In a 1999 referendum, 55% of voters and a majority in every state rejected a proposal to become a republic with a president appointed by a two-thirds vote in both Houses of the Australian Parliament.

Since the election of the Whitlam Government in 1972, with Elizabeth II at its apex as the Queen of Australia, a role that is distinct from her position as monarch of the other Commonwealth realms.

On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy comprising six states and several territories.

Since the 1970s and following the abolition of the White Australia policy, immigration from Asia and elsewhere was also promoted.

The final constitutional ties between Australia and the UK were severed with the passing of the Australia Act 1986, ending any British role in the government of the Australian States, and closing the option of judicial appeals to the Privy Council in London.

Australia's electoral system uses preferential voting for all lower house elections with the exception of Tasmania and the ACT which, along with the Senate and most state upper houses, combine it with proportional representation in a system known as the single transferable vote.

Voting is compulsory for all enrolled citizens 18 years and over in every jurisdiction, The party with majority support in the House of Representatives forms the government and its leader becomes Prime Minister.The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland, and the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent, are attributed to the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon.He sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in early 1606, and made landfall on 26 February at the Pennefather River near the modern town of Weipa on Cape York. Australia Chat is a special chat room for Australian chatters.If you are from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, join our Australia Chat NOW!! The Lobby This is where you arrive when you first enter the chat rooms.