Published on May 18, 2015
Some 23 million people live in Australia, a country with a booming economy and rich natural treasures. The country is among the Commonwealths and began forming its federal state in 1901. Australia is dominated by a two-party political system and is ruled under both a federal constitutional parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy.
Australia’s capital is Canberra, which is located in the southeast between the country’s two most populous cities, Sydney and Melbourne. The Commonwealth of Australia has six states and two territories and voting is compulsory for all citizens over 18 years old.
Australia was once six separate colonies of the British Empire. Though now an independent federalist state, Queen Elizabeth II is Australia’s head of state, and is represented by Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who began service in March 2014.
Australia’s Political Parties
As previously mentioned, Australia operates under a two-party political system. The country’s current primer minister is Tony Abbot, a member of the conservative Liberal-National coalition. Mr. Abbott won the Australian presidential elections in September 2013, bringing the center-right back into power after six years of Labor Party rule. Abbott’s legacy in Australia includes his reversal of carbon emissions taxes, his limitations on those seeking asylum and cuts to foreign aid. Abbott’s current Deputy Prime Minister is Warren Truss.
Bill Shorten leads the center-left Australian Labor Party (ALP). The social democratic party is popular among the middle class and white-collar professionals. Four Australian states are currently governed by the ALP. The last Labor Party Prime Minister was Julia Gillard, Australia’s first Prime Minister.
Much of Australian political debate is centered around maintaining low unemployment, interest rates and inflation, increasing GDP, education, health, border protection and asylum seekers, carbon pricing, cost of living, and infrastructure.
Living in Australia
Government and politics interns are based in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city. Melbourne is a laid-back, eclectic, multicultural city filled with vibrant, outdoorsy locals. Accommodations for government and politics interns in Australia are located in Melbourne’s secure Preston neighborhood and include 10-square-meter rooms with private showers and bathrooms. Internet access, utilities, a kitchen welcome pack, linens and widescreen TVs are also included in accommodations. For easy access to Melbourne’s city center, housing is based nearby public transportation.
Many call Melbourne Australia's cultural capital. The city is rich with diversity and a booming arts scene. Many immigrant communities can call Melbourne home. For example, the largest Greek community outside Greece is in Melbourne. Communities of Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian and Lebanese immigrants also live in the city.
Melbourne has many theatres, galleries, comedy clubs and cinemas to keep an intern busy every night. However, the city’s big draw is its exploding live music scene which is abundant and diverse. Australia’s highest number of live music venues are clustered in Melbourne. With dozens of different atmospheres and genres covered on any given evening, music lovers have little to complain about in Melbourne. A couple places worth mentioning include Cherry or Ding Dong lounge for a high-energy sweat fest. Meanwhile, venues like Cornish Arms and Sydney Road bring in lots of country, roots and folk acts.
The Great Outdoors
Australia is full of beautiful places to explore the great outdoors. The Great Ocean Walk, near Melbourne, is a hiking trail along the Victorian coast filled with gorgeous ocean views. The route stretches 104km along the west coast and includes lookouts and access to beaches. Hikers can take either short walks at their own pace, day walks or long treks that last for several days.
For those with special interest in glow worms, check out the local rainforest through the Great Otway National Park. The park’s features include nature hikes alongside giant trees and ferns and waterfalls. The bird life in the park is also quite impressive, only to be matched by the population of Melba Gully glow worms.
At Tower Hill, interns in Australia can check out an inactive volcano and endemic Australian wildlife. Kangaroos, emus and koalas make this place home. Also, at Port Campbell National Park, nature-lovers can see the breathtaking rock sculptures of the 12 Apostles. While there, visitors can also check out the stunning southern right whales at the Warrnambool nursery.
Boost your career
If Australian government and politics interest you, an internship abroad could be just the thing to kick-off your career. The real-world political experience will allow for a budding political mind to learn about government and politics in a foreign country. With an internship under their belt, government and politics interns will have more job opportunities open up. Moreover, the opportunity to live and work in a foreign country is a multicultural learning experience with benefits that last a lifetime.
Apply now and boost your career!
Sources:cia.gov, bbc.com, skwirk.com, Wikipedia, economist.com