Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been replaced by Malcolm Turnbull (image). Abbott became the nation’s prime minister after elections were held in 2013. Australia’s prime minister is not directly voted for. The citizens of the country vote for the members of parliament. These members can belong to various political parties. The leader of the political party with the majority of members in parliament usually becomes the prime minister of the nation. Sometimes, there is no clear majority, and a “coalition” is formed. That is when two or more political parties agree to work together and one of the parties’ leader is made prime minister. Abbott stepped down because he lost popularity within his own political party. Turnbull became the new leader of the party, and the prime minister of the nation.
In recent times in Australia, some folks have become the prime minister by bumping out the leader of their political party. The prime minister before Abbott was Kevin Rudd. Rudd became the prime minister by bumping Julia Gillard as the leader of their political party in 2013. Gillard had herself become the prime minister by replacing Rudd as the leader in 2010.
Australia is often called “the land down under” because it lies entirely in the Southern Hemisphere and appears low down on globes and in maps. Canberra is Australia’s capital. For tens of thousands of years, Australia was inhabited by indigenous people such as the Aborigines who are native to Australia. In the 17th century, European explorers started discovering Australia. Great Britain claimed part of Australia in 1770 and initially used it as a prison – it would send its criminals there. More settlers came in and Australia got divided into six colonies. In 1901, the six colonies became a federation, and the Commonwealth of Australia was created. Australia has some very unique animal species not found in too many other places around the world: wombat, emu, kangaroo, dingo, kookaburra, and platypus.
What if the folks who drew the maps had placed the south pole at the top? What would our maps look like then? The image shows an example of one. Would Australia then have been “the land up above”?
You can watch a video about the animals of Australia and also one about the various prime ministers here.
Image Credits: http://www.peo.gov.au/ for Turnbull’s image, Nicoguaro for map’s image
Sources: http://dfat.gov.au, BBC, http://www.peo.gov.au