonstone (talk) 04:30, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Comment But that is why I suggested the use of "Association football (soccer)". I notice that option has been, conveniently, left off this "straw poll" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Silent Billy (talkcontribs) 22:34, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
So in conclusion it is clear that Soccer has the majority view....that being said I welcome further discussion on the matter if and when a WIDE variety of credible sources are available to change peoples minds. Moxy (talk) 15:34, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Soccer for the time being as that is what it is most widely called. Many words have their origins as colloquialisms. Football Federation Australia are trying their hardest to convert everyone to the term 'Football' for Soccer and the use is starting to creep in, but is a long way from general acceptance. We can easily revisit this in two years' time. Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:10, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Let's hope it never becomes popular. Imagine the confusion when trying to explain that the three most common types of football in Australia are Aussie Rules, rugby league and football. Can't they use a non-generic term like, oh, I don't know, soccer? Or something trendy like iGame 2.0 --AussieLegend (talk) 21:36, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

"Association football (soccer)" please, it covers the reality perfectly. 'Football' is the official, formal name for the sport (Football Federation Australia etc...), though 'Association Football' can be used when needed to differentiate from another particular 'football code' in this country. It's the reality of our 'football' landscape these days, which ofcourse involves many 'codes of football.' But we also have the historic, colloquial use of Soccer I guess, which even reflects in the names of a number of clubs around the country. The reality is both co-exist and reflects the complex make up of our complex footballing landscape. It's not an either or - it can be both. "Association football (soccer)" covers the context of this well enough for the time being and most people can understand, follow, what that means, even if they aren't an 'Association Football/Soccer' fan. Xfiles82 (talk) 15:58, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer is NOT colloquial! It was the ONLY name ever used for the game in more than half of Australia up until the past ten years. It was part of the name of EVERY club that played it. Officially registered club names! A word used that way is NOT a colloquialism, no matter what a group of Sydney based businessmen try to impose on the rest of the country. HiLo48 (talk) 19:10, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Comment HilO48 you are not being entirely accurate. In Witionary the definition is Colloquial abbreviation for Association football, via abbreviation Assoc. +‎ -er (“(slang suffix)”); earlier socca (1889), then socker (1891), with soccer attested 1895. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that is was originally university slang (with jocular formation -er (3)), from a shortened form of Assoc. Your actual OED states Introduced from Rugby School into Oxford University slang, orig. at University College, in Michaelmas Term, 1875. The ten or so printed dictionaries eg Chambers 20th Century all give it as a "colloquial". Can you cite any dictionary where this not stated explicitly or implicitly. Amateur etymology, rewriting of history and exclamation marks do not an argument make. Silent Billy (talk) 07:28, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes Billy. The Macquarie Dictionary, being exclusively Australian, is the ideal source for this purpose. No need to give the whole definition. It's the obvious one about 11 players, spherical ball, no hands, etc. The important part is that it simply describes soccer as a noun. Not colloquial. Not slang. So, an Australian dictionary agrees with what I say the usage is in Australia. HiLo48 (talk) 07:44, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and just to highlight that Macquarie is happy to call a word colloquial when it is, it says exactly that about footy, footie, wogball, and several other less "correct" words. But not soccer. HiLo48 (talk) 22:23, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
According to the Shorter Oxford, soccer is "[ORIGIN Aphet. from Assoc. (abbreviation of Association) + -er⁶.] Football as played under Association rules; Association football." No mention of slang. Mitch Ames (talk) 12:26, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
(Similarly to HiLo48's comment above re Macquarie and colloquial) The SOED does not describe soccer as colloquial, but it does (for example) describe footy (Football. Chiefly Austral. & NZ.) as colloquial. Mitch Ames (talk) 03:45, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer - it's what the sport is known as by the vast majority of Australians and the name clearly distinguishes itself from the other codes. The word Soccer is the abbreviation of Association Football anyhow so having both names together is stupidly repeating the same thing twice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:01, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

So "European Union (EU)" and "United Nations (UN)" are stupid as well? McLerristarr (Mclay1) (talk) 14:41, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Poor example. You're comparing initials to words. Instead try "Automobile (car)". --AussieLegend (talk) 14:53, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Call it soccer. Soccer, the beautiful game, is the only thing people call it. Football is rugby (with arguments over league and union), the game they play in heaven. "Association football" only comes up in trivia competitions. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:27, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
"Soccer, the beautiful game, is the only thing the people call it"! Clearly that's bullshit or we wouldn't be having this entire conversation. I've never heard anyone who believes football is the beautiful game or the world game call the sport "soccer". May I remind people that this is an encyclopaedia and, as such, everything is written in a formal/academic style. The formal term – in this case association football – should always be used at first mention. McLerristarr (Mclay1) (talk) 05:17, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
"Soccer" is the only thing I have heard Australians on the street call it. True, people who use "the beautiful game" call it "football", but "football" is highly ambiguous, competing, in Australia, with Gridiron football (no one plays it, but we know of it); Australian rules football and Rugby league. I believe that articles must be locally relevant, which means that they must be comfortable with the local vernacular. Define it formally where definitions are appropriate, certainly, but where used in isolation here in this article, a single usage in a listing, the word used locally is appropriate. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:37, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Association Football if that is the correct full name, regardless of what the common name is. Personally I don't have a dog in this fight, but I think the point made by the previous post is correct (though I'm not a wiki 'rules lawyer', so feel free to cite chapter and verse at me:)). I think the compromise proposed, in which it is under the full name with the first sentence referring to the common name, is the correct way to go. But then, I can see you've all played knifey-spooney before.... (talk) 21:00, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Soccer. The overwhelmingly common name in this country for the sport. "Association football" was an agreed upon compromise by Wikipedia editors, because the common names "soccer" and "football" were argued over and over again, especially the unwieldy "football (soccer)" combination, so the best option was to use the official name as used by the international governing body "FIFA". BTW the term "football" was considered ambiguous because of the fact that there are several other codes called football, and the term "soccer" was considered too American (when in fact it isn't) and wasn't what most other places in the world called the sport. But in Australia, the US, Canada, NZ and occasionally Ireland — majority of English speaking countries — the sport has been called "soccer" for a long time and has been well established in these countries as the common name for the sport. Occasionally it's called "soccer" in the UK, especially in areas where either code of rugby is more popular. -- (talk) 14:15, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

They're all good points; however, I don't think it is relevant what the other English-speaking countries call it, even if it is a majority. Besides, England, the country that invented the sport and the language, calls it football.
[s]Even though AFL may have been 'codified' before football[s], football was the first football to be invented and all other footballs are derivates, giving association football the right to ubiquitously claim the name football. McLerristarr / Mclay1 02:33, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
What other English-speaking countries call it is irrelevant but what England (an "other English-speaking country") calls it is relevant? Do you see a contradiction there? While England may have invented the word "football", that word is in such common use now that it is a generic term for any football game and association football has no more claim to the name than any other football code. I won't touch on the fact that England also created the word "soccer", which is what everyone calls the game. It's so clear that the consensus is to call it soccer that you should probably consider letting the dead horse be. --AussieLegend (talk) 11:07, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
One problem here is that some of the fans of the round ball game are trying to be good supporters, following the lead of the national body of the game they love - FFA. That body has decreed that soccer shall be called football. Loyal fans are doing their bidding and promoting that position. They would like football to be the name of their game in Australia. Their "leaders" have said that it is. So they push that view. The fact that most Australians call the game soccer simply doesn't get through. HiLo48 (talk) 11:26, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Association Football I personally believe there is only one code that can claim sole rights over football, but for the sake of differentiation it should be called football. Sorry but a 'straw poll' is no way to determine what the majority of Australians call the sports. Give me a nation wide census as proof: If you cannot, it should be known by it's international or politically correct name. It's that easy. Aussie_sportsman (talk) 02:54, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

A result... we have one yet? --Merbabu (talk) 11:34, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

I thought we had one a long time ago. --AussieLegend (talk) 11:51, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 7 September 2010


Please note that under the Media section, the article has Iris Murdoch listed as an Australian winner of the Man Booker Prize - this author was not an Australian, she was an Irish born British author. (talk) 03:51, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

 Done Iris Murdoch removed. Thanks, Stickee (talk) 04:17, 7 September 2010 (UTC)


It states that Australia has independance from the UK. I don't feel this is technically correct. Should we change this?Rtc872 (talk) 10:40, 25 August 2010 (UTC)criosdaidh

Australia is a fully independent sovereign state with no constitutional ties to the United Kingdom. Australia, Canada and a dozen other realms simply share the same monarch. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:58, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
This hasn't always been the case. In fact, it's indisputably been the case only since 3 March 1986, less than a quarter of a century ago. And ask a random Australian what the effects of the Australia Act 1986 were, he'll likely say "The what acts?". -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 12:31, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Cleaned up Intro

I have made several changes to clean up and streamline the slightly unwieldly intro, bringing the format slightly closer to what's used for most other countries.

In the table to right, under independence, I removed statute of westminster, leaving statutue of westminster adoption act -- this is because it is only when we adopted the statute that it came into effect here.

In the intro, I merged the two middle paragraphs on the history of the commonwealth, as the break was undeeded - it is one paragraph summarising the country's history. The pronunciation key was unnecessarily large, with four different renditions of the word Australia -- too much for a short intro paragraph. Following the example for the Canada page, I used in the intro only the first pronunciation, native to australia, as they have used the canadian one -- and left out the subsequent american and british pronunciations that were previously and unnecessarily in the first line of the article, making it unwieldly and difficult to navigate.

I also added into the last paragraph which tends to be about the particular nation's significance, the fact we are Oceania's sole Regional power as other nations ie UK Japan South Korea Brazil put their status as a Great power or Regional power into their equivalent of this paragraph. I also included our military expenditure rank, as this is also a convention used by many other nations in their equivalent paragraph. Where it said "largely self-governing colonies" I added the link to the specific term for it, which was that the colonies were given the right to Responsible government by the UK govt (see sections on Australia and Colonies with Responsible Government for details). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Saruman-the-white (talkcontribs) 08:15, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I feel like reverting it again. This is a FA, and the other countires are not; particularly articles on Asian countries shouldn't be used as a model, as they are often flooded by nationalists who keep on wanting to stick photos of tanks, missiles, skyscrapers everywhere and pretend their country is a superpower. eg on the India page, which is supposed to be a FA, there are always these SPAs who want to put nukes and skyscrapers everywhere, and no slums. similar for the pak article.... Being a middle/super/regional power is vague and more or less useless, and the stuff about military expenditute is nonsense. I don't know whether those stats account for the cost of living, but lots of countries lie and say they are not spending much; there is no way that Australia with 50k troops and a handful of jets is remotely militarily influential, paranoid, aggressive, ambitious, prepared, en garde, toey etc YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 08:35, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not a fan either. (and nice summary of some Asian country pages, by the way) --Merbabu (talk) 09:10, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not a fan either and actually have reverted some of the changes. Stating that Australia has no official language is just as important as stating the official language if we had one. There have been enough discussions over the past few years to indicate that the section is important. Changing from "English language" to "Australian English" is going against the consensus from a previous, and fairly recent discussion, now archived at Talk:Australia/Archive 15#Is "Ozzie" superfluous? "Australian English" or English? I actually support Australian English but we don't go against consensus. Similarly, reorganisation and removal of various acts goes against consensus from an earlier discussion. This consensus was explained to Saruman-the-white in a discussion he initiated only last month, so changing the section now, regardless of that discussion does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. --AussieLegend (talk) 09:28, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

change what you feel necessary then. I was mainly modeling the last para with the regional power, military expenditure on the UK article not those of asian countries. You're correct that many nations probably mis-report their military expenditure, but I was just using the only official figures there are which are used across wiki. Yes I agree with you about nationalists on many tinpot country's pages and I think this should be avoided, but I also think she shouldn't be unsswervingly self-loathing PC leftists who don't acknowledge achievments that have indeed been made. I'm sure you wont have any problems with the first and second para though. That was for example removing "remains a commonwealth realm", as that is mentioned in the third para in organisations we are members of, so this shouldnt be mentioned twice in the intro alone, as well as finding the correct term for "largely self governing colonies" and streamlining it a bit. If you feel strongly about the third one though go ahead. RE the dates in the independence section, I thought I was arguing before for removing all of the additional ones? But okay, that's not such a pressing issue anyway. I took out the mention of most of the population living in syd melb bris perth adelaide in the intro and just said urban areas on the coast as the former seemed too detailed and specific for the intro, and also ignores the fact that apart from those 5 largest ones, just about all the other urban areas in australia bar canberra (if that counts as major) are also on the coast. I replaced aust has maintained a "liberal democracy" and changed it to "federal parliamentary democracy" as this is the specific term used for the political system. Saruman-the-white (talk) 09:38, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Oh I don't think it is self-loathing, as it mentions stuff about the public education/health and other good grassroots stuff. It should mention low corruption too I think. YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 00:58, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Where it says we have maintained a "liberal democratic political system", if we're talking about the political system (which we should in the intro) shouldn't we just use the correct term for what our political system is, which it says in the table, which is that we have maintained a "federal parliamentary democracy". Also in the organisations we are a member of in the third para, it lists commonwealth of nations, so mentioning that in that sentence in the second sentence about what we've remained is also quite unnecessary as once is enoug.Saruman-the-white (talk) 02:45, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from MelbGuy1, 29 September 2010

{{edit semi-protected}} as of august 2010 australia's unemployment rate is 5.1 percent, reference link:

MelbGuy1 (talk) 22:09, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

 Done Thanks, Stickee (talk) 00:05, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

re: biggest worldwide selling albums missing

If Opera and Symphony's get a paragraph, contemporary music deserves a mention.

referring to wiki...

ACDC's back in black is the second biggest selling album of all time, the Bee Gee's ranked 9th with Saturday Night Fever. There are other notable internationally acclaimed musicians (eg. kylie minogue, olivia newton john, inxs, jet). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:26, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

First sighting of Australia by Queiros

Extended content

According to some sources, the first European to see the Australian continent was Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandes de Queirós (Quiros in Spanish) who sailed the South Pacific in 1605. The members of his expedition saw the northern tip of Australia, though they did not make landfall. Quirós landed on a large island which he took to be part of the southern continent, and named it La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo (The Austrian Land of the Holy Spirit), for King Philip III, who belonged to the House of Habsburg or House of Austria. The island was in fact in the New Hebrides archipelago, today the country of Vanuatu. The island is still called Espiritu Santo. This information is not in the article. I have therefore included the following sentences:

  • History section: European explorers first sighted Australia in the early 17th century. Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandez de Queirós, who led a Spanish expedition to the South Pacific in 1605, was probably the first European to see the Australian continent[4] [5]. The Torres Strait is named after Luis Váez de Torres, a member of the Queiros expedition. However, the first recorded European sighting of the mainland and the first landfall were attributed to the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon...

The discovery of Australia is contested between Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon and Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandez de Queiros. There are references for both interpretations, all of them reliable. This is why I suggest using the term "probably" when mentioning Queiros' first sighting of the Australian mainland. JCRB (talk) 13:10, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Sorry, JCRB, but I don't this is appropriate. I just took a look at some parts of Richardson on Google Books. Richardson's thesis appears to be that these claims re de Queirós are likely to be untrue - the source should not be misconstrued in the WP article. Moran's pamphlet is useless as a source and should not be quoted at all. The lack of scholarly credence for this theory is reflected in the Australian Government's culture portal making no mention of it. hamiltonstone (talk) 23:42, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
Point 1 (Etymology Section). I am waiting to hear comments about this fact.
Point 2 (History Section) Richardson says that the masses supposedly said on Australian soil were in fact said on Espiritu Santo. Therefore Moran's claims that Queiros made landfall are probably untrue, I agree. However, my point is not about landfall, but about the first sighting of the Australian continent. Richardson clearly says:
  • "Torres certainly sailed through the strait that bears his name in 1606 and may possibly have seen the tip of Cape York in the distance..." (page 20, "Was Australia Chartered before 1606?" by W.A.R. Richardson)
This means there is a reasonable possibility that Torres, part of the Queiros expedition, sighted Australia before the Dutch. Also, let me add that a government's failure to mention a historical event on their website is no proof whatsoever that such an event did not take place. I can show you many official websites which ignore or forget significant events in their history. JCRB (talk) 11:04, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
"May possibly have" does not mean there is a reasonable possibility that somebody who landed 2,700km away thinking that he was still in Australia actually saw the country. At best it's giving him the benefiot of the doubt. --AussieLegend (talk) 11:11, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. It's tempting to believe that there were European discoverers before Janszoon, but we do not know for certain that there were any other before him. You cannot accord a "reasonable possibility" with the status of "historical event". And that is certainly why the Australian Government does not recognise any claim prior to Janszoon's - there is no proof, just some vague possibilities. In relation to Queiros, you've gone from "probably" down to "may possibly" and "a reasonable possibility". On that basis, we may as well include an equally "reasonable possibility", the Theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia, which holds that the continent was discovered in 1521, a full 85 years before Janszoon. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 11:27, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Jack. Going back to your Etymological point: we should only include this if there is any demonstrated link between de Queirós's naming of what is now Vanuatu and the name later given to the southern continent, Australia. While the two look very similar, that does not mean there are etymological or historical links. The continent's name derives from word/s meaning "southern", whereas "Austrialia" appears derived from "Austria". As far as I can see, we are dealing with a superficial similarity that has no basis in etymology. But I'm happy to be corrected. hamiltonstone (talk) 23:44, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments. Again, I am not arguing that Torres or Queiros sighted Australia for certain before the Dutch, rather, that this possibility exists, and that it should be mentioned. Regarding the Portuguese discovery of Australia in 1522, yes I have read about that. They called it Jave La Grande ("Jave the Great") and there are 16th century maps of a coast very similar to the Australian coast with Portuguese names on it. Maybe this should also be mentioned with a link to the Theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia.

Regarding the Etymology of Australia, I think the issue needs no further explanation: In "A note of Australia del Espíritu Santo, written by Master Hakluyt and published by Samuel Purchas in Hakluytus Posthumus" English writer Richard Hakluyt talks about Espiritu Santo island, discovered by Queiros in 1606 which he called "Austrialia del Espiritu Santo". Queiros belived he was in Australia. What part of that historical and etymological link don't you see? JCRB (talk) 13:31, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

No, no, no. It's not that there was known to be a large land mass with the name of Australia, and all any explorer had to do was actually find it. That's not it at all. There was believed to be a large southern land mass. It did not have a name, because its very existence was only in the realm of fantasy and postulation. Queros sighted the place we now call Vanuatu. He called it Austrialia del Spiritu Santo - a reference to Austria, nowhere else. The etymology of the word "Austria" is from a German word that means "east" (of Germany); it's Österreich in German (Öster-reich = Eastern Realm), which was rendered in Latin as Austria. It has nothing to do with the Latin australis, meaning "south", which was the basis of the name of Australia. The fact that Queiros believed (mistakenly) he'd found the Great Southern Land, and the name he gave to that place, have nothing to do with the name later given to the actual Great Southern Land. There is a superficial similarity, that's all. The confusion of Austria with Australia is something we take modern-day Americans to task for all the time. Please let's not have it making an appearance here. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 20:30, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh I get it. You're saying it's pure coincidence that "Austr-i-alia del Espiritu Santo" (name given by Queiros) and "Australia del Espiritu Santo" (first recorded use of the word Australia in English) are almost identical? Oh, I see. That's a really convincing argument. JCRB (talk) 19:01, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Quite a bit of confusion happening here.
  • In February 1606, Janszoon landed on Cape York near Weipa, the first definitely known landfall by a European on Australian soil. He thought this was a continuation of New Guinea. He did not realise he had stumbled upon the Great Southern Land.
  • In May 1606, Queiros discovered a group of islands to the south-east of New Guinea. He named them Austrialia del Espiritu Santo, in honour of his patron, who was of the royal house of Austria. Although he believed and claimed he’d discovered the Great Southern Land or Terra Australis (he hadn’t – he’d discovered Vanuatu), at no time did he ever give it a name that actually means that or anything like that.
  • It is a pure coincidence that the Latin word for southern (australis) and the German word for eastern (öster, and its derivatives in Latin: Austria, Austrialia; which have given us the English name of that country, Austria) are so similar and easily confused. Blame Queiros for not picking his name more judiciously. It has no doubt contributed to the absolute furphy that Queiros landed near Gladstone, Qld, and was the "true" discoverer of Australia. There is no evidence that Queiros ever came within a bull’s roar of Australia.
  • Even if Queiros did actually land on Australian soil, of which hypothesis there is no evidence, Janszoon beat him by 3 months anyway.
  • When Hakluyt wrote in 1625 about "Australia del Espíritu Santo", he was certainly referring to the discovery made by Queiros (i.e. Vanuatu). He did not exactly copy Queiros’s spelling, but they were less strict in those days about such things. Despite what some old history textbooks might have said, the terms "Austrialia del Espíritu Santo" or "Australia del Espíritu Santo" have never been directly applied to the landmass now known as Australia. They have always referred to what was believed to be the Great Southern Land (which we now know as Australia), but what is actually Vanuatu. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 20:40, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

No, no confusion at all. If the "first recorded use of the word Australia in English" was in "A note of Australia del Espíritu Santo, written by Master Hakluyt and published by Samuel Purchas in Hakluytus Posthumus", then the article should say where this name came from. Regardless of where they were (Queiros was indeed in Vanuatu) the point is the name "Australia del Espiritu Santo" came from Queiros' expedition, which landed in Espiritu Santo and called the island that way (thinking he was in mainland Australia). A short sentence mentioning this should be enough. That's all. JCRB (talk) 03:37, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

It's probably not coincidence, but due to the same etymological background of the word. Europeans had thought there was a great "terra australis" for ages. It was on medieval maps and the like, although just as a large blob. When they found land in the south, they named it after this. I believe the first use of Australia in English is often claimed to be by Matthew Flinders, though I'm sure someone knows more than me. If someone finds some random island and calls it the southern land, that doesn't really relate to Australia at all. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 05:15, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
True, Europeans thought there was a Terra australis incognita since long ago, and the first European to claim the discovery (though mistakenly) and to give it a name (La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo), was Queiros in 1606. This name was later used by Richard Hakluyt in 1625. JCRB (talk) 12:55, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
JCRB, you say "Queiros' expedition, which landed in Espiritu Santo and called the island that way (thinking he was in mainland Australia)" as though he named it after Terra Australis when in actual fact, as JackofOz has repeatedly noted, he named the island in honour of his royal patrons, the Habsburgs of Austria. You cannot claim that the word Australia derives from this Austrialia, or that the corruption of Austrialia in an obscure 17th century document in anyway contributed to the later use of Australia. I'll agree, though, that if we are to mention this earliest recorded instance of Australia in a published text, then we need also to say "where this name came from" — and that is as a corruption Austrialia. In an etymology section of an overview article, we do not and should not be delving into (unsubstantiated) theories of alternate discovery. — cj | talk 05:40, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

I have once more removed the contested information because as far as I can see, there is not any consensus for its addition. It is a reference to a totally different place thousands of miles away.--Dmol (talk) 12:07, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

I would encourage editors who oppose including the sentence on Queiros and Australia del Espiritu Santo to explain their arguments here, instead of threatening to block editors for "potential" edit-warring. I would like to see what type of arguments are used in the face of verifiable information. JCRB (talk) 20:09, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
The reasons have been explained ad nauseum and in great detail above. There is no consensus to add this information. It appears that you are the only editor seeking to add it.--Dmol (talk) 20:56, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I need to be convinced that the use of a word meaning east (AustrIalia) has anything to do with a word meaning south (Australis). HiLo48 (talk) 21:08, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Dmol, the reasons have not been explained ad nauseam. The expression "ad nauseam" applies to very long, unproductive and tiresome discussions. We have only started discussing the Etymology issue recently. I wish you provided reasonable arguments beyond "there is no consensus".

CJ, I partly agree with you, and I appreciate your reasoning. If the article mentions the earlist recorded use of the word in English, it should also say "where this name came from". I also think that it should say who gave it this name: navigator Pedro Fernandes Queiros who landed in the main island of Vanuatu, thinking he was on mainland Terra Australis. By the way, the Spanish article on Australia says that "Austr-i-alia" has a double etymological root: "Austria" (for the Habsburgs of Austria, the Spanish dynasty of the time) and "Austral" meaning southern (Queiros was searching for Terra Australis or "Southern Land"). The combined "Austrialia" was later corrupted or translated incorrectly to English as "Australia" [7] JCRB (talk) 14:11, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

No, we do not need to talk about Queirós, because what we are talking about from an etymological point of view is the earliest recorded use of the word Australia. This earliest recorded use was not by Queirós, but by a writer describing the island and corrupting its name. To delve deeper into the matter is to dapple in a history of Vanuatu and Spanish exploration. That is not our interest here. As to your "double etymology" idea, I'm unconvinced, and the burden is with you to prove it. — cj | talk 00:56, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Again, I have to agree only partially. Yes, the double etymology hypothesis needs to be proven. However, I disagree that mentioning Queiros as the navigator who gave Australia an early version of its name, later corrupted by Master Hakluyt, is "to dapple in a history of Vanuatu and Spanish exploration". Queiros was not in a random island he decided to call "Austrialia". He was on an island he believed was Australia. The link between the name and the land he thought he had reached, cannot be ignored. JCRB (talk) 10:43, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
All the Queiros thought he found was some mythical southern land, which had nothing to do with modern australia except that both navigators thought they found a southern land mass. The move from "Australis" to "Australia" was probably not a big step. This source [8] by the australian government says that Flinders thought of it himself. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 10:50, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
There seems to be an element of not hearing the arguments, though JCRB has certainly continued to engage on the talk page and (mostly) not in the article mainspace. I am still seeing no link between the two superficially similar names, and therefore no need for discussion in a section on the etymology of "Australia". Look at it from a different angle: if a lay reader who knew nothing of the subject read about Queros's name for Vanuatu, would they be given a better understanding of the historical origin of the country's name? No. Because it isn't where the name came from. hamiltonstone (talk) 11:03, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I really think this argument is exhausted. You say "the link between the name and the land he thought he had reached, cannot be ignored." But the point is, there is no link - not without proof that he named the island in the fashion of Terra Australis. The available evidence shows that he in fact named them for the Hapsburgs of Austria. Etymologically, the only relevance this has for this article is that the superficial similarity Austrialia and Australia caused one writer to mistakenly use the later in reference to the former, and that this mistake was the first recorded instance of Australia. — cj | talk 06:59, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Yup, well and truly dead and flogged --Merbabu (talk) 09:53, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree with that. The current sentence should be sufficient. Enough said for the Etymology of "Australia". Now about the possible "first sighting by Queiros" (second point raised bove) and the Theory of Portuguese Discovery of Australia. Shouldn't these be mentioned in the History section? JCRB (talk) 14:11, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

See new section belowNickm57 (talk) 23:25, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

The theory of Portuguese discovery and Torres...

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
For the sake of clarity I've created a new section and included some of the discussion from above, that had moved into this topic. Hope you dont mind, JCRBNickm57 (talk) 23:23, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Enough said for the Etymology of "Australia". Now about the possible "first sighting by Queiros" (second point raised bove) and the Theory of Portuguese Discovery of Australia. Shouldn't these be mentioned in the History section? JCRB (talk) 14:11, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Surely you mean to suggest "first sighting by Torres"? Quiros was on his way back to Mexico when Torres was navigating the strait that now bears his name. Quiros could not be said to still be in command of an expedition that he had abandoned! My view is Torres' success was remarkable, and I think Brett Hilder has established a high likelyhood that Torres did see the tip of what is now Cape York. However, its clear from existing records that (if they did see Cape York) the Spanish did not recognise the land they saw for what it was. Thus, the sighting, if it occurred, contributed nothing to European knowledge of the world. This is also Mike Pearson's thinking about the contentious Theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia- if it happened, it contributed nothing to "expand European knowledge of Australia, the portrayal of Jave La Grande having no greater status that any other conjectural portrayal of Terra Australis." For that reason, I feel its not appropriate to mention either in the short summary on this page. Both Torres, Quiros and "the Theory..." all have detailed pages of their own! Nickm57 (talk) 22:10, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Nickm57, yes, I meant the "first sighting by Torres" who was part of Queiros' original expedition. Indeed, there are different sources which prove this first sighting. You mentioned Brett Hilder and his "high likelyhood" that this ocurred. There are other sources. In The First Discovery of Australia and New Guinea (1906) [9] the author, George Collingridge says:

"Sailing along the shores of the islands to the north of Australia, between Cape York and Prince of Wales Island, Torres regained the coast of New Guinea [...] He had discovered Australia without being aware of the fact, and had completed the Spanish circumnavigation of New Guinea."

See this map for the full route of Torres [10]. In a timeline at the end of the book, Collingridge also writes: "1606. Torres sails towards Australia from the New Hebrides, passes through the straits that bear his name, and discovers Australia, without, apparently, being aware of the fact." So according to this historian Torres was the first European to sight Australia (and to sail its waters) although he did not make landfall.

Regarding the prior discovery of Australia by the Portuguese, there are also a number of sources which prove this, largely based on the Dieppe maps, specially this one [11] and this one [12] which show the Australian landmass south of Java and Sumatra, but farther to the east. In the same work Collingridge explains that these maps were purposely distorted by the Portuguese so that Australia appeared in the hemisphere assigned to Portugal by Pope Alexander (in the Treaty of Tordesillas). Collingridge provides an interesting illustration comparing the real and the fictitious location of Australia here [13]. He also explains:

"the Portuguese, who were the first to make discoveries in these seas, must have been perfectly aware that the coasts they had charted lay more to the east, and if they dragged them out of position and placed them under Java as shown in these maps, it was in order to secure to themselves the lion's share, for their line of demarcation, as fixed by Pope Alexander".

So according to the above information, both Torres (in 1606) and the Portuguese (in the 16th century) arrived in Australia before the Dutch. Whether they made this knowledge available to other Europeans or not, is not really the point. Many discoveries were kept secret during the 16th and 17th centuries so that competing nations did not threaten trade or power in the newly discovered regions. Regarding the fictitious position of Australia in the above-mentioned map, this is what Spanish pilot Juan Gaetan said about the Portuguese charts:

"I saw and knew all their charts. They were all cunningly falsified, with longitudes and latitudes distorted, and land-features drawn in at places and stretched out at others to suit their purposes, etc., etc., and when they found out that I understood their little pranks they made strenuous efforts to get me to enlist in their service, and made me advantageous offers, which, however, I scorned to accept"' [14]

So clearly it was customary to protect valuable information like maps and trade routes by keeping them secret and even falsifying documents. With this in mind, it seems highly probably that the Portuguese arrived Australia in the 16th century. Therefore, the article should mention both of these prior discoveries. JCRB (talk) 22:06, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Scope of the history section in this article.
A WP article on Australia, in its short history summary section, should not need to include reference to unsubstantiated or speculative matters, and this includes suggestions of voyages by the Portuguese. The full History of Australia and European exploration of Australia articles, linked from this page, do make passing mention of this theory. The same applies to speculation about what Torres may have seen, even though his voyage was documented.
My benchmark for whether it’s appropriate to mention this theory in this article is still based on Mike Pearson’s comment. Whether such sightings occurred or not, they went unrecorded and were not exploited or celebrated. They contributed nothing to European knowledge of Australia, and therefore are at best, curiosities of our own history.
Many reading this discussion will have contributed to articles on European exploration of Australia and read Collingridge’s works of the late 19th century. May I recommend to interested Wikipedians some of the more recent writers like Bill Richardson, Gayle K. Brunelle and Robert King. I think this is where informed contemporary thinking is, on the Dieppe maps and any possible connection to Australia. Nickm57 (talk) 23:38, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
By the way JCRB – you suggest "many other' discoveries of the 16th and 17th century were kept secret. I would have more sympathy for your argument to include this topic if I could think of any comparable secret discoveries! On the contrary, I suggest most "new world" geographical discoveries were blabbed about in 16th and 17th century Europe very quickly! Nickm57 (talk) 23:38, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Generally unknown discoveries: European maritime expeditions from the Age of Exploration up to the 18th century were usually kept secret to prevent rival powers from gaining access to profitable trade, or from establishing bases that would threaten their colonies. This meant either locking away the documents that recorded the discovery, or distorting the charts as I explained above. Discussing 18th century Spanish travel literature, Professor Garcia Sanchez from Eastern Washington University writes:

"Although the production of [Spanish] narrative was very abundant, due to the secretiveness the Borbonic government kept on those explorations, they didn’t have a lot of popular acknowledgement like similar narratives in the rest of Europe".

There are territories which the Portuguese or the Spanish discovered in the 16th century, but due to the policy of discretion this has not been acknowledged sufficiently. In territories where a different European power eventually took over, this is specially the case. For example, according to this theory Hawaii was probably discovered by the Spanish in 1555. See also this article[15]. The discovery of the Spice Islands or Moluccas was also kept secret by the Portuguese for a few decades until the unification of Spain and Portugal under the Iberian Union. The route of the Manila Galleons itself was kept rigorously secret for almost its full duration (1565-1815) allowing the Viceroyalty of New Spain and the Casa de Contratacion to operate a transpacific monopoly between the Philippines and the Americas undisturbed for at least one century. So not all discoveries were disclosed. In fact, documents of exploration such as logbooks and maps were sometimes locked away for a very long time. According to this book [6] (quoting the WP article) "the Hawaiian islands were not known to have any valuable resources, so the Spanish would have not made an effort to settle them". The same thing happened to the Mariana Islands (specially Guam) discovered by Magellan in 1521, and visited by various explorers afterwards (among them Legazpi and Urdaneta in 1565) but not settled until 1668.

Scope of the history section: As for the scope of the history section, I think we need to be more open-minded towards information that we are not used to. Just because the Portuguese discovery of Australia is not mainstream in English-language literature, does not mean it is inaccurate. Just because the Torres discovery is not "generally accepted" nowadays does not mean it should be ruled out. Let the reader decide that for himself. A short mention of these two possible discoveries and a link does not in any way harm the article. What's more, it contributes to it. JCRB (talk) 18:10, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Well, I've said my bit for now, I'm sure the many other contributors to this page have an opinion too.Nickm57 (talk) 23:37, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes and I agree. JCRB, there is simply no scope for discussion of these obscure matters in this summary article, as to do so would run up against Wikipedia's policies about due and undue weight. — cj | talk 06:01, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

I disagree. I think I've produced sufficient sources to justify at least a small reference to the prior discoveries. These are not "obscure matters" but verifiable information which is relevant to the article. JCRB (talk) 16:26, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

It's quite irrelevant, because whether it happened of not, it had no bearing on the creation of the Australia we know today, and has had no effect on Australia's development. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 16:31, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
Still, it's part of Australia's history. JCRB (talk) 17:02, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
That may be so, but it is in no way of such importance that it deserves a spot in the summary of Australia's history, a short summary at that. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 17:36, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
I've been watching these discussions with interest and while I didn't really want to get involved I'm forced to because that dead horse is really starting to stink. I have to agree with the arguments presented by others, there's really no place for mention of this in this article. --AussieLegend (talk) 03:23, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Totally agree with above. There has not been any consensus to add the info, despite pages of discussion. Dead horse.--Dmol (talk) 07:34, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't say a constructive discussion "stinks". All of this is useful information about Australia's early history. As for the "dead horse"(?) the long discussion was about Etymology. That's over. This discussion is about prior discoveries. Please don't try to kill the discussion just because you don't agree. JCRB (talk) 21:56, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm afraid you've missed what we're getting at, which is that the discussion was pretty much ended so long ago that, like most dead things that remain unburied, it's going nowhere and needs to be buried as soon as possible. The discussion has been going on for seven weeks now, we've just changed tack slightly, and you're the only one who doesn't seem to get that there's no place for any of this information in this article. The discussion is no longer constructive, and hasn't been for some time. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:46, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Additional Sources

To move forward, I will produce a number of additional sources to support that both the Portuguese and the Torres discoveries deserve a mention. First, let me say that when reading the contradicting versions of the discovery of Australia, it was surprising to see that most sources agreed that Willem Janszoon had arrived before Torres. The Dutch explorer was there in March 1606, whereas Torres arrived in August or September 1606. If Torres had sighted Australia after the Dutch, why do historians like Earp (1852) or Collingridge (1895) claim that Torres discovered it? Or why do many others like Clark (1962), Rients (1969) and Ziegler (1970) dwell on this possibility? Why the debate if Janszoon clearly preceded Torres?

I looked into this and found out that Janszoon actually ignored he was in Australia. Janszoon thought he was in a southern extension of New Guinea [16]. That's why authors such as Collingridge claim that Torres discovered the continent, not Janszoon. The Dutch navigator thought he was sailing along the south of New Guinea, not in a new island. This fact would disqualify him as the "first discoverer". This is an extract from the Project Gutemberg Australia article cited above:

"Willem Janszoon, was actually in Torres Strait in March 1606, a few weeks before Torres sailed through it. But provisions ran short, and nine of the crew were murdered by natives [...] so that the Duyfken did not penetrate beyond Cape Keer-weer on the west side of the Cape York Peninsula. Her captain returned in the belief that the south coast of New Guinea was joined to the land along which he coasted, and Dutch maps reproduced this error for many years to come.

So Janszoon thought he was sailing along the south coast of New Guinea. Now, Torres also saw Australia, but was "unaware of the fact" (according to most historians) because there are no records of his discovery. However, unlike Janszoon, Torres did know the land he saw was a separate island. He could have known this because he sailed the strait (Torres Strait) that separates New Guinea from Australia. Clark (1962) says "what he noticed was an archipelago of islands without number." [17] So, if Torres saw a new landmass separate from New Guinea which (supposedly) no other explorers had seen before, why didn't he claim this discovery? Why are there no charts of Northern Australia from Torres' expedition?

Well, according to Trickett in his book "Beyond Capricorn" (2007) which follows the thesis of Kenneth McIntyre (1977) and Fitzgerald (1984), Torres already had information about that strait. That's why he did not claim its discovery. Trickett argues that being Portuguese, Torres knew about the early discoveries of Cristóvão de Mendonça, the navigator who "discovered" Australia in 1521 according to the Theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia. Haiblen (2007) writes the following about Trickett's thesis in Clio Journal of History (Dickinson College):

" Torres was Portuguese (though he sailed for the Spanish), he may have had inside knowledge of Mendonca’s alleged voyages. Trickett proposes that Torres already knew of the strait before reaching it, as Torres never laid claim to its discovery. This opinion is supported by the world map of Cornelius Wytfliet (1597) which shows a gap between New Guinea and the Great South Land nine years prior to Torres’ being there." [18]

This evidence links the Mendonça voyage in the Theory of Portuguese discovery with the thesis that Torres discovered Australia, or that in fact, he re-discovered it. Earp wrote in his book "Gold Colonies of Australia":

"Torres [...] discovered the insularity of the northern portion of the country [Australia] by passing though the Strait which now bears his name, and so round Cape York into the Arafura Sea. It would almost appear from his having thus pronounced the country to be an island [...] that Torres had obtained reliable information from some one who had preceded him." [19]

So Torres most likey already knew the strait, as well as Australia itself, that's why he did not claim to have discovered either of them. As for the absence of records of his voyage (almost a century after Mendonça's expedition) again the reason is the secrecy with which Portuguese and Spanish explorations were conducted. This has been explained before in this talk page. In fact, the British only came to know about Torres' expedition 150 years later, when Manila (part of the Spanish East Indies) was briefly occupied by British troops in 1762. (Curiously, this was only 8 years before James Cook arrived in Australia). Earp explains:

"The discovery by Torres has only become known at a comparatively recent date, and the way in which it became known is curious. On the capture of Manila in 1762 by British troops, [a British official] found amongst the Government state papers,a copy of the letter from Torres to the King of Spain, who, with the usual jealousy of European monarchs at this period, had kept the secret of his discoveries from becoming generally known. The discovery of this letter however, places the fact beyond doubt."

To conclude, Portuguese navigator Luis Vaz de Torres crossed the strait that bears his name, and sighted Australia (northern tip of Cape York) which he recognized as a separate island in 1606. Although Dutch explorer Janszoon preceded Torres in sighting (and landing) in Australia, he did not recognise it, believing it was an extension of New Guinea. This fact weakens the thesis that Janszoon "discovered Australia". Also, the above sources suggest that Torres had prior knowledge of both Australia and the Torres Strait. Not only did he "pronounce the country an island" with little evidence, but he did not claim such an important discovery. The possibility of Torres having "inside knowledge" of Mendonça's voyages of 1521 "because he was Portuguese" (as Haiblen suggests) is reinforced by the fact that this was the period of the Iberian Union, when the crowns of Portugal and Spain were united under Philip II and later Philip III of Spain. During this time, all matters relating to the Indies came under the control of the Spanish Council of the Indies, suggesting that all Spanish expeditions from the late 16th century already knew about Mendonça's voyage. In my opinion, all of the above exceedingly justifies a small mention of both Torres and the Portuguese discovery of 1521, which are in fact historically related. JCRB (talk) 00:56, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Hi JCRB. The point of this page is to discuss improvements to the article, not simply to try to convince others of your POV (strongly held, I can see, by your recent edits to Theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia and European Exploration of Australia). I know there is a fine line sometimes, but I think its clear you do not have consensus for adding these matters on WP, partly because they appear to be your own cobbling together of several different writers views, together with several convenient historical shortcuts, and partly because it's not appropriate in the context of the article. Hope I don't sound rude, that's not my intention, but I think its time to be direct. Nickm57 (talk) 05:11, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Hi Nickm57, thanks for your comments. I don't think you're being fair though. There is a lot of information out there about the prior discoveries of Australia, and I'm only trying to include a reference to this (here and in the articles you have mentioned). I have looked through many sources to get a full picture of the "discovery" issue, not to push a particular point of view. As it stands, the article ignores an important thesis supported by a whole bunch of historians, including Kenneth McIntyre (1977), Fitzgerald (1984) and Peter Trickett (2007) - take a look at Beyond Capricorn. I'm only saying a reference to this would improve the article. JCRB (talk) 10:55, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Hi JCRB -you seem to be determined to debate with someone what you’ve written, so here’s what I mean by “historical short-cuts” and pushing your own POV:

  • “According to some sources, the first European to see the Australian continent was Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandes de Queirós.” Simply plain wrong, a fact finally acknowledged above after a lot of discussion.
  • “…being Portuguese, Torres knew about the early discoveries of Cristóvão de Mendonça.” Again, simply wrong. We don’t know anything at all about Torres’ background. He may have been Swedish for all we know (joke). We also know little about de Mendonca, and nothing at all of his possible voyages.
  • Snowy Haiblen, Peter Trickett as historians? No. Snowy Haiblen, who is quoted repeatedly above, appears to be a high school student (Dickson College is a Canberra High School, a fact easily checked). Peter Trickett is a retired journalist who specifically says his book is not written as an academic text. G. Butler Earp, also cited as an authority on Australian History, was writing an "Immigrants Guide to Australian goldfields" in 1852. You have selected these writers because they fit your thesis. By the way, McIntyre was also not a historian and never claimed to be. Lawrence Fitzgerald also was not a historian. He was a retired military officer (and being a surveyor, closest to qualified on the topic of map reading).
  • C.M.H. “Manning” Clark, the one trained historian cited above, does not dwell on the possibility of a Portuguese or Spanish discovery as claimed. The brief reference appears on page 17 of Volume 1 of his 6 Volume History of Australia. The section about Torres in the strait that now bears his name begins “…It is clear that it (the change by Torres from using the north coast of New Guinea to sail to Manila) had nothing to do with hopes of discovering new land. His (Torres’) mind was on other things. What he noticed was the archipelago of islands without number…”
  • There are existing charts of parts of Torres voyage and a well known account by Don Diego de Prado y Tovar. Torres also made a report to the Spanish king. These “secret” reports (according to your thesis) make no reference whatsoever to a land that could be Australia, although they are most insightful about New Guinea.

I actually think its odds on the Spanish voyage under Torres sighted Cape York. But I dont think it warrants mention here for the reasons I mentioned some days ago. Having said my piece again, please note I'm not a contributor to this page. I think you need to accept consensus and move onto something new! Nickm57 (talk) 11:30, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Nickm, I am not determined to debate anything with anyone, just to improve an article that omits historical info supported by various writers, including historians. If you choose to ignore Beyond Capricorn (2007) even if not written "in academic style", and the previous writers who have demonstrated this theory, it will be contrary to the interest of readers. As for the other sources (Dickson College) I stumbled upon them after a quick search. I could have quoted others. Information about the prior discoveries is everywhere. Another source is Ian McKiggan (1977) who wrote "The Portuguese Expedition to Bass Strait in A.D. 1522", and Eric B. Whitehouse [20]. Hellen Walis, the map curator of the British Museum also supported the thesis [21]. The WP article lists others. Regarding your other points:
  • The first statement about "Queiros discovering Australia" is not mine. The thesis belongs to early 20th century Archbishop of Sydney Patrick Francis Moran. I do accept however, that this could be wrong, based on the other sources which say his expedition turned back after landing at Espiritu Santo.
  • As for Torres being Portuguese, there are Portuguese and British historians who say so. He could have also been Spanish. Still, what's the point? The question is that it was likely he knew about the early Portuguese voyages in Asia (Goa, Malacca, Sumatra, Timor, Moluccas, etc) including that of Mendonça because he was working for the Spanish crown - which from 1580 to 1640 was united with Portugal. As for Mendonça, indeed we know little of his voyages, except that he was in Asia in the 1520's, and died in 1532 as Captain of a Portuguese fortified city in the Persian Gulf. Again, it's not up to us to decide whether this is "true". The question is there are reliable sources which argue both ways.
  • Regarding Clark, point taken. I meant that he considered the possibility that Torres saw the northern coast of Australia, not that he discovered it. According to Collingridge and others, he already knew about Australia so he did not need to "discover" it.
  • As for Trickett and Fitzgerald not being "historians", fine. Thanks for looking that up. Does that rule them out as "verifiable sources"? Their argument follows that of earlier historians such as George Collingridge which you have not mentioned. As for Kenneth McIntyre the WP article does say he was a historian. Also, Ian McKiggan was a matematician who made a detailed study of the eastern coast of Australia based on the Dauphin map (part of Dieppe Maps) allowing for "mathematical corrections in longitudinal errors in early mapping". See page 130 [22].
Frankly, there is so much evidence linked with the theory of Portuguese discovery that it is hard to ignore: the Dieppe Maps, the Cornelius Wytfliet (1597) map, the Carronade Island cannons, the Mahogany Ship, the ruins in Bittangabee Bay, the words of Portuguese origin in Aboriginal Australian language discovered by Dr. Carl-Georg von Brandenstein [7] etc. Yes, some historians like Pearson and Richardson have criticized all or part of this evidence. The fact remains that it is is supported by a bunch of writers and/or historians, recent and old. The Australian Minister of Science said about Kenneth McIntyre's book: "I found its central argument... persuasive, if not conclusive." In the 1980's the theory even became part of Australian school history reading lists [8]. I think that's all I will say for now. JCRB (talk) 11:46, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
You seem to be making a full time job for yourself trying to promote this obsession of yours. As has clearly been stated above many times, there is no consenus for this information in this article. It's not that hard to understand. Why do you insist on ranting on about it.--Dmol (talk) 11:56, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Can we archive the discussion in one of those blue boxes? --Merbabu (talk) 12:05, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
While people keep responding I suspect the discussion will continue. If people stop responding, it will probably be archived forever this time next month. --AussieLegend (talk) 12:15, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Been watching this from the sidelines for a while. My interest in this aspect of Australia's history woud be satisfied with a sentence in the article saying There is some (considerable?) speculation among historians regarding the possibility that earlier European explorers may also have sighted the Australian coastline. Follow it by as many references as people want to add. HiLo48 (talk) 20:16, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Hilo48, thanks for your suggestion. I think "speculation" is an understatement given the sources that back the theory. Perhaps the following is better (blended in the existing paragraph):
"Prior to the arrival of Europeans there were sporadic visits by fishermen from the Indonesian archipelago[9]. Depending on the sources, the first European sighting of the Australian mainland is attributed to Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon or to Iberian explorer Luís Vaz de Torres who both sailed the Torres Strait in 1606 [10]. Although Janszoon preceded Torres by a few months, the Dutchman believed he was in New Guinea. Torres sailed between Cape York and Prince of Wales Island but did not land in Australia. An alternative theory suggests that the Portuguese discovered the continent in the early 16th century.
In either case, the first recorded European landfall was that of Janszoon who sighted the coast of Cape York in early 1606, and made landfall on 26 February at the Pennefather River on the western shore of Cape York, near the modern town of Weipa..." JCRB (talk) 16:02, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Im sorry JCRB, but still gives too much weight to a theory, and a theory about an incident that did not greatly affect Australia, if at all. It appearing on a very short summary of Australian history would be WP:UNDUE weight. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 16:20, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Outsiders view...For the Canada (FA article) and History of Canada article (currently updating for GA level) we had a similar problem. That is that many wish to add lots of info about the Portuguese Crown claims and its territorial rights in Canada. We came to a compromise in both articles by simply saying "The extent and nature of Portuguese activity on the Canadian mainland during the 16th century remains unclear and controversial". So was thinking the same could be done here...basically a mention is passing.Moxy (talk) 16:28, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Proposed text

Chipmunkdavis, I don't think that short reference to the alternative theory is giving it "too much weight". It's just one sentence. As for the mention of Torres' voyage, I can't think of a much shorter reference. Maybe you prefer the following:

"Prior to the arrival of Europeans there were sporadic visits by fishermen from the Indonesian archipelago[11]. The first European sighting of the Australian mainland is attributed to both Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon and to Iberian explorer Luís Vaz de Torres depending on the sources. They both sailed the Torres Strait in 1606 [10]. Although Janszoon preceded Torres by a few months, the Dutchman believed he was in New Guinea. An alternative theory suggests that the Portuguese discovered the continent in the early 16th century [12].
Not taking into account this theory, the first recorded European landfall was that of Janszoon who sighted the coast of Cape York in early 1606, and made landfall on 26 February at the Pennefather River on the western shore of Cape York, near the modern town of Weipa..." JCRB (talk) 14:00, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely not. You might be content to argue ad nauseam, but you will have proved nothing other than your being a nuisance. Your position has been repeatedly disproved and contradicted. Please take the time to read some of the policy pages referred to you throughout the discussion above. — cj | talk 14:40, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
CJ, your attitude is out of line. Please respect other editors. The only "nuisance" is your inability to counter arguments with arguments.JCRB (talk) 11:59, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
JCRB - you are on your own here. And it is clear that you have exhausted the patience of the community. Time to walk away from this one. --Merbabu (talk) 12:22, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Hardly. I have happily engaged in argument with you, but there comes a point where it ceases to be either constructive or productive. That last point is particularly important, as your persistence on this issue, much like that of a POV Warrior, is a distraction both to yourself and other editors from broader efforts to improve this and other articles in the encyclopaedia. — cj | talk 01:42, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Seeking consensus to close discussion

I'd like to formally propose that we close and archive this discussion. It's clearly going nowhere and until such time as it's closed, JCRB is going to keep adding content regardless of the fact that, despite weeks of discussion, there has been no consensus to endorse any of his proposals and plenty of opposition to everything he's suggested. Can we please reach some consensus, otherwise the page is going to be 99.999% pointless discussion, instead of just 92%. --AussieLegend (talk) 14:54, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. Close it down. I'm not even going to give any reasons why, or JCRB will start arguing again.--Dmol (talk) 10:10, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. CLose it down now. It's already passed the point of disruption. --Merbabu (talk) 10:17, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. Pointless POV-pushing by JCRB which is not benefiting the article in anyway. No point on continuing on the road which takes you to a dead end. Bidgee (talk) 11:04, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Despite your aggressive opposition and rude comments, and for those of you not interested in this discussion, let me summarize the following:

  • So far, this is and has been a constructive discussion. The terms "pointless" or "dead" are obviously inappropriate for a discussion which has advanced since it started:
a) Following a revision of the sources, the Queiros discovery was ruled out.
b) A consensus was reached on the Etymology section.
c) Editor HiLo48 suggested a short mention of the Theory citing a similar discussion and solution in the Canada article, which I clearly support.
  • The Theory of Portuguese discovery is supported by a good number of Australian and non-Australian writers, from George Collingridge (1895) to Kenneth McIntyre (1977) which the Australian Minister of Science Barry Jones said he found "persuasive, if not conclusive", Eric B. Whitehouse (1978), Ian McKiggan (1977), Helen Wallis (1981), Fitzgerald (1984) and Peter Trickett (2007), specially his book Beyond Capricorn.
  • In the 1980's the theory became part of Australian school history reading lists.
  • Despite opposition by other authors, this theory can be considered central to Australian history, if not mainstream.

For all of the above I suggest: first a more constructive, open-minded, and specially polite attitude by some editors, and second, a short mention of this in the history section with a link to the main article. JCRB (talk) 13:22, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

After much reading on this topic, I have come to discover that even if all the claims are true they did not affect Australia historically. SO realy this info should be added to Portuguese Empire and/or Portuguese discoveries because it had no barring on Australia's history or affected its inhabitants. This topic is more about Portuguese mariners and what they have accomplished rather then Australia. That said the "Theory" should be linked at least in the see also section, unless people think its Content forking. The reason the Canada article does mention this topic is because of accounts of Aboriginal Canadians being kidnapped and taken back to Europe, thus had an affect on the native populations and there oral history. Is there any accounts of any contact between the Portuguese and Aborigines of Australia? Because just seeing the land does not mean there was any influence. Moxy (talk) 15:16, 2 November 2010 (UTC) Moxy (talk) 15:06, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Moxy, thanks for your comments. The Canadian and Australian case are almost identical. Following your argument that an event with no repercussion on a country's history deserves no mention, then the fact that Aboriginal Canadians were taken back to Portugal should not be included in the Canada article either because this had no influence on Canada's history in any way. Still, there is proof of Portuguese contact with Aboriginal Australians. Dr. Carl-Georg von Brandenstein discovered there are words of Portuguese origin in Aboriginal Australian language which suggests ample contact between both cultures [13]. As for simply "seeing the land", the Portuguese explorers didn't simply see it, they chartered its coastline (see the the Dieppe Maps, and the Cornelius Wytfliet map of 1597). In fact, mathematician Ian McKiggan (1977) made a detailed study of one of the Dieppe Maps and proved it represents the eastern coast of Australia taking into account mathematical corrections in longitudinal errors in early mapping (See page 130 [23]). Again, this is supported by Helen Wallis (1981), Fitzgerald (1984) and Peter Trickett (2007) among others. JCRB (talk) 17:19, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Good point on language --This is also y it is mentioned in the Canada article as there is clearly some short of influence on place names in Canada. However its only mentioned in passing because of its lack of Historical significants to the country. I believe that most think its irrelevant if all they did was map the land...was there any attempt at colonization or trade/ and/or any enslavement of the natives? The fact there is an article on the topic here on Wiki (and has not been deleted for fringe work) i think it should be mentioned. All be it in a very passive way. Unlike in Canada i am not seeing any evidance they were at all interested in the land for commercial gains. Thus just simply mapped out the land and moved on!....All this said i still not seeing any over all agreement to add any info....So i think we are out of luck hereMoxy (talk) 17:33, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. Close it down.Nickm57 (talk) 20:17, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
JCRB, you are missing the point. This section is about closing down a pointless and well beaten discussion, it is not about continuing the discussion here. Please refrain from further commentary here and allow others an imput.--Dmol (talk) 20:54, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. I'm not considering it pointless, I'm just saying that the consensus seems clear and we should draw a line. hamiltonstone (talk) 21:37, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Since the consensus seems clear after 10 days, I think it's time to close this down. We don't really need an administrator or non-involved person to do so, so I plan on doing this later today, unless somebody has a reasonable objection or wants to do it themselves. --AussieLegend (talk) 14:21, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

"Australia has strong international teams in cricket..."

Is this still the case? Given that the men's team is no longer ranked in the top four of the ten "test cricket nations". In addition I note that the criteria used for suggesting that Australia is "strong" at the sport relates to the one day form of the game which many expert commentators is now suggesting is becoming moribund. Silent Billy (talk) 22:16, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, no longer in the top four, but they're still in the top ten, out of the 200 or so countries in the world. Sure, most don't play international cricket, but it's still a pretty strong position. I would draw a parallel with a game like baseball. Beyond the top three or four countries, baseball would be a minor sport, but we would probably still say that the fifth best team is a strong one (out of 200). HiLo48 (talk) 00:20, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Also, consider that wikipedia is meant to take a long-term view. Australia has for many decades been strong interenational side. A recent fall in form is just that - recent. Perhaps the article wording could be tweaked to something like "long been a strong international team" or similiar. see WP:RECENT. --Merbabu (talk) 02:13, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm with Merbabu, per RECENT, with a reference that says that Aust has historically been a strong cricket team. hamiltonstone (talk) 02:29, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
You guys waste too much of your lunch money YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 04:25, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Formal name of the Monarch. The present Elizabeth is Australia's first Elizabeth, not second.

In the infobox we are told that the Monarch is Elizabeth II. Is this name technically correct? Elizabeth I was never monarch of Australia. The present one is the first Elizabeth who has been monarch of Australia, not the second. HiLo48 (talk) 17:32, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

The present one isn't Elizabeth I one though, she's Elizabeth II, regardless of the fact that she's the first Elizabeth to be our queen. This discussion has been had somewhere but I can't remember where I saw it. I do remember though that Elizabeth II was correct. --AussieLegend (talk) 17:53, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
It would be interesting to see that discussion. It's been during my lifetime that she became formally known as Queen of Australia. I'm not pushing a POV here. I'm sure there would be a formal protocol or something. But it just sort of makes sense to me that that addition of Australia to her title would have made her Queen Elizabeth I of Australia. HiLo48 (talk) 20:50, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
Maybe an initial step would be finding a credible external reference saying that the current Queen is called "Queen Elizabeth I of Australia". Format (talk) 06:54, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not pushing for a change if the title is right. Just wondering why it is the way that it is. I've done some research and reached List of titles and honours of Queen Elizabeth II. It has a section called Scottish controversy which says "...only in Scotland did the title Elizabeth II cause controversy as there had never been an Elizabeth I in Scotland." A legal case was made, but "lost on the grounds that the pursuers had not title to sue the Crown". All very interesting. I learnt a lot on my way to that point. It's all very complicated. HiLo48 (talk) 07:19, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

The question of the monarch's style and title is not decided by discussion between well-meaning Wikipedians, or recourse to algebraic logic. It's decided by act of parliament, and in relation to Australia it's very instructive to read the 1953 Act and then the 1973 Act; they're not very long.

It's technically possible for Charles on accession to take the name Dagwood XXXVIII, assuming the Commonwealth parliaments agree to that name - which of course they wouldn't do, but in theory they could. The fact that there have been no kings Dagwood before is essentially irrelevant to the regnal numbering. Indeed, he has already indicated a preference not for Charles III but George VII; whatever he decides, that will become the law enshrined in new Royal Style and Titles Acts, and the source of all "technicality".

In a century's time, when Albania has become the latest British colony, and there's another Elizabeth on the throne, she would be Albania's Queen Elizabeth III, even they've never had any previous Queen Elizabeths. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 10:54, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

The coin pocket of my wallet is full of reliable sources on this point. Hesperian 11:54, 24 November 2010 (UTC)


I see that this article once included the Ozzie demonym and that someone decided to remove it. Apparently Australians think that only terms used extensively in Australia are appropriate for an article that is used around the world. In the UK and Ireland the Ozzie demonym is used, often with reference to the "land of Oz" as an exoticisation of the locale and of people who travel there (particularly those who go to play sports there). It looks like this was discussed some time back and the consensus was to keep both spellings, Aussie and Ozzie:

Djozgur (talk) 01:26, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

I take no comments as silent agreement that it should be returned to the article. Djozgur (talk) 04:25, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Is there a source that tells us that it is spelt that way often enough? Include it, and things should be fine. HiLo48 (talk) 04:47, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
If it is restored we should probably add "frog" as a demonym to France. --AussieLegend (talk) 04:51, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
@Djozgur, No comment doesn't = consensus nor an agreement, fact is it is no consensus. Bidgee (talk) 05:35, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Ha ha @ "frog". If English editors are supporting their spelling, "ozzie", can we put "pom" in the England article? --Merbabu (talk) 08:06, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
or how about change Victorian to Mexican ;) Bidgee (talk) 08:42, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, technically with WP:SILENCE consensus could be assumed, until reversion occurs. But I'm not sure it should be included. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 10:22, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Since when was a essay a policy or a guideline? You can clearly see with the link in which Djozgur that dates back to April (only seven months ago) that there was no consensus, even then common-sense should be applied with "Ozzie". Bidgee (talk) 10:39, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I like it. Anyway, as I said, I'd leave it off. It's slang at best. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 12:01, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
The are some ridiculous arguments here, perhaps intentionally so. "Ozzie" is not pejorative as are the other examples mentioned and is in wide use as the cited sources indicate. Those sources indicate that the term is in use both inside and outside of Australia, despite the arguments of those with strong opinions who use personal experience as their source. Bidgee and Merbabu and AussieLegend appear to wish to disparage any contribution that does not comport with their biases. The comparison to Ozzy Osbourne is ridiculous on its face since the spelling is not the same. Perhaps Bidgee thinks people will confuse Australians with managers of Chicago area baseball teams, instead? Regarding "Ozzie" being slang, so is "Aussie" as indicated in the article. If slang demonyms are to be excluded, we should remove "Aussie" as well. Referring back to that old discussion, the only contributors who chimed in after the initial argument were from HiLo48 and Rrius, both at least somewhat in favor of keeping both. I don't think having or not having the rather widely used (perhaps 'outside' of Australia) demonym "Ozzie" included is worth the effort of contending with holier-than-thou editors like Bidgee and Merbabu and AussieLegend, so I have left it alone (and suggest dj and chipmunk and anyone else do the same). Those three editors seem to be trying very hard to justify some recent academic assessments of Wikipedians [24]. Hopefully this behavior was inadvertent and simply pointing it out will have a beneficial effect. Moretz (talk) 19:03, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 10 December 2010

{{edit semi-protected}}

In the quick facts list on the right hand side of the page I noticed that there is a heading INDEPENDANCE followed by FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM, this is inacurate as australia has never officially gained independance from the united kingdom, it 'federated' under the crown of the united kingdom, as the monarch of UK is australias head of state australia is still a subsidary nation to that of the UK. I mereley request that the title INDEPENDANCE be changed to FEDERATED and the FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM to UNDER THE MONARCH OF THE UNITED KINGDOM (talk) 06:43, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. The links listed seem to indicate pretty clearly that it became independent. If you have reliable sources that verify the claims you have here, please make a new edit request with those sources. Qwyrxian (talk) 07:29, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Sue v Hill, the 1999 High Court case, found that at some time between 1901 and the present, Australia had become independent, most likely with the passage of the Australia Act in 1986. The question of whether Australia is an independent nation is not one for Wikipedia to decide, and it would be difficult to find a higher court to over-rule the decision of the High Court. --Pete (talk) 14:43, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Powers of the Queen

I have corrected the statement "As the Queen resides in the United Kingdom, the executive powers vested in her by the Constitution are normally exercised by her viceroys in Australia (the Governor-General at the federal level..." by removing the words "vested in her by the Constitution". The powers listed in the Constitution are given to either the Queen or the Governor-General, and neither may exercise the constitutional powers of the other. The Queen cannot appoint or dismiss ministers, for example, nor may the Governor-General appoint himself. The powers of the Queen that the Governor-General may exercise are not allocated in the Constitution and are of minor significance, such as the power to appoint deputies, which is conferred by the Letters-Patent, and various functions in regard to honours. Stating in a fundamental Wikipedia article that the Governor-General exercises the Queen's constitutional powers is quite wrong. In fact the Queen's location is also immaterial - even if she is sitting in the big chair in the Senate in Parliament House in Canberra, she still cannot exercise any of the Governor-General's constitutional powers. She could camp in Yarralumla as long as she wanted, but the only way that she could get hold of any of the Governor-General's constitutional powers is by changing the Constitution, and she cannot do that. Only the people can do this. --Pete (talk) 21:22, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

The Constitution is explicit about the GG exercising powers delegated by the Queen. Section 2 states that "A Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty's representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen's pleasure, but subject to this Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him." and Section 61 states that "The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen's representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth." Nick-D (talk) 21:56, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Well. let me put it another way. If we were to list these "executive powers of the Queen" that we tell our readers that the Governor-General exercises, what would we come up with? Anything important? --Pete (talk) 22:03, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, the description of the role of the GG on their official website says that since the Australia Act was passed in 1986 the Queen's only role under the Australian Constitution is to appoint the GG on the advice of the Australian PM, so I take your point. It would probably be best for the article to reflect this. Nick-D (talk) 22:30, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Nick's 2nd post. --Merbabu (talk) 23:22, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Constitutionally, the GG is the Queen's representative, not delegate. The constitutional commission of Bob Hawke (1988) confirms this. The difference is important. A delegate exercises some or all of the powers of the person delegating her or him at that person's discretion. A representative does not necessarily. An ambassador, for example, may represent a nation on some foreign mission, but unless they are specifically granted to exercise the powers of the head of state they represent, cannot negotiate treaties in the head of state's name. They represent the head, but are not necessarily delegates. Now the GG represents the Queen of Australia, but is not her delegate. The Queen has only two powers granted by the Constitution: to appoint a Governor-general, and to annul legislation passed by the Commonwealth Parliament and assented to by the GG, up to two years after the enactment of the bill. The latter has never been exercised, and it is difficult to imagine when it ever would be exercised.She could not even open Parliament or preside over meetings of the Federal Executive Council before an Act was passed giving her that power. Note that even these powers are conferred by legislation, not by intrinsic right.When Whitlam was dismissed Gordon Scholes, Speaker of the House of REps, requested, in the House's name, to revoke Kerr's deed. Buck Palace responded that the Queen had no power to do so, all the Crown's constitutional powers residing in the Queen's representative, not the Queen herself. Indeed, Kerr did not consult the Queen before dismissing Whitlam.So I agree with Skyring.Gazzster (talk) 10:41, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
So, we all agree. Executive power is vested in the Queen; this power is exercised by the Governor-General as her representative. Nothing in the original sentence contradicts this. cj | talk 11:26, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. As you will now appreciate, one function of an encyclopaedia is to educate, and it is precisely this notion that needs to be clarified. What an uninformed reading of the Constitution implies is what you state, and this turns out not to be the case - the powers exercised by the Governor-General are his own and not the Queen's. --Pete (talk) 13:35, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Just to clear up some confusion. While the Governor-General represents the Queen, as per the Constitution, this is now only in a very minor way, and this constitutes only a tiny part of his role. At Federation, he was the official representative of the Empire, that is to say the British Government. Defining him as the representative of the Queen was a polite way of saying this. Following the reforms embodied in the Statute of Westminster, that representation was carried out by the new British High Commissioner and Sir Isaac Isaacs was appointed as the first Australian-born Governor-General. Implying that the Governor-General is "only" the Queen's representative, and she or he "only" exercises her executive powers is quite wrong. --Pete (talk) 14:30, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Pete, I think you're reading things into this sentence that just aren't there. I'm well aware, thank you, of the purpose of an encyclopaedia, but I am also aware of the purpose of this article. That purpose is to provide an overview, and to prompt readers towards more specific articles for a deeper understanding. I believe the sentence conveys all that we need in that context. cj | talk 01:21, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. I think it inflates the role of the monarch and degrades that of the Governor-General. The Constitution wasn't a reliable guide to Australian government at Federation - there's no mention of the PM, for instance - and even less so now. --Pete (talk) 01:42, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Pete is right to say the text could be better, and is slightly misleading:

Australia is a constitutional monarchy with a federal division of powers. It uses a parliamentary system of government with Queen Elizabeth II at its apex as the Queen of Australia, a role that is distinct from her position as monarch of the other Commonwealth realms. As the Queen resides in the United Kingdom, the executive powers vested in her by the Constitution are normally exercised by her viceroys in Australia (the Governor-General at the federal level and by the Governors at the state level),[70] who by convention act on the advice of her Ministers.[71][72] The most notable exercise of the Governor-General's reserve powers outside a Prime Minister's request was the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in the constitutional crisis of 1975.[73]

I can see a couple of probs here, as has been pointed out. Firstly, the exercise of the executive powers has nothing to do with the Queen of Australia residing in the UK. They have everything to do with those powers being vested, by right, in the Governor-general, not the Queen.The text suggests otherwise. Likewise, the word 'normally' suggests that the Queen might exercise the vice-regal powers herself. I don't know, to be honest, if that is the case according to the individual state constitutions, but it is certainly not the case according to the federal Constitution.The last sentence doesn't fit for a couple of reasons: it's talking about the constitutional powers of the GG, not the Queen, which are quite distinct, qed. It also suggests that Whitlam was dismissed against his advice. But Whitlam did not tender any advice to Kerr re the crisis, save advising him against consulting Justice Barwick.Gazzster (talk) 04:18, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

So, bearing in mind the need to be brief, what alternative text do you (or others) propose? Also, I'd suggest that the Queen's place of residence is relevant, seeing as it explains the need of a Governor-General in first place. cj | talk 05:02, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
How about:
Australia is a constitutional monarchy with a federal division of powers. It uses a parliamentary system of government with Queen Elizabeth II at its apex as the Queen of Australia, a role that is distinct from her position as monarch of the other Commonwealth realms.The Queen resides in the United Kingdom,and she is represented by her viceroys in Australia (the Governor-General at the federal level and by the Governors at the state level),[70] who by convention act on the advice of her Ministers.[71][72]. The Governor-General's powers are not delegated by the Sovereign but conferred in right by the Constitution of Australia. Gazzster (talk) 06:39, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for the belated response (Real Life interference). I think it's still problematic, because we need to clarify the role of the Queen. Otherwise it's a bit like "Australia has a Queen. Australia has Governor-General. The Governor-General has power." There's obviously more to say here, so perhaps something more along these lines :
The Queen resides in the United Kingdom, and is represented in Australia by her viceroys—the Governor-General federally and by the Governors in the states. Although executive power is derived from the Crown, under the Constitution it is held, and exercisable, by the Governor-General. By convention, the Governor-General act on the advice of government ministers, but also has some reserve powers.
Is that approaching something acceptable to all? At least, it says all that I think needs to be said (though maybe less than felicitously). cj | talk 11:21, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Coat of Arms

Just wondering if there's a particular reason File:Coat of arms of Australia.svg is not being used on this page in place of the inferior raster. (talk) 13:46, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

It's the SVG version that's inferior. It looks like something primary school kids would colour in. Admittedly, it isn't as bad as the original version that was uploaded, but it's still awful. --AussieLegend (talk) 14:41, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it's appropriate to apply subjective design preferences to such matters; my designation of the raster as inferior is because vector versions allow for perfect scaling. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 01:10, 19 December 2010 (UTC).
Fact is this isn't Australia's coat of arms, it is just a derivative work of the original. Also the current coat of arms does not look like the svg version nor is the colours are correct, far from it infact. Bidgee (talk) 01:21, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
It's rather hypocritical to get upset at the svg version being called inferior when you called the png version the same thing, especially when it's clearly the case. Other than the general shape, the svg version is vastly different to the png version, which is a true reproduction of the version used by Australia. That makes the svg version inferior. That vector versions allow perfect scaling is not an issue. If they don't look like what they're supposed to be replacing, then they're of little use, and it's clear that the svg version doesn't look like the original, or any of the official derivatives used. A simple side by side comparison shows that:
Original, official Coat of Arms
SVG version
--AussieLegend (talk) 09:51, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks AussieLegend. I'd say that's case closed. --Merbabu (talk) 10:12, 19 December 2010 (UTC)


May I ask why the name of Australia is mentioned twice in the infobox? "Commonwealth of Australia" then right below is "Australia". I don't understand this at all. Could someone clear this up please? If not, I think it should be removed as it is redundant. Nations United (talk) 06:24, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

One is the formal name while the other is the common name. --AussieLegend (talk) 06:48, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
It's happened because the dumb, unthinking country template has three places where you can stick the name, and innocent users have, logically enough, used them all. (Can anyone tell that I'm not a strong fan of templates?) We have native_name, conventional_long_name, and common_name, with absolutely no explanation of what those fields are for, nor the result of using them all. I know we should all preview our edits, but with silly, unexplained template entries to contend with, odd looking results like the one you're concerned about are inevitable. I am going to be bold and remove one of the entries. Let's see what happens. HiLo48 (talk) 06:53, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely agree. Also, if you look at every other country, the official name is the only name in the infobox. Australia should be no different. I definitely support the change. Nations United (talk) 07:00, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
"with absolutely no explanation of what those fields are for, nor the result of using them all" - There are most definitely explanations of what those fields are for at Template:Infobox country:
  • native_name - Long-form name in native language
  • conventional_long_name - Conventional English long-form
  • common_name - Common English name (used as wikilink and to produce a default iso3166code)
ISO 3166 code AU
The first two seem clear enough. The last is not as clear but it's fairly easy to work out what it does, which is to create various links in the infobox as well as the ISO 3166 code if not supplied at "|iso3166code". As for the effect of using them all, that's fairly obvious when you look at the displayed infobox. Nations United's assertion that "if you look at every other country, the official name is the only name in the infobox" that is most definitely not the case. --AussieLegend (talk) 09:14, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Most editors first (perhaps only) edit infoboxes by changing entries in those already in use. That's all I've ever done. How is one to even know that such explanations exist somewhere else? HiLo48 (talk) 11:24, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
I suppose you can't know just from the template, but could probably if a dispute arose ask at some relevant noticeboard. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 11:46, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Ah yes, those noticeboards. Very handy, once you discover they exist, which I eventually did, by accident.... There are times when I think experienced editors need to have a think about how Wikipedia looks to newcomers. It's a very complicated entity. To criticise the newbies (and not so newbies) for not knowing the intricacies of it all is never going to make things better. HiLo48 (talk) 12:01, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
I was a newbie not so long ago, and still don't consider myself that experienced. Complications are probably a necessary evil of an online encyclopaedia that can be edited by all, if only to keep sanity. As long as WP:BITE is observed, hopefully there will be little criticism of newbies (and not so newbies). Anyway, as for whether the duplication was needed in this infobox, perhaps not, especially as the article is called Australia. Might be worth making an inquiry on the Infobox talk page. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 12:11, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
@HiLo48 - Every infobox has its title on the first line. At the bottom of the page you're editing is a list of templates used in the article and clicking on the one that matches the infobox takes you to the documentation. It's simply a matter of looking around the page which you should always do if you're unsure of something. --AussieLegend (talk) 12:35, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Clearly it's not simple enough for those who messed it up on this article. Which, I want you to recall, wasn't me. I, in fact, was the one who fixed it. I have just been explaining why I think such problems arise. It's obviously not simple enough. HiLo48 (talk) 20:47, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── AussieLegend, Could you please show me a country where the infobox has the official and common name at the top like Australia? I'm certain that it does not exist. Nations United (talk) 20:51, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Nicaragua, but it's probably in a minority (I know I'm not Aussielegend, but I doubt you're only going to accept responses off him). Anoldtreeok (talk) 05:50, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Holy smoke batman - Nicaragua does it? we must do it too then. --Merbabu (talk) 05:52, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, it's not like Nicaragua is an obscure little country, but I Found some more: Argentina, Bolivia (Has 4 names), Brazil, East Timor, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom. However, I'm beginning to think that the one's I've shown here are relevant, as they are in most cases giving the countries name in the native language. Really the one's here are just any country I found with more than one name in the infobox. Anoldtreeok (talk) 05:59, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Not one of those sources are relevant. The other names there are the official name in the other languages of the country. None of them are common names because it's like saying the official name in that language. Hope you now understand what I'm asking for. Nations United (talk) 06:18, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I was halfway through typing that out when I realised you were complaining about redundancy not how much space is used up. But being the attention whore I am had to save what I did anyway. Anoldtreeok (talk) 06:28, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
I'll throw it out there though that I disagree with the argument that it's the infobox's fault people add these parts. Sure, they may not add irrelevant or redundant parts if there wasn't a place to put them, but I think people should be aware of what things are for. Anoldtreeok (talk) 06:29, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
That's alright. Simple mistake; I've done it many times. Although, when you realized your mistake, you can always edit the page again and cross it out and right something else. Anyways, It doesn't seem to appear that anyone is really disagreeing with the change, so I think we can lave the discussion, unless anyone else has something else to say. Nations United (talk) 06:52, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Throwing in my support for one or the other. Not both. I'm 60-40 leaning towards "Commonwealth of Australia". (PS - generally speaking, I hate info boxes too, but that's not a battle I'd bother having) --Merbabu (talk) 07:28, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Also supporting "Commonwealth of Australia". "Australia" is already the name of the page, as well as the first word in the lead. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 07:37, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Correct English

"Comprising" in the first sentence should be "comprised of." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:42, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

You think so? I'm quite comfortable with that construction. Perhaps we're from different age-groups (I'm old) or used to different versions of English. HiLo48 (talk) 01:46, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
"comprised of" is widely attacked as bad grammar. Not being a grammar nazi myself, it doesn't really bother me. But I don't see why we would choose to introduce grammar that a segment of the population considers wrong when we can keep everyone happy with "comprises" or "composed of". Hesperian 02:20, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
A whole is comprised of its parts. The parts comprise the whole. The first sentence in the article has it backwards. My age has nothing to do with it, and I am not a nazi. lol!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:29, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with you about comprised of and comprise, but the word you didn't like at the start of this thread was comprising. It still looks OK to me. HiLo48 (talk) 01:27, 29 December 2010 (UTC)


The MOS states "Avoid sandwiching text between two images that face each other." However, in my browser this article has a few cases of sandwiching.

  • The History section has text sandwiched between the picture of Port Arthure and the caption of the map of routes.
  • The Economy section has text sandwiched between both pictures
  • The Culture section between the first two pictures (and I assume the second and third ones for larger browsers)

I'm not sure that they can be rearranged to fix this, so perhaps the only solution is to remove one or two? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 05:02, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Doesn't look too bad to me, only minor compared to some other articles. Personally I wouldn't get too pedantic about sandwiching, but I wouldn't object to any changes/removals if other editors thought the article would read/flow better. Anoldtreeok (talk) 05:23, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
There's always room for improvement. But I'm not too hung about these apparent small deviations from the guidelines. --Merbabu (talk) 09:23, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

promotion of a wine initiative?

i don't know when this snuck into the article, but the wine subsection now has two sentences on the Australia's First Families of Wine initiative. Where to start? It looks to me to breach WP:UNDUE, it has peacock language (eg "to highlight the quality and diversity of Australian wine"), it is a sales pitch, it breaches NOTNEWS, and appears, in short, to be sales hype that has been buttressed by a ridiculous number of inline cites, which themselves seem to highlight the fact that the text does not deserve to be there. The text also does not make sense in places: "showcasing a representative of its landmark wines..." and "former Hon Tony Burke MP" - I wonder if there might be copyvio beneath the surface as well? Can anyone give us some good reasons why these two sentences should not be deleted with extreme prejudice?! Cheers, hamiltonstone (talk) 04:56, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

(ec) PS. Seems whole section was added in one hit here by an editor who has done a lot of good work on Aust wines and appears just to have got carried away on this occasion. hamiltonstone (talk) 05:09, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
A topic definitely of interest to me, but yes, clearly marketing, pure and simple. That's POV. It should go. HiLo48 (talk) 05:05, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Add maybe a sentence or two to the Cuisine section, perhaps move to Cuisine main page, though the way it is currently written it seems like it would belong in Economy Chipmunkdavis (talk) 06:08, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
OK, I'm having a go at redistributing and editing material. hamiltonstone (talk) 09:13, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

English is not 'Legislatively Official', lets make that a little more clear

I propose the statement "Australia has no official language", be changed, the title "official" language is vague and the citation used to back it up has been taken out of context. I was just reading this article and was interested in the statement that English is not the official language of Australia. While this fact does not particularly surprise me, I am cautious of believing it's true. Now, I have no knowledge of whether there has ever been any legislation passed on this matter, nor whether the claim is true or false, but I think the statement warrants consideration.

let me clarify: In my opinion, the sentence cited to prove the claim has been taken out of context. the sentence: "English has no de jure status but it is so entrenched as the common language that it is de facto the official language as well as the national language", does not appear to imply that Australia has no 'Official' Language, it simply states (without any citation itself) that it has no status 'concerning law'. it does however state that it is the National Language. yet another vague title, yes, but I ask you to think, does it being the National language make it the official language? does not having legislation passed mean it is not Official?

I might also cite the Australian Courts of law. it is required that those facing prosecution in court either understand english or have a translator present so that they can understand.

to be concise, I propose the statement read something along the lines of 'Australia has no Legislated Official language'. I just feel the word 'Official' can be better understood if the statement follows those lines.

Lastly, I think this warrants suggestions for a better source citation, article thats actually cited doesn't focus on the issue at hand, though it does have a few more 'supported' statements that suggest english is not the Officially 'Legislated language', eg: "In 1987 the Federal Government adopted a National Policy on Languages, becoming the first English speaking country to have such a policy and the first in the world to have a multilingual languages policy" (CFAC 1994:29)." this may be found in the conclusion.

I hope you consider my suggestions and openly discuss them Cheers all Yungur (talk) 15:43, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

I'd just like to point out that we've discussed the issue of language previously:
To summarise, "no Legislated Official" is redundant. --AussieLegend (talk) 08:33, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

'Culture' section

I've found a few oddities under the culture section on the article, and I don't yet have the ability to edit the page.

  • Brett Whitely is described as an 'abstract expressionist', and is in a section inferring his influence by American modernism. More rightly his influence is from Sydney, Lloyd Rees, and Japanese calligraphy. And though there still may well be the case for referring to an American modernist influence, there is nothing abstract about his work, at all.
  • Under cuisine there is the sentence: 'For most of Australian history, the cuisine was based on traditional Indigenous bushfood using native berries, fruit, fish, kangaroo and even insects such as the witchetty grub.'; that bolded 'even' is extraneous, and perhaps patronising.

This is my first time editing a discussion page. Apologies if anything's presented incorrectly.Rylie James Thomas (talk) 17:44, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

You're quite right about the "even". I've removed it. Thanks for picking up the problem. I will leave the art question to someone who, unlike me, knows something about it. HiLo48 (talk) 21:45, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Pronunciation of "Australia"

The proper pronunciation of Australia should be ɒˈstreɪljə, not əˈstreɪljə/ (i.e. o-stray-lee-uh, not uh-stray-lee-uh). I think this is particularly relevant to Americans whose accent generally produces "aah-stray-lee-uh", when a correct IPA key would produce something closer to the correct pronunciation. (talk) 04:02, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I don't know. I pronounce it more "A-Strayle-yah" or "Uh-Strayle-yah" with only 3 sylables. I think the way it is is accurate, but I could be wrong. Anoldtreeok (talk) 05:00, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
As an Australian, I always say it as 3 sylables, eg, A-Strayle-yah, and I think this is the main pronunciation here. I don't know any group that says it in 4 sylables, although I hear British people say Or-strayle-yah, and my Irish friends typically say Os-rail-yah and leave out the T altogeher. (obviously regional variations exist).--Dmol (talk) 05:23, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
As I always say, "Australia" rhymes with "failure" and "genitalia". Does anybody say fail-i-ya or jen-i-tail-i-ya? Someone being extremely precise and deliberately sounding out the syllables slowly might say o-stray-li-ya or jen-i-tail-i-ya, but outside that specific context, it'd be o-strayl-ya and jen-i-tail-ya. And always fail-ya. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 05:34, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree with this. I always say and hear 'aw-strayl-yuh.' I would look funny at someone who said 'uh-strayl-yuh' or 'aw-stray-lee-uh.' My IPA transliteration would use the regular 'a' symbol though, because for me it's the same vowel as in 'father.' (aˈstreɪl'jə). (talk) 20:59, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

But that's not the same vowel as "aw", which you mentioned first. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 21:13, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
You'd look weirdly at someone who says "Uh-Strayl-yuh"? I've always thought the "aw-strayl-yuh" pronunciation sounded weird. It always sounded to me like the way Americans would say it. Not that it's wrong, I've just never pronounced it that way. Anoldtreeok (talk) 23:35, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Ha ha - rhymes with "genetalia" and "failure". An alternative pronunciation is "Straya" as in "Slayer". On a serious note, I'm of no use with the IPA keys etc. sorry. --Merbabu (talk) 23:40, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

It should be "Os-tra-lee-ah" as your common Ostraleein would pronounce it. (talk) 12:51, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

The British RP pronunciation is "os"tralia or "aw"stralia, the general american pronunciation is "ah"stralia, and the general australian pronunciation is closer to the american than the british, but more like "uh"stralia or simply "a"stralia. so in other words the əˈstreɪljə is correct. its like how the british pronounce words like "dance" "plant" and "chance" with an 19th century corrupted vowel "daarnce" "chaaarrnce" "plahhrnt" whereas the americans and australians, because we were founded before that vowel shift occured in the UK, use the older pronunciation of simply "chance" and "dance". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:06, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

The traditional pronunciation is more like the British "os"tralia than the American. I'm 51 and I was taught the British pronunciation of words when I was at school so the vowel shift explanation has little credibility with me. The difference in pronunciation is far more recent and, at least in my experience, has been more the result of a wider exposure to Amerrykan influences in recent times, starting with the introduction of colour TV and VCRs. --AussieLegend (talk) 04:55, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Where are these IP editors getting their notions of how Americans say the name? As one myself, I have always said and heard aw-strayl-yuh. Of course we may pronounce "awe" differently (ours rhymes with "fall"), but we certainly don't pronounce the country "ah-" anything. -Rrius (talk) 06:19, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

I am not saying americans pronounce it with an "ah" sound, they do not. I am saying the difference is attributable to a similar regional difference in pronunciation to the "chaynce" "chahhnce" difference. Aussielegend, yes that is true. That is because from the early 20th century up until the 70s even, Australians were taught to emulate British pronunciation in many ways. These pronunciations are known as "cultivated" australian english. this is a fairly recent dialect which can be traced back only to the early 20th century and has in the last few decades fallen from favour with the exception of some areas of south australia. The older short "a" pronunciations in such words are in fact older and are the only pronunciations that existed in this country (and any english speaking country for that matter) until a split started occuring in the early 1800s in south-eastern england. This is known as the trap-bath split, a commonly known phenomenon in linguistic circles, and considered a rather vulgar cockneyism until some time early in the 20th century. But on the pronun. of Australia, apart from julia gillard, the occasional news reporter, and some South Aust'ians, it is extremely rare to hear the newer "cultivated" "aw" stralia pronun. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:51, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ See accounts of the voyage cited, eg Estensen, M (2006)
  4. ^ Moran, cited in Richardson, W.A.R. (2006) Was Australia charted before 1606? p. 20. National Library of Australia ISBN 0642 276420
  5. ^ Cardinal Moran's Discovery of Australia by de Quirós in the Year 1606 [25]
  6. ^ Kane, Herb Kawainui (1996). "The Manila Galleons". In Bob Dye. Hawaiʻ Chronicles: Island History from the Pages of Honolulu Magazine. I. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. pp. 25–32. ISBN 0-8248-1829-6. 
  7. ^ An obituary written in 2005 can be found at
  8. ^ Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board. Australian History Course Design 1983-1987 citation incomplete
  9. ^ MacKnight, CC (1976). The Voyage to Marege: Macassan Trepangers in Northern Australia. Melbourne University Press. 
  10. ^ a b Translation of Torres’ report to the king in Collingridge, G. (1895) Discovery of Australia. Golden Press Edition 1983, Gradesville, NSW. ISBN 0 855589566
  11. ^ MacKnight, CC (1976). The Voyage to Marege: Macassan Trepangers in Northern Australia. Melbourne University Press. 
  12. ^ McIntyre, K.G. (1977) The Secret Discovery of Australia, Portuguese ventures 200 years before Cook, p. 69, Souvenir Press, Menindie ISBN 028562303 6
  13. ^ An obituary written in 2005 can be found at