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The population of 25 million Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 (as Nieuw-Holland) and subsequently anglicised.Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts.The Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas.The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland, and the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent (in 1606), are attributed to the Dutch.Even taller are Mawson Peak (at 2,745 metres or 9,006 feet), on the remote Australian territory of Heard Island, and, in the Australian Antarctic Territory, Mount Mc Clintock and Mount Menzies, at 3,492 metres (11,457 ft) and 3,355 metres (11,007 ft) respectively.Eastern Australia is marked by the Great Dividing Range, which runs parallel to the coast of Queensland, New South Wales and much of Victoria.Since the election of the Whitlam Government in 1972, is located in Western Australia.At 2,228 metres (7,310 ft), Mount Kosciuszko on the Great Dividing Range is the highest mountain on the Australian mainland.
Since the 1970s and following the abolition of the White Australia policy, immigration from Asia and elsewhere was also promoted.
Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under" (usually shortened to just "Down Under").
Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", and "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country".
Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime.