South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent. With a total land area of , it is the fourth largest of Australia's states and territories.
South Australia shares borders with all of the other mainland states, and with the Northern Territory; it is bordered to the west by Western Australia, to the north by the Northern Territory, to the north-east by Queensland, to the east by New South Wales, to the south-east by Victoria, and to the south by the Great Australian Bight and the Indian Ocean.〔Most Australians describe the body of water south of the continent as the Southern Ocean, rather than the Indian Ocean as officially defined by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). In the year 2000, a vote of IHO member nations defined the term "Southern Ocean" as applying only to the waters between Antarctica and 60 degrees south latitude.〕 With over 1.6 million people, the state comprises less than 8% of the Australian population and ranks fifth in population among the six states and two territories. The majority of its people reside in the state capital, Adelaide. Most of the remainder are settled in fertile areas along the south-eastern coast and River Murray. The state's colonial origins are unique in Australia as a freely settled, planned British province,〔(South Australian Police Historical Society Inc. ) Accessed 13 September 2011.〕 rather than as a convict settlement. Official settlement began on 28 December 1836, when the colony was proclaimed at the Old Gum Tree by Governor John Hindmarsh.
As with the rest of the continent, the region had been long occupied by the indigenous Aboriginal peoples, who were organised into numerous tribes and languages. The first British settlement to be established was Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, on 26 July 1836, five months before Adelaide was founded.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Kangaroo Island Council – Welcome )〕 The guiding principle behind settlement was that of ''systematic colonisation'', a theory espoused by Edward Gibbon Wakefield that was later employed by the New Zealand Company. The goal was to establish the province as a centre of civilisation for free immigrants, promising civil liberties and religious tolerance. Although its history is marked by economic hardship, South Australia has remained politically innovative and culturally vibrant. Today, it is known for its fine wine and numerous cultural festivals. The state's economy is dominated by the agricultural, manufacturing and mining industries. The state has an increasingly significant finance sector as well.
(詳細はflint mining activity and rock art in the Koonalda Cave on the Nullarbor Plain. In addition wooden spears and tools were made in an area now covered in peat bog in the South East. Kangaroo Island was inhabited long before the island was cut off by rising sea levels.
〔R.J. Lampert (1979): Aborigines. In Tyler, M.J., Twidale, C.R. & Ling, J.K. (Eds) ''Natural History of Kangaroo Island.'' Royal Society of South Australia Inc. ISBN 0-9596627-1-5〕
The first recorded European sighting of the South Australian coast was in 1627 when the Dutch ship the ''Gulden Zeepaert'', captained by François Thijssen, examined and mapped a section of the coastline as far east as the Nuyts Archipelago. Thijssen named his discovery "Pieter Nuyts Land", after the highest ranking individual on board.
The complete coastline of South Australia was first mapped by Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin in 1802.
The land which now forms the state of South Australia was claimed for Britain in 1788 as part of the colony of New South Wales. Although the new colony included almost two-thirds of the continent, early settlements were all on the eastern coast and only a few intrepid explorers ventured this far west. It took more than forty years before any serious proposal to establish settlements in the south-western portion of New South Wales were put forward. In 1834, the British Parliament passed the South Australia Act 1834 (''Foundation Act''), which enabled the province of South Australia to be established. The act stated that would be allotted to the colony and it would be convict-free. In contrast to the rest of Australia, ''terra nullius'' did not apply to the new province. The Letters of Patent attached to the Act acknowledged Aboriginal ownership and stated that no actions could be undertaken that would ''affect the rights of any Aboriginal natives of the said province to the actual occupation and enjoyment in their own persons or in the persons of their descendants of any land therein now actually occupied or enjoyed by such natives''. Although the patent guaranteed land rights under force of law for the indigenous inhabitants it was ignored by the South Australian Company authorities and squatters.
Settlement of seven vessels and 636 people was temporarily made at Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, until the official site of the colony was selected where Adelaide is currently located. The first immigrants arrived at Holdfast Bay (near the present day Glenelg) in November 1836, and the colony was proclaimed on 28 December 1836, now known as Proclamation Day. South Australia is the only Australian state to be settled entirely by free settlers.
The plan for the colony was that it would be the ideal embodiment of the best qualities of British society, that is, no religious discrimination or unemployment and, as it was believed that this would also result in very little crime within the small cohort of initial settlers, no professional police were sent. The Colonisation Commissioners intended to establish a police service as soon as misconduct within the increasing population warranted it. In the meantime, temporary volunteer special constables, whose appointment was provided for under English law, would provide law and order. Neither was provision was made for a permanent gaol. In early 1838 the colonists became concerned after it was reported that convicts who had escaped from the eastern states may make their way to South Australia. The South Australia Police was formed in April 1838 to protect the community and enforce government regulations. Their principal role was to run the first temporary gaol, a two-room hut.〔(History of Adelaide Gaol ) 〕
The current flag of South Australia was adopted on 13 January 1904, and is a British blue ensign defaced with the state badge. The badge is described as a piping shrike with wings outstretched on a yellow disc. The state badge is believed to have been designed by Robert Craig of Adelaide's School of Design.
South Australia granted restricted women's suffrage in 1861, and in 1895 became the second place in the world to grant universal suffrage (after New Zealand), and the first where women had the dual rights to vote and to stand for election.〔(Women and Politics in South Australia ) The State Library of South Australia〕
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