Australia is a nation which has been influenced in so many ways by so many different cultures. The Aborigines, it is believed, have been in Australia over 60,000 years and their cultural heritage is evident in so much of Australian culture today. Traditional beliefs and traditional ways of living are more obvious outside the major cities but their art hangs in some of the foremost galleries and institutions in every main city in Australia.
After the arrival of Captain Cook and later the discovery of gold in the 1850s,British and Irish, Americans and Chinese started to arrivein huge numbers and Australians were associated with a pioneer lifestyle. In the 1890s Australia began to forge an identity of its own based on courage, indomitable spirit, physical prowess, especially horsemanship, and mateship. Federation in 1901 succinctly underlined Australia’s independence. The noble bushman celebrated in the 1890s in the art and literature of the times became the noble ANZAC during the First World War when Australia supported Britain.
After the Second World War when Australia gain supported Britain, more than 800,000 Europeans were encouraged to move to Australia. Many European cultures were mixed and Australians became wine makers and olive growers, coffee drinkers and cheese producers. Subsequently Australia has opened its doors to many Asians who have brought with them their culture. The melting pot of all these peoples who have come to Australia from all over the word has led to a wonderfully vibrant Australia rich in cultural heritage.