Subject Material

An Introduction to Australia – Text in Brief

Published: 06.12.2010, Updated: 03.03.2017

Pre-reading activity

  • What do you know about Australia? Note down as many facts as you can.
  • Look at the first map and see whether any of the things you have noted down are shown on the map.

Watch this video introducing Australia. You will find comprehension questions at the bottom of the page. Australia

An Introduction to Australia



Australia is a country in the southern hemisphere. It is made up of the Australian mainland, the island of Tasmania and many other smaller islands in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.


In 1606, Dutch explorers were the first Europeans who discovered Australia, but they did not settle there. Before this, for thousands of years, Australia was inhabited by the Aborigines. In 1770, the British claimed the eastern part of Australia. It was a useful place to send British convicts, instead of keeping them in prison in England. Gradually, other immigrants moved to Australia and the population grew. New South Wales was the first colony and five others were established in the 19th century. The six Map of Australia. Illustration.Map of Australia colonies joined together on January 1st 1901, to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australia Today

The population today is just over 21.7 million. The nation's capital city is Canberra. The other main cities are: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. 60% of the population live in and around these cities. Australia has a democratic political system and a high technology industry.


This text is an easy version of the text Australia – An Introduction 


Tasks and Activities


  1. Make 5 questions to this text then sit in pairs and take turns questioning and answering.
  2. Australia - True or False Quiz (node 6437) 
  3.  Video – Comprehesnion 


  1. Use the map of Australia to find the names of the 6 states or territories.
  2. Can you find the main cities on the map? Which state are they in?
  3. This geography quiz is difficult but give it a try Australia - Map Game 
  4. Describe Australia’s flag (its colour and the objects in it)


  1. Use the dictionary and translate the following words into Norwegian.
    • hemisphere
    • inhabitant
    • explorer
    • indigenous
    • claim
    • convict
    • prison
    • immigrant
    • population
    • colony
    • establish
    • Commonwealth
  2. Here are some verbs. Can you find the nouns in the text which match them?
    (e.g. verb: explore, noun: explorers)
    Verbs: inhabit, convict, imprison, immigrate, populate, colonise



Look at the two maps. They are both maps of Australia, but they are very different. Describe what they show you. Which one do you like best? Why?



Choose one of the cities. Find pictures on the internet and make a short presentation of the city. See How to Make a Mini Presentation.


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