Discoverer of the Australian Continent and its Brief History

Discoverer of the Australian Continent – ​​Long before James Cook was named the discoverer of the Australian Continent, 70 years earlier sailors from Makassar, Indonesia had already set foot on the continent. As we all know that the continent of Australia is the smallest continent in the world which is located in the southern part of Indonesia.

In 1770, the Australian continent was discovered by a sailor from England named James Cook. Therefore, Australia is now under the rule of the British Empire. While the original inhabitants of the Australian continent are Aborigines who are physically almost similar to the tribes on the mainland of New Guinea. But keep in mind that the discoverer of the Australian continent is not James Cook.

History of Discovering the Continent of Australia

About 70 years before James Cook set foot on the Australian continent and claimed to be the one who discovered the continent. There were sailors from Makassar Indonesia who came first and set foot on the Australian continent. In fact, the sailor from Indonesia has long collaborated with the Aborigines.

This opinion was expressed in a scientific paper written by Horst Hubertus Liebner, a maritime anthropologist from Germany. These sailors from Makassar sailed from Sulawesi to the north coast of Australia using Padevakang. It was an ancient type of wooden boat that had been extinct since a century ago. Then Padewakang evolved into a pinisi boat that we know today. The boat moves using wind power captured by the sails above the boat. Therefore, the sailing period is also adjusted to the movement of the east or west monsoons.

In the past, during the west monsoon season, many Padevakang fleets originating from Makassar anchored off the northern coast of Australia. Then the sailors would stay for months in search of sea cucumbers. After that, they will process the results of their search on land with the local Aborigines.

About six months later, during the east monsoon season, the Padevakang fleet anchored in Australia will return to Sulawesi with sea products in the form of dried sea cucumbers. Sometimes some of the Aborigines join them on the way back to Makassar. The sailors’ voyage ended in 1907. This was because they were banned by the Dutch East Indies colonial government, which at that time controlled parts of Indonesia. Even so, the long-standing relationship between the Makassar people and the Aborigines has left a very deep impression on both of them.

Australian historian Peter G. Spillet also revealed that around the 1500s, there was a phase of cultural interaction between Muslims from Makassar and the Aborigines, in addition to the trade relations they established. Evidence of this culture is also found in the vocabulary used by modern Aborigines, who until now still use 250 terms absorbed from English. Apart from language, other evidence that further strengthens this is the names given by several people in several areas of Makassar such as Kayu Jawa which is located on the Kimberley Beach and also Teluk Mangko which is in the North West Bay of Australia. Another study was conducted by an anthropologist from Monash University named John Bradley.

In his research, Bradley revealed that the interaction carried out by the Makassar people and the Aborigines was the first international relationship for the Aborigines themselves. Where the relationship occurred 70 years ago before the arrival of James Cook and his friends on the Australian continent. That means, sailors from Makassar indeed became the discoverers of the Australian Continent because they first came to the continent. Bradley said, Muslims from Makassar and people from the Aborigines traded more fairly together. There are no racial judgments and no racial policies. Apart from that, Bradley also compared the arrival of sailors from Makassar who were considered very different from the arrival of James Cook.

As people of white origin, the British claimed that Australia was one of the continents that belonged to no one or Terra Nullius. That means indirectly, the British through James Cook have colonized and claimed unilaterally the Australian continent as their own without the approval of the Aborigines. On the other hand, seafarers from Indonesia have left more historical records. Starting from trade relations, traditions, culture, and other history that we can see until now. Because of the close relationship between Indonesian sailors and the Aborigines, the history of their togetherness is still celebrated by the Aboriginal community in Northern Australia.

See also  Characteristics of Deductive and Inductive Paragraphs You Need to Know

The sea cucumber trade carried out by the Makassar people and the Aborigines finally ended in 1906 as explained above. This is the result of exorbitant taxes and government policies regarding the prohibition of buying and selling activities of non-white people.

What Is the Continent of Australia?

The continent of Australia is located in the southern region of Indonesia and has an area of ​​around 8,945.00 km2. Because the continent was claimed to have been discovered by James Cook who came from England, the area eventually became a commonwealth of British territories. In geology, the Australian Continent or commonly referred to as Sahul, Greater Australia, Australia New Guinea, Meganesia, Australasia, or Australinea is a continent consisting of mainland Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania.

The continent of Australia is the smallest continent in the world. The largest city of the country is Sydney. However, the capital city of the country is located in Canberra. Indigenous Australians mostly use English as their official language. Because as previously explained that the Australian Continent is one of the British Commonwealth countries. According to history, the Australian continent was originally inhabited by people from the Aborigines, which is one of the races of the Polynesian peoples. However, after the exploration and expansion of the Europeans in discovering the New World. Therefore, the Australian Continent became one of the British colonies and made it a country that entered the Commonwealth of Nations, along with other countries such as Malaysia, South Africa, Hong Kong,

After the conquest of the Australian Continent, the British then made the continent a land of disposal for suspected crimes or convicts who were considered to be troubling British society. Not only that, the dissidents of the British empire were also banished to the continent. Then, the Australian Continent became a place for European races besides the Aborigines. The government of the Australian state still follows the British empire with the Queen as the symbol of its government and adheres to a constitutional monarchy system.

Astronomical Location of the Australian Continent

If based on astronomical latitude, the continent of Australia is at 10 degrees south latitude – 44 degrees south latitude and 113 degrees east longitude – 154 degrees east longitude. The astronomical location of the Australian continent is in the southern hemisphere and most of the continent’s borders are surrounded by oceans and also the seas that surround them. The continent of Australia has an area of ​​around 7,686,850 square kilometers. Meanwhile, the total population living on the continent is 35 million. The Australian continent includes mainland Australia, islands in Papua New Guinea, and also the small islands around it.

Geographical Location of Australia

When viewed geographically, there are only three countries on the continent of Australia, namely Australia itself, Papua New Guinea, and parts of Indonesia. Even so, if you count the countries in the Oceania region, then for the total number of countries, there are 14 countries. Here is a full explanation:

a. The north side is directly adjacent to Indonesian territory, namely the Timor Sea and the Arafuru Sea.
b. While in the south it is directly adjacent to the Antarctic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.
c. While in the south it is bordered by the Indian Ocean.
d. And to the east it is directly adjacent to the Tasmanian Sea, Coral Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Geological Location of the Australian Continent

From a geological perspective, the continent of Australia is located in the Eastern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. It is this location that makes the Australian Continent often referred to as the lower continent. For nature in Australia itself is divided into three parts. The following is a complete explanation of the geological location of the Australian Continent:

a. The area in eastern Australia is filled with mountain ranges that extend from Cape York in the north to the island of Tasmania.
b. The area in the western part of Australia is filled with a plateau which is usually called the Australian Shield. The majority of the western and central regions are desert, namely the Gibson Desert and the Victoria Desert.
c. Meanwhile, midway between the eastern mountains and the western highlands are the Murray Darling valley and the lowland of Lake Eyre. The lake is also one of the largest lakes in Australia.

Here are some of the states in Australia

1. New South Wales (801,600 km2)
Capital: Sydney
2. Victoria (227,600 km2)
Capital: Melbourne
3. Queensland (1,727,200 km2)
Capital: Brisbane
4. Western Australia (2,525,500 km2)
Capital: Perth
5. South Australia (984,000 km2)
Capital: Adelaide
6. Tasmania (67,800 km2)
Capital: Hobart
7. Northern Australia (1,346,200 km2)
Capital: Darwin
8. Australian Capital Territory (2,400 km2)
Capital : Canberra

See also  Climate and Vegetation Distribution

Climate Conditions on the Australian Continent

When viewed from its latitude, Australia has three climate regions. Here is the explanation:

a. Tropical Climate: Northern Australia is located at 10′ S-35′ S
b. Subtropical Climate: Section of South Australia is located at 23′ S-35′ S
c. Temperate Climate: Southern Victoria and Tasmania, located at 35′ S-35′ S

The climate that exists in the Australian region is also influenced by ocean currents and also sea distance and landscape. Around the north, west and east coast areas have relatively warm temperatures. Because, it is affected by the flow of heat currents. While along the south coast and also Tasmania, the air temperature is relatively cold. It could happen as a result of the flow of cold currents. Generally, areas located near the coast must have more humid air. As for the area in the middle of Australia and far from the sea, the area will be desert and have very dry air.

Population on the Australian Continent

If based on its history, the continent of Australia is inhabited by the original Aborigines. However, over time and the times, the continent began to be inhabited by other tribes and nations. According to population data for 2003, the population of Australia is around 19.9 million people with a population growth of around 0.6 percent annually. The tribes that inhabit the continent include European Ethnic or white race, Asian or yellow skin race, and Aborigines or Polynesian and Melanesian races.

A Growing Industrial Sector on the Australian Continent

The Australian continent has a wide variety of diverse industrial sectors. The industrial sector includes agriculture with products such as wheat, cotton, rice, sugar cane, fruits, and also corn. Then also livestock products including dairy cattle, sheep, meat. Not only that, there are other industrial sectors including mining which includes iron ore, gold mining, petroleum, and also aluminum. Then heavy industry includes the dairy industry, wool, sugar, textiles, machinery, electronics, iron, steel, as well as oil refining.

Australian System of Government

Australia has an official name, namely The Commonwealth of Australia with the capital city in Canberra. The form of the country is a constitutional monarchy with the head of state in the form of the Queen and the head of government, namely the Prime Minister. The official language used by the majority of Australians is English with the majority being Christian. While the currency used is the Australian Dollar and has a national anthem entitled God Save the Queen. The following are some of the characteristics of the Australian Continent that you need to know:

a. The continent of Australia is included in the smallest continent in the world compared to the area of ​​other continents
b. The continent is only inhabited by one country, in contrast to other continents which can be inhabited by several countries
c. The continent of Australia is the second continent which is located in the southern part of the continent of Antarctica
d. Has typical endemic animals, namely kangaroos, platypus, and kiwi birds
e. The Australian continent is a continent that has indigenous tribes, namely the Aborigines
f. The majority of the continent’s population is of the white race

Australia as a country in the southern hemisphere also cooperates with neighboring countries, one of which is Indonesia. The cooperation carried out by the two covers the fields of export and import, trade, and others. Where Indonesia often imports beef and wool from Australia. In addition, Australia and Indonesia also cooperate in the field of education by providing scholarships through the Australian government to Indonesian students who wish to continue their studies or education in Australia.

Typical Australian Flora and Fauna

As previously explained, the endemic fauna of Australia are the kangaroo, platypus and kiwi bird. As for the unique flora of Australia, namely acacia wood and eucalyptus wood which can be found easily on the continent. The tropical rainforests and temperate forests have lots of large trees and various types of plants. Tropical forests are located in Queensland and also on the coast of eastern Australia and in Tasmania which has a temperate, cool and wet climate.

Those are some explanations about the history of the discovery of the Australian Continent and various interesting facts about the country of Australia. How, is Sinaumed’s interested in visiting the Australian continent?