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The passing of the Australia Act 1986 ended all possibility for any vestigial role of the British government in the government in Australia and removed the already seldom-used option of judicial appeals to the Privy Council in London.

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.

A camp was set up and the flag raised at Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, on 26 January 1788, A government policy of "assimilation" beginning with the Aboriginal Protection Act 1869 resulted in the removal of many Aboriginal children from their families and communities — referred to as the Stolen Generations — a practice which also contributed to the decline in the indigenous population.

Traditional ownership of land ("native title") was not recognised in law until 1992, when the High Court of Australia held in Mabo v Queensland (No 2) that the legal doctrine that Australia had been terra nullius ("land belonging to no one") did not apply to Australia at the time of British settlement.

At the heart of the country are the uplands of central Australia.

Melbourne was the temporary seat of government from 1901 to 1927 while Canberra was being constructed.

Eastern Australia is marked by the Great Dividing Range, which runs parallel to the coast of Queensland, New South Wales and much of Victoria.

The name is not strictly accurate, because parts of the range consist of low hills, and the highlands are typically no more than 1,600 metres (5,249 ft) in height.

After World War II Australia encouraged immigration from mainland Europe.

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

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