AUSTRALIA, THE LUCKY COUNTRY Australia is known globally as being one of the world’s most diverse and welcoming countries, and it is something for which we take great pride. In fact, of Australia’s 23 million population, almost half (47%) of all Australians were either born overseas or have one parent born overseas. We also know a thing or two about languages, with more than 260 languages spoken in Australian homes: in addition to English, the most common are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese and Greek. Australia’s diversity and friendly attitude is matched by its economic stability. To date, Australia has experienced more than 20 years of continued economic growth, weathering the 2008 global financial crisis better than most advanced economies. And we are as competitive on the global economic stage as we are in the world’s sporting arenas! Not surprising, with more than 120 certified sports organisations around the country, covering popular activities such as AFL, cricket, football (soccer), rugby league, golf, tennis, netball and hockey to name just a few. You may not know but Australia is the biggest island in the world, the sixth-biggest country in the world in land area, and the only nation to govern an entire continent. Within our expansive country, there are more than 500 national parks and more than 2,700 conservation areas, ranging from wildlife sanctuaries to Aboriginal reserves. There are also seventeen UNESCO World Heritage sites – more than any other country – including the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park, Lord Howe Island Group, Tasmanian Wilderness, Fraser Island and the Sydney Opera House. But many people around the world know Australia for being a beautiful country. We also have world-class infrastructure, with five of the top 40 cities with the best infrastructure in the world. We also have a reputation for building ‘big’ things – over 150 in fact from the Big Banana in New South Wales, to the Big Koala in Victoria, the Big Mango in Queensland, and the Big Ram in Western Australia. It’s worth a trip to see them all! With all these wonderful attributes around Australia, we have good reason to be happy. So much so, we were recently ranked as the fourth happiest country in the world behind only Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Why wouldn’t you want to experience the best Australia has to offer?