The quality of life enjoyed by residents of Australia is one of the best in the world, according to the World Competitiveness Handbook 2002. Australia's clean physical environment, health services, low cost of living, education and lifestyle combine to make it an attractive place to live. Australia's multiculturalism is reflected in the many cultures and forms of artistic talent present in the country.
Ancient Indigenous traditions and migrant cultures together create a body of art - literature, music, film, dance and theatre - that is more and more the object of international attention. Australia has a well-developed education system with participation rates, including secondary school participation rates, among the highest in the world. On average, Australians spend more years in primary and secondary school than their counterparts in many other countries, including Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. Each year Australia welcomes an increasing number of international students; current figures rate Australia third among English-speaking countries as a destination for these students.
Australia is a robust democracy that pioneered votes for women and the secret ballot. Australia's system of government reflects the British and North American models of liberal democracy, but has uniquely Australian features.
Most people have a particular image of Australia, such as the Opera House or blood-red Uluru (Ayers Rock). Yet these famous icons do scant justice to the richness of Australia's natural treasures and its cultural diversity. Australia is a country of immigrants and it is one of the most multicultural nations in the world. It is a country with huge ethnic communi¬ties and migrants from over 125 nations. All major cities in Australia contain suburbs with predominantly ethnic communi¬ties and atmospheres, including Chinese, Greeks, Italian, Lebanese and Yugoslavs. There are also large numbers of Immigrants from India and the Middle East.
Today's Australia has a multicultural migration policy and settlers are emcouraged to retain their ethnic languages, lifestyles and artistic traditions. Many immigrants now originate from Asia, which is the fastest growing ethnic group. It is the sheer vastness, and friction between the ancient lands steeped in Aboriginal lore and the New world cultures being heaped upon it, which gives Australia much of its character. The Area is around 7,682,300 sq kms, the Population is about 20 million. The capital city of the country is Canberra.
Victoria - Victoria is Australia's 'Smart State'. It is one of the most sophisticated cities and quaint rural towns in the country¬side. Victoria is a hybrid of cultures, landscapes and people. Melbourne is the capital city of the Smart State. It is one of the most civilised cities in the world. Melbourne is famous for its sense of style and boasts lifestyle experience.