Travelers become discoverers in Australia: they uncover endless sandy beaches, mysterious rainforests, the red-hot outback and vibrant cosmopolitan cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. The country is not just a vast nature reserve, it is also a powerful economic force.
Sydney is located on Australia’s East Coast.
The smallest continent is rich in minerals and raw materials used for energy generation. Australia has the world’s largest reserves of industrial diamonds, gold, iron ore and uranium, and the country’s coal, copper and silver reserves rank among the world’s five largest. Raw materials and agricultural products dominate the country’s exports. Even though the “mining boom” of the early 2000s is over, the mining industry still accounts for more than half of Australia’s export earnings. However, the government in Canberra is trying to strengthen the industrial sector to prepare the economy for a post-mining future. The Freudenberg Group has a presence at 14 locations in Australia, most of them situated on the relatively densely-populated East Coast. The first site opened in the 1950s.
Australia has always been a nation of immigrants. The indigenous people, the Aborigines, arrived in North Australia from Asia about 50,000 years ago and spread across the continent from there, creating a diversity of indigenous cultures and languages. By the time the Europeans landed on the shores of the distant continent in the late 18th century, there were about 250 tribes and a similar number of languages. The first British fleet reached the East Coast in 1788, and the Chinese also set out early for Australia, seeking their fortune in the gold rush during the second half of the 19th century. Later, the end of the Second World led many Europeans to make a new start in Australia. Likewise, a number of Vietnamese fled south during the Vietnam War. In recent years, the influx has mostly consisted of migrants from China and India. More than one in four Australians was born overseas.
In today’s Australia, Aborigines account for about 2.4 percent of the total population. Even though their customs vary from one region to another, the so-called “smoking ceremony” is a very popular and widespread tradition. It is often held at the onset of events or gatherings. Native plants are burnt to produce smoke, which is believed to have cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits, ensuring a peaceful gathering.