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The culture of Australia is a Western culture, derived primarily from Britain but also influenced by the unique geography of the Australian continent, the diverse input of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other Oceanian people. The British colonisation of Australia began in 1788, and waves of multi-ethnic migration followed. Evidence of a significant Anglo-Celtic heritage includes the predominance of the English language, the existence of a democratic system of government drawing upon the British traditions of Westminster Government, Parliamentarianism and constitutional monarchy, American constitutionalist and federalist traditions, Christianity as the dominant religion, and the popularity of sports originating in (or influenced by) the British Isles. Australian culture has diverged significantly since British settlement.
Aboriginal people are believed to have arrived as early as 60,000 years ago, and evidence of Aboriginal art in Australia dates back at least 30,000 years. Several states and territories had their origins as penal colonies, with the first British convicts arriving at Sydney Cove in 1788. Stories of outlaws like the bushranger Ned Kelly have endured in Australian music, cinema and literature. The Australian gold rushes from the 1850s brought wealth as well as new social tensions to Australia, including the miners' rebellion. The colonies established elected parliaments and rights for workers and women before most other Western nations.
Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney
Convict architecture at Port Arthur, Tasmania
Interior of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney
The Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
Parliament House, Canberra
A typical Queenslander house in Brisbane
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