Australia is not the quiet continent many believe. It plays a vital role in today's world. Here is a fresh look at this unique land and its future. In many ways our modern world takes on quite a different appearance viewed from this land down under. To many Westerners, Australia is part of the great East Asian world-so far removed from Europe or the Americas. But ethnically and culturally Australia is distinctly Western. Its early modern colonization was almost totally British. And its place in the political sphere is squarely in the Western corner. Perhaps the initial impression of Australia to the first-time visitor is just how far it is from almost everywhere. Yet by way of jet aircraft it is only hours from major world capitals. The second impression is just how up-to-date and prosperous this island-continent is.
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