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Saturday, January 26, 2013

AUSTRALIA'S NATIONAL DAY

Map:  Australia.  Credit:  CIA World Factbook.

FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Australia's National Day
Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 23, 2013


On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the Australian people as you celebrate Australia Day this January 26.

During my recent visit to Australia I was reminded of the strong bonds that unite our two countries. We are cooperating on more issues than ever before, from strengthening security to space exploration, from expanding educational exchanges to increasing trade and commerce. We are also working tirelessly to advance the causes of freedom, democracy and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and across the globe. All of this is reinforced by the ties of family, friends, values and principles.

As you celebrate your national day with loved ones, know that the United States stands with you as a committed partner and friend. I wish all Australians a safe and happy holiday celebration and continued peace and prosperity in the coming year.


Canberra from the air. This view of Australia's capital includes the Parliament Building, Lake Burley Griffin, and the Black Mountain (telecommunications) Tower. Photo Credit: CIA World Factbook.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM CIA WORLD FACTBOOK
Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia about 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession of the east coast in the name of Great Britain (all of Australia was claimed as British territory in 1829 with the creation of the colony of Western Australia). Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II. In recent decades, Australia has transformed itself into an internationally competitive, advanced market economy. It boasted one of the OECD's fastest growing economies during the 1990s, a performance due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s. Long-term concerns include ageing of the population, pressure on infrastructure, and environmental issues such as frequent droughts.