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Official Name: Commonwealth of Australia
Capital: Canberra
Official Language: English
Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II
Head of Government: Prime Minister H.E. Mr Tony AbbottMalcolm Turnbull
Foreign Minister: The Hon. Julie Bishop MP
Government Website:
Date of joining: 7 March 1997


Australia is a unique and diverse country in every way - in climate, culture, population, geography, and history. In June 2013, Australia's population was estimated to be about 23.1 million. The most populous states are New South Wales and Victoria, with their respective capitals, Sydney and Melbourne, the largest cities in Australia.  The capitals of Queensland (Brisbane), Western Australia (Perth) and South Australia (Adelaide) also have over one million people.  Canberra is the nation's capital.

Learn more about Australia.




Indigenous Australians were thought to have arrived by boat from South East Asia during the last Ice Age, at least 50,000 years ago. At the time of European discovery and settlement, up to one million Indigenous Australians lived across the continent as hunters and gatherers. They were scattered in around 300 clans and spoke 250 languages and 700 dialects. Each clan had a spiritual connection with a specific piece of land. However, they also travelled widely to trade, find water and seasonal produce and for ritual and totemic gatherings.

Learn more about Australia's history.



Australia is the smallest of the world's continents. It is also the lowest, the flattest and (apart from Antarctica) the driest.  The highest point on the Australian mainland is Mount Kosciuszko, New South Wales, at 2228 metres above sea level. The lowest point is the dry bed of Lake Eyre, South Australia, which is 15 metres below sea level.

Australia shares three of the world's five oceans: the Pacific, Southern and Indian oceans.  Australia's marine environment is home to 4000 fish species, 1700 coral species, 50 types of marine mammals and a wide range of seabirds. About 80 per cent of marine species in southern Australian waters are found nowhere else in the world.

Learn more about Australia's environment and Australia's geosciences basics.

Government & Politics

Government and Politics

Australia's system of government is founded in the liberal democratic tradition. Based on the values of religious tolerance, freedom of speech and association, and the rule of law, Australia's institutions and practices of government reflect British and North American models. At the same time, they are uniquely Australian.

One of the oldest continuous democracies in the world, the Commonwealth of Australia was created in 1901 when the former British colonies now the six states agreed to federate. The democratic practices and principles that shaped the pre-federation colonial parliaments (such as 'one man, one vote' and women's suffrage) were adopted by Australia's first federal government.



Australia is one of the most ethnically diverse societies in the world.

Around one in four Australian residents were born outside of Australia and many more are first or second generation Australians, the children and grandchildren of recently arrived migrants and refugees.

This wide variety of backgrounds, together with the culture of Indigenous Australians who have lived on the Australian continent for more than 50,000 years, have helped create a uniquely Australian identity and spirit.

Learn more about Australian People, Australian Society and Australian Culture.

Learn more about Australian Indigenous cultural heritage.



Australia's economy is open and innovative, with a commitment from the Australian Government to maintain strong economic growth.  As one of the world's 20 largest economies, Australia is a member of the Group of Twenty (G20), the premier forum for international economic cooperation. Australi is the current G20 Chair.

 Learn more about Australia's Imports and Exports and Australia in the G20.

Transportation & Communication

Transportation & Communication

Australia's road network totals 815,000 kilometres and railways about 42,000 kilometres across the continent.  Australian media have a robust tradition of free expression and vigorous analysis of public policy.

Learn more about Australian Transport statistics, and Media and Communication in Australia.

Find a list of Australian Government transport websites, and Australian Government IT and Communications websites.

Social Indicators

Social and Health

Australia's health system is widely recognised as world class. A universal public health system called Medicare ensures that all Australian permanent residents have access to a broad range of quality health services that are either free at the point of care or subject to substantial government rebates. A private health sector complements this public system.

Learn more about Australia's health system.

Learn more about  Australian social indicators and trends and Australia's social customs.

International Relations

International Relations

Australia's foreign and trade policies promote the security and long-term prosperity of Australia.

Australia's international aid program aims to help people in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty.  The program also responds when disaster strikes.  The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade administers the aid program, working with developing countries to identify and address needs.  The 2013-14 aid budget is estimated to be $5.042 billion. This represents 0.33 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI). Australian aid to IORA member countries was estimated to total around $778 million in 2012-13, with the largest programs in Indonesia and Bangladesh. Further information on Australia's international aid program is available at:

Learn more about Australian embassies, high commissions, consulates, multilateral missions and representative offices

News & Media

Australian media

Australia Network - Australia's International TV Channel



Photos and Videos about Australia

Australian places on the World Heritage List

Learn more about Australian places on the World Heritage List

At a glance

Australia is a unique and diverse country in its culture, population, climate, geography and history.

It is the sixth-largest country in the world and has the world's third-largest ocean territory, spanning three oceans and covering around 12 million square kilometres.

Find out more about Australia.

Public Holidays

Australia's National Public Holidays are New Year's Day, Australia Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. All other public holidays such as Queen's Birthday and Labour Day are individually declared by the state and territory governments.

Find out more about Australia's public holidays in 2014.

Capital City

Canberra became the site for the newly federated nation of Australia in 1908 by a ballot in Parliament after an extensive search. Since then the city has grown to become the proud home of the Australian story.

Learn more about Canberra

Major Tourist Attractions

Planning Your Visit

Planning your visit

Visit the website to find out about Australia's currency, social customs, climate and weather, exchange rates, maps, public holidays, and school term dates, Australia's time zones, telephone country and area codes.

Australian Visa requirements for visitors

Find out about the types of visas available for tourists to Australia or use the Visa Wizard.

Australian customs formalities for visitors

Learn more about customs procedures when entering, or exiting, Australia.

Australian visitor visa statistics

Statistics on the number of visitor visas granted for entry into Australia



Student Visa Requirements

To be granted a student visa you must satisfy the visa requirements and comply with a number of visa conditions for attendance and academic performance which come into effect after you have entered Australia. Your student visa will list the conditions that specifically
apply. It is important to comply with the visa conditions to avoid visa cancellation.

For more detailed, accurate and up-to-date information on student visas and visa requirements please check with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Lean more about Austrakia's Visa Requirements

Learn more about Australia's Student Visa Requirements





Important tourist information about Australia

Find out about important tourist information in Australia.

Airline and Local Transport

Trade Agreements within IORA

Chamber of Commerce


Trade Legislations

Business Incentives in Australia

Business in Australia

Australia offers a wealth of opportunity for businesses to succeed. Australia provides a stable and efficient regulatory environment, a highly skilled and multi-lingual workforce and a culture of innovation. Our unparalleled economic record, world-class industry capabilities and unique cultural and geographic advantages in the world's fastest growing region all form part of Australia's impressive reputation.

Investment Opportunities in Australia

Doing Business with Australia and Investing in Australia

Learn how to do business with Australian businesses.

Learn how to invest in Australia.

Visit these other websites for doing business with Australia.

List of Private & Public companies

Conference & Exhibition Facilities

To be updated soon ...

Educational Opportunities

Diversity and quality underpin Australia's education services, which cater for students from many backgrounds. Australian schools, universities and colleges have a strong commitment to equity, high academic standards and continuous improvement, with a focus on  excellence in teaching, research and student support.

Australia has an internationally recognised tradition of quality and excellence in teaching and education. Over the last three decades Australia has developed into one of the world's leading international study destinations with highly regarded schools, vocational education and training and higher education institutions.

Australia is one of the world's most popular destinations for international tertiary students.

Australia also has the most internationalised tertiary sectors worldwide, with international students making up more than 25 per cent of enrolments.

The Australian Government continues to implement world best practice programs and policy initiatives to ensure that overseas students receive the quality education and
training experience they expect.

Learn more about Australia's education system.

Study in Australia information portal

Australian education information:

Department of Education

Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood

Australian Qualifications Framework

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

Australian Workplace and Productivity Agency

Australian States and Territories education information:

Australian Capital Territory Government Department of Education and Training

New South Wales Government Department of Education and Communities

Northern Territory Government Department of Education

Queensland Government Department of Education, Training and Employment

South Australian Government Department of Education and Child Development

The Department of Education Tasmania

Victorian Government Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

West Australian Government Department of Education 


View the complete list of Australian Government websites for international students.


Student Exchange Programmes

Inbound Student Exchange Programs and Scholarships

Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government. They bring together scholarships and fellowships administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; the Department of Education; and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. Australia Awards offer the next generation of global leaders an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia and for high-achieving Australians to do the same overseas.

Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships, part of the Australia Awards, are competitive, merit-based scholarships providing opportunities for citizens of the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia and for Australians to do the same overseas.

Other scholarships and search tools available include:

International Postgraduate Research Scholarships  - The International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) program focuses on improving the quality of Australian research. If you already have a graduate qualification, an IPRS scholarship lets you study in Australia with some of the best researchers in your field. You can read more about these scholarships on the Department of Education website.

JASON (Joint academic scholarships online network)  - JASON is a postgraduate scholarship search engine. Scholarships in the database apply to Australian students wishing to study at home or abroad, and to international students wishing to study in Australia. You can find out more on the JASON website

IORA Member States Students in

Scholarships for IORA Member States

To be updated soon ...

Why study in

Why study in Australia

In Australia, you have the freedom to choose a path that suits your particular goals. There are thousands of courses on offer.  The Australian education system has a strong international reputation and is known for its effective structure and innovative policy developments. Many other countries, eager to improve their own education systems, turn to Australia for advice.  

Further Information to Study in Australia

Australian Education International

Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students

Eight simple steps to study in Australia

Learn more about study options in Australia:


Vocational Education and Training


English courses

Universities in Australia

Australian universities are linked to institutions in more than 100 countries and academic staff members are recruited from abroad. After graduating in Australia, you will be able to work in companies around the world.

An Australian university will provide you with a sound understanding of your chosen field, along with academic skills that can be applied to other areas. You won't just be learning about health, science, engineering or the arts. You'll also be learning how to think creatively and independently.

Going to Uni in Australia

Group of Eight Australian Universities

Universities Australia

Learn more about higher education in Australia

List of Public/Private Universities for Foreign Students

Student Health Facilities

International Student health facilities

International students must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance as part of the student visa conditions

Australia has a special system of health cover for international students called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) that must be maintained during the entire time on a student visa in Australia.  The OSHC will help pay for any medical or hospital care required in
Australia, and will contribute towards the cost of most prescription medicines, and an ambulance in an emergency.

Learn more about the OSHC.

Distance Education

Distance Education

If you want to study with an Australian institution but can't leave home for all or part of your course, distance education could be the perfect solution for you.

Distance education programs allow you to obtain a qualification from an Australian
institution in your home country, or to combine study at home with study in Australia.

Australia leads the world in the delivery of distance education programs. Institutions use leading technologies and innovative approaches to deliver programs that can be tailored to meet your needs.

Distance Education and Online Courses - Open Universities Australia

Distance Education - Study in Australia

Visa Requirements

Student Visa Requirements

To be granted a student visa you must satisfy the visa requirements and comply with a number of visa conditions for attendance and academic performance which come into effect after you have entered Australia. Your student visa will list the conditions that specifically
apply. It is important to comply with the visa conditions to avoid visa cancellation.

For more detailed, accurate and up-to-date information on student visas and visa requirements please check with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Lean more about Austrakia's Visa Requirements

Learn more about Australia's Student Visa Requirements