Aboriginal culture is regarded as the world's
oldest living. Their oldest cave paintings are
considered to be more than twice as old as those found
in Europe. Culture varies between different tribes, but
as a common point of departure all life is part of the
same system and that the earth gives man her identity.
Most of Aboriginal culture has a religious meaning
(see Population and Languages). Aboriginal music is
closely linked to dance and drama. Their art has
attracted international attention in recent decades.
Latest population statistics of Australia, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Kath Wolker (1920–1993), or Oodgeroo Noonuccal who
was her Aboriginal name, is one of several writers who
portrayed the Aborigines' loss of their cultural
identity in modern society.
The culture of white Australians had long held
British role models, but in the late 1800s the feeling
of "the Australian" grew. The literature was
characterized by the hard but free life of immigrants in
the magnificent nature.
The poet "Banjo" Paterson created the folk song
Waltzing Matilda, which has become an unofficial
During the Second World War, the feeling of an
Australian distinctive character grew even stronger. The
epic Patrick White (1912–1990), the epic Patrick White
(1912–1990), who was awarded the Nobel Prize in
Literature in 1973. Among newer authors are Peter Carey,
Thomas Keneally, Murray Bail, Judith Wright (1915-2000),
Kate Grenville and Christina Stead (1902-1983). Some of
these authors are represented in an anthology of short
stories by Australian authors published in Swedish 2009:
Australia tells: the future of the dream. In the novel
Örfilen (The Slap) by Christos Tsiolkas gives a good
picture of today's multicultural Australia.
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Australia. Artists and albums are also included.
The art of the whites has long been European in
character and followed the main international trends.
However, an independent school in painting with the
center in Melbourne has received international
attention. Prominent artists are Sidney Nolan
Melbourne and Sydney (with its original opera house)
are Australia's premier music and theater scenes. An
Australian opera singer who won world reputation was
Joan Sutherland (1926–2010).
In popular music, artists and groups such as Kylie
Minogue, Nick Cave, AC / DC, Midnight Oil, INXS and
others have become internationally known. Australian
film directors such as Peter Weir, Gillian Armstrong and
Baz Luhrmann as well as actors such as Nicole Kidman,
Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman have
reached an international audience as well as Australian
TV series. In the feature film Australia (2008), which,
among other things, addresses the issue of Aboriginal
treatment, Luhrmann directs Kidman and Jackman.
The fighter jets are taken home from the Middle East
The government announces that Australia is taking
home its six fighter planes from Syria and Iraq, where
they are part of the US-led International Coalition
against the Islamic State (IS). The decision is made
after Iraq recently declared victory over IS and
announced that the country was once again in full
control of the border with Syria. Australia has
contributed to the coalition with 780 people.
Nineteen are injured when a car hits pedestrians
Nineteen people are injured, some of them serious,
when a passenger car hits pedestrians on Flinders Street
in Melbourne. The man, who is arrested directly at the
crime scene, is an Australian citizen with an Afghan
background. He came to Australia as a refugee and is
known by the police for mental health problems and
substance abuse. He is said to have said that he carried
out the crime in order to "treat Muslims badly", but
Prime Minister Turnbull later said that it was a
"shocking crime" but an "isolated incident". The police
do not know any links between the perpetrator and
The government regains the majority in parliament
Former tennis professional John Alexander wins by a
marginal margin a filling election in a South New
suburb, which means the Turnbull government regains its
majority in parliament. Alexander was forced to resign
as a member after it was discovered that he had dual
citizenship, which is prohibited by the Constitution.
After giving up his British citizenship, Alexander was
running for election, taking home the victory.
Final report of sexual abuse
The five-year investigation, commissioned by the
government at the highest level, shows that various
institutions such as schools, sports associations and
churches have failed to protect children from abuse.
Several of the over 4,000 institutions surveyed are part
of the Catholic Church. The investigation has heard
testimony from over 8,000 people who have been subjected
to abuse. Over 200 charges have been brought. The final
report recommends, among other things, that employees of
the Catholic Church who do not report abuse should be
brought to justice and that the rules on celibacy for
priests should be changed. It is also proposed that a
national strategy to prevent sexual abuse against
children be developed.
Increasing tensions between China and Australia
The Foreign Ministry of China has called for
Australia's ambassador after the Australian government
announced new legislation to prevent foreign involvement
in its policy (see December 4).
Relations between the countries have subsequently
Senate member resigns following allegations of
conspiracy with China
A Labor senator resigns because of ties to a Chinese
billionaire. The senator must have received payment for
travel and legal assistance. He should also have opposed
Labour's policies and made China-friendly statements in
connection with discussions about the conflict in the
South China Sea.
Parliament adopts same-sex marriage law
A majority of the members of the House of
Representatives agree to the bill to allow marriage
between people of the same sex. One week ago, the
proposal was approved by the Senate.
Bills must stop foreign influence
The government will present a new bill to stop
infiltration and attempts to influence the country by
foreign powers. Prime Minister Turnbull issued a report
in June after media in Australia revealed that
politicians from both the Liberal Party and Labor must
have received large sums of money from billionaires who
were reportedly linked to China's Communist Party.
The government coalition wins in the general
Barnaby Joyce, who was allowed to leave his post as
Deputy Prime Minister after it was discovered he had
dual citizenship, wins a re-election held to fill his
seat in the House of Representatives. The Government
Coalition thus takes back one of the mandates that it
lost in the House of Representatives during the autumn
after the crisis of citizenship settled (see
November and October).
The government is investigating the banking and
A special public inquiry, a so-called Royal
Commission, will be appointed to investigate the
leadership and organizational culture in the banking and
financial sectors and propose measures to deal with the
problems of recent years. In recent years, a number of
banks have been involved in scandals involving, among
other things, tax and interest rate planning and
insurance fraud. In August, the big bank Commonwealth
Bank was accused of breaking money laundering laws.
Yes to same-sex marriage
The result of the two-month non-binding postal vote
on same-sex marriage that has been going on since
September is clear. Nearly 62 percent of voters want it
to be allowed for people of the same sex to marry.
Voting was around 80 percent. At the same time as the
result is announced, Prime Minister Turnbull promises to
present a bill on same-sex marriage in Parliament before
The government loses majority in parliament
Another member of the House of Representatives, John
Alexander of the Liberal Party, is forced to leave
because of dual citizenship. A short time ago, Deputy
Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce also had to leave for the
same reason. As a result, the coalition government has
lost its majority among the House's 150 seats, and now
has as many seats (74) as the opposition. However, Prime
Minister Turnbull claims that the government has the
support of two independent members and can therefore
continue to govern.
Closure of refugee camps causes problems
Hundreds of asylum seekers refuse to leave the
Australian refugee camp on Manus Island in Papua New
Guinea when it is closed. They are worried about their
safety and have locked themselves in the camp, where
there is no electricity, food and water. Australia still
refuses to accept them. But the refugees have previously
been offered to stay in Papua New Guinea, be taken to an
Australian refugee camp in Nauru or to live in Cambodia,
which has entered into an agreement with Australia to
receive refugees in exchange for aid.
Refugees refuse to leave the camp at Manus
When the Australian refugee camp on the island of
Manus in Papua New Guinea is to be closed, after the
country's highest court in 2016 ruled that it violates
the constitution, hundreds of asylum seekers are locked
in the camp. They tell the media that they are afraid of
how they will be treated by the locals in the community.
The more than 600 men have been offered to stay in Papua
New Guinea, return to their home countries, move to a
similar Australian camp in Nauru or move to Cambodia,
which has signed an agreement with Australia to receive
refugees in exchange for aid.
Deputy Prime Minister Joyce loses parliamentary seat
Australia's highest court believes in a ruling that
it was wrong for Barnaby Joyce to be elected to the
House of Commons in the 2016 election because he then
had dual citizenship. Joyce has resigned his New Zealand
citizenship which he had gained through his father
coming from New Zealand. As a result of the decision,
the government coalition loses its scarce majority in
the lower house and must now seek support from
No to Aboriginal advisory bodies
The government says no to the proposal that the
indigenous people should have their own representative
body with an advisory position according to the
constitution. The initiative was taken after a historic
meeting earlier this year with leaders of indigenous
peoples in the country. The government rejected the
proposal that such a body would "be seen as a third
chamber of Parliament".
Draft clear boundary agreement with East Timor
The Permanent Arbitration Tribunal in The Hague
announces that Canberra and Dili have agreed on a joint
text for a sea border agreement and ownership of gas and
oil reserves in the Timor Sea between the countries. An
agreement can probably be signed in 2018.
Post vote on same-sex marriage
The voluntary vote will continue until November 7.
The result of the vote is not binding on the government,
but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised that if
it becomes a yes, Parliament should hold a vote that
could lead to a change in the country's marriage law.
Matt Canavan, minister responsible for federal
resources, resigns after discovering he has dual
citizenship. He does not claim to have known about dual
citizenship, but must have happened to be an Italian
citizen in adulthood when his mother was registered as
such. Canavan is still a senator for the time being.
Earlier in July, two Senators from the Greens left their
seats due to dual citizenship. According to the
Constitution, Members of Parliament must have no more
than one citizenship.
UN criticism of asylum policy
UNHCR accuses Australia of failing to comply with an
agreement to ease the strict refugee laws and allow some
refugees brought to Nauru and Papua New Guinea to reach
Australian soil. According to a settlement in November
2016, some boat refugees would be transferred to the
United States if Canberra received others with relatives
in Australia. According to UNCHR, Australia has
continued to refuse to accept refugees.
Super ministries will strengthen the terrorist fight
To increase the fight against terrorism, the
government creates a super department for security
issues. Under the ministry, the country's security
services are sorted as the security police, as well as
border police and the national police force. Prime
Minister Turnbull also announces that the military will
be granted expanded powers in connection with terrorist
acts. Above all, the police should not have to exhaust
all their resources before the military can be called
in, but the military should be able to be engaged at an
earlier stage, according to Turnbull.
Australian Cardinal is accused of sex abuse
Cardinal George Pell is being questioned by
Australian police on suspicion of having committed
several sexual offenses, including in his hometown of
Ballarat, where hundreds of children are alleged to have
been abused within the Catholic Church. Pell has been an
archbishop in Melbourne and Sydney. Pell, who until now
has been the Vatican's chief financial officer, is the
highest-ranking Vatican employee accused of sexual
assault. However, during the legal process, he leaves
his post. An initial public hearing is reported by news
media scheduled for March 2018.
Gas exports are limited
From July, the government will impose restrictions on
how much natural gas producers may export abroad. There
is a shortage of energy in the country, including in
South Australia, and according to the government, many
gas suppliers have prioritized selling gas abroad rather
than delivering to the domestic market. However, the
Government stresses that the restrictions are temporary.
Gigantic hydropower project is planned
Prime Minister Turnbull announces that billions of
Australian dollars will be spent on expanding the
hydropower in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales.
The project means that several tunnels and power plants
will be built to develop the existing hydropower
production. One purpose of the investment is, among
other things, to remedy the problems with electricity
supply that have recently caused a power outage in South
Health Minister resigns
After allegations of having made a trip for taxpayer
money in 2015, when she also bought a house for her own
use, Health Minister Sussan Ley is forced to resign. Her
departure is a tough blow for Prime Minister Turnbull.
Indonesia stops military cooperation
The reason is that an Indonesian officer discovered
educational material that he deemed abusive to his home
country in connection with a military exchange program
at an Australian military location. A few days later,
Indonesia changed its mind and decided to suspend
cooperation only in language teaching.