Australia, the People


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-7787-9344-3
DDC j994




Christine Linge MacDonald, a past director of the Toronto & District
Parent Co-operative Preschool Corporation and a freelance writer, is an
elementary-school teacher in Whitby.


These additions to the Lands, Peoples, and Cultures series take the
reader “down under” to explore one of the planet’s most mysterious
and colourful countries.

Although most North American students will likely never see Australia
and seldom read about it in the news, knowledge of this unique land
lends insight into such global concerns as hemispheric differences,
Aboriginal rights, divergent evolution, race relations, and
geological/climatic extremes.

Australia, the Land covers geographic topics such as the outback, Great
Barrier Reef, tropical forests, deserts, monsoons, and droughts (which
cause the oily eucalyptus trees to explode). It also looks at the
country’s population, cities, agriculture, and industry, as well as
Australia’s unique flora and fauna—box jellyfish, koalas, platypus,
and eucalyptus are among the many surprising inhabitants shown in
bright, clear photographs.

From Australia, the People, young readers will learn that the
Aborigines arrived in Australia 60,000 years ago, while the Torres
Strait Islanders came along some 10,000 years ago. European
colonization, its brutal effect on the Aborigines, and Australian
history to the present day are also discussed. The balance of the book
focuses on Australia’s peoples and their diverse beliefs (e.g.,
Aboriginal dreamtime), many festivals (e.g., Greek Antipodes Festival),
and special days (e.g., “Turning 21”). A visit to the outback, a day
at school, the difficulties of travel, popular sporting events, and a
day at a sheep station reveal typical Australian activities.

Australia, the Culture explores Aboriginal beliefs, language, and art.
The famous “barbie” and other pan-Australian tucker (i.e., food) are
pictured, as are such Australian celebrities as Dame Edna and Nicole
Kidman. The volume concludes with a traditional tale of the Yumaaliyaay

The volumes are protected by glossy, sturdy bindings, and all three are
highly recommended.


Banting, Erinn., “Australia, the People,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,