Talk:Australia/Archive 15

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remains a Commonwealth realm

Do Editors think it is appropriate to say in the opening para that Australia "remains a Commonwealth realm"? Shouldn't the article say Australia is a "constitutional monarchy" - as that term is used in the UK article and Canada's. This is being discussed on Talk:United Kingdom. Regards. Redking7 (talk) 11:48, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

I support using the "Constitutional monarchy" description in the opening para:

  1. Redking7 (talk) 11:48, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
  2. Hawkeye7 (talk) 03:25, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
  3. Slac speak up! 04:52, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
  4. --Michael Johnson (talk) 07:30, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
  5. Night w (talk) 06:13, 22 April 2009 (UTC) (P.S. I also don't think it's a big deal).
  6. [Insert your username here]

I support using the Commonwealth realm" description in the opening para

  1. [Insert your username here]

Comments/Questions I need more detail in why should it be changed, whats more widely used (Commonwealth realm or Constitutional monarchy) in Australia (not just within the Commonwealth). Bidgee (talk) 11:52, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

I'd also like to know why it should be changed. I should point out that Wikipedia works on consensus, not voting, so the polls here and at Talk:United Kingdom are premature. It's not appropriate to make a post on one article's talk page and declare consensus at another, which is what prompted Bidgee's reversion.[1] You need to actually discuss the issue before consensus can be reached and this particular matter needs to be discussed here. --AussieLegend (talk) 12:26, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Have a look at Talk:United Kingdom - its being discussed there too (more editors are involved on that page). Regards. Redking7 (talk) 21:59, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
The discussion at Talk:United Kingdom is about use at United Kingdom, not here. As I indicated on your talk page,[2] any consensus achieved at Talk:United Kingdom does not immediately become applicable here. You need to discuss the issue here, not there and explain why the change should occur here. --AussieLegend (talk) 01:19, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I support the reference. However, the purpose of it is to get across that when the colonies federated in 1901, the new country did not "go it alone" as a republic, but continued to be part of the Commonwealth (or Empire as it was then) and continued to acknowledge the British monarch as its monarch. It's also a constitutional monarchy of course, but maybe the purpose of this reference to Commonwealth realms could be spelled out a little more explicitly. -- JackofOz (talk) 23:52, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Constitutional monarchy is a widely understood term. Commonwealth realm is a term not used in Australia, is not widely understood, and is not as descriptive as constitutional monarchy. Hawkeye7 (talk) 03:30, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but just saying it remained/became a constitutional monarchy could mean that it set up its own monarchy, distinct from the British monarchy. We need to communicate the continuity of Australia's allegiance to the British monarchy between pre-1901 and post-1901. -- JackofOz (talk) 07:51, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
What do the sources say? I'm and Australian, and I can't say that I've ever seen a description of Australia as being a 'Commonwealth realm'. A Google search of 'Australia Commonwealth realm' doesn't produce any reliable-looking sources in the first couple of pages of results ([3]), and the Queen's website states that "Australia is a constitutional monarchy with The Queen as Sovereign": [4], though Australia is in the drop down list of 'Commonwealth realms' at the top of the page. Nick-D (talk) 07:59, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Well I've found this (Paper crown when Charles takes reign) which seems to point that Australia is a Commonwealth realm but again I request for more detailed information with sources before I can make a decision. Bidgee (talk) 08:15, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Why can't both have a place in the lead? Here is a suggestion:

It is just one possibility. -Rrius (talk) 03:29, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree, I don't see why it should be a case of one or the other. I think your suggestion is an excellent way of incorporating both truths. --AussieLegend (talk) 03:44, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
For the information of RedKing, "Commonwealth Realm" is a *very* infrequently used term in Australia, even in constitutional law circles (my constitutional law textbook didn't mention it once). "Constitutional monarchy" is vastly more common; I would even go so far to say that this is an imported Canadism, like "Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition" (never used in any official context in Australia). Slac speak up! 02:27, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
We are, nevertheless, both things. We're a constitutional monarchy because we're governed by a constitution and we have a monarch (regardless of who that monarch is); but because the monarch happens to be Elizabeth II, we're also a Commonwealth realm. Not all constitutional monarchies are Commonwealth realms, but all Commonwealth realms are constitutional monarchies. -- JackofOz (talk) 05:13, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Well Australia is many things, but we don't have to include them all in the opening paragraph. Commonwealth realm may be an accurate description, but it is not one that strikes me as being commonly used in relation to Australia. I'm not fussed, but I can't see the point of including it. --Michael Johnson (talk) 07:30, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
It may not be particularly often used in Australia, but if we write the article using only terms that are frequently used in Australia, it would be of less value to international readers. There seems little point in having an article called Commonwealth realm without mentioning - not just in that article but also in this one - that Australia is such an animal. -- JackofOz (talk) 12:06, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Can't it just say ...maintained a stable liberal democracy and a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth. (or something similar and better phrased)? Why not use both terms and get rid of that vague "political system" term? Night w (talk) 06:20, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

citation needed

The article is currently a FA, but how come it still has [citation needed] templates in a few sections? Aaroncrick(Tassie Boy talk) 09:04, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Because it is a high visibility article that is edited by a hell of a lot of people, making it difficult to maintain at FA standard for any length of time. This was featured in June 2005. It probably doesn't deserve to be featured now. Hesperian 01:22, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
The FA criteria probably wasn't as strict back then. Although I must admit I was a bit surprised when i saw that is was a FA. Aaroncrick(Tassie Boy talk) 09:41, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
What about removing the info? That normally sparks a reaction - hopefully to find the cite. --Merbabu (talk) 23:01, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Well there's a thought! Never thought about it that way. Aaroncrick(Tassie Boy talk) 09:56, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Category "Liberal democracies"

I think there is no more absolute consensus that Australia is a liberal democracy beacuse of strict Internet censorship. Therefore I will remove this article from category Category:Liberal democracies. —ilaiho (talk) 17:53, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

User:AussieLegend undid my edit, saying there is only one censored website. According to some recent news and that Wikipedia article, I have understood that there is much more irresponsible censorship than "one censored website". Anyway, this categorization is not very important for me. —ilaiho (talk) 17:07, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
The United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand all censor the internet, and remain on the category Category:Liberal democracies. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:05, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

The idea that the government's censorship regime disqualifies Australia as a liberal democracy is absurd (as much as I may detest its planned internet filter scheme). Plenty of liberal democracies have more stringent censorship than Scandinavian countries (in fact, most do). Slac speak up! 04:54, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Firstly, the ludicrous internet filtering proposal is currently a trial and is not (yet) an actual reality. Secondly, as the article on Liberal democracy points out, all such political structures do contain specific limits on specific freedoms. Every liberal democracy contains some internet restrictions on (for example) child pornography. As the article on the topic makes clear, the core of a liberal democracy is not any particular social law but the citizens elective rights, including free and fair elections and a competitive political system. Euryalus (talk) 09:47, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

How can a country with the Queen as a state head be a democracy??? And liberal??? Sorry but it doesn't work together. Monarchy is not a democracy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:22, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Australia is a representative democracy. The head of state is the queen, represented by the govenor general. however australia remains a democracy because we elect our parliamentarians, and our executive government is formed by elected parliamentarians, and the governor general acts on the advice of our elected officials - hence, democracy. The simple "monarchy cannot be a democracy" is absurd. Perhaps you are suggesting that the UK, Canada, New Zealand are also in the list of non-democracies? Yili2943 (talk) 07:38, 7 June 2009 (UTC)


Under the demography section, the information that only 70 aboriginal languages still exist is incorrect. According to the 2005 Ethnologue, which is the most authoritative linguistics survey, there are 280 recorded aboriginal languages, 238 still spoken and 42 extinct. I don't know how to change this since the article is protected. Also, there is no source for the claim that an indigenous language is the main language for 50,000 people. Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version: Claritarejoice (talk) 17:55, 23 March 2009 (UTC) Claritarejoice

Australia Interactive Map

I suggest the Link below containing Google Interactive Map of Australia . http://www.all-maps(dot)info/2009/03/australia-map.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kewaga (talkcontribs) 14:20, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Business Address?

Can you please add Australia's business address to this article. It is 1601 MASSACHUSETTS AVE NW C/O AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY WASHINGTON DC 20036 and Australis's company number is 0000805157. Source -

Umm, no, I don't think so. --Michael Johnson (talk) 01:30, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Please keep in mind that Australia is also well known as the ' Down Under ' and the ' Wide Brown ' . Lejon (talk) 04:49, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Never heard of Wide Brown. Aaroncrick(Tassie Boy talk) 09:57, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
What are they teaching kids at school these days?
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!
If you say you've never heard of that..... --AussieLegend (talk) 10:31, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

I think you're emphasising the wrong part of the poem. 'Sunburnt country' is the common rhetoric. E.g Sunbeam, Sunblest are all traditional Australian business icons. No such thing as Brownbeam toasters or Brownblest bread. Yili2943 (talk) 07:40, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

I think it's a good idea, but maybe we should post it to America's business address. Um, what's the US' business address? The US business address is being moved to Shanghai, right?--Merbabu (talk) 10:35, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Nah, it's somewhere in Calcutta. -Rrius (talk) 12:34, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Except that they've moved it lock stock and barrel to some place called Kolkata, apparently. Just don't tell the Yanks.  :) -- JackofOz (talk) 09:16, 19 May 2009 (UTC)


Maybe we should put a

Not to be confused with Austria.

here.People often make such mistake.Especially non-English native user like me.囧--半弯不直男 (talk) 13:54, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Developed country?

The statement: "Technologically advanced and industrialised, Australia is a prosperous multicultural country and has good results in many international comparisons of national performance such as health care, life expectancy, quality-of-life, human development, public education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights." is quite misleading.

First - Australia has very poor internet network comparing to many countries in the world. Secondly, a country with slow and in some instances still not electrified trians cannot be technologically advanced. Industraliazed also is misleading - a country that is predominantly a primary producer, that doesn't manufacture even one bicycle, TV etc - cannot be called industrialized.

Multicultural? - just because there are many migrants - it doesn;t mean it is multicultural - when de facto it is an English colony which enforces English language at schools and English way of life.

Freedom with internet censorship cannot coexist. Democracy while still monarchy? Do you remember Whitlam Government??? Is this a democracy when the monarch can dissolve a government within one day????

Health care with long queues to emergecy units, and long queues for basic public health services such as dentist (usually people wait 2-3 years) is not at the top of the world.

Life expectancy - especially is local Aboriginal communities is very low.

Human development - still no bill of rights.

Public education - very low, no foreign languages at school, ranking very low in maths among other countries.

Hope you can amend this sentence and be true about Australia —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:45, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Woah--where do you live??? Australia has a higher percentage of Internet users per capita than Japan, the UK, the US, France... AWA Limited manufactures televisions and, I don't know about bicycles, but haven you ever heard of Holden?
The government doesn't enforce English culture--freedom of religion and society is guaranteed in the constitution and you only have to walk down a city street to notice multiculturalism. I live down the road from a mosque. And just because the GovGen can exercise dismissal powers (that have only ever been used in an emergency), doesn't mean she can impose direct rule--the people choose the government. On the Democracy Index, Australia is ranked among the top 10 most democratic countries in the world (alongside seven other monarchies) by The Economist.
I don't know where you line up for your health care provider, but is it not free? It's very expensive in most countries. Check this research, which ranks Australia's health care system above that of both Canada and the US. As for average life expectancy, Australia is ranked 5th by the UN. So it's not low "especially" in Aboriginal communities, just specifically in those communities.
Did you go to the "Developed country" page before you Wikilinked it for this section's title? Australia is ranked 4th...
We don't live in the Dark Ages down here...but I think you knew that, and were just ranting. If you're not happy with the level of freedom and development in Australia, then move to Scandinavia. Oh...but they're all monarchies....
Night w (talk) 07:29, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Anon commenter, it might help to consider issues of geography. Australia has about the same population as Sweden, Denmark, and Norway combined, spread across roughly ten times the land area. This has a lot of influence on what's practical for infrastructure projects (e.g. rail and communications). --GenericBob (talk) 23:49, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
[removed remainder of thread, which had ceased to be even tenuously related to how to improve the article. Hesperian 04:42, 24 April 2009 (UTC)]

ref improve or remove

The following three lines are from the article:

Not supported by linked page, is Bean 1941 the reference? Conscription suggests that the inhabitants of 'Australia' were less enthusiastic!
This swiped text is from a BBC article that contrasts the views of a former Prime Minister with the current one. Should we add ",... and many don't"?
Uncited! Analogous?
cygnis insignis 05:33, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
I added the appropriate cites from the recent scholarship, especially for Kakoda see Hank Nelson, 'Gallipoli, Kokoda and the Making of National Identity', J of Australian Studies online Rjensen (talk) 14:03, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
More likely, WP:FAR YellowMonkey (click here to vote for world cycling's #1 model!) 05:35, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the 3 dot points. I also suspect that FAR may be in order. The risk is that once the FA status is questioned or removed, attempts to improve it could go the other wasy - ie, all bets are off and nothing is sacred. As major changes to the culture section over the last few months suggested, I suspect the article could lapse into a state of even less quality. At least the current FA status is a way to hold off decrease in article quality. Hmmmm --Merbabu (talk) 06:35, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
I disagree will all three dot points.
  • Supporting participation in the war and supporting conscription are two entirely separate issues. It is possible, and indeed highly likely than many people who opposed conscription (including servicing soldiers who voted) still supported Australia's participation in the war, with volunteer enlistment. This is neither contradictory or unusual. The war effort was popular and bipartisan and tested through elections. Casting Australia as an unwilling participant is historical revisionism. -- Mattinbgn\talk 01:27, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
  • No, the fact that "many don't" is obvious from the "Many Australians..." rather than "Most Australians..." or All Australians ..." This is nit-picking.
  • The Kokoda campaign was put forward by Keating as an new and better "Gallipoli" Sources for this should be easy to find. -- Mattinbgn\talk 01:27, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Let's not go too FAR :) There are many fine editors active there, but this is a the top priority article for a wikiproject with some of the best. cygnis insignis 13:09, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, if preventative action is taken it will be all fine and dandy, like when I pre-emptively referenced flag of Australia last year. There is a problem that if people make a lot of ad hoc edits the prose can become disjointed likke a list of trivia though. YellowMonkey (click here to vote for world cycling's #1 model!) 01:13, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

anon edits

it seems every single one needs to be reverted because of vandalism. can we get this page locked again? Rehumanist (talk) 12:58, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Sporting Achievements

How about a section on Australia's many Sporting Achievements?

Also mention at the top of the article: Australia is a prosperous multicultural country and has excellent results in many international comparisons of national performance such as...

For such a small population they do extremely well and their culture is very sport orientated.


Cricket (incl first team to beat England)


Tennis (incl first to win all grand slams in one year)


Rugby —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:53, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Using words like prosperous, excellent and they do extremely well should not be used in an encyclopedia. If your idea is taken up only the facts should be put forward and whether it is deemed to be excellent or not is left up to the reader. Jack forbes (talk) 23:00, 28 April 2009 (UTC)


Little/nothing is noted on the iology of Australia. I suggest the following be noted:- Kraft, G.T. 2007. Algae of Australia: Marine Benthic Algae of Lord Howe Island nd the Southern Great Barrier Reef, 1. Green Algae. ABRAS, Canberra, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, Australia. ISBN 9780643094421.Osborne 16:45, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Ethnic Groups

Ethnic groups listed wrongly. latest census states 3.5% aboriginal and 11% asian. also states other groups not listed. change it or remove it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Do you have a citation from a reliable source? --AussieLegend (talk) 09:49, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Ethnic Groups

You have been informed more than once about the consensus, and the reasons for that consensus. Synthesis of this type is not allowed in Wikipedia, and is mathematically doubtful in any case. Further discussion is in the archives which are linked above. AKAF (talk) 14:26, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Firstly, it's not an "ethnic groups" table, it's an "ancestry" table - as has been discussed previously (see archive), the ABS identifies ancestry as only one of several factors that determine ethnicity.
Second... "european/australian 81.2%... i have added up the euro, asian, etc countries" - are you sure that's what you did? That table lists Australian at 37.1%, English 31.6%, Irish 9.1%, and Scottish 7.6% - just those four add to more than 82% even before you look at the smaller groups. If you check the archives, or just read the footnotes on that table, you may see why this approach isn't valid (and why adding up the 'Asian' categories also doesn't work). --GenericBob (talk) 09:55, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Hello, I would like to also state that shouldn't it be European instead of White cause of the fact even the police force in Australia uses the term European instead of White now why can't it be changed in the ethnic group fact on the Australia page rather

Cymruman (talk) 07:58, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

The source specifically states "white" and that's what we've agreed to use. --AussieLegend (talk) 08:20, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


For over a decade multicultist doctrine has came under increasing criticism from may parts of Australian society.

for example:

Andrew Robb, then Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, told a conference in November 2006 that some Australians worried the term "multicultural" had been transformed by interest groups into a philosophy that put "allegiances to original culture ahead of national loyalty, a philosophy which fosters separate development, a federation of ethnic cultures, not one community". He added: "A community of separate cultures fosters a rights mentality, rather than a responsibilities mentality. It is divisive. It works against quick and effective integration."[4]

The Australian citizenship test commenced in October 2007 for all new citizens between the ages of 18 and 60.[5]

Plans have been brought in for a English language test.

In January 2007 the Howard Government removed the word "multicultural" from the name of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, changing its name to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Therefore, to simply state in this article that Australia is pro multicultist is completely out of date with the facts of today. I believe some mention of the changing of attitudes (including governments) to the theory must be included here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:00, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Misspelled word in the politics section

Seeing as that I cannot edit this article, I'd like to point out that at the bottom of the politics section, in the last sentence, "enrollment" is misspelled. NavJ7 (talk) 01:25, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Wiktionary says that 'enrolment' is the correct spelling in UK English, so I'm guessing that that is the correct spelling in Australian English as well, which this article should use per WP:ENGVAR. AlexiusHoratius 01:30, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Well according to my Australian spell checker it's enrolment. Bidgee (talk) 01:54, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
The Australian Electoral Commission spells it "enrolment" too.[5] Euryalus (talk) 04:37, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Largest Island - what about Antartica?

I'm slightly nervous about asking this after the continent debate, but if Australia is an Island Continent, why isn't Antartica? In which case, isn't Antartica a larger island? Apepper (talk) 21:37, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Antarctica isn't a single island. Underneath the ice covering Antarctica is a number of smaller islands. According to the Antarctica article, the area of the land masses is only 280,000 km2 (110,000 sq mi). --AussieLegend (talk) 22:54, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
It's more than that - that figure of 280,000 km2 (2% of the total listed area) refers to ice-free land, i.e. the relatively small parts of landmass where you can see rock. Most of the landmass above sea level is covered by ice and so not included in that figure. Eyeballing this plot, I'd hazard a guess that somewhere about a half to a third of the total (14 million km2) is land above sea level. Most of that above-sea-level area is contiguous but not all, so the largest single landmass would still be a bit smaller than mainland Australia. Which is still smaller than mainland North-and-South America and Africa/Eurasia, both of which could technically be considered islands, but I guess we have to stop somewhere.
On a side note, besides the issue of ice and islands, map projection issues can also make Antarctica look bigger than it is - cylindrical projections are probably the most popular way to create rectangular maps, and they perform very badly near the poles. --GenericBob (talk) 00:33, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks - that explains it; I feel a little relieved! 12:58, 3 June 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

If Australia is an island, then why aren't the Americas or the combined landmass of Eurasia and Africa? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:15, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

It's a "world's tallest midget" thing. --GenericBob (talk) 02:41, 18 June 2009 (UTC)


I think it is time to open new section about 'Racism' in Australia. We have enough of data by now and it is clear it's an important part. We should list the White Policy, Aboriginal Stolen Generations, Extermination of the Aboriginals in Tasmania, Killing of Chinese in Gold Rush time, Cronulla Beach Riots, recent Attacks on Indians etc and talk in general about the dominination of the Anglo-saxons (government) and systematic marginalization of non-Anglo-saxon migrants in Australia. What do you think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Homo hi (talkcontribs) 00:29, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Interesting that a post about racism singles out "Anglo-Saxons". Every country has its racists, Anglo Saxon or whoever, but that does not equate to a racist country. Further I think that generic bob's post below sums up the problems with the above suggestion very well.--Merbabu (talk) 06:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Welcome to Wikipedia. We already have an entire category of articles on Racism in Australia, and within that category you will find articles on all the topics you mention. And without trying to downplay the seriousness of recent events, what is particularly special about Australia in this respect? I think you could find similar, and indeed in many cases more serious incidents in pretty much any country you want to look at. --Michael Johnson (talk) 01:03, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Before getting into this, I'd strongly encourage reading WP:SYNTH - if you're new here (or even if you're not), this is something of a tricky area, and it's very easy to end up putting a lot of work into something that doesn't follow WP's rules on 'original research'. In brief, if you want to say something like "Incident A and Incident B demonstrate a pattern of systematic racism in Australia", it's not enough just to produce sources to show that those two incidents happened - you need to find a reliable source that draws that particular conclusion from those two incidents. (And if there's a substantial weight of reliable sources that disagree with that conclusion, that also needs to be noted.) You might look at individual dots and think they look like an elephant, but WP is not the place to join those dots. --GenericBob (talk) 02:24, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
In addition to the category mentioned above, we already have a separate article - Racism in Australia. It could do with some work, but as its specifically focused on the topic you're interested in its probably the right place for you to start. Euryalus (talk) 03:20, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Maybe a section on "Racism in Australia" maybe bit of a push right now, but certainly a section of "Race Relations in Australia" is well justified given the long history of race issues in Australia along with recent events (although somewhat isolated) of racist violence in Australia. (talk) 07:36, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Write a draft in a sandbox or as a subpage of this talk page first? Tony (talk) 06:37, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Tony's right. If you don't know how to make a subpage then click on this link to start the subpage. AKAF (talk) 05:49, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
"How could a society which would like to think of itself as civilised allow a human being to be transported in the way that this man was". Thus wrote the coroner in reference to the horrendous death last year of the aboriginal man at the hands of the WA prison system. Last night's Four Corners leaves no doubt in my mind that a section on Racism in Australia is required. Tony (talk) 18:07, 15 June 2009 (UTC)


The population stats in the infobox, are quite wrong. The actual number is more than 21,800,000 rather than the 21,700,000 number which is stated on the page. Australia is also ranked 53rd in the world rather than 51st as also stated.

Shows that Australia has the 53rd highest population

Shows the current estimated population of Australia

I am going to change Australia's rank from 51st to 53rd but I would recommed that the actual population is changed by someone else (besides me). De Mattia (talk) 01:09, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

The population figure that you're speaking of is not the actual population. As is indicated next to the figure, it's only a "2009 estimate". As can be seen by the citation provided with the figure, it's an estimate as of 28 March 2009. The reason that it is now over 21.8 million is that the population increases by about 1 person every (as of now) 84 seconds. When the estimate was provided it was increasing by 1 person every 90 seconds. Even the 21.8 million figure is not an actual figure, it's only an estimate. --AussieLegend (talk) 01:33, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
So shall we leave it as 'Australia 53rd highest population and then just leave the current population as it is'. De Mattia (talk) 02:41, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Listing Australia as the "n'th highest population" should ideally be sourced to a reliable source that states that ranking, not by comparing the figures for different countries in Wikipedia - some will be more up-to-date than others, and they may not all be calculated using the same definitions, so comparing stats from Wikipedia is unreliable. --GenericBob (talk) 14:36, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Why the navbox on monarchies?

I'm baffled as to why the mostly useful links in the navbox at the bottom are bloated by a humungous tree of links to the world's monarchies. This does not concern whether one is an Australian monarchist or not; rather, it's a matter of dilution by irrelevant material. Why, I ask you, are we speciallly linked to countries such as Kuwait, Brunei and Swaziland, just because they happen to have "monarchies" of a sort (although totally different from our constitutional monarchy). I see a link to the "Monarchies" category at the very bottom, too. Why is that not enough?

I suggest that we remove the elaborate, unnecessary navbox bloat. Any objections? Tony (talk) 12:36, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

The navboxes are collapsed for me, leaving the only direct link the one you mention at the bottom of the page. The box you are talking about is inside two layers of collapse, meaning that I would really want to have exactly that information to click on it. Are they not collapsing correctly for all browsers? AKAF (talk) 13:14, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, AKAF. My point is: why is it there in the first place? There's a category link at the bottom. Apart from the clutter and lack of relevance, there's the issue that it may convey the message that the monarchies of Kuwait, Brunei, Swaziland, Thailand, Denmark, etc, are similar to the Australian situation. They are not. Why are we making such a big deal out of this false relationship? Tony (talk) 13:22, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
For me the whole lot of navboxes takes up approximately the same space as one point item of the bibliography. I don't think the map of the english-speaking world is worth much either, and that takes about the same amount of space. The members of the commonwealth, or English-speaking countries or members of Oceania are also dissimilar in many ways to Australia, so why particularly the box on monarchies? I won't defend any of the navboxes, but I can't get too excited about it. AKAF (talk) 17:46, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
  • It's not space, it's relevance and the potential to mislead. Tony (talk) 06:36, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Australia is a monarchy so a navbox listing monarchies seems relevant and I don't see how it's misleading. If you really want to get rid of it, nominate the navbox for deletion. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:14, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
What is the relevance with the Kuwaiti and Swaziland monarchies? Why is that not misleading, if not downright irrelevant? Tony (talk) 07:16, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
The relevance is that they are monarchies. As the name implies it's a navigation box, used to allow easy navigation between articles with some commonality. The relevance here is not necessarily to Australia, it's to monarchies. You need to look at the big picture and not limit your view to how another article relates to Australia. You need to also look at how Australia relates to other articles. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:50, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, while we're at it, let's have a list of continents paraded in the navbox; and a list of countries in which there are endemic marsupials (a few in South America, I believe). And a list of countries in which traffic is driven on the left; and of federal jurisdications; and .... Tony (talk) 13:24, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I once ran for federal parliament and one potential voter expressed concern that the current MP had helped some chicken farmers employ some Korean chicken sexers because the locals were incredibly inept at the job. He argued that if we let in Korean chicken sexers then we could find ourselves flooded with Korean bus drivers, Korean pizza delivery boys, Korean doctors and so on. Well, no, that wasn't going to happen then and what you've suggested won't happen here. There are degrees. A country being a monarchy is somewhat more significant that what you seem to think could be the case. --AussieLegend (talk) 13:52, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
  • False analogy: the Korean chicker sexers were useful. A monarchy section is misleading. You haven't responded to my question concerning the relevance of the Kuwaiti monarchy to Our Lovely Queen. Tony (talk) 14:48, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
There's no monarchy section involved. We're talking about a hidden monarchy navbox and who said that the Kuwaiti monarchy has to be relevent to your lovely queen? As I said, you need to look at the big picture. --AussieLegend (talk) 15:04, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Look at the big picture and ignore the details? Prescription for sloppy writing at the level of the clause? Tony (talk) 15:36, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
You've missed the point. As I stated earlier, you shouldn't limit your view to how another article relates to Australia. You need to also look at how Australia relates to other articles. If there is a navbox that is in the articles of the other countries that are monarchies, it's reasonable for that navbox to also be here. --AussieLegend (talk) 15:50, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Royal anthem

The Royal Anthem is only used on certain occasions but it is used and while you may have known anyone who knows it, there are a lot of people who do. I'm one of them. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:08, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
AL, whether you use it is immaterial; what matters is its relevance to the infobox. Is it used, then, when a state governor or the governer-general is in attendance? Tony (talk) 07:14, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I never said that I used it. I said it is used. Its relevance is that it's an official anthem of Australia. Excluding it is misleading because it gives the impression that we only have one anthem. We don't. We have two and the story of how Advance Australia Fair replaced God Save the Queen as the national anthem is an important part of Australian history. --AussieLegend (talk) 08:03, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
This is an old discussion and the consensus then was to leave it out. Putting it in essentially gives it equal prominence with the National Anthem (as one of the first bits of info in the article). This is undue weight and was excluded for that reason. Indeed, that is why the note (N1) is there. --Merbabu (talk) 08:09, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank god for that. Tony (talk) 08:47, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
While there are no doubt Australian groups or individuals who sing "God Save the Queen" as part of ceremonial events or organisational meetings, I cannot think of any official (ie. government) occasion that it is used. Can anyone else?
In the absence of any official use, it should certainly be removed from the infobox as its presence implies a status it doesn't have. The story of the transition to Advance Australia Fair is indeed worth recording, but in the main body of the article or at Advance Australia Fair. -- Euryalus (talk) 09:38, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I believe God save the Queen was used at the last Royal visit but I can't find a source to back it up. This explains more Bidgee (talk) 09:51, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
  • "While there are no doubt Australian groups or individuals who sing "God Save the Queen" as part of ceremonial events or organisational meetings"—five-minute soft roll on the kettle-drum while they stand up in their zimmer frames? Tony (talk) 10:02, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Some of the comments above demonstrate an amazing lack of understanding as to the purpose and use of the royal anthem. The royal anthem is reserved for use on occasions where a member of the royal family is present. When the Queen is present at an official engagement the royal anthem is played at the beginning and the national anthem is played at the end. At all other occasions the national anthem is played. The reason that we don't see God Save the Queen performed more is simply because the Queen isn't here that often. If she did decide to frequent Australia more you'd hear it a lot more. Despite the infrequency of use of God Save the Queen, both songs have equal status as Australia's anthems. --AussieLegend (talk) 10:37, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, to a point. Per the reference Bidgee gives above, God Save the Queen (GSTQ) is the Royal Anthem and played at public engagements at which a member of the Royal Family is present. This is arguably the same courtesy displayed to any head of state (if the Russian president flew in for a cermeony, no doubt the Russian national anthem would be played), but GSTQ's designation of "Royal Anthem" is indeed backed by the source.
However the same source makes clear the two anthems do not have equal status - one is the national anthem of Australia and the other is for once-in-a-decade use to mark the physical presence of the monarch or family. The source cannot reasonably be construed to suggest GTSQ is an equal alternative in Australian national life to Advance Australia Fair.
So the argument about the infobox becomes a slightly different one - does recording both anthems give the false perception they are both natonal anthems of Australia? Does it give undue weight to the comparatively minor role GTSQ plays in Australian national life or ceremony? I don't personally have a strong view on this, but if inclusion of GTSQ in the infobox would mislead readers we should leave it out. If consensus is people will readily understand the role and context of a Royal anthem, then by all means put it in. Euryalus (talk) 10:52, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
The proclamation issued by then Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen on 19 April 1984 gave neither song any greater status than the other. It merely stated when each was to be used and clarified the wording of the new national anthem. One could easily argue that the royal anthem has a greater status because it is only to be used on "special" occasions, but claiming that either has a higher status than the other is original research. I should probably point out that I am a long time Advance Australia Fair supporter. I used to get into trouble at school when I wouldn't stand for God Save the Queen because I believed that Adance Australia Fair should be our national anthem. I'm a little biased towards that song because a letter from P.D. McCormick to my grandfather, explaining how he came to write Advance Australia Fair, is part of the national collection in the National Library but here I have to be neutral and being neutral means accepting that neither song has a greater status than the other. One is the national anthem for everyday use (just like the old clunker that you use to pick up the kids from school and get the groceries) while the other is the royal anthem, reserved for special occasions (like the Lamborghini that you only trot out on weekends), but neither is more important than the other. --AussieLegend (talk) 11:21, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Let me get this right: the horse-woman—Camilla Hyphen Thingo—puts on a flying visit to the colonies, and out comes God Save the Queen. Yes? Tony (talk) 13:21, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I can see where you're going with this. Nice try but you might care to note that the song is titled "God Save the Queen", not "God Save Crapzilla". It's about the position, not the person. I asume that if Miss Universe was a member of the royal family you'd have less problems. --AussieLegend (talk) 13:46, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Fewer problems? ... I see that God Save Our Lovely Queen (which is a hymn, not a song) rears its head only when a member of the royal family is present; not when the very officers who constitutionally represent OLQ are present. There's something very strange about insisting on its flashing-light appearance right up in the infobox under the national anthem, as though it's as significant. Tony (talk) 14:53, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
"God Save Our Lovely Queen "? I think you're losing sight of the neutral position that you should be trying to maintain. --AussieLegend (talk) 14:59, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Her name is Camilla Parker-Bowles (or, now I check that article, it was until 2005 when she married Charles). I don't care either way how we indicate the status of GSTQ, but arguments along the lines of "ha ha look at the horsey woman with the funny name" belong in the playground, not here. --GenericBob (talk) 00:40, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I have no objections to the Royal Anthem not being in the infobox, because for 99.99% of the time it may as well not exist, so it really is undue weight. But Aussie Legend is spot on with his facts about its formal designation and how it came about. I'm surprised we all seem to have forgotten so quickly the controversy over its use at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, which the Queen attended. The games organisers decided that Advance Australia Fair and only that song would be sung (by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa). Many people including John Howard had a problem with this, as they considered it was disrespectful to the Queen given that the Royal Anthem was available and was supposed to be used for precisely this sort of occasion. In the end, a few bars of it were sung, then the music morphed into AAF - see [6]. But that was probably the last time it was sung in Australia at any kind of public event. Who knows, it might be the last ever. -- JackofOz (talk) 03:54, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Nope, the Oodnawhosiwhatsit Senior Citizen's Association stand (Jaffa spillages notwithstanding) and belt it out weekly in front of a pic of Her Maj. It will live on. Tony (talk) 05:28, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
On reflection I support including it in the infobox. A quick flick through similar articles listed here shows the Royal Anthem is recorded in the infobox for many nations, and there does not seem to be widespread confusion about what it means. Some are considerably more obscure than God Save the Queen, but their listing nonetheless tells us something notable about the country concerned. This use is precisely why the infobox contains a Royal Anthem field - if there is opposition to the inclusion of Royal Anthems due to on undue weight, surely the correct course is to amend the infobox template itself to achieve a universal rule, rather than removing it from this article alone.
I appreciate that others see this differently - at present there seems not to be consensus either way, so new opinions are more than welcome. Euryalus (talk) 05:44, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

A bit off the point but I never found out who Elizabeth actually was at the Commonwealth Games - was she there as the Queen of the UK , the Queen of Australia or as the Head of the Commonwealth ? If she was there as the latter then playing ' God save the Queen ' was quite a faux pas . Lejon

Interesting point. She was probably wearing all 3 hats. Or all 17, come to think of it. Thank God she can afford to employ a good milliner. If she shook hands with the Barbadian team, she was Queen of Barbados, etc. When she met Howard, she was Queen of Australia. At the official opening, she would have been Head of the Commonwealth. Quite a busy lady. -- JackofOz (talk) 20:40, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

GDP figures in infobox

They are US dollars, aren't they? This needs to be said. Tony (talk) 11:15, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Well-meant cn tags unnecessary?

Aaronclick's recent edits: I can see only one tag that is vaguely required (compulsory voting, if the link doesn't satisfy that purpose). Tony (talk) 03:39, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

I think that the tags are reasonable - as this is an FA, everything should be covered by a citation.[citation needed] Nick-D (talk) 03:45, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
While there should be a high standard of referencing in an FA, the edits did seem to have at least an element of simply throwing in tags without really considering if they were necessary. --Merbabu (talk) 03:48, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
"Everything should be covered"—I can't agree with that prescription, since it would lead to a forest of citation numbers, mostly unnecessary. In particular, where there are explicit references in the text (Section 51 of the Constitution), or links to articles that will contain or lead directly to the sources, there appears little reason to clutter. Tony (talk) 04:04, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
In response to Merbabu's {{cn}} tag, that's always been my understanding of how Featured article criterion 1c is interpreted - articles which goes to a FAC with any uncited text normally run into problems. Nick-D (talk) 04:05, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
  • No, I can assure you that FACs with forests of trivial citations (it becomes a lazy way of avoiding proper judgement as to relevance, contentiousness, common-knowledge factor) are complained about. I have opposed extreme examples, because they fail the "professional" requirement. Tony (talk) 04:31, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
OK. I do think that most of the tags are OK though. It would have been nice for Aaronclick to have explained his reasoning or added some sources though. Nick-D (talk) 05:10, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm not too sure who Aaronclick is.. :) Although he probably should have posted here earlier but he didn't so we'll have to move on.

I believe the [citation needed] are necessary as the article isn't very well referenced and I was hoping for a bit of action on fixing these issues but instead it has unfortunately caused a debate on whether the templates are needed. If you have a look through the Wikipedia:Featured article criteria the article fails 1c along with 2c. Looks at Mumbai for example, it recently was removed as a FA after a FAR partly due to citation concern. The article has just passed a GAN and is cited very well. If the article was now nominated for FAR a lot of work would have be done if it was to remain a FA. Aaroncrick(Tassie Boy talk) 11:20, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Judging by the rate of the WP:URFA being booted off to FAR, about 60% of the remaining 2005 articles might be sent to FAR in teh second half of hte year, which might mean that around 6 of the Aussie FAs in that list will be in the firing line. On the issue of content, some of the lists of notable singers/actors and sportspeople might only attract trouble or recentism, eg polls of sports pundits for Australia's greatest Olympians usually rate Betty Cuthbert, Herb Elliott, Marjorie Jackson, Shirley Strickland higher than Freeman. Maybe three individual gold medals might be a better metric (this would give Thorpe, Gould, Rose, Fraser and a few others) etc although there are more events in the modern era. YellowMonkey (cricket calendar poll!) paid editing=POV 02:55, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

The Link Fairy is at it

I've just removed some of the lowest-value links I've ever seen ("English"?) ... Um ... we're reading it now. I see many repeat links of states and cities through the article. Why is "international comparisons of national performance" linked to somewhere else within the article—as though it's not defensive enough to even mention it in the lead? Tony (talk) 13:44, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Can we please update link 47 "Australia's Size Compared"? It has moved to SydBrklyn (talk) 15:25, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Grammatical Changes

I have made some slight grammatical changes to the 'Ethnic Groups' section at the top of the page. For example, when you are referring to an ethnic group as 'White' or 'Other', you must use capital letters. If you were referring to an entity or colour as 'White' or 'Other', it would be a different story. I changed this so it would be correct. The same goes for Dollars. If you are referring to Australian Dollars or US Dollars, you use capital letters. However, if you were saying "I want twenty dollars!", you wouldn't need to do so. Again, I changed this so it would be correct. Also, in the list of ethnic groups, I have deleted unneeded commas. You do not need commas in a list. --Billsta1 (talk) 10:42, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

The cited source specifically says "white 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%" and consensus was reached, after an incredibly lengthy discussion that dwarfed War and Peace, to state the ethnicities exactly as stated in the citation. As for dollars, the correct link to Australian dollar is not Australian Dollar. --AussieLegend (talk) 11:27, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Aussie Legend - perhaps you could please point to the discussion (in the archives) so that Billsta who I believe is meaning well by his edits can learn the history. I am asking because I'd rather see a newbie assisted to understand the history of articles etc and learn why we do the things we do and why discussion helps. With thanks.--VS talk 11:47, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Start reading here and continue through all 25,097 words or until you seriously consider suicide. There are also several relevant edit summaries to read. --AussieLegend (talk) 11:58, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks buddy - I pre-empted at his talk page that you would assist. And no, not a hateful bone in my body but sometimes it's good to remember we were all new once, and that being new you can be right technically (in terms of grammar say) but wrong in terms of history or quotations. Best wishes.--VS talk 12:03, 9 July 2009 (UTC)


In the Demography section the article states "School attendance is compulsory throughout Australia". This is incorrect. Education is compulsory in Australia, however, home-schooling is accepted as Education. Also, in many rural parts of Australia, the School of the Air operates (school via CB radio), as well as Distance Education (correspondence school). Some research on Australia's education system would improve this article.

--Gladrim (talk) 21:20, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Home schooling is attending school, as is participating in the School of The Air (which does not use CB radio). A school doesn't have to be a physical entity that a student attends. That said, maybe "School education" as used in the last paragraph of the section titled "Primary and secondary schooling" on the DFAT Website might be better. --AussieLegend (talk) 03:48, 15 July 2009 (UTC)


Should not be listed as one of Australia's strong teams.

  • Have only made made WC twice. In 1974, lost 2-0 for GDR, 3-0 to FRG, 0-0 to Chile. In 2006, beat JPN 3-1, lost 2-0 to BRA and ITA and drew 2-2 with CRO. Best result, final 16.
  • Asia Cup, Best result quarterfinals
  • Best ever ranking 16, but that was a spike, before that was 29th but not even consistently in top 30
  • Australia cannot be considered strong. Other countries such as Brazil and Spain have all their players in the major Champions League teams. Some of Australia's First XI don't even play for a first division team in a small European club. How many Australian players would even come close to getting into a 25-man squad from Spain or Brazil?
  • Other teams consistently in top 5 in the world and have won World Cups/Championships multiple times.

YellowMonkey (cricket calendar poll!) paid editing=POV 02:55, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Continent, country and island

... is a country in the southern hemisphere comprising the mainland, which is both the world's smallest continent and the world's largest island, the island of Tasmania, and numerous other islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the only area of land simultaneously considered a continent, a country and an island.

There's something wrong with the above. First, we're saying the mainland is a continent and an island. OK, so far. Then we're saying the whole country, including Tasmania, is a continent and an island. That's where it goes wrong. The whole country is not an island. It consists of one very large island (the mainland), one large island (Tasmania), and numerous smaller islands (Groote Eylandt, Kangaroo, Melville, Lord Howe, etc etc). Even if we changed the 2nd sentence to "It is the only area of land simultaneously considered a continent and a country", it's still not right because Australia is not just one area of land, but many areas of land, separated by water. I'm removing the offending sentence. -- JackofOz (talk) 09:04, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

"Australia" refers to the country, the continent and the mainland so the claims are essentially correct. The solution is not deletion, a minor rewording is all that necessary. --AussieLegend (talk) 09:18, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Always happy to discuss. I see you've changed "It is the only area of land ..." to "Australia is the only place ...". I still can't see how it can possibly be correct. The sticking point is that Australia is not an island; it is many islands. We say as much in the previous sentence, where we separately identify the mainland as an island, Tasmania as another island, and the the numerous other islands as ... well, other islands. Then in the next sentence we refer to them all collectively as "an island". It doesn't wash. Would we refer to Japan or Indonesia as "an island"? Hardly. Australia is like them in this respect. The mainland is an island, but the mainland is not all of Australia (just ask a Tasmanian). -- JackofOz (talk) 12:12, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
The trick here is not to be overly precise. Above you've said "one large island (Tasmania)" but technically, Tasmania isn't one large island any more than Australia is. It's a number of islands. The same is true for most named islands but we accept all those places to be individual islands and we don't quibble over the fact that each island is actually one large with many small islands. Even authoritative sources like Geoscience Australia aren't so pedantic. When people refer to Australia the island, they're talking about the mainland. This used to be a big sticking point with Tasmanians when I was at school in the '60s and '70s. Maps of Australia often excluded Tasmania specifically because of that. When you went to the shop to buy a plastic stencil of Australia, it rarely included Tasmania. As for the continent, well that's still an ongoing issue. There are various arguments that the continent is the mainland only, the mainland and Tasmania or all the islands on the continental shelf (which includes the mainland, Tasmania and New Guinea). Japan and Indonesia are different to Oz. Japan clearly consists of a central core of several larger, roughly similar size islands with several thousand smaller and generally less known islands, while Indonesia consists of over 17,000 islands strung out over a large area with several larger islands dotted throughout the area. Australia is dominated by the mainland, which makes up about 98.75% of the country, a much higher ratio than for either Japan or Indonesia. The other islands, excepting Tasmania, that make up Australia only count for 0.4% of the country. Even Tasmania only represents just over 0.8%.--AussieLegend (talk) 14:16, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't call what I'm on about being "overly precise" or "pedantic". This is the introduction to a major article. If we start out with a fairly gross inaccuracy, we may as well give up.
When people refer to Australia the island, they're talking about the mainland. That's exactly my point. We are not talking in the lede about just the mainland but the entire nation of Australia. It's fine to use loose language in a tourism campaign, calling Australia "The island nation" or whatever, but we're an encyclopedia. I also remember the plastic cutouts, and the kerfuffle at the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games when Tasmania temporarily ceased to exist. Are we basing our standards on that sort of "accuracy"? Regardless of the fact that our mainland massively dominates, we can no more refer to our nation as "an island" than we can refer to Japan or Indonesia as "an island". Imagine the reaction from the Northern Irelanders if we called the United Kingdom "an island". The way I see it is:
Place Continent Island Country
Tasmania (mainland) No Yes No
Tasmania (state) No No No
Mainland of Australia Maybe(1) Yes No
Australia Maybe(1) No Yes
(1) Depends on the definition. Australia (continent) says it includes New Guinea, but there are a number of serious issues with that. Lord Howe Island, an integral part of Australia (country), would probably not fit into any definition of Australia (continent).
-- JackofOz (talk) 21:48, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

This article is about the Commonwealth of Australia, the nation, not the island, not the Continent. The lead paragraph blurs these together, which is incorrect. The Nation (political entity) should not claim it is a continent (geography/geology), and so the paragraph should be re-written. The nation may contain the world's largest island, but is not the world's largest island, as that excludes Tasmania, etc. The 'continent' claim is debatable (see list of discussions at top of page), and so should not claim catagorically that it is a continent, as this is POV without the balancing opposite POV mentioned. The article needs to address this. The Yeti (talk) 02:42, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps I should have made myself more clear. This is not simply an article about the nation. It is a general overview of Australia, which includes Australia the nation, Australia the continent, Australia the island, etc. When people want to find something about Australia, this is generally the first article they come to. As the umbrella article for all things Australia, it's entirely appropriate to include generalised information about Australia in the introduction. More detailed information is included in the relevant articles. Although there is some debate, none of the claims are particularly controversial. Australia is considered by many to be the largest island, smallest continent and only continent occupied by a single country and all of these claims are uniquely relevant to Australia the country. --AussieLegend (talk) 03:23, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Your interpretation of what this article is about is wrong. Firstly, read the opening lines! :
This article is about the country. ...
Australia,... officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the southern hemisphere comprising the mainland, which is both the world's smallest continent and the world's largest island,...
These clearly and unequivocally state the article is about the country. And then goes into stating the whole country is the continent. The title Commonwealth of Australia redirects here too. Wrong, wrong, wrong. If wikipedia is to be accurate, it must not make fundamental errors like this.
The article must split/separate the political entity (nation) and the geography/geology of the island and of the continent.
Secondly "when people come to Australia", I would reckon 90% of them are looking for the country, so the lead paragraph should not have inaccurate statements confusing the nation with the island & with the continent.
Thirdly "Although there is some debate, none of the claims are particularly controversial. Australia is considered by many to be the largest island, smallest continent and only continent occupied by a single country and all of these claims are uniquely relevant to Australia the country" is just irrelevant - Controversy has nothing to do with accuracy, and the relevant point, which you've admitted, is that there is "some debate". The article must reflect that debate, and to quote my entry above, else "this is POV without the balancing opposite POV mentioned." Just because many believe it to be all three things, a) even if they do, many believe the opposite. The article is reflecting just one side. b) just beacuse many believe something, does not mean its true.
When I have time, I will address these errors in the article itself. The Yeti (talk) 10:28, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Aussie Legend, I'm very curious about this entity you refer to as "Australia, the island". Just exactly where is it and what does it look like? If you're referring to the mainland, that place is a very large part of "Australia", but it is not "Australia". This is like referring to the island of Great Britain as "the United Kingdom". -- JackofOz (talk) 13:02, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Where are you from Jack? Are you really from the mythical Land of Oz as your username indicates? Just exactly where is Oz and what does it look like? I can't find it on a map. Is it anywhere near Australia? I think that what both you and The Yeti are missing is that the concept that Australia is an island, a continent and the only continent occupied by a single country is not a new concept, it's been around for many, many years and is widely accepted. That's probably why it was added to the article in the first place. If you want to be pedantic, it may technically be contradictory but it is only a general statement, as statements in the lead of an article this size have to be. The issue you both seem to have a problem grasping is that the definitions of an island and a continent, and the differences between them, aren't black and white. If they were, then there'd be no discussion about whether Australia was an island or not, or whether the Australian continent consisted of the mainland, the mainland and Tasmania or everything on the Australian continental shelf. There'd also be no discussions about whether the continent is the only continent occupied by a single country. It's just accepted that these things are true, just as it's accepted without great debate that the sun rises in the east, the sky is blue, Jack from Oz is Jack from Australia and "The Yeti" isn't really a yeti. If you really feel the need to explain in great detail why the statement isn't true, then add an explanatory section to the article, but don't be surprised if somebody else deletes your explanation as unnecessary. --AussieLegend (talk) 15:33, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I think AussieLegend that it is you missing concepts in two crucial ways. Firstly Australia the political man-made entity, is completely different to Australia the landmass (whether it be an island, islands, or continent). The entry, which states in the very first line it is about the country, is therefore about the political entity. The article cannot therefore also lay claim the the landmass, as, as you have admitted, this is different. It doesn't matter that, by happenstance of history, the nation occupies 90% (or even, from your POV, 100%) of the landmass, or that you, other Aussies, or even the Australian government, think they are the whole island/continent, as they are many who doubt the statement that Australia the country occupies the whole continent. What is accepted as 'fact' in Australia isn't necessarily accepted elsewhere in the world. Even the Aussie government can be wrong ! (compare the government of Morocco, which believes it owns the Western Sahara, despite this being disputed by many other nations.)
The second concept you're missing is the balanced POV - this is a policy of Wikipedia. Read W:NPOV#Neutral_point_of_view, which very clearly states what's needed in bold type - the article does not address the opposing POV, and violates Wiki policy. Attempts to remove such balancing POVs are a serious breach of Wiki policy, and have consequences. The Yeti (talk) 17:04, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


No information on health care for Australia. I would be interested if someone could please add it. (talk) 09:15, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Health care in Australia --10:49, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


Always tricky on wikipedia to add figures on religious adherence..which I just did (again) on this page on Australia --quoting the census 2001 and 2006 results. If these are outdated, I would like to see more recent figures. Ruud64 (talk) 20:33, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Currency of the data is not the issue, the table cincludes specific data that is more suited to Religion in Australia (where it is already located) rather than here which, by necessity, must remain essentially an overview document about Australia. --AussieLegend (talk) 01:50, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

I'll just come out and say it...

This article is a dog's breakfast. Can we just delete it all and start over?--Rehumanist (talk) 06:25, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Sure. Feel free to draft up something and when you're done, let us know. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:09, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
But please don't touch the current "breakfast" until you've finished your new draft and we've had a look at it.--VirtualSteve need admin support? 08:30, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Australia a Continent???

This aritcle states that Australia is a continent. Forgive me for saying this, but there are only 7 continents in the world which consist of Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Antarctica, and Oceania. Therefore, Australia is not a continent and stating such in this article is false. Australia is nation within Oceania. --Yoganate79 (talk) 02:40, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Please see the first sentence of the Continent article and its supporting citation. Nick-D (talk) 02:44, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
As well as the numerous discussions about this very issue in the Talk page archives. Oceania is not a continent. It is a region. --AussieLegend (talk) 06:47, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Australia is the continent in the list you give, not Oceania, most of which is small island nations. --Dmol (talk) 08:01, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Having been involved in s similar discussion on this page, I'd like to suggest to Yoganate that he leaves it alone. "Continent" is a poorly defined term, which you can pretty much let mean what you want. So just let those editors continent themselves with their inaccuracy. Australians have been taught in school that "Australia is the largest island and the smallest continent", and pretty much everyone who edits this page believes that to be an important part of the red white and blue running through their veins. Leave alone that a goodly amount of what gets taught in school is bullshit: "Australia is the only place where marsupials are found" or "Australia was one of the first countries to have universal suffrage" occur immediately as examples. It appears to bother these editors not one whit that this argument leaves Tasmania, New Guinea, and most of Indonesia unattached to any continent. Moreover it appears to bother noone that this entire set of statements predates continental plate theory, Or that this statement was made as the protectorate of New Guinea was a part of Australia. One might as well write the whole article from the point of view of 1960s historians, with the noble attempts at integration of the poor abo kids into generous white families. However seeing as the statement about continents is absolutely unbased in any reality, and its just a throwaway line, its probably not worth it to argue over such a triviality. Except that its location in the first paragraph it gives the reader the impression that the scholarship for the whole article will be as slipshod. AKAF (talk) 15:10, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I remember you. You were the editor who claimed that the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website was an advertsing website and not a reliable source.[7] Welcome back and please remember, should you choose to present any arguments, rather than just attack the editors of this article and Australians in general, some civility will result in your comments gaining a better response than the incivility that you've just demonstrated. --AussieLegend (talk) 16:06, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Here's the truth about the government: they have departments whose purpose is to promote some aspect of Australia to the country and overseas (ie "Advertising", for some value of that word). And yes, the department of foreign affairs and trade is not a reliable reference for the same reason that an autobiography is not the authoritative guide to a person's life. In fact most government departments are not good references for an article about that department's government, and should be regarded as a primary source for the purposes of citing. So you'll excuse me if I find referencing such a site to be at best disingenuous. AKAF (talk) 08:18, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Australia is simply a country. If Australia was a continent, would it make sense to call Fiji, Australia? Oceania represents all of the countries while Australia usually implies to the country and if you use it as a continent, the other countries are not having their fair share of representation. For example, just because China is the biggest country (population wise) in Asia, doesn't mean you call the whole continent "China". Go to Australia (continent). On the map it shows only Australia highlighted. Now, go to Oceania. All of Oceania is highligted.--KRajaratnam1 (talk) 21:57, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I have to agree broadly with AKAF. Australia the Island is not the same as Australia the Nation (Commonwealth of Australia), which is also not the same as Australia the Continent. The Island is just that, the mainland only. It may be the world's largest, so the statement that "Australia is the world's largest island" is roughly correct, but more accurately would be better stated as "the Commonwealth of Australia contains the world's largest island". However the Nation is an 'artificial' (human-created political) division, which is the Island, plus Tasmania and smaller scattered islands - it is not the same as the Continent. The Continent would be the landmass including the Continental Shelf (ie) The Island, plus Tasmania, plus New Guinea (plus smaller surrounding islands). It is only happenstance that the Nation makes up (>80%) of the Continent. It is incorrect to state that the (Commonwealth of) Australia is the world's smallest (or anything) continent, as the Continent also includes the Nations of Papua New Guinea & (part of) Indonesia.
As for Oceania (or Australasia), these are also 'artificial' constructs, used to split the world into broad divisions, but Oceania is just a human-created division, rather than one that has any basis in geological features, or plate tectonics.
I can't be bothered to change the article, as I know someone will revert it within seconds, but maybe a paragraph under Geography could be added mentioning the conflicting viewpoints about the Nation's Island/Continent status, with references (there plenty supporting most viewpoints). The opening paragraph **should not** state that it is a Continent as an incontravertable fact, when this is heavily disputed.
As for Aussie people stating 'this is what I was taught in school', consider both the usage of the 'island continent' term as a lie-to-children and as a synecdoche. 'And we all know teachers can never be wrong, can they ? The Yeti (talk) 14:36, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Continent discussions - for future reference

Past "Is Australia a continent?" and "Australia is not a continent" discussions, and related topics, may be found at:

I could have sworn it's been discussed more than that. --AussieLegend (talk) 09:15, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Not to mention virtually the entire Talk page here:

It really is quite sad that Australians are brainwashed and uneducated to think that their country is one of the classical continents found on earth. My question is, if Australia is considered a continent, then what continent does New Zealand belong to then? In any case, Greenland should also be classified as a continent then too. Let's classify Long Island, Cuba, Japan, and the British Isles their own continents too. --Yoganate79 (talk) 01:52, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Excuse me? Brainwashed and uneducated? How insulting! Bidgee (talk) 01:57, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Exactly australia has better education systems than america. At least we can go to school without getting shot.
Australia a continent yes but australia is the figurehead of australasia a.k.a. oceania new zealand, papua new guinea and that fall under that continent.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Australasia is not "a.k.a." Oceania, it's a region of Oceania. Neither are continents. --AussieLegend (talk) 09:16, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Countries do not have to belong to a continent. Sorting out which continent the Maldives is located would be tricky. Furthermore, Australia is not a third world country with a tyrannical government. It terms of public brainwashing and lack of education, I'd encourage you to visit someday, and see if your comment is justified. ∗ \ / () 11:46, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Continents are a matter of convention. In some countries, they count five continents: America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania. In the U.S., we use different definitions and count seven continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica. Many nations do not consider Antarctica because it’s not a naturally populated region. Continents are a convention and one convention is as good as another. In the U.S. view, Australia (not Oceania) is a continent. Greenland, by the way, is considered an island and not part of any continent. —Stephen (talk) 23:23, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Australia as Continent and Island

I have read the current discussions and several of the archived ones and there are may misconceptions and misunderstandings about geographic terms/nomenclature. I will only address the one referenced above.

The difference between an island and a continent are not unrelated. The criterion of size is the primary, but not the only, characteristic that determines what is an island and what is a continent.

Australia was once classified as an island ( see Lancelot and Gray; 'The Civil Service Geography: Being a Manual of Geography, General and Politcal ), but once it was classified as a continent, for reasons of size, biodiversity, geophysics, etc., it lost its status as the largest island and became the smallest continent. Greenland [Kalaallit Nunaat], which is a "continental island" of North America, acquired the title of largest island. An island is not simply a landmass completely surrounded by water, but is also a landmass smaller than a continent (see any geography text book, Davis Joyce; Why Greenland is an Island, Australia is Not- and Japan is Up for Grabs ). This has been established convention for over a century.

I am aware in common usage of describing Australia as an “island continent” , but this is a purely descriptive term and is not:

  • based on the nomenclature used in physical geography;
  • or consistent with the Australian government’s listing of islands (Geoscience Australia lists Tasmania as the largest island);

Besides, if this claim were to be upheld, thus violating established nomenclature, then Antarctica would be the largest island, not Australia. So Australia cannot be both an island and a continent and I am removing that claim in the opening paragraph. Gary Joseph (talk) 11:21, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Because this is still an ongoing issue a consensus would be needed for it's removal. Bidgee (talk) 11:46, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
One could argue that, because it's still an ongoing issue, a consensus should have been obtained for its inclusion in the first place. Contentious material should not remain while it's being debated. What you're arguing is the reverse: anything at all, no matter how wacky, should remain until there's agreement to remove it. -- JackofOz (talk) 11:51, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Whether there should have been consensus to add it is irrelevant. It's there now and consensus to remove it is required, as Bidgee has indicated. WP:BRD works both ways. --AussieLegend (talk) 12:08, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
BRD is an essay. It is not a policy, or even a guideline. There is no requirement to achieve consensus for the removal of contentious material. Once it's been removed, discussed, and agreed, it can be put back in whatever form has been agreed. But it should not remain while that discussion is going on. -- JackofOz (talk) 12:48, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
"Australia was once classified as an island ( see Lancelot and Gray; 'The Civil Service Geography: Being a Manual of Geography, General and Politcal ), but once it was classified as a continent, for reasons of size, biodiversity, geophysics, etc., it lost its status as the largest island and became the smallest continent." - That's not actually the case. When I was at school in the '60s and '70s, in fact probably right up to this decade, encyclopaedias were considered to be authoritative sources. I've checked quite a few of the older encyclopaedias, including Encyclopaedia Brittanica, and all those that I checked identified Australia as both a continent and an island over a period of many years. In fact that's why it's referred to as "the island continent". It was considered for many years to be both an island and a continent. Many consider it still is.
"if this claim were to be upheld, thus violating established nomenclature, then Antarctica would be the largest island" - As has previously been indicated on this page, Antarctica is not one island but a series of islands and the total landmass is significantly less than the area covered by the ice sheets. --AussieLegend (talk) 12:00, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
AussieLegend, as I noted, "island continent" is descriptive and is not the same as "island". The latter is a physical geographic term and the former is not. This is particularly due to the nuances of English and the specific quality of Australia and Antarctica as they are the only continents, whatever organizing scheme you choose to use, that are completely surrounded by water. Also, I have yet to see a geographic authority, including those in Australia, that describe it as an "island" and solely that. The text I cited was a geographic authority from the mid 1800's. As for Antarctica (Australia's twin, imagined with peninsula north and mirrored), I noted your previous remarks and they are misleading. The continent of Antarctica contains a landmass comprising the substantial majority of the continent's total land area, not unlike Australia that has Tasmania off its southeastern edge. That does not change if it is covered mostly by the ice cap. Gary Joseph (talk) 12:34, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid you've missed the point. Australia was called the island continent because it was considered to be both an island and a continent at the same time, not an island and then a continent as you've indicated. To my knowledge it has never been considered, at least in recent history, to be solely an island, which is probably why you've never seen a geographic authority refer to it as such. --AussieLegend (talk) 13:13, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I think I understood you as well as the opening paragraph claim clearly. The word "island" has the physical geographic definition "...a landmass completely surrounded by water and smaller than a continent". So you change this to our particular discussion to "... an island is a landmass that is completely surrounded by water and smaller that Australia" [as it is the smallest continent]. So Australia cannot in fact be a continent and an island, simply because it is surrounded by water [incomplete definition]. The claim for both superlatives, smallest continent and largest island is factually dubious and the argument to justify it is specious.Gary Joseph (talk) 13:52, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
According to the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales, an island is "a piece of land usually completely surrounded by water."[8] There's nothing in that definition about being smaller than a continent. This is why this debate exists, there is no single, accepted everywhere definition of island or continent (or numerous other terms) and there probably never will be. It's also why Merbabu is right. --AussieLegend (talk) 14:31, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Merriam-Webster, Britannica, "[9]", Oxford Complete Dictionary, and geographic textbooks are precise with the definition. If they were not, then loosely speaking, every one of the Earth's discrete landmasses is an island. Debate exists among laymen because our societies do a "piss-poor" job at educating us on physical geography, and science in general, but not among the predominate geographic community. Simply stating noting there are a lot of controversies is not addressing the issue.

Geography is a science, so the precision and distinction between continent and island are important in order to classify and provide nomenclature. ( I noticed that you have not addressed the anomaly I noted that officially, the Australian federal government does not classify the mainland as an island. Now if you go to Greenland's government site, it lists the mainland as an island, consistent with their view.)

As for the GNBNSW, this does not constitute a geographic entity. My federal government states that an island is a piece of land completely surrounded by water that is also above sea level at high tide. That is a legal definition and consistent with the context with which that entity is dealing. It is not world-geographic in scope. This is true with the GNBNSW as continents do not fall within its scope so the distinction is irrelevant. The accurate definition is not necessary. I do not understand why we are willing to accept the geographically technical definition of "continent" but not that of "island". Mixing the two is irresponsible and reeks of sloppiness.

I should not be surprised by the responses and the reversion of my edit. I am not Australian and have no stake in how many superlatives the country can garner. It does nothing for me. Apparently it does much for many of the Aussies here.Gary Joseph (talk) 17:14, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

"Merriam-Webster, Britannica, "[10]", Oxford Complete Dictionary, and geographic textbooks are precise with the definition." - Interestingly, the only url that you provided shows more than one definition which supports my argument that there is there is no single, accepted everywhere definition of island or continent. The definition that includes mention of continent says "especially smaller than a continent", which makes it less absolute than the uncited definition that you provided.
"As for the GNBNSW, this does not constitute a geographic entity" - The Geographical Names Board is an authoritative, government organisation that uses standard Australian geographic definitions. It is accepted as being a reliable source at Wikipedia. --AussieLegend (talk) 23:35, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Is it really that important?

Is it really that important? There are many more things more important that could be done in the time being spent here.--Merbabu (talk) 12:55, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Anything that assists in increasing the credibility of Wikipedia, upholding the sum of its policies, and furthering and strenghtening the knowledge of those who come to its pages- I believe is important. Also, I can do more than one thing at one time.Gary Joseph (talk) 13:01, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. Having an extremely questionable "Fact" in the first sentence of the lead is giving it undue weight, and (in my view) seriously degrades both the credibility and quality of the introduction. However, per many other users on this page, it is not universally seen that way. I've nothing against it being mentioned in the "Geography" section, but I don't think it belongs in that position. AKAF (talk) 13:25, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
To me, the question of island or continent whether biggest or smallest seems to be of little consequence, and less important to wikipedia's "credibility" and "strengthening the knowledge" , in comparison to, say, an accurate and neutral description of a country's history or system of government, etc. It also seems like an easy debate to have, in comparison to say, making those more complicated improvements. --Merbabu (talk) 13:34, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
At the very least shouldn't there be a sentence in the lede explaining the differing views by different authors. The article List of islands by area makes note of those different views. Jack forbes (talk) 14:39, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I think explaining the different views rather than arguing which "correct" view to insert is a better way to go, however, leads shouldn't really be about explaining such details. I'd say that should go into the body. --Merbabu (talk) 15:04, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, I would agree with that if we were writing an article on policy or something that is not factual. But even on the list of islands article, it does not list Australia as an island, so this article is inconsistent with that.Gary Joseph (talk) 17:14, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
That is something that has to be sorted. We can't have two articles giving two opposing bits of information. I guess something has to give over there or here. Jack forbes (talk) 17:28, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
The articles don't give opposing information. List of islands by area specifically mentions Australia's confusing (to some) status. The problem here is that some people obviously believe that everything is black and white and there are no shades of grey. This is not true. "The sun rises in the east". No it doesn't. The Earth rotates so that the sun appears to rise in the east. "The sky is blue". No it isn't. These technical inaccuracies even permeate authoritative sources.[11] "Australia is surrounded literally by thousands of islands, amongst them the world's largest sand island" is obviously wrong. These islands are part of Australia so how can they be surrounding it? Rather than concentrate on these relatively minor contradictions, (although I fully expect a response about that last statement from somebody who misses the point!) there are far more important matters to concern ourselves with, as Merbabu has argued. If you really have time to debate this, there are 800-1,000 articles on just the Hunter Region that need work. Imagine how many there are on the whole country that could benefit from the obvious excess free time demonstrated here. --AussieLegend (talk) 00:08, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Per Gary Joseph et al, I support removal of the rather imbalanced claim that Australia is the world's largest island from the article lead; as well, the sentence following that is unsourced. At least on this side of the pond, as an abundance of publications indicate, Australia (or even Oceania in some circles) is generally reckoned or listed as the smallest continent, while Greenland is generally considered the largest island. The inclusion of this assertion with reference, despite what other references may indicate, seems little more than boosterism and arugably pseudo self-marketing. And, for those who may have added difficulty with definitions, the world's largest 'island' -- that is, a chunk of land completely surrounded by water -- would be the World Island (AKA Afro-Eurasia). This assertion should be refactored and moved down to the geography section, if not removed, lest this article possibly be nominated to have its featured status reviewed. A possible way out: the New Oxford Dictionary of English equitably describes Australia as "an island country and continent of the southern hemisphere", with 'and' being interpretive. Bosonic dressing (talk) 15:25, 16 August 2009 (UTC)


I've started work on Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) as quite amazingly an article about Australasia in its most common meaning of Australia and NZ was missing. There is already a page devoted to the bilateral relationship - Australia-New Zealand relations, but none which discusses our part of the world as a cultural/political/social/economic region, which clearly it is. Help on this would be greatly appreciated - maybe pages for continents or the EU could be used as a model for different sections. -- (talk) 09:12, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Looking at the article I see that the info can be divided into two parts: (1) information that is about the relations between the two countries and (2) info which the article admits is about one country or the other without a common-link. THe first group belongs in the Australia-New Zealand relations article while the second group belongs in the individual country articles. Thus, this new article, I'm afraid, is redundant. --Merbabu (talk) 09:31, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Per Merbabu, this new article is very clearly a point-of-view fork, since the entirety of its content can be dealt with (if not already) in the parent article 'Australasia' or in articles noted above; as such, I have redirected it to that article. Bosonic dressing (talk) 12:25, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

This is not a POV fork as it seeks to deal with Australasia as region as opposed to the Australia-NZ relations page which deals with the bilateral relationship between the two countries. There is a British Isles page and one for British-Irish relations so why can't the same be done for Australasia. Progress is well advanced towards and Australasian common market and a single external border and there is a long history of closely tied economies and substantial migration across the Tasman, both before and after the creation of Aus and NZ as sovereign nation states. The article to this point is obviously not complete hence why I put a request for people to contribute - deleting and redirecting without discussion is not helpful. Ultimately the page should have substantial sections on the combined Australasian economy and demography as it increasingly is a single economic market and already has common labour market. It can also include information about the region's culture and history. This does not seem unreasonable and is not a matter of POV. -- (talk) 14:19, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

The article you are talking about is Australasia - why not contribute there? You could also create an article for the proposed common market. --Merbabu (talk) 14:24, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
This article is most certainly a POV-fork. There are already articles dealing with this region (Australasia) and relations between the two usual countries (Australia – New Zealand relations); 'British Isles' is comparable to the former and 'British–Irish relations' is analogous to the latter, so your comparison is moot. And you have not explained how this information cannot be dealt with within 'Australasia' or related articles, nor appear to have even tried. Creating content forks isn't helpful to the encyclopedia, either, and we are discussing it: the article creator is in an apparent minority. Bosonic dressing (talk) 14:51, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

The page for Australasia is not really appropriate as it also deals with other definitions of Australasia too, which have their separate pages. e.g. Australasia ecozone It really only provides short definitions of what the term means in different contexts and really it makes sense to deal with these different meanings in separate articles as is currently the case. An article on the Single Economic Market may well be useful, but that wouldn't completely cover the level of Australasian integration, which includes moves towards a common external border and largely open internal border[12], promoting both countries together as an export market and investment destination [13], common free trade deals [14], joint standards and regulatory bodies e.g. [15], joint research organisations e.g. [16] - the list goes on and on and is only getting longer. The definitions of Australasia, whilst overlapping somewhat, are too diverse to be dealt with sensibly in one article. Both Australasia as commonly defined as meaning Australia and N.Z. and the Australasian ecozone are both clearly defined and merit separate articles. (talk) 23:06, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

The Australasia ecozone is a discrete topic deserving of a discrete article, as are other ecozones. ALL of the content in the article just created, however, can be dealt with (if not already) in the Australasia article or in the bilateral relations article. Bosonic dressing (talk) 05:07, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Ethnic groups (again)

I've just changed the "ethnic_groups" field back to reflect exactly what the source says. "White" vs "white" has already been discusssed so I won't touch on that again but I've also changed "[[Australian Aborigines|Aboriginal]]" to just "aboriginal" because that's what's used by the source. While it may seem minor, the use of a capital letter can change the whole meaning. "Aboriginal" is generally taken to mean Australian Aboriginal while "aboriginal" can be a generic term for all indigenous peoples, including Torres Strait Islanders. Since we don't know how the CIA has used it here, assuming that it refers to Australian Aborigines and applying a specific term is WP:OR. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:23, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Divorcing this data from any context will always be suggestive and contentious (again), the interpretation and definitions are highly variable, so cossetting any set in a field of an infobox is a grotesque oversimplification. The World Factbook gives a circular ref to its definition and is contradicted by the primary source it purports to replace. I'm uncertain what type of source the work could be described as, primary, secondary, or other, and, in any case, I am not able to find references that indicate it is a reliable source for this factoid. The factbook's presentation of 'ethnic group' may have some correlation to supposedly self-identified groups, or the company's categorisation of the Australian population by other means; that it provides no qualifications or means of verifying the data is problematic. Infoboxes are mute assemblages of data and wikilinks (sometimes OR), often requiring annotation supported by references in some fields, their utility has a number of limitations when supporting encyclopaedic prose. The field "population" implies a simple fact, it is ludicrous to present the diversity and complexity of this topic as: Ethnic groups = some ambiguous terms and percentiles. cygnis insignis 07:07, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
My concerns about using the CIA "factbook" as a source were the reason I looked to the ABS for definite information, but the ABS data is limited and apparently contradicts itself. I'd support removal of ethnic groups data from the article. --AussieLegend (talk) 08:00, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
I too support removal of any data from the infobox if the infobox does not cater for complexity or nuance such that data can appear to be inaccurate or misleading. Infoboxes are notorious for forcing and oversimplify complex info into pigeon holds such that factual accuracy is either lost or misread. --Merbabu (talk) 08:22, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Remove Section on Ethnic Groups on side pane

These stats are very, very old and are most likely just estimates. the census sais the portion of aboriginals is 3.5 percent rather than 1 percent, and asians as 11 percent rather than 7.... so we can see its very contradicctory.....

The Article for the USA doesnt have this at the side so why should we????? especially when the source is questionable... we alreasy have a demographics section

please just remove it once and for all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:43, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

I did that, the plea above being noted with the compelling reasons for removal. Any reliably sourced facts that can be gleaned from this stuff could be worked into the article. cygnis insignis 08:51, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Agreed with removal for reasons above, but where does this "3.5 percent" figure come from? The raw Census count was about 2.4% Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander combined; the ABS estimates the true figure at about 2.6%, IIRC. --GenericBob (talk) 09:30, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
The estimated figure was 2.5%,[17] 3.5% is obviously a typo. --AussieLegend (talk) 09:53, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
I made that assumption the first time it was raised here, but this is at least the third time somebody (looks like the same person) has claimed 3.5%.[18]. If it's a typo, it's a very persistent one. --GenericBob (talk) 10:14, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Inclusion of "Socceroos" as a strong national sporting team.

When Association football has been included in the list of strong sporting teams eg: "Australia has strong international teams in football, cricket, field hockey, netball, rugby league, rugby union, and performs well in cycling, rowing, and swimming." an editor who appears to be a strong cricket fan has been persistently deleting the reference to Association football. The most recent deletion uses the reason that the A League is allegedly of a low standard although how that editor is able to form such an opinion is moot. Australia's national team is currently ranked at 16 out of 203 ranked teams (ie. in the top 10%) whereas Australia's test cricket team (currently ranked at 4 out of 9) is not even in the top 33%. Reviewing that editor's contributions one finds he has made these statements in his edit summaries:

  • Australia has been usually around 40, until this spike from belting hopeless Asian teams
Comment: disregarding any possible racism in this statement, even a FIFA rank of 40 would mean that Australia would be in the top 20% of ranked national teams
  • 200 play but not at a proper standard, same as 50+ play a lot of other sports but are represented by weekend players
Comment: meaningless
  • Other sports have been top 5 all the time, and sometimes #1 for 10 years in a row
Comment: some of the other sports that this editor feel worthy of a listing include some that are played at a first class level by as many as five countries (ie. Rugby League) some sports have "national teams" which do not even represent nations.

Can anyone give me a coherent reason why Association football should not be included. Silent Billy (talk) 03:16, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Um, Australia's test team had been #1 for the entire six years that the rankings existed. For the first time ever, they lost that ranking a mere ten days ago. If your case rests on the argument that Australia is better at soccer than it is at cricket, then you don't have a case. Otherwise, you might. Hesperian 03:23, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Ultimately, the problem here is that the claim is subjective and unsourced. I've just spent half an hour searching for a source that can tell me which team sports Australia is currently performing "strongly" in, and I don't believe such a source exists. One option would be to rephrase to "According to current rankings, Australia ranks in the top 10% of the world in the following sports..." but this could result in the removal of sports that few countries compete in, such as rugby league and cricket. Another option would be to replace it with "top 10 nations", but this criterion would make Ireland a good ODI player. Another option is "Australia regularly wins matches at the highest level of international competition in the following sports...." Cricket would certainly belong there, as a participant in the ICC Test Championship and current holder of the ODI One Day World Cup. Soccer probably wouldn't, as Australia has only won one World Cup match ever. Yet another option would be to provide some sort of timeframe for the claim. If we are talking about performance over the past decade, then cricket belongs and soccer probably doesn't. If we are talking about performance over the last years or so, then soccer may well have a stronger claim to inclusion than cricket does. I think the solution is to find a source or purge the lot. Hesperian 04:00, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
It's Association football that we are talking about. The use of the word "soccer" reveals a POV as does your careful selection of the criterion for a top ranked national teams. Australia has now qualified for three FIFA World Cups which is a good performance and regularly wins matches against European and well ranked Asian sides. As for your suggestion that it is a subjective statement - that's true but this place is full of that - in many of the articles on religion for starters. An in any event the statement is patently true - Australia is strong in may sports. I don't know how you handle that. Silent Billy (talk) 07:35, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
You don't have to guess my POV; I'm happy to share it. I have two POVs relevant to this discussion. One: AFL, soccer and rugby are all great footy codes; but league is rubbish. Two: Every Wikipedian who ever thought "soccer" versus "association football" was an argument worth having, ended up being a time-wasting trouble-making troll. Hesperian 12:07, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Use of "soccer" reveals nothing of the sort. The common name for the game has always been soccer in Australia, and is still the common name according to Association football. That's why the national team is called the "Socceroos", not the "Associationfootballoos". Perhaps you should try to assume good faith a bit more. It will result in your arguments being better received. --AussieLegend (talk) 08:41, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
agree here with Aussie legend. To suggest that peoples' arguements are less valid because of bias (and dubiously asserted bias) is not impressive. Worse is you implying racism. Stop spoiling the well and stick to the topic. Otherwise those editors you are (presumably) trying to influence are just going to get the shits - which only undermines your own argument. --Merbabu (talk) 09:00, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree with AussieLegend and Merbabu. Hesperian's point that all these claims need to be cited is also a good one. The current statement that soccer is popular seems more justified than claims that the Australian team has a great track record internationally. Nick-D (talk) 09:28, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Compared with other sports, soccer is most definitely not one of Australia's strongest on an international level (not yet at least) and it shouldn't currently be listed as a top performing sport. Talk:Australia/Archive 15#Socceroos is a good summary. Some wording along the lines of Hesperian's suggestion sounds like a good idea though. Spellcast (talk) 15:14, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Australia's current ranking in Soccer/Association Football is good. It makes sense to say so. The name of the sport is a more difficult issue. It DOES vary across the nation, and is currently a bit of a political football in itself. (Sorry about the pun.) The A League club in Sydney chose to call itself Sydney FC, for what seem to be marketing rather than true linguistic reasons. The game cannot sensibly be called football in the states where Aussie Rules/AFL is strong, and that's more than half the country. Citations for this claim are easy to find in all the daily newspapers and other media in those states and territories. In those places the name "football" means Australian Football. "Soccer" is used for the round ball game. I even heard the coach of the Melbourne A League team using that language with total comfort recently. To argue that it shouldn't used be is pointless. HiLo48 (talk) 21:12, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
"The game cannot sensibly be called football in the states where Aussie Rules/AFL is strong, and that's more than half the country." - The same is true for the areas where rugby league is trong, and that's the other half. --AussieLegend (talk) 06:44, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
It's interesting comparing the website approaches of the "better" newspapers in Melbourne and Sydney, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. Each is from the same publisher - Fairfax. Each has a line of links to different sports at the top of their Sport Section. They look like this:
Age: * Live scores * AFL * Cricket * Soccer * Horseracing * Motorsport * Tennis * Basketball * NRL * Blogs
SMH: * Live scores * NRL * Cricket * A-League * Rugby * Tennis * Football * AFL * Golf * Motorsport
That "Football" link in the SMH is for the round ball game. "Football" isn't used at all in Melbourne. But "Soccer" is. HiLo48 (talk) 08:35, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Comparing sports is apples to oranges. The question is does Australia peform well in international competition in association football. The answer is - yes - Australia performs strongly in international football, and has done so now for 4 years consecutively. The massive improvement in FIFA and Elo rankings indicate such, but those aside, the team's results have been consistent against higher ranked opponents.MrSPIAP0 (talk) 02:03, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

User:Silent Billy - please consult WP:SOCK. It's damn obvious when people create new accounts to look like they'req bolstering the numbers supporting their point of view. regards --Merbabu (talk) 02:08, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Also, if we go by your reasoning for "global sports", Australia would also have to be considered a track and field "power" on the basis of medal tally, as well rowing, canoeing, even basketball. YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 03:13, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I would agree that the national rowing team overall should be considered "strong" also. MrSPIAP0 (talk) 08:58, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Silent Billy, from your comments, you might be thinking that I am an Anglo-Saxon anti-Asian who thinks of real football as "wogball" for "immigrant sissies" etc. My parents are Asian immigrants. I think AFL is a joke and soccer is real skill, ask Aaroncrick (talk · contribs). Still, Australia is not a football power. Only WC finals win is against Japan. In 2007 Asian Cup, lost to Iraq. Australia made it to the quarters. Even Vietnam made it to the quarters. Only wins in WC/Asian qualifiers and finals were against Asian teams, the likes of UAE, Qatar, etc. You say that only 9 countries play cricket in comparison to 200 in football and that Australia is not in the top 33% in cricket but in the top 8% in football is a joke. In football, every registered country is counted, including backyard standard teams like American Samoa (lost 31-0 to Australian players who were part-timers in the Australian league), Bhutan etc. In cricket there are about 80 registered countries but only 9 were allowed to play in the elite league "Test cricket". While Bangladesh, the worst Test country is bad, at least their best player Shakib Al Hasan would get selected in the top 3 countries, South Africa, India and Sri Lanka. Some Australians would get into the top three teams. None of the Australian footballers would get into a Spanish or Brazilian 20-25 man squad, let alone the playing 11. The cricket countries from 10-15 who are on the edge of Test standard, are more competitive than the token American Samoan teams, who would easily get bashed about 80=0 by Spain, Brazil etc. YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 03:11, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

We've only had a professional A League structure for a few years. We've had domestic cricket played in Australia since the 19th century. Aaroncrick (talk) 03:18, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

I am a one-eyed football supporter, for the little that it's worth, and I agree fully with Hesperian and YellowMonkey. We aren't a "strong national football nation"; not only are the FIFA rankings a bit of a sham (as pointed out by YellowMonkey himself), and not only is there no solid bank of references to consider our relative football ability and historical strength to be on par with that of cricket, netball etc., but the massive skill and historical disparity between Australia and the likes of Spain, Brazil, England, etc., and the relatively poor standard of the A-League and its lack of history, means that football should not be added alongside cricket etc. in the main article. Daniel (talk) 05:45, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Strong is a subjective word. Objectively our last 4 years results (W26/D12/L11) puts us firmly within the top 20 globally. National teams like Brasil, Argentina, Spain, England & Holland I would say are "very strong". Teams like Paraguay, Greece, Czech Republic are "strong", and these are our neighbours in both FIFA & Elo rankings. Does another nation see us as stong? Ask fans of Japan, England (very stong), Netherlands (very strong), Nigeria (strong), Uruguay (strong), Ghana & Greece (strong) who have all been beaten by the Australian national team in recent years - they may see the Australian team as strong. Prior to the 2006 World Cup draw, England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson noted that he did not want to draw Australia, amongst others: ”But there is a wider aspect to Australia. There is a sporting rivalry between the two countries. What I saw during the summer when England won the cricket was amazing. If I had known all about the rivalry, I would never have played that friendly against them. It was far from a friendly game. They wanted to beat us, and they did.″.[6] England have been FIFA & Elo ranked within the top 10 consistently for many years. If England is a very stong team, we have beaten them away, and are ranked merely 7 places below - are we not objectively a strong team? Objectively you could say the same of The Netherlands who we also defeated away some months back. Netherlands are ranked 3rd by FIFA and would also fit the description "very strong".MrSPIAP0 (talk) 09:34, 3 September 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by MrSPIAP0 (talkcontribs) 09:28, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
This is a ridiculous argument. How can we define any national team as strong? I suggest however that we drop the defining line all together and just state all national teams' international ranking & acomplishments (so for an Olympic sport medals?). That would be a great way to be truely objective. Though this would require Sport to be promoted out of the Culture heading --UltimateG (talk) 09:51, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Those who think Australia is not now strong in soccer are either living in the past or are confusing a nation being strong and a nation dominating the world stage. Yes, Australia has until recently been better at cricket and rugby than soccer. But just as the fortunes of the national cricket and rugby teams are now fading, the national Australian football team has been rising solidly for the past six years. As a nation we might not be challenging for number one status in the world, but in a 200-strong competition, as a nation, having beaten the likes of top ten countries such as Holland and England in recent years with admirable performances against Italy, Argentina and Brazil, to be the second country on the planet to qualify for our second World Cup in a row with three games in hand, conceding just one goal and unbeaten all the way through the final qualifying stage, to be ranked 14th in the world, to call that anything but strong is simply petty and anachronistic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Smoomonster (talkcontribs) 11:11, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

The "second to qualify" is a misnomer because the Asian qualifying schedule ended before the other confederations. "Unbeaten all the way" luckily in Asia you don't have Holland, Ireland and Portugal competing for 1.5 spots like in 2002, unlike here, Australia and Japan only have to beat Qatar, Bahrain and Uzbek for 2.5 spots. Even if Australia can't beat one of the three minnows they still get a playoff. As for Silent Billy (talk · contribs) = Albatross2147 (talk · contribs) who has reverted under two identities YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 06:47, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
"The "second to qualify" is a misnomer because the Asian qualifying schedule ended before the other confederations." 2010_FIFA_World_Cup_qualification#summary_of_remaining_qualification shows only OFC has finished its regional qualification rounds and even it is yet to finish its playoffs. The team is good enough to breeze through its qualifiers and does not require it to go through other qualifying rounds. All confederation qualifying campaigns finish between the 14th and 18th of November. "Holland, Ireland and Portugal competing for 1.5 spots like in 2002" :S They joined the AFC? Jokes aside, we have beaten the (3rd ranked) Netherlands (The name 'Holland' is also often used to refer to the whole of the Netherlands, although this is not formally correct) twice and (38th ranked)Ireland away from home within the past 12 months and to the best of my knowledge have not played (17th ranked)Portugal recently... Having the AFC group stage with requires home& away matches against these "minnows", which we went through undeafeated, and conceeding only one goal (btw having one of the longest cleansheet records for WCQs)

Once again I reiterate that a "strong" team cannot be decided upon with out criteria and that we should just state all national teams' international rankings & acomplishments.--UltimateG (talk) 01:17, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

How many Aboriginal languages are not endangered?

This article says that 20 Aboriginal languages are not endangered. However, I recently read an article that seemed extremely scholarly in the Australian Higher Education that stated that the number of Aboriginal languages "in a healthy condition, that is, they are spoken by all age groups" is 15 rather than 20. Here are the article details:

Zuckermann, Ghilad, "Aboriginal languages deserve revival", The Australian Higher Education, August 26, 2009.

Please revise.

Aborig (talk) 10:42, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

  • fyi: afaik no aboriginal language has been well translated into English, there is perhaps one with a small translation dictionary, but none with a very complete one. Also I doubt any culture in Australia maintains all languages spoken even within that specific culture: Australian indigenous cultures, like many cultures in world history, employed specific languages for specialised sub-groups within a given localised population holding a common common-use language. -- Bugsplatterspickspick (talk) 16:52, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Bugsplatterspickspick, I don't think that's true. I can give you plenty of examples of dictionaries of indigenous Australian languages. But this is irrelevant to my comment above, that the number indicated in the article should be modified. Who is in charge of this article? Are you capable of updating it? Thanks. Aborig (talk) 22:34, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
I updated the article, but the correct figure appears to be 18. The Australian article you linked to doesn't give a figure of "15 languages" anywhere'; it just says "6% of more than 250", which could be anything from 14 upwards once you take rounding into account. Fortunately the survey where the number comes from is online, so I've cited that instead. --GenericBob (talk) 23:52, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. (btw, my own calculator says that 6% of 250 is 15 rather than 14 :-) ). Aborig (talk) 08:47, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
And if you calculate 14/250, you'll get 5.6%, which would quite legitimately be rounded to 6% :-) --GenericBob (talk) 09:03, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Culture section...

Does anyone see a problem or room for improvement with the following passage from the "Culture" section? In particular, the second of the two sentences...

According to Reporters Without Borders in 2008, Australia was in 25th position on a list of 173 countries ranked by press freedom, behind New Zealand (7th) and the United Kingdom (23rd) but ahead of the United States (48th). This low ranking is primarily because of the limited diversity of commercial media ownership in Australia;[111] in particular, most Australian print media are under the control of News Corporation and Fairfax Media.

regards --Merbabu (talk) 22:32, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Did Reporters Without Borders give reasons for their rankings? Was what's in the second sentence part of it? That would guide my position on the validity of the the entry. HiLo48 (talk) 00:08, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
I guess it smacks a bit of POV to me - but I wanted to hear the opinion of others too. Perhaps the text needs to attribute the comments. And then if the comments are attributed, is it actually notable enough to warrant mention. Is 25 out of 173 actually "low"? --Merbabu (talk) 00:37, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the word "low" sounds like POV to me too. Needs a link to a source (if it IS a quote) to justify its inclusion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by HiLo48 (talkcontribs) 01:58, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

What happened to the 'wiki' in 'wikipedia'? aka the page is locked, WTF?!

The section heading says it all. What gives? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bugsplatterspickspick (talkcontribs) 16:47, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Good question. I noticed that there is an "AUSTRALIA SUCKS BALLS!!!" at the end of the "Demography" section and I couldn't remove it as the page is locked. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

The article has had to be semi protected due to the amount of vandalism it received. Only unregistered and brand-new accounts are unable to edit it, however, and if you register an account (which is quick and very easy) you'll be able to edit the article after a few days or after you've made a few edits to other, unprotected, articles. Nick-D (talk) 21:54, 14 October 2009 (UTC)


In reading the Australia page in the education section I noticed that someone has defaced the articial.... look at the end of the last sentence in the education section

"The ratio of international to local students in tertiary education in Australia is the highest in the OECD countries.[107] AUSTRALIA SUCKS BALLS!!!"

just thought someone might want to do something about that! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:20, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

I can't see that. Nick-D (talk) 00:35, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

gained the power to .. make laws with respect to Aborigines

"Following the 1967 referendum, the Federal government gained the power to implement policies and make laws with respect to Aborigines."

That is, gained the power to make racist laws, and hence have racist policies. Previously this was limited to the states. The Commonwealth could only make laws about the Chinese etc. But was that the main intention? I would have thought that it would be less misleading to say: "removed the special treatment/exclusion of Aborigines from the constitution". or "no longer excluded Aborigines from electoral counts"

On a technical note, no new powers were added to the constitution: it's just the exclusions were dropped. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:29, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Inclusion of brief info Australian wine under Culture section

  • "Under Economy section: Although agriculture and natural resources account for only 3% and 5% of GDP respectively, they contribute substantially to export performance. Australia's largest export markets are Japan, China, the US, South Korea, and New Zealand.[79]"
I take it Agriculture includes under it's umbrella Australian Wine, what contributing factor does wine have on export/economy?
  • Under culture: There is reference to: Sport, Dance, Visual Arts, performing arts, Cinema, literature, Food, although nothing on Wine, also nothing on Australian Music. SpringSummerAutumn (talk) 09:59, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Australian Official Language

Government website says that English is the national language.

"Although English is the official language in Australia, more than 3 million Australians speak a language other than English at home (2007)." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Culling66 (talkcontribs) 05:54, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Like so many discussions here, this is one we've had a few times. In short, the claim is incorrect. There is more on this at Talk:Australia/Archive 14#Official Language of Australia. There is no doubt that English is our national language. --AussieLegend (talk) 06:43, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
The DFAT site says "English is the official language". But if, as many here say, that position is not defined in any legislation, the website is wrong. Governments / public servants do sometimes make mistakes. Legislation is what matters, not what a website says today. The significance of the difference between an official, or de facto, or national language has to be made to give a different status to those countries where a national language IS defined in legislation. HiLo48 (talk) 00:21, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
In the Australian/English legal tradition, called "common law", legislation is the means of changing the law, not the definition of the law. We would expect to see a legislative definition of the official language if the national language changed, or if the common law definition of the official language was no longer adequate. (talk) 01:18, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Flag of Australia vs. Flag of New Zealand

Are the blue textures of these two flags the same or are they supposed to be different? The blues of these two flags in Wikipedia are slightly different and I am not sure if this is correct or not. Thanks, Miguel.mateo (talk) 02:12, 4 November 2009 (UTC)


This should be clarified. Currently, this article states the pronounciation "aw-STRAY-lee-ə" as the formal version, but this is just the standard British English pronounciation. (talk) 21:13, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Interesting point. I'm not sure how a "formal" pronunciation can be defined. Can it be legislated? Do other countries do it? HiLo48 (talk) 22:17, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
No, pronounciations emerge naturally and gain high or low status through time. Maybe upper class Australians use the same pronounciation as the British? (talk) 18:38, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I've mingled with people from all classes, and I've never heard anyone but a Briton start with "aw". Here, it starts with "oss" or "əss". -- JackofOz (talk) 20:33, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I can't edit since I don't want to register on Wikipedia, but this should be modified in the lede as the British accent version is in no ways more formal to the Australian accent version. (talk) 22:34, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Australia and its relation to the globe

File:Coat of arms of planet earth australia.svg
Coat of arms of Planet Earth with the name of Australia

Hi, I would like to contribute to this page with a particular file which relates Australia to the world at large. Thanks --Camilo Sanchez (talk) 06:03, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

What is that? --Merbabu (talk) 09:03, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Hmm...sorry, but I fail to see how this notable or where this image fits in to everything else. Ultimately unnecessary I think. [SCΛRECROW]CrossCom 2.0 09:10, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Did you develop that yourself? Nick-D (talk) 09:22, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Looking at the user's contributions and user page, it seems they have one for each country of the world - the only difference being the country name. THey are making this comment on each country's talk page - going thru alphabetically. --Merbabu (talk) 09:26, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
And I thought the Balloon Boy hoax was good! Bidgee (talk) 09:43, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

An actual Satellite image is needed for the article page

The Commonwealth of Australia seen from space

An actual picture of Australia as seen from outa space is required for the Australia article page.

Possibly something like this below or perhaps as a part of the planet.

What are your thoughts on this? (Racism Watch Australia (talk) 10:05, 15 November 2009 (UTC))

What about this one? --Merbabu (talk) 10:55, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

21.2 million is the population —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:34, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Grammar of lead sentence

Well, English is not my native language, but you folks should know better. As it stands, the following lead sentence does not make quite sense:

Australia is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the continental mainland (the world's smallest),...

Australia does not have the smallest continental mainland in the world; maybe Equatorial Guinea has. The intention was, obviously, to say that the continent of Australia is the smallest, but the parenthesis does not point to "continent" but to "mainland". Either the first should be changed to "continent of Australia" or the parenthesis removed, but they cannot be combined in this way. No such user (talk) 16:55, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

There are a couple of problems with your edit. Firstly, there are different opinions as to what constitutes the "continent of Australia". One of these includes New Guinea as part of the continent and New Guinea is most definitely not part of the country, which is why "continental mainland" is specified, since the Australian mainland is the mainland of the continent regardless of which theory you subscribe to. The other issue is that you're changing "Australia (continent)" to "continent of Australia". The first is a direct link to the article while the latter is a redirect to the same article. It makes no sense here to change to point to a redirect, rather than the actual article. You're correct that it doesn't read correctly. Unfortunately, this was the result of a dispute over what is the largest island in the world. --AussieLegend (talk) 22:14, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, the rewrite chiefly fixes the issue. As for the redirects, please see Wikipedia:REDIRECT#NOTBROKEN -- "There is nothing inherently wrong with linking to redirects." No such user (talk) 15:48, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
This works both ways. There's no point replacing a direct link to an article with a redirect especially when, as was the case here, the redirect used was misleading. --AussieLegend (talk) 04:24, 9 December 2009 (UTC)


Australia is NOT a member state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Please change this.

Cjk1000 (talk) 10:33, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Done - and well spotted. I wonder who added this in the first place? Nick-D (talk) 10:36, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
After a bit of checking, it was added in this edit about 36 hours ago. At least it didn't stay in the article too long. Nick-D (talk) 10:40, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

THANKS! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cjk1000 (talkcontribs) 07:45, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Deletion discussion

There's a deletion discussion here that is relevant to the city of Sydney, input would be greatly appreciated. —what a crazy random happenstance 02:52, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Religion box....

Why do we need this table? All those details are in the text - where they should be. It's not like it must be expressed graphically for comprehension - written sentences can describe what is a basic idea quite satisfactorily. Or, shall we make this a precedent and repeat everything in the prose in table form? I removed it from the article, but it was reinstated with an edit summary I don't understand.

Religion in Australia
Religion Percent
No Religion
Not stated/inadequately described

--Merbabu (talk) 02:51, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

It's a trite answer but I'd say the graphic is there because it can be there.
I personally like it and think it would assist the understanding of those more aligned to visual presentation of information rather than textual. I was going to leave my comment at that, but thought I'd see if I could track down any Wikipedia policy on illustrations. I found Wikipedia:WikiProject Illustration which, while seemingly fairly inactive, encourages the use of appropriate illustrations. I couldn't find anything discouraging illustrations. Obviously the tools to create such a graphic are provided in Wikipedia, which suggests to me that such images are "approved".
HiLo48 (talk) 03:12, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, "I like it" and "because it can be" are trite, and not very good justifications. If something is redundant, then it doesn't need to be there. The table provides nothing that cannot be understood from the text. A table is not an image, and there is indeed much that an image can represent that "a thousand words" cannot. Look at the lead pics in Mona Lisa and Dog to use disparate examples. Not so with that table.
Further, it should not be left based on the notion that it does no harm - on the contrary, it's ugly, and that part of the article is already cluttered. regards --Merbabu (talk) 03:18, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
It's unnecessary duplication of information and pointless. As Merbabu has said, the breakdown is explained quite well in the prose, so there's no need for the table. If we were, for example, showing the breakdown of Christian religions, where there are a number of branches with percentages reasonably close to each other, then that might be useful as a visual comparison. Here, where the "major" non-Christian religions are all at least 61.9% less than Christianity, all it tells you is that Australia is predominantly Christian. There is no useful visual comparison between the non-Christian religions because they're all little more than straight lines. The table has very little going for it. --AussieLegend (talk) 05:00, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Agreed with AussieLegend - it also may lead to a misapprehension in terms of what people report in the census vs what is actually the case, and putting too much emphasis on the value of the former. Orderinchaos 17:45, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. I'm not opposed to graphics per se, but format needs to be chosen with regard to the data shown - see discussion here on why you don't want your charts to be too spiky or too flat. That deals with time series, but the same general issue applies. --GenericBob (talk) 23:45, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Population estimate

A while ago, Bowei Huang added a formula to automatically calculate the estimated population based on the official population clock. While the initial implementation was executed poorly, the formula does work. He tried, unnecessarily in my opinion, to update it today and the whole formula was subsequently deleted by another editor, apparently because it was 1,000 people out. According to the population clock, one person is added to the population every 71 seconds, which equates to 1,216.9 people per day so, unless the figure is manually updated at least twice every day the figure is always going to be a lot more than 1,000 people out. The formula updates the figure every day at 00:00 UTC removing the need to update the estimate regularly. It only needs changing when the rate of increase changes, which I think is only twice a year. Because of this, and because there was no consensus to remove the population estimate, I've restored the formula to restore the population estimate, adding better precision and removing the rounding. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:39, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Not really comfortable with such tools unless they are explicitly labelled for what they are, a statistical prediction. It's not true to say about Australia's actual population that "one person is added to the population every 71 seconds". That's just an average. Having the reference to ABS is OK, but most readers won't follow the link. I think it needs an explanatory annotation where the figure is displayed. I love technology, but such tools take it a little too far. HiLo48 (talk) 08:11, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
It's a gimmick and should not be used. What's wrong with the census? --Merbabu (talk) 08:14, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
The field in the infobox clearly states that it's a "2010 estimate", not the actual population, so it's appropriately labelled and not misleading. The actual 2006 census figure is immediately below it, labelled "2006 census" so I don't see the problem. I admit that when I first saw the formula replace the raw data from the population clock I wasn't thrilled, but now that the formula is correct and the result will ensure that the estimated population matches the population clock once a day, rather than only whenever somebody bothers to update it as was the case, I think it's an improvement. --AussieLegend (talk) 11:14, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Now that I understand why the result differs from the ABS, that sounds OK to me. I'd suggest that the reference include a note explaining the discrepancy though, as the result is that the number in the infobox will normally differ a bit to what's in the source it's referenced to. Nick-D (talk) 11:21, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
No. Like the figure itself, the label for the figure is not accurate. It says 2010 estimate. Historically I would expect to see a fixed figure for a year, just like the 2006 figure. However, it changes. I now know how it changes because it was explained above, in several sentences. A figure that requires several sentences of explanation should not be displayed without that explanation. I'm leaning more to seeing it just as a gimmick. Not desirable in the article. HiLo48 (talk) 11:43, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

If it's updating itself daily (rolls eyes), does that mean it will appear in my watchlist, um, everyday? --Merbabu (talk) 11:44, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Until December, when the formula was added, we had been relying on the manually entered figure which was different to the source 71 seconds after the source had been checked, which was usually even before the "Save page" button had been clicked, and we've never needed an explanation as to why the figure was different. At least once in the past six months the discrepancy was 115,282[19] and still there was no explanation, not that it's needed because it is (or at least it should be) immediately obvious to anyone who decides to check the citation. The formula doesn't change that. What it does change is that the discrepancy will never be more than 1,217, which has to be an improvement. As for accuracy of the label, nowhere does the label state or imply that it's a fixed figure for the year or made on a certain day, it's merely an estimate of the population sometime in 2010. The citation sorts out when the estimate was made, just as it always has. An estimate on any day in 2010 is still a 2010 estimate and I don't see why a real-time estimate is less reliable than any other estimate. In any case, the only reliable "estimate" is the actual census figure. As for knowing how it changes, you don't need to know that at all, you just need to know the result. Nobody has worried about why or how the displayed estimate has changed or varied from the population clock in the past, even when it was 115,282 out. It seems rather comical that concerns have only arisen when somebody has tried to automate the process of updating the figure. And, for those concerned, no, it won't be in your watchlist each day. It's an automatic calculation, not an edit to the article. (talk about rolling eyes) --AussieLegend (talk) 12:32, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Could you write a bit more please - you were too brief to answer my question. ;-) --Merbabu (talk) 12:48, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I can write as much as you want. You should know that by now. ;) --AussieLegend (talk) 13:12, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
@Merbabu: No. The wikicode contains a formula that doesn't change; but every day MediaWiki will calculate a different result, so that what is displayed will change. You won't see it on your watchlist. Hesperian 13:25, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Cheers - I'll sleep easy tonight then. --Merbabu (talk) 13:38, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't mind this being used, but I take issue with the way the citation implies that the value was retrieved from the website today. This is false. When the website makes a second order correction to the clock, our formula will continue on its merry way until someone notices the discrepancy. We are not obtaining daily updates from that website, and we should not be pretending that we are. Hesperian 12:45, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Valid point. I wanted to credit the ABS as the publisher of the population clock so I used {{Cite web}} which automatically converts |accessdate= to "Retrieved on" not "Last updated" as was used in the original citation. I've changed the accessdate to the date the data was actually retrieved and added a note, which should address some concerns.[20] --AussieLegend (talk) 13:12, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

AussieLegend - I didn't object to the previous estimate because I wasn't paying attention to the article until recently. The more I think about what you're doing, the more I see it as using a technological tool simply because you can, not because it delivers any significant benefit. All my (longish) life I've been happy to read a couple of formal census figures for a place and draw my own conclusions about what the population is likely to be or was at another time. What is gained by using a formula that's really just another estimate, but pretends to be accurate to 8 significant digits, when really it can be nothing of the kind. Over to you. Exactly what is the benefit in using the formula? (And I don't mean in comparison to what was in the article before. I want to hear an absolute benefit.) HiLo48 (talk) 15:47, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

As I see the value of a formula thats calculated when a reader looks at the page is it provides an estimate that is relatively accurate, for most readers they are looking for two things with population number 1 is how many at the last official count and how many are there now. Its the now part that is important when providing estmates without using a calculation it would require an editor to periodically update the estimate and from past experiences that doesnt happen consistantly over an extended periods of time. on a side point the note should be included with the referencerather than the current separate section so that when a person follows the reference to verify the figures back they also get the explanation of the methods. Gnangarra 17:45, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Firstly, accuracy to 8 significant digits is not something that was introduced to the article by the formula. Before the formula, the manual entry used 8 significant digits. Nothing has changed there. However, the output of the formula was rounded to only 3 significant digits and it was criticised because of that. In fact it was criticised because it wasn't accurate to at least 5 significant digits, so I changed it to accommodate the wishes of another editor. Your question is puzzling. How is it possible to explain the benefits of the formula without comparison to what was there previously? The whole point of the formula is to automate what was there previously so if I don't compare it to the previous entry, there is no answer to your question. The benefits of the formula over the previous information have been explained. The formula eliminates the need to update the population estimate. Before the formula it was manually updated sometimes monthly, sometimes far less frequently and late last year one editor kept updating it every couple of days. The frequency with which the estimate was updated indicates that not everyone is happy with a static figure for long periods of time. Automation eliminates the need to touch the figure at all more than once or maybe twice a year. --AussieLegend (talk) 17:52, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Exactly what is the benefit in using the formula at all? (And I don't mean in comparison to what was in the article before. I want to hear an absolute benefit.) Until someone can tell me that, I won't be convinced.
As for the label being accurate, I've already pointed out that it's not. The figure changes every day, but the label doesn't. If it was accurate, it would say "3rd January 20010 estimate" today, and "4th January 20010 estimate" tomorrow. Then you would have problems with time zones, and Americans wanting the date presented their way, etc, etc.
It's a technological gimmick that adds little to the article apart from confusion for anyone who thinks deeply about it. HiLo48 (talk) 21:53, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
its what the readers(remember those people) want in an estimate, estimates arent accurate but approximate even the ABS figure is only a calculation. No population figure can be exact as population numbers arent static, people migrate, people die, people are born and dont do it according to a fixed time, even the ABS census isnt entirely accurate. If its accuracy your looking for population figures arent the ones to be trying to obtain it with. Gnangarra 02:55, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Just to split tangential hairs, the ABS is perfectly accurate but it's not perfectly precise. --Merbabu (talk) 03:00, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Gnangarra - where's the survey that tells me what the readers want? I'm a regular reader of Wikipedia, and I don't want it. And I agree totally, no population figure can be exact, therefore eight significant digits and daily updates are nonsensical. HiLo48 (talk) 06:27, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Suggest you read my comments again.... Gnangarra 09:03, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
That's not really a good faith nor helpful response. Please address the points I made. HiLo48 (talk) 09:24, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I had already addressed the points you raised hence my recommendation, in fact a number of editors have the continual reitteration of the same points is in itself pointless therefore continually repeating the points are nonsensical. Gnangarra 09:47, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
With all due respect Gnangarra, you haven't explained how you know what "the readers" want, nor have you justified such frequent updates to an inaccurately labelled, imprecise figure displayed with eight significant digits as if it's exact. If you can't respond sensibly, politely, and in good faith, it's really just more evidence that the figure shouldn't be there. HiLo48 (talk) 10:11, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Good faith dont expect more than your willing to give, while we are at it try Do disrupt Wikipedia to prove a point. I'll ask you again to please reread my comment because you dont appear to be comprehending what I said, any to to life easier for you -- I said "its what the readers(remember those people) want in an estimate" when a person reads the word estimate, presuming they know the definition they dont expect precision what they look for is an approximation based on reasonable supisition, the calculation used is based on that of the ABS. The information is labelled as an estimation with a note explaining the calculation, there are no frequent updates, no edit takes place the calculation is being used so as to maintain a population estimated in preference to relying on editors to randomly updated figure. Your under no obligation to accept the estimation provide in fact we encourage everyone to verify the information that is in the article by following the citation to a reliable source but also remember that because "you dont like it" that it invalidates the information. As your the one saying it should be removed what do propose to replace the estimation with, how do you propose to maintain it because unless you offer a replacement that better than what we have then there is no rason to change it. Gnangarra 10:57, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

My preference? No "current" figure being there at all. The reference we already have that links to the ABS will give any readers interested in more detail a place to look. HiLo48 (talk) 11:11, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

The obvious point to be made - isn't using a figure we calculate ourselves somewhat WP:OR? I'd feel much more comfortable sourcing it from an ABS publication, even if it is their tentative estimate. As someone once jokingly put it to me, if we are wrong, we want to be able to blame somebody else for it. :) On a more serious note, HiLo48 (11:43 @ 2 Jan) makes a valid point that I think people would expect to see a fixed figure for a year, that a "2010 estimate" would in fact be a reportable estimate. We also have the problem that LGAs and states and metro areas do use fixed estimates, so our readers will end up trying to compare apples and oranges after a sufficient number of changes. Orderinchaos 17:38, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Estimated population updates

I've refined the formula used to calculate the population estimate in order to make it easier to update it on the odd occasion that this will be necessary. The population clock provides the current estimated population and the increase rate, expressed as "one person every x minute and y seconds". As it was, the formula required that this be converted to "z people every day", which is not an overly complicated task, but one that could be made far simpler. The new version of the formula is:

{{formatnum:{{#expr: a + (86400 / b) * {{Age in days|2010|1|3}} round 0}}}}


  • a = population estimate, preferably as of 00:00 UTC, without commas, ie 22101244 not 22,101,244
  • b = increase rate in seconds - e.g. "every 1 minute and 11 seconds" becomes 71 seconds

Using the above figures the resultant formula will be:

{{formatnum:{{#expr: 22101244 + (86400 / 71) * {{Age in days|2010|1|3}} round 0}}}}

It's also necessary to ensure that both {{Age in days}} in the formula, and "|accessdate=" in the citation that follows the formula, be updated when the formula is updated. Such updates should be necessary twice a year at the most. However, this really depends on when the ABS updates its formula and when somebody notices a significant discrepancy between the displayed estimate and the population clock. --AussieLegend (talk) 13:02, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Etymology of the name "Australia"

The current articule reads:

The first recorded use of the word Australia in English was in 1625, in "A note of Australia del Espíritu Santo, written by Master Hakluyt", published by Samuel Purchas in Hakluytus Posthumus.

However, the term "Austrialia (sic) del Espíritu Santo" was coined by the Luso-Spanish explorator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós. It is accepted that he did not discover mainland Australia, but In May 1606 he reached the islands later called the New Hebrides (now the independent nation of Vanuatu), 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), as an homage to christianism and to King Philip III, who was a Habsburg (the Habsburg dinasty is known in Spanish history as "los Austria", or the "Austria" dinasty). That island is still called Espiritu Santo.

So something is not quite right here, I think.

Any comments?

--Enriquep (talk) 15:40, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


"Since Federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system"

Australia has had a decade of Conservative rule under John Howard. Even the Liberal Party leans more conservative than progressive. Now if it was meant to say "a democratic political system" than that is agreeable. But the statement above injecting the word "Liberal" makes it sound one-sided as though there's never been any Conservative thought or rule in Australia. This violates Wikipedia's neutral point of view.

Firejack007 (talk) 18:54, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Liberal democracy is a form of government, as you can see by reading the article I've linked to. Australia certainly meets the criteria. As for your comment "Even the Liberal Party leans more conservative than progressive", in Australia the Liberal Party is the conservative party, although it does have a liberal wing. --Michael Johnson (talk) 23:22, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
It's unfortunate that the party on the conservative side of politics in Australia calls itself Liberal. Makes it very difficult to use the word liberal as an adjective in its normal sense to describe anything happening in Australian politics. I think it would be best if the word "liberal" was completely avoided in discussion of Australian politics, apart from in the name of the party. HiLo48 (talk) 23:34, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't agree; the difference between a 'big L' and 'small l' liberal is pretty well understood in Australia. Nick-D (talk) 06:21, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
I suspect you and I both understand it, but I know for certain that high school kids don't. I teach them. I see the problem regularly. If you want local evidence of the confusion, look at Liberalism in Australia. That article is totally confused on the matter, discussing John Howard and small l liberalism as if they are on the same page. I'm sure Howard would argue that point. HiLo48 (talk) 06:54, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Terra Australis Incognita, etc.: reverted moves and fixed redirects

I have reverted moves of Terra Australis Incognita and Terra incognita to Terra Australis Ignota and Terra ignota respectively. These moves were completely undiscussed, and without prima facie merit. In any case, the talkpages should not have been redirected: they should be kept in place, for discussion of such moves and of the redirect itself. I have also made Terra Australis redirect to Terra Australis Incognita. Editors might like to watchlist those pages, since they affect at least one important link from the present article.

¡ɐɔıʇǝoNoetica!T– 08:02, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Cut-paste moves undone. Please discuss on respective talk pages and use proper procedures. Vsmith (talk) 13:50, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Vsmith. Please note my request that you do the work I attempted unsuccessfully. The moves I reverted were themselves nonsensical and entirely unilateral, and did not follow policy or common sense. (Should the talkpage of a redirect page itself be redirected? Surely not. I sought to revert that, among all the other things.)
¡ɐɔıʇǝoNoetica!T– 13:56, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm a tad confused because the preceding comments seem to be contradictory. Could somebody please clarify:
Is this supposed to be right? --AussieLegend (talk) 14:30, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
I've been trying to sort it out - think I've got it now (just fixed the duplicate talk pages). Multiple cut-n-paste moves caused problems. If the current Terra Australis and Terra incognita and talk pages need further fixing, give me a nudge. Vsmith (talk) 14:54, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Rationalising Terra, Australis, Ignota, and Incognita

Thanks to Vsmith and Dougweller for fixing the mess I found, which I unfortunately made worse by in trying to fix it. The articles involved are these:

I have replaced the lead of Terra Australis with the following summation, including a link to comprehensive history of terms at Australia:

Terra Australis (or Terra Australis Ignota and Terra Australis Incognita; Latin: "the unknown land of the South") was a hypothetical continent appearing on European maps from the 15th to the 18th century. Other names for the continent include Magallanica or Magellanica ("the land of Magellan"), La Australia del Espíritu Santo (Spanish: "the southern land of the Holy Spirit"), and La grande isle de Java (French: "the great island of Java"). Terra Australis was one of several names applied to the actual continent of Australia, after its European discovery; and it is the inspiration for the continent's modern name (see also Etymology, at Australia).

As things stand, there are links and redirects among those pages. These may need discussion and rectifying, along with suitable changes to the pages themselves. In particular the talkpages are problematic: if a talkpage is moved (and then possibly re-moved), redirected, etc., it can become unclear precisely which page is under discussion, or which is referred to in templated page-headers.

Ignota and incognita mean roughly the same in Latin, but are perhaps distinguishable: ignota "unknown, ignored, overlooked [whence also, forgiven]"; incognita "unrecognised, undiscovered, un-learned-about". Non-English-speaking speakers, especially Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, appear to favour ignota over incognita. I suspect there are two reasons for this:

  1. The phrase terra ignota famously occurs in Vergil (less known in the English-speaking world), in a context having nothing to do with any southern continent (Heu, terra ignota canibus date praeda Latinis alitibusque iaces! "You lie in a strange land, given as prey to the dogs and fowls of Latium!" parsed here, but with uninformative gloss for ignota).
  2. The word ignota is closer to forms in those modern European languages than it is to forms in English.

But in the literature (surveyed through properly conducted searches in Googlebooks and other sources), Terra [Australis] Incognita is overwhelming more common: even in old sources, and especially in English-language sources.

I strongly advise that centralised discussion be conducted here at Talk:Australia, and briefly noted at affected pages, to keep all of this in good order. I have placed this discussion there as well.

¡ɐɔıʇǝoNoetica!T– 23:03, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Vector coat of arms

I would like to call on editors familiar with vector graphics editing to complete the unfinished Australian SVG coat of arms uploaded to commons by QWerk. The six divisions of the shield itself (bar Victoria) can be taken from the existing vector state flag files, and the shield bearers, shrubbery, etc., just need some minor stylistic fixing up to conform to actual usage. —what a crazy random happenstance 10:13, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Oh no! Not again.[21] --AussieLegend (talk) 10:58, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
That is a completely different file, and one that was rightfully deleted. Just because there was previously one bad vector image doesn't mean that efforts to move to SVG should stop. Guidelines strongly recommend vector images for non-photographic information. You may also notice I asked for improvements to the file, not that it be unilaterally adopted across the board - it isn't even finished. —what a crazy random happenstance 11:03, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
My point was simply to highlight the most recent previous and frustrating discussion on the COA, which identified a number of problems with that version, quite aside from breach of copyright. This new image has a lot more problems than the deleted version. One thing that should be obvious from the discussions is that nobody stepped forward then to improve or replace the now deleted version. I'd be surprised to see somebody step in now as issues with the COA date back to at least April 2007, and that's just here.[22] --AussieLegend (talk) 11:16, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Ah, OK, cool. I've posted a request over at Wikipedia:Graphic_Lab/Illustration_workshop#Australian_Coat_of_Arms, hopefully someone interested enough will take it up. —what a crazy random happenstance 12:03, 14 January 2010 (UTC)


A picky query I'll admit but the word 'developed' is spelt incorrectly in the Education section. Which is ironic

TragicVision (talk) 14:46, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. I've fixed it, but there's nothing stopping you from fixing such errors in future. Please do so whenever you find them. HiLo48 (talk) 21:54, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Terra nullius

This term "terra nullius" was explained in brackets as "no ones land" followed by the further explanation of "effectively 'empty land'". This latter I have removed as being an unnecessary and inaccurate reinterpretation. The legality, in the British eyes, was not whether the land was inhabited, (it was clearly inhabited), but whether it was owned.

In British law it was clear that the land belonged to noone. There were no signs (to the British eye) of ownership. No boundaries, no markers. A more knowing eye would have perceived the Cumberland grasslands as being a sign of extensive land management. But to the British, the Aboriginal people were like Gypsies camping on a Common.

Amandajm (talk) 23:39, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

RFC: Infobox map (Antarctic territories)

A request for comment related to this article has been opened here. Any thoughts are appreciated.Cptnono (talk) 03:05, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

If it is decided to show the antarctic territories, a separate map here shows them. Roke (talk) 00:30, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Quality-of-Life Index


The Economist worldwide Quality-of-Life Index for 2010 is published and Australia ranks second. (Please see "Economy" section in the article.)

Mr HiKey (talk) 09:35, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

On the origin of the name Australia, you can read, which explains it to be connected with Austrialia, the name given originally to the whole area in 1606. Cheers. Josep M Casas —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:38, 24 February 2010 (UTC)


should we change the population of Australia into 22,172,036 as today? Japol1 —Preceding undated comment added 07:25, 2 March 2010 (UTC).

No. As per the citation, the population estimate shown is automatically calculated daily at 00:00 UTC and is based on data obtained from the population clock on the date shown in the citation. There is no need to change it manually. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:32, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

what a great task —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:31, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Alt text for images

I believe that all images need to have alt text. Please see the MOS on this matter. Is someone willing to add these texts? It is a requirement for FAs. Tony (talk) 13:42, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

I will notify the WikiProject Australia of this problem. If it's not solved, the article will need to go to WP:FAR/C. Tony (talk) 09:17, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
I have written one alt text as an example (Port Arthur). Are regular editors prepared to do the others? If not, I'll list the article at WP:FAR in the next few days. Tony (talk) 13:49, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
I have listed the article at FAR for a clean-up, including the writing of alt texts. Tony (talk) 09:09, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Compulsory voting in SA

Can someone confirm that SA does not have compulsory voting? South Australian Election 2010 says that it does... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Roborobby (talkcontribs) 23:50, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

All Australian states and territories, and many/most local government areas, have compulsory voting. Where did you get the idea that SA does not? -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 19:30, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Official name - "Commonwealth of" Australia

The article says that the official state name is the "Commonwealth of Australia". An official document published by the Government of Canada expressly says that "Australia" is the official name and that the "Commonwealth of Australia" is not. So what is the official name (by reference to legal sources in Australia). This is the Canadian publication I mentioned [23]

It is "Commonwealth of Australia". At, clearly a significant source, we are told "Australia’s formal name is the Commonwealth of Australia." The country is defined by its constitution[7] which declared "the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania...shall be united...under the name of the Commonwealth of Australia." HiLo48 (talk) 23:51, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Since when has the Canadian Government's Translation Bureau been the official arbitrator of Australia's official name? Aside from the key references above, the Governor General's website states that she's the 'Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia': [24] Nick-D (talk) 00:17, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
No one said it was. The person who posted that found a source contradicting the article and requested verification using Australian sources. What was the point of even asking that question? -Rrius (talk) 00:34, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
I think Nick-D was probably just as surprised as I was that somebody would refer to a source from a foreign country for authoritative information on another country, especially something as basic as the name. --AussieLegend (talk) 01:00, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. However, I could have been politer. Nick-D (talk) 01:05, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Meh. Doesn't matter. It's not a real country anyway. --AussieLegend (talk) 01:41, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

If you read that Canadian reference closely, you’ll see that it’s about the official names as used by the United Nations. These differ in many respects from the official names as decreed by the countries themselves. (see List of United Nations member states).

For example:

  • the official name of Armenia is Republic of Armenia, but at the UN it’s just Armenia
  • Argentina is officially the Argentine Republic, but the UN uses simply Argentina
  • Australia is officially the Commonwealth of Australia, but at the UN it’s just Australia.

On the other hand, the UN uses the full official titles for:

  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of Bolivia)
  • North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  • Moldova (Republic of Moldova)
  • and some others.

Why the UN follows some countries’ own formal designations, but uses the shorter name for most countries, I have no idea. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 00:51, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Wow. So it's the UN's fault! Wikipedia teaches me something new every day. HiLo48 (talk) 03:09, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
With respect User Jack ofOz, you are wrong when you say "If you read that Canadian reference closely, you’ll see that it’s about the official names as used by the United Nations. These differ in many respects from the official names as decreed by the countries themselves." because you mentioned that Armenia, for example, is called "Armenia" by the UN even though its the "Republic of Armenia" but the Canadian publication gives the official name "Republic of Armenia"...So your point does not explain why the Canadians think "Commonwealth of Australia" isnot official.....I originally posted this query...and I am impressed by some explanations given above that the name reallys is "Commonwealth of Australia" but that makes the Canadian position even more inexplicable and I wonder is every one 100% sure that is "Commonwealth of Australia"...and does any one know why the Canadian Government think otherwise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:40, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
I know that I'm absolutely 1000% positive that the formal name is Commonwealth of Australia. The Australian Constitution is the most authoritative document in the universe when it comes to that. Why Canadians think otherwise is a mystery but it really doesn't matter. They can think what they want and it has absolutely no bearing on the matter. --AussieLegend (talk) 03:11, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
From the original poster. I accept what you say AussieLegend. I might contact the Canadians to ask them why they have another view. It could be simple ignorance. Regards. (talk) 10:09, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
It's best not to think of governments as monolithic organisations whose agencies have accurate and consistent positions on every issue and which never make mistakes.... The booklet in question here is probably quite adequate for whatever its purpose is/was, but it doesn't necessarily indicate that it's the standard Canadian Government usage - for instance, this 1944 diplomatic agreement published by the Canadian Government was made with the 'Commonwealth of Australia'. Nick-D (talk) 10:34, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
@|; OK, scrub my post. The point remains, as AussieLegend says, that the official name of our country is the Commonwealth of Australia, and any person or document that denies this, no matter how authoritative it may purport to be, is gravely mistaken. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 11:32, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Don't confuse "constitutional" with "official". They are not necessarily the same. If constitutional language was the be-all-and-end-all, the cabinet would have to be called the "Governor General in Council", and there could be no mention of parties or the prime minister ... only of senators and members of the HoR. Tony (talk) 09:16, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
That's a good point, Tony. The term "Australia" is indeed used in all manner of official contexts, and nobody thinks it's referring to a different place than the "Commonwealth of Australia". For example, Gough Whitlam changed the name on our currency notes from "Commonwealth of Australia" to just "Australia". There may have been some minor ideological objections at the time, I don't remember now. But the new notes were no less valuable or less official or less acceptable as legal tender than the old ones were. Did the "official name" of our country change as a result of this decision? Arguably yes, at least in that context. But our coins had always had just "Australia" on them, so no change was required there. So, does this mean that, before they changed the notes, we had 2 different official names on our currency? Yes. Was either of them more official than the other? Not really. You could find lots of other examples from within government and parliament where sometimes the name is "Australia" and sometimes it's the "Commonwealth of Australia" - all equally official in the contexts in which they appear. I guess the point is that the Constitution created an entity called "Commonwealth of Australia", so it would never be wrong to call the country by that name (just not very practical in most cases). Whereas, there would be some (admittedly very formal) contexts where it would be quite wrong to call it just "Australia". That's what's understood by the label "official name", I think. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 19:56, 30 March 2010 (UTC)


Following a request for copy editing in the language section, I have completed this task. I need to clarify this statement: An indigenous language remains the main language for about 50,000 (0.25%) people. - Is this suppose to say "One indigenous language..."? If so, what is this language called? If not, what is this sentence trying to say? Thanks. -- S Masters (talk) 08:49, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

There are lots of them - so it means 'an' as in 'any' i.e. 50,000 people speak an indigenous language as their main one. Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:59, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Miscellaneous queries

I'll jot some notes here. I was going to just go ref hunting when I realised there was some content I am querying: Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:06, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

At the time of European settlement in the 18th century, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers, with a complex oral culture and spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime. - didn't all indigenous folks everywhere revere the land? In which case is this redundant here?

Ozzie vs Aussie

Both of the source pages for the demonym list Ozzie and Aussie as slang for person from Australia (listed after Australian). Both pages list Ozzie first, despite the fact that it would be second if listed alphabetically, as is generally the case for items of equal importance. Excluding Ozzie because it does not fit someone's predetermined calculus of relevance/triviality, apparently based on idiosyncratic factors that do not comport with those used by the source pages, does not make much sense. If alternative and suitably authoritative source pages can be found that argue against including "Ozzie" they should be cited. However, even if such pages exist it seems at the very least culturally biased to exclude well known and widely used demonyms because one person or one source deems them trivial. In addition, the term Ozzie comports with the relatively common use of "Oz" to refer to Australia in many English dialects. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Moretz (talkcontribs) 12:16, 19 April 2010 (UTC) Moretz (talk) 12:21, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

You're suggesting Ozzie should replace Aussie? that's too funny. And you're using to support this? --Merbabu (talk) 12:24, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I never suggested any such thing, and the revision history shows that the term is 'added' rather than 'replaced'. Is this a deliberate attempt to denigrate my edit which simply altered the article to comport with the sources used?
Nor did I choose as a source - I simply added what was ignored in the citations that were used in prior versions of the article. These citations had remained in place for quite some time. Perhaps you neglected to notice the presence of TWO citations for the prior article version, one of which was [25], from which the information appears to be lifted. Prior reviewers seemed to have no problem with their "reliability." Once it was pointed out that they conflicted with your personally held beliefs regarding slang, you decided they were "unreliable." These terms are, after all, slang, a linguistic element that is decidedly varied and generally not consistent from one region to another. Try reading [[26]]. If we are to remove slang terms because one group doesn't like them, perhaps all such slang terms should be removed.
I notice your "reliable" source is not readily accessible online. However, after signing in with a trial subscription I looked up "Ozzie" and received the following entry:
   Pronunciation of Ozzie // (say 'ozee)
   adjective, noun → Aussie.  
How's that for "reliable"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Moretz (talkcontribs) 13:05, 19 April 2010 (UTC) Moretz (talk) 13:54, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Your source is not reliable. Macquarie Dictionary is very much a reliable source not only due to it being online and in a printed form but it is also very much a trusted source. Bidgee (talk) 13:22, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
As stated above, though admittedly in less than direct fashion, that quote is from the Macquarie Dictionary's listing for "Ozzie" Moretz (talk) 13:43, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Apologies for removing all citations. I noticed that both citations for Ozzie were removed and assumed they had both been deemed unreliable. It appears removal of both citations may have been an honest mistake on your part. If so, please add them back for both entries. Moretz (talk) 13:46, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
By "them" I mean the Macquarie citations. Moretz (talk) 13:47, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Please don't remove the Macquarie citation. Further, the word Ozzie does not appear in the printed version, it is not used in Australia, and the online you provide merely refers us to "Aussie" which is listed in far more detail. --Merbabu (talk) 14:00, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
(Moretz), Macquarie Dictionary doesn't even state nor cite Ozzie (as Merbabu has said above). Bidgee (talk) 14:04, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Bidgee, the online edition of the Macquarie Dictionary most definitely 'does' have an entry for "Ozzie" as shown above (that is a direct cut and paste from the dictionary). As the Macquarie Dictionary is not widely available in print form outside of Australia and New Zealand, most of us are forced to used to online edition. Please reference the edition noted in the comment or clarify your statement such that you don't appear to be incorrectly branding someone a liar (which I assume was not your intent). Moretz (talk) 14:16, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Well just cited an international dictionary and even it doesn't list Ozzie. ;) Bidgee (talk) 14:27, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Added citations from The Oxford English Dictionary and The Compact Oxford English Dictionary, which is more readily available online. The Oxford English Dictionary includes examples of usage from publications in Sydney, New York, Melbourne, and London, among others. Some sources list "Ozzie" as the pronunciation of "Aussie," but those I have found that so list it are not reliable, so I have left it as a separate entry per the OED.

Merbabu, in the future please read the comments on edits and respond such that your objection is clear. As you did not object to the sources initially, your revert seemed nonsensical to me, as I did nothing other than edit the article such that it did not contradict the sources provided. I did not go to the library for better sources until you and Bidgee pointed out the reliability issue and the desire to use printed versions rather than online versions. However, I agree that the original sources used were inadequate and am quite happy to assist in improving them. As there is no print copy of the Macquarie Dictionary available to me (and I search public and university libraries as far away as 250km), I cannot check it, though as stated above, the online addition concurs with the OED. The OED has extensive listings for both terms and would perhaps be a good source for both. If anyone finds the OED unreliable, I would be curious to know why. Moretz (talk) 14:42, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure I see the issue here. A simple search for "ozzie" and "australia" in Google News shows numerous reliable sources within and without Australia using "Ozzie" to mean "Australian", both as a demonym and an adjective. -Rrius (talk) 18:35, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that the Ozzie spelling is used very rarely by Australians themselves, but maybe it is used elsewhere in the world by non-Australians. Rather than (or in addition to) dictionaries, which tend to copy each others' definitions at times, I would be interested in references which showed examples. This could give us all some idea of the regional distribution of the Ozzie spelling. HiLo48 (talk) 20:14, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
The sources I saw were, as I said, both inside and outside of Australia (and some of those outside were from New Zealand). If you want to see a regional distribution, just search Google News for "ozzie australia" and scan the first few pages. Some hits will be people named Ozzie, but you'll see several that are not. In any event, it doesn't really matter whether anyone in Australia has ever used the term. Wikipedia has a global scope, so even if "Ozzie" were a demonym exclusively applied by the British, it should still be included so long as we have adequate references to its being commonly used. -Rrius (talk) 03:19, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. If good references are provided we should include both spellings. All I was doing in stating the rarity of the ozzie spelling within Australia was explaining why some Australian editors may find it hard to accept that spelling. As an Australian it certainly looks odd to me, but good sources will tell us the Wikipedia version of the truth. HiLo48 (talk) 12:24, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Demography - Australian born families?

Tobby72 has just added information, from what should be a reliable source (Times of India), which talks about "Australian born families", and then "Australians", becoming a minority. I find that language troubling.

It makes sense to talk about where individuals were born, but not where families were born. One obvious characteristic of Australia has been the high level of intermarriage between people of different demographic backgrounds.

Australia has also been successful over the years in getting new arrivals to take up Australian citizenship, thus becoming Australian. That makes it highly unlikely that Australians will ever become a minority.

I think that source, and that addition to the article, is garbage, and probably racist garbage. It is more a reference on the racism of others than on the demography of Australia.

HiLo48 (talk) 22:32, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

That seems to be a slightly confused version of this confused Herald Sun story. It appears that the report says that by 2025 the majority of Australians will either have been born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas (up from 40% at the moment). I can't find a copy of the actual report online though. As demographic projections vary widely (and normally turn out to be well off the mark) I think that this should be removed per WP:UNDUE as it's just one company's projection. Nick-D (talk) 23:35, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the Times of India report in fact references the Sydney based Daily Telegraph, a sister publication to the Herald Sun in the News Corporation stable. Anything from those publications about race or religious controversies requires careful reading. HiLo48 (talk) 00:14, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

The Times of India - just as any other foreigners - make a distinction between the Australians (white anglo saxon) and Australians that are of not white anglo saxon background. And this is what they mean. The white anglo saxon Australians (Aussies) will become a minority, while Australians of other races who rarely have any say in the politics, military or economy, and you rarely see them on TV or hear them on the radio - will become a majority, hopely be more noticable, have some say and be more like white anglo Australian citizens - rather than the secong class citizens. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:23, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

That seems a somewhat ill-informed comment. I'm wondering where the Autralians whose backgrounds are Celtic (Scots and Irish), Italian, Greek, German, Croation, Polish, etc, fit in to that perspective. To describe Australians in terms that Australians themselves wouldn't use seems pretty silly. HiLo48 (talk) 12:18, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Australia's per capita GDP higher than that of the United States?

> Ranked third in the Index of Economic Freedom (2010),[144] Australia's per capita GDP is slightly higher than that of the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France.

I think CIA world book would be a better guide to GDP. Puts Australia rather lower, around 23rd. Regards, Ben Aveling 05:40, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Australia–Barbados relations

Any help finding sources for the article Australia–Barbados relations would be appreciated. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 21:04, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Aboriginals and independence

We need more info on the Aboriginals. Why Australia is run still by the Anglo- Australians - the British servants? Why the land is not returned to the Aboriginals? Why are they still the most disadvantaged part of the Australian society. So far this article totally ignores them and makes look Australia like a rightful part of the British Empire. Are there any pro-independence organizations in Australia who advocate the freedom for the Aboriginals? Are they legal? Can they be legalized? Why is the police and army mostly Anglo? Why they all swear to the English queen? Why the politicians in Australia only pray in Anglican church? The article must be more objective and honest. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:23, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Hmm. Just checked. 31 mentions of indigenous in the article and 13 mentions of aboriginal (although most of the latter are in reference titles). That would seem to give a fair degree of coverage. The article does mention the History wars which, make adding content on this topic potentially controversial. I know that if I added my personal view on the matter it would create great angst among some, not just because it would be obvious POV, but also because many would feel threatened and condemned by it. It's a difficult area. Your IP address tells that you are posting from within Australia. What would YOU like to see added? HiLo48 (talk) 04:39, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
The OP reads very much like somebody who was trolling here a few months back. (Edit: this guy.) I'm surprised anybody in Australia would claim that politicians "only pray in Anglican church" - I'd have thought anybody with even a vague interest in Oz politics would know that Tony Abbott is a well-known Catholic, for starters. --GenericBob (talk) 11:48, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
actually the IP goelocates to canberra, home of one our old trolls who had an inclination towards History Wars. I cant comment that australians swear at the English Queen we have our own Queen, but can confirm they swear at the English Cricket team all the time. Gnangarra 12:04, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Chinese mapping of Australia's coasts in 1421

I believe that a reference to Gavin Menzies' theory should be included in the History part: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:49, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

National Symbols of OZ

No mention of the two official national animals or the other third. No mention of the green and gold colors. No mention of the new OZ flag debate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:22, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

This article is about the country - not its coat of arms. There is a link in the article for the article on the coat of arms of Australia, where the subject is rightfully covered. JohnArmagh (talk) 15:22, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
The question was about the national symbols, not just the coat of arms. The infobox mentions the flag, the coat of arms and the national anthem, but there are other official symbols. We have an article called National symbols of Australia, which seems little trafficked and can do with some attention. Some mention of it in this article wouldn't go astray either. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 23:06, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Prime Minister

There are early reports that Julia Gillard has replaced Kevin Rudd as PM. As soon as this can be verified, this page should be updated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:26, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Rudd is still PM but the ALP will go to a ballot tomorrow. Bidgee (talk) 12:28, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Any of the sources that that delivered such reports have simply proven themselves to be unreliable ones. HiLo48 (talk) 17:56, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Rudd has now resigned and reliable sources have confirmed Julia's new position. I will change it to PM designate. - S Masters (talk) 00:22, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Rudd didn't resign. He was challenged to a ballot by Julia and lost. I'm not sure what you call that, but it definitely does NOT fit the definition of resignation. If you're kicked out of your job against your will, that's called being fired, the exact opposite of resigning. I don't care what the The Sydney Morning Sun says, only the ABC is a reliable news source in Australia. And quite frankly I'd like to know why any newspaper is treated as a reliable source for an encylopaedia? AN encyclopaedia! Not a friggin gossip magazine, a god damn encyclopaedia! We all know that they print fabrications, yet we're willing to use them to write our encyclopaedia's! I can't help but laugh at the naivety of humans sometimes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:49, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

He stood down as Leader at the beginning the spill, which is tantamount to resigning before being fired. He will have resigned as PM by the time Gillard is appointed, otherwise there would be no vacancy to fill. -Rrius (talk) 02:53, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Schooling is compulsory.

It is actually compulsory to stay in school until the age of 17 or eighteen. you MUST go to year 11 and 12 now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:11, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Well, yes, that's mostly true. The school leaving age is a matter for each state to decide. Most seem to have now made it 17, but there are many exceptions. These include leaving high school before 17 to go to TAFE, to an apprenticeship, or to ongoing employment for at least 25 hours per week. This latter condition still allows people to leave school for a serious job. HiLo48 (talk) 06:23, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
In WA, I think it is more accurate to say that if not completing year 12, a child must be in a full-time apprenticeship or traineeship. Source: Department of Education. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:00, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
BUt there are exceptions other than work to this in WA. Gnangarra 12:44, 28 June 2010 (UTC)


I know what is meant by "Australian English has a unique accent", but I don't think that's the accurate way to say it, since Australian English obviously has more than one accent. The Australian English article mentions "three main varieties" for a start. Any bright ideas for a reword? Kahuroa (talk) 02:52, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Is "Ozzie" superfluous? "Australian English" or English?

under demonym in the table at the top right, it already says AUSSIE, so why does it also need to say OZZIE, a spelling very rarely used

also under de facto language in the same table, it says english but links to australian english, so why dont we just make it say australian english there as this is what it links to... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:41, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm not convinced that "Australian English" should be listed as Australia's language. (I'm a white English-speaking Australian, born and raised here.) It might be a dialect or variation, but the basic language is English. (Hence my recent change, subsequently reverted.) Does Wikipedia have any policies or guidelines on this? If you asked anyone what languge we speak in Australia, the answer would normally be "English". According to Encyclopædia Britannica's 2009 yearbook, the language is "English" not "Australian English". According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade "... English is the official language in Australia ...". If we keep "Australian English" here, we should probably also change the United States article to say American English and the United Kingdom article to say British English - currently they both say "English" (with wiki-link to English language. Likewise Canada - which currently lists "English" (with a link to Canadian English), New Zealand (New Zealand English) and who knows how many other articles. Mitch Ames (talk) 08:25, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. It's English with a few regional features; it might be worth linking to an article that explains those characteristics, but for this box it should just read "English". It's not like, say, American Sign Language vs Australian Sign Language, which really are different languages. --GenericBob (talk) 10:29, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
The "Language" section of the article has as its {{Main}} article, Australian English. "Australian English" in the infobox is therefore consistent with the infobox summarising the article as it's supposed to. It makes more sense to link to Australian English rather than a generic version of the language since Australian English is the specific variant that we speak. Since this is the English Wikipedia, we can safely assume that any reader is already familiar with generic English to at least some extent and what they need to know is the variant of English spoken here. Australian English contains a link to the generic article in its opening sentence. --AussieLegend (talk) 11:08, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
The "Language" section of the article also starts with "English is the national language". Mitch Ames (talk) 12:43, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
It's immediately preceded by "Main article: Australian English" and immediately followed by "Australian English has..." There's clearly a strong focus on Australian English, which is as it should be. --AussieLegend (talk) 13:20, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
True - but why doesn't it say "Australian English is the national language"? I think the basic question is whether "Australian English" is a language, or perhaps only a dialect - although apparently even the experts can't agree on the difference between a language and a dialect. Reference 1 in Australian English - en-AU is the language code for Australian English , as defined by ISO standards ... - suggests that it is a language, but those standards (of which I have no particular knowledge) may cater for variants/dialects etc. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:37, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't say it because there's no need to as it's implied. If we spoke American English there might be a need but it's to be expected that Australians would speak Australian English, just as it's obvious that Americans speak American English. --AussieLegend (talk) 14:11, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Surely the same argument applies to the Infobox. In short, the first sentence in the Language section and the language field in the Infobox should be the same, so the article is consistent. Mitch Ames (talk) 01:02, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
The infobox is supposed to summarise the article, not individual sentences. There's obviously a stronger focus on Australian English in the languages section than there is on generic English so using a link to generic English in the infobox is not consistent. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:37, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
If the language is "Australian English" (which I am not conceding is the case), then the first sentence in the Language section should be changed to match, ie: "Australian English is the national language". If "English" and "Australian English" are different languages - which you appear to be implying - then the current sentence contradicts the info box. Mitch Ames (talk) 12:40, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
As I've indicated in the immediately preceding post, the infobox is supposed to summarise the article, not individual sentences. Since the "{{main}}" link is to Australian English and the second sentence starts with "Australian English" it's unnecessary for the first sentence to also start with "Australian English". It doesn't need to be said three times in a row. That's just silly, not to mention bad English. --AussieLegend (talk) 12:48, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
AussieLegend, could you please give explicit eg yes or no answers to these questions. 1: Are "English" and "Australian English" different languages? 2: Is the existing sentence "English is the national language" factually correct? Mitch Ames (talk) 13:54, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
Australian English is a variant of the English language that is specifically applicable to Australia and since that is the case, "English is the national language" is factually correct since Australian English is English. Sorry, but I can't give yes or no answers to your questions since the answers are not that simple. Not everything is black and white and trying to force somebody to answer simplistically just isn't going to happen, no matter how much you try. -100 points for the attempt. --AussieLegend (talk) 14:32, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
Although this talk page nominally only covers the Australia page, I would like to see some comments on whether - if we keep Australian English here - we should also update other countries articles (per my comment of 08:25, 26 June 2010) for the sake of consistency. Alternatively, why this article should be different to other articles. Mitch Ames (talk) 12:43, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
I think that {{Infobox country}} should give guidelines on this, so I will also raise the matter in that template's talk page. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:41, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Template talk:Infobox country#Guidelines for language, eg English or Australian_English raises the general question for all countries. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:57, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
This article should use the same link as in United States and United Kingdom. Format (talk) 20:59, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Why? (I'm assuming you have a reason) For guidance we should be looking at featured articles to see how they approach it. United States is only GA and United Kingdom lost its GA status. Canada is FA and it uses Canadian English. Another featured article is this one so it seems United States and United Kingdom should probably follow us, not the other way around. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:27, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Does anyone seriously believe that whether calling it English or Australian English is at all relevant to FA or GA status? Australian English is a dialect. It is certainly not a language unto itself. Thus, the question "What is Australia's official language?" cannot be answered "Australian English is Australia's de facto official language." As such, having "English" as the display text but linking to "Australian English" is probably the best way to go. -Rrius (talk) 08:08, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe that the GA or FA status of any article should be used as the guideline for the language in the infobox - unless someone can point to some explicit evidence that links the two. Mitch Ames (talk) 09:46, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
It should say English and link to English language because that is in fact the language. The article Australian English does not describe a language and that article, as it currently stands anyway, is not about a language. That article gives a brief discussion about a few aspects of the English spoken in Australia (eg, there is a mix of UK terms and US terms, there are a small number of Aboriginal terms, it speculates about the origins of a small number of slang terms) but really gives no clear overall idea of the language itself. That language itself is English language. Link to that. Format (talk) 08:24, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
"Featured articles are considered to be the best articles in Wikipedia, as determined by Wikipedia's editors." They are the type of articles that all articles should try to be. Articles are scrutinised very closely before being awarded FA status. (This article is undergoing such scrutiny now as part of the FAR) That's why we look to featured articles for guidance. That both identified FAs refer to country specific language and the GA and former GA articles don't says something. However, even if you ignore the FA issue, you can't avoid the fact that the infobox is supposed to summarise the article so use of Australian English in the infobox, where it's been for years, is consistent with that requirement. I mentioned that only this afternoon[27] but I notice it's been conveniently avoided. --AussieLegend (talk) 11:18, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree that it should be English. As an Australian, I speak English. Australian English is really just UK English with a few words adopted from US English for various reasons (Like truck) and with the inclusion of some aboriginal words as loanwords. Either way, it is simply English. Furthermore, there are 3 different dialects of Australian English, so Australian English is not the most accurate term either. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chipmunkdavis (talkcontribs) 14:07, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Australia Multicultural????

At the beginning of the Article it mentions that Australia is a multicultural society. We know its now very hip for a country to call itself multicultural in the now global village BUT Australia IS MULTICULTRAL in relation to what and whom???...the U.S? Canada? Australia still has tons of race relation issues and its 2010

Some western western european countries seem more multicultural than Australia

whit and white and white does not make multiculturalism!!! "In the 2006 Australian census, the most commonly nominated ancestry was Australian (37.13%),[184] followed by English (31.65%), Irish (9.08%), Scottish (7.56%), Italian (4.29%), German (4.09%), Chinese (3.37%), and Greek (1.84%).[18"

It's interesting to note that Aboriginals arent even mentioned in this summation...tsk , tsk, tsk..... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:59, 2 July 2010

Aborigines have a much lower population number than other races, which could be it. Additionally, they probably said their ancestry was Australian. The census didn't discriminate between "white australians" and "other australians", as it right and proper.Chipmunkdavis (talk) 17:39, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Also, there's a separate question specifically for Indigenous identity. --GenericBob (talk) 00:46, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
'Multicultural' is a loaded word. It can be contentious because it has no precise meaning. Is a multiultural society one in which different cultural identities exist separately? Or is it one in which distinct cultures meet in a common identity? I wouldn't want to argue one or the other on Wikipedia because it is a controversial subject in Australia, the subject of frequent community debate. Some say Australia is culturally intolerant and racist as a society. Others say the opposite. The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. Perhaps instead of using the word we could simply say something like, 'Australian society has been markedly shaped by immigation'.Gazzster (talk) 03:56, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Queen or Monarch

I've changed the Info box from Queen to Monarch again. Although AussieLegend correctly points out that the Constitution says "Queen", Clause 2 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act says The provisions of this Act referring to the Queen shall extend to Her Majesty's heirs and successors in the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. I am not a constitutional lawyer, but I think that means we can safely assume that the head of state is the "monarch" in general. According to Brodie's Our Constitution, p10: "The Constitution specified that the Commonwealth of Australia would have the Queen or King of Great Britain as its Head of State." Presumably this refers to Clause 2 of the act, because the Constitution itself does not appear to mention the King at all. Mitch Ames (talk) 09:39, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm not clear on why you want to use the more general noun. Quentin Bryce isn't listed as "Viceroy", after all. That's not to say I think it's wrong; I genuinely don't understand why this matters. -Rrius (talk) 09:44, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
The term Governor-general (rather than the more general viceroy) is appropriate because that term is used explicitly in the constitution. So far I as know there is nothing in the consitution or the Constitution Act that gives any hint that the term might not always be appropriate. By contrast, the problem with Queen is that it is a function of (the gender of) a particular person fulfilling the role. Should the leader_title1 in the info box change just because the person fulfilling the role changed (from male to female or vice-versa)? I think not. The clear intent of the constitution act is (to my non-lawyer mind) that the head of state at any point in time is the monarch - and the article infobox does list Australia's government as being a constitutional monarchy. For example, did the constitution change to use King instead of Queen when Victoria died and Edward VII took the throne? No, but that doesn't mean that he wasn't our head of state. Mitch Ames (talk) 10:59, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
"The term Governor-general (rather than the more general viceroy) is appropriate because that term is used explicitly in the constitution." - The term Queen (rather than the more general monarch) is appropriate because that term is used explicitly in the constitution. --AussieLegend (talk) 11:36, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Nitpick: while the head of state certainly is a monarch, the field is for their title. I can imagine the other two people in that box being announced as "Prime Minister Julia Gillard" and "Governor-General Quentin Bryce", but nobody would announce Her Maj as "Monarch Elizabeth". --GenericBob (talk) 09:51, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
A valid point. But perhaps we should use Head of State instead of Queen or Monarch, and Queen Elizabeth II instead of Elizabeth II. Head of State may not strictly be a "title", but perhaps it more clearly expresses her role, and keeps the word "Queen" associated with the individual rather than the role. Eg:
 •  Head of State Queen Elizabeth II
No, that won't do, because there's ongoing debate about whether our head of state is the monarch or the governor-general. Monarch is a better word to use here (even though nobody ever says "Monarch Elizabeth"). We won't always have Queen Elizabeth; if she dropped dead tomorrow, we'd suddenly have a king. Generally speaking, sometimes we have a king, sometimes we have a queen. It all depends on the sex of the individual on the throne. But whether it's a king or a queen, it's always going to be a monarch (while ever we keep that system). That's why Australia is a constitutional monarchy. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 11:13, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
There's no serious debate about who the head of state is. The Constitution is quite clear, "The legislative power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Federal Parliament, which shall consist of the Queen, a Senate, and a House of Representatives, and which is herein-after called "The Parliament," or "The Parliament of the Commonwealth."" It then continues, "A Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty's representative in the Commonwealth". The head of state is the Queen, the GG acts as her representative carrying out the duties of the head of state but the actual head is still the Queen. Liz may delegate all her duties to the GG but she's still the head. The proposal to remove her as head of state was defeated in 1999. This diversion aside, GenericBob is correct here, the field is for the title, which is Queen, not Monarch. --AussieLegend (talk) 11:33, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
From the Politics section: "Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Australia, a role that is distinct from her position as monarch of the other Commonwealth realms." - Use of "Queen" in the infobox is consistent with this section. --AussieLegend (talk) 12:07, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Anyone ever thought about having a look at how they have it at the articles about the other countries which share a Monarch with Australia? Looking at Canada, United Kingdom, and New Zealand, it would seem they use "Monarch" for the position and "Queen Elizabeth II" for the holder of the position. Perhaps that would be best here? Oh, and while were talking about the infobox, I've been wondering why the Chief Justice (of the High Court) of Australia is not listed on it, because Wikipedia articles on other countries normally seem to. --~Knowzilla (Talk) 12:09, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Valid points. I did look at those articles and then at Monarchy of Australia, which says, "The monarchy is a constitutional one modelled on the Westminster style of parliamentary government, incorporating features unique to the Constitution of Australia." One of those features is that The Constitution specifically refers to the "Queen", which is why Queen has been used here. --AussieLegend (talk) 12:19, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
No, that's not right. The Constitution used Queen because there happened to be a queen on the throne at the time, Victoria. We're using queen here because there happens to be a queen on the throne currently, Elizabeth. The two things are not connected. If there had been a king in 1900, we'd still be using queen here, because Elizabeth is not a king. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 10:30, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
As I posted elsewhere on this page not long ago, the change from "Queen" to "King" takes two seconds. --AussieLegend (talk) 10:48, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's no argument for anything. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 11:53, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
<quoting Knowzilla> ...why the Chief Justice (of the High Court) of Australia is not listed on it ...
- The Info box lists "Government", but the Chief Justice / High Court is not part of the government, because of the Separation of powers in Australia. If the CJ/HC were to be listed, it would have to be under Judiciary, not Government. Mitch Ames (talk) 12:25, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for replying: But I noticed at the article United States the CJ is listed, and he is not part of the US government, and at article New Zealand, a country very similar to Australia in system of government (aside of being federation though) also has the CJ listed. "Government" has many definitions. --~Knowzilla (Talk) 15:07, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
The Australian constitution appear to separate the judiciary from the government fairly clearly. Chapter 1: The Parliament describes the structure and legistlative powers of the parliament. Chapter 2: The Executive Government describes the executive powers of the government. Chapter 3: The Judicature describes the judicial power, High Court etc. Except for the implication in the title of chapter 2, I don't think that "government" is actually defined in the constitution or the Constitution Act (but I am not a lawyer). Mitch Ames (talk) 13:00, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

AussieLegend and GenericBob make compelling arguments for the case that leader_title1 should be "Queen", because that is her correct title. However I still feel that the end result (as displayed in the article) is somehow "wrong". Perhaps the infobox itself is "wrong", in that it should refer to the role (which would be monarch or head of state) rather than the title. Or perhaps it should be the title of the position, not the title of the person? Hence my earlier suggestion of leader_title1 = Head of State, leader_name1 = QE II. While I acknowledge that the constitution explicitly says Queen, I still believe that the role of the monarch is more important than the title of the Queen, as evidenced by Clause 2 of the Constitution Act which states that "Queen" is effectively a placeholder for "ruling monarch". And again I point out that the Constitution did not change when Victoria died and we had a series of Kings for 50 years. Surely no-one doubts that the King was our "leader1" during that time. Mitch Ames (talk) 12:34, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

You need to take into account the preamble of the Constitution, as it sets the stage for the document. It states: "2. The provisions of this Act referring to the Queen shall extend to Her Majesty’s heirs and successors in the sovereignty of the United Kingdom." Therefore, Monarch would be more appropriate, as the title of "Queen" will change if and when appropriate. - S Masters (talk) 02:19, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopaedia. It will take two seconds to change from "Queen" to "King" when that change eventually happens. Since it's good enough for The Constitution to say "Queen", as opposed to "Monarch", it should be good enough here. --AussieLegend (talk) 10:07, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Side issue: debate about the head of state

AussieLegend, you say there's no serious debate about who the head of state is. Maybe you ought to read these:

From Government of Australia#Head of state:

  • The question of whether the Queen is Australia's head of state became a political one during the 1999 Australian republic referendum, when opponents of the move to make Australia a republic claimed that Australia already had an Australian as head of state in the person of the Governor-General, who since 1965 has invariably been an Australian citizen. The former Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery, said in 2004: "Her Majesty is Australia's head of state but I am her representative and to all intents and purposes I carry out the full role." However, in 2005, he declined to name the Queen as head of state, instead saying in response to a direct question, "The Queen is the Monarch and I represent her, and I carry out all the functions of head of state."[2] The Governor-General represents Australia internationally, making and receiving State visits.[3][4]
  • In 2009 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described the Governor-General as the Australian head of state, announcing an overseas visit by Quentin Bryce by saying, "A visit to Africa of this scale by Australia's Head of State will express the seriousness of Australia's commitment".[5]

From Monarchy of Australia#Constitutional role:

  • As such, there is some debate over whether the sovereign or the Governor-General is Australia's head of state.

Sir David Smith, in his book “Head of State”, argues passionately that our head of state is the governor-general, and one might think he ought to know, having been the Official Secretary to 5 of them. I happen to disagree with him, as you presumably would. But that disagreement does not remove the existence of the debate. It actually acknowledges it, otherwise there’d be no position to disagree with. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 12:37, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

I suggest you read what I wrote again: There is no serious debate. (emphasis added). Like this discussion, it's a side issue at best, involving only a limited number of people and it doesn't have any effect in the grand scheme of things. --AussieLegend (talk) 12:58, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, I don't like to use such characterisations to downplay arguments against my positions on things. If a point is easily demolishable, then demolish it. And if it's been demolished, truly demolished, your opponent will have no recourse but to agree with your position. But have they agreed? Some have, but there are some very learned people who don't. The very fact that neither the Constitution nor any other document makes it explicitly clear who holds the title makes this not the black and white issue you might suggest. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 14:03, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

It makes sense to say Monarch there, rather than Queen. This is in line with United Kingdom and Canada, i do not see a problem with it. No point changing Monarch to Queen. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:24, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Actually it was "Queen" and somebody changed it to "Monarch". --AussieLegend (talk) 10:07, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Stick with Monarch. The queen mentioned in the constitution is simply a reference to the monarch at the time of the constitution, and the country will not alter its constitution every time the Monarch changes gender. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:09, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

The listing of Monarch and Governor-General is appropriate. On a different page, I made some comments on the matter. New Zealand's constitution explicitly defines the monarch as the head of state. Australia's makes no such statement, nor is there any definitive legal instrument to rely upon. It is interesting to see the ABC and various other media outlets refer to Quentin Bryce as "Australia's first female head of state"[28] - as opposed to Queen Victoria! The best we can say is that opinions both official and general differ. --Pete (talk) 15:38, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

I know I am coming into this a bit late but I think it is important that we use the most reliable sources available, not the writings of partisans in the monarchy debate (ie David Smith) or the ramblings of journalists, who unfortunately rarely know exactly what they are talking about. In this case I refer you to the Australian Government website, and in particular this document which clearly states "Australia’s head of state is Queen Elizabeth II" and "The Governor-General performs the ceremonial functions of head of state on behalf of the Queen" That is what the article needs to explain. --Michael Johnson (talk) 00:20, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

To me, "ceremonial" doesn't quite cover the full scope of the GG's role. While they tend to be only formalities, the GG does tasks to do with the calling of elections, appointing Prime Ministers, etc. This really mattered at the time of the Whitlam dismissal. It was all approved and processed by the Governor general. Her Majesty just sat back and watched. I would go along with ceremonial, plus "formal procedural matters to do with governance", or something like that.

If we had some legal document, stating the identity of the Australian head of state, that would be great. But unfortunately, the only two legal references I can find are rather obscure and contradictory. In one, the High Court describes the Governor-General as the "Constitutional head of the Commonwealth"[29], and in the other, the Governor-General is not listed in a schedule to a law as an International Protected Person, including heads of state, requiring Commonwealth security when visiting.[30] Calling opinions contrary to your own as partisan or "ramblings" is not helpful, especialy when your own sources are wobbly. Relying on departmental websites where the content providers are unlisted is a step up from using Wikipedia as a source, but not a big one.There is no definitive answer, and it is clear that community opinion is divided. --Pete (talk) 18:50, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry but Smith is partisan in this debate - it has been a deliberate tactic of monarchists to deflect attention away from the Queen as a "foreign" head of state. And a statement by a journalist is not reliable either. My source is not just a "departmental website" but obviously the considered view of the Government of Australia on this matter. You really need to review both WP:RS and the website if you really think it "wobbly". It is totally reliable. And if the Queen is not head of state what is she? Chopped liver? I mean really in what context is a reigning monarch not a head of state? --Michael Johnson (talk) 06:49, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I hadn't really considered the ABC,[31] The Australian,[32] the Sydney Morning Herald,[33] The Canberra Times[34] and all the rest to be monarchist media outlets, especially considering the way they acted during the referendum a few years back. Yet they all refer to the Governor-General as head of state, and have done so for decades, off and on. Presumably they reflect informed opinion. As has the government. The simple fact is that there is no definitive source. And that is because the matter is not defined in Australian law.
The Queen is undeniably the British head of state. But following the Statute of Westminster, which placed the Imperial Realms on the same independent footing as the United Kingdom, the position of the monarch became rather more complex. Under the Australian Constitution, which is now the foundation of Australian law, the monarch has very few powers indeed, and they very limited. The main power is that of appointment of the Governor-General, which is now on the advice of the Australian PM. As was demonstrated with King George V and Sir Isaac Isaacs, this is done whether the monarch wishes it or not. The powers of head of state are given directly to the Governor-General, and may not be exercised by the monarch - as we saw in 1975.
Lacking any definition, Australians are free to choose whom they regard as the head of state. Some choose the Queen, because she comes first in the Order of Precedence, and well, she's the Queen, yeah. Some choose the Governor-General, because she does the job in her own right, and as a head of state is someone who embodies the spirit of the nation, it is more fitting to have an Australian in the position. --Pete (talk) 07:12, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
(later)Looking at the ABC article mentioned, I was amused to find a footnote: "*Editor's note: The Governor-General is not Australia’s Head of State. The Governor-General is the Queen’s representative.". This "Queen's representative" idea is a source of much confusion, as people imagine that it means that the Queen tells the Governor-General what to do, and the G-G is her agent or deputy. Not so. The Queen cannot explicitly order the Governor-General to do something. She is not given that power under the Constitution, nor anywhere else. In fact, under Australian law the Queen, by virtue of the Royal Powers Act 1953, is empowered to act as the Governor-General's representative when present in Australia. Obviously the ABC is as confused as anybody else! --Pete (talk) 07:37, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
She also has the power to disallow any law within one year ... and on such disallowance being made known .. shall annul the law ... (clause 59). Ie the power to revoke any law that Parliament may make, as long as she does it within the year. Mitch Ames (talk) 07:51, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Obsolete at Federation and now well and truly moribund. Hard to imagine a Prime Minister advising the Queen to disallow his (or her - ain't that marvellous!) own legislation! --Pete (talk) 08:09, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
The PM doesn't need to advise the Queen to do it; the Queen has that power under the Constitution. Your comment was that "Under the Australian Constitution, ... the monarch has very few powers indeed, and they very limited." In fact clause 59 gives the monarch the quite significant power to revoke any law that Parliament passes - overriding the GG's assent. Mitch Ames (talk) 08:24, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
But overriding that is the very strongly adhered to convention that the Queen and the GG act only on the advice of their Prime Minister. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 08:30, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Technically speaking, the Queen has the power to disallow legislation, I agree. But there is a lot in the Constitution that has no current effect. For example, the Constitution states that there shall be an Inter-State Commission. But where is it? And where in the Constitution does one find the Prime Minister? Unless you count "Almighty God". --Pete (talk) 09:05, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Guys, I opened up this side thread, not in order for us all to now have a debate about who the HOS is, but to shine a light on the fact that there has been debate about it for a number of years, without coming to universal agreement - all because there is no document that would settle it indisputably. As the above amply shows. It's not good enough to damn one side as partisan and then cherry pick our own favourite sources supporting the other side. That might do for a debate at a pub, but we're writing an encyclopedia here and we need to remain balanced. If we're going to quote an Australian government source that says it's the Queen, we cannot just ignore Rudd's statement of 2009 that says it's the Governor-General. If he wasn't talking on behalf of the Australian Government when he authorised those words, what was he on about? -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 07:33, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Just so! --Pete (talk) 07:39, 4 July 2010 (UTC)