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After World War II Australia encouraged immigration from mainland Europe.

Since the 1970s and following the abolition of the White Australia policy, immigration from Asia and elsewhere was also promoted.

On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy comprising six states and several territories.

These include the western plains of New South Wales, and the Einasleigh Uplands, Barkly Tableland, and Mulga Lands of inland Queensland.

The northernmost point of the east coast is the tropical-rainforested Cape York Peninsula.

The first ship and crew to chart the Australian coast and meet with Aboriginal people was the Duyfken captained by Dutch navigator, Willem Janszoon.

With the loss of its American colonies in 1783, the British Government sent a fleet of ships, the "First Fleet", under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, to establish a new penal colony in New South Wales.

The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.

A government policy of "assimilation" beginning with the Aboriginal Protection Act 1869 resulted in the removal of many Aboriginal children from their families and communities—often referred to as the Stolen Generations—a practice which may also have contributed to the decline in the indigenous population.

Traditional ownership of land ("native title") was not recognised in law until 1992, when the High Court of Australia held in Mabo v Queensland (No 2) that the legal doctrine that Australia had been terra nullius ("land belonging to no one") did not apply to Australia at the time of British settlement.

A camp was set up and the flag raised at Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, on 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day, Australia Day, although the British Crown Colony of New South Wales was not formally promulgated until 7 February 1788.

The first settlement led to the foundation of Sydney, and the exploration and settlement of other regions.

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