Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Geography (In) Australia

Geography, this word did not exist in my childhood dreams. My childhood dreams is wants to be doctor, architect, musician, etc. I think there is not too much related with geography.

I choose geography as my major in Universitas Indonesia (UI) because a simple reason. I want to study in a place which is far from my house, my city. I want to get a best university in my country. So that, I searched a major with low passing grade and not popular. I think that major still has many job vacancy because students who want to take it is slight. Finally, I choose geography. I taked test and accepted.

Geography in Indonesia

Department of Geography UI was born in 1953 because military needs from government of Indonesia. This military needs cover maps about physical conditions from regions. This background affected education curriculum in Geography UI. It obviously related also with paradigm or mindset about understanding of geography in UI.

Geography UI is more likely determinism geography which depends on nature. Determinis believe that all phenomenons in the world is affected by nature. In otherside, there is ideology “possibilism geography”. It believe that those phenomenos is affected by human. This ideology is less developed in UI.

Developing of science in Indonesia is affected by UI. So even with geography, understanding of geography in UI extend to around Indonesia. Determinism geography is more developed in Indonesia. Physical geography, remote sensing, and geographical information system is kind of determinism geography which is developed in Indonesia.

Possibilism geography is less developed in Indonesia. Although there are some scientist who tried to develop it, but they are stil a few. Human geography is kind of possibilism geography. I like it because most of my activities included in social-culture, and politic movements.

I have a dream to develop human geography in Indonesia. I will start from my university, UI. At this time, Department of Geography is still included Faculty of Mathematic and Natural Science in UI. I would like to change it, make Faculty of Geography and I would its first dean.

Geograph( (in) Australia

January 2012, Departmen of Geography UI make good relation with Department of Geography University of Sydney (USYD). They held Program Joint Field School between students UI and USYD. Thanks to God, I got opportunity to join in this program.

I got many lessons from that program. First, I found my pasiion with them. Geography USYD is more likely possibilism geography. Human geography is more developed than physical geography. My understanding of geography is same with Geography USYD. They have strong analysis between many part of geography. That is a holistic geography like what I want.

In Indonesia, geography is so related with map. Map is important and main character of geography. But I didn’t find it Geography USYD during I join that program. It make me more curious about understanding of geography in USYD and Australia generally. I want to know more about it.

Second, I got many information about many things in Australia from that program. They tell me about population, cities, culture, industry, trade, education, youth, politic, government, and any things about Australia.

Those informations about Australia make me decide to choose course Regional Geography of Australia in last semester. I want to know more about it. In that course, I learn about physical condition such as climate, topography, hydrology, farming, planting, ranch, forestry, and social conditions which consist of demography, politic-government, international relations, trades, cities, industry, and economy.

Australia is unique country. A continent-country which has variety climates and geomorphology. Australia's size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with subtropical rain forests in the north-east, mountain ranges in the south-east, south-west and east areas, and a dry desert in its centre.

It is the flattest continent, with the oldest and least fertile soils; desert or semi-arid land commonly known as the outback makes up by far the largest portion of land. The driest inhabited continent, only its south-east and south-west corners have a temperate climate. The population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, is among the lowest in the world, although a large proportion of the population lives along the temperate south-eastern coastline.

Although most of Australia is semi-arid or desert, it includes a diverse range of habitats from alpine heaths to tropical rainforests, and is recognised as a megadiverse country. Australian forests are mostly made up of evergreen species, particularly eucalyptus trees in the less arid regions, wattles replace them in drier regions and deserts as the most dominant species.

For almost two centuries the majority of settlers, and later immigrants, came from the British Isles. As a result the people of Australia are mainly a mixture of British and Irish ethnic origin. In the 2011 Australian census, the most commonly nominated ancestry was English (36.1 per cent), followed by Australian (35.4 per cent),[214] Irish (10.4 per cent), Scottish (8.9 per cent), Italian (4.6 per cent), German (4.5 per cent), Chinese (4.3 per cent), Indian (2.0 per cent), Greek (1.9 per cent), and Dutch (1.7 per cent).[215] Asian Australians make up 12% of the population. The Indigenous population—mainland Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders—was counted at 548,370 (2.5 per cent of the total population) in 2011

Australia has six states—New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia—and two major mainland territories—the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). In most respects these two territories function as states, but the Commonwealth Parliament can override any legislation of their parliaments.

Australia is a constitutional monarchy with a federal division of powers. It uses a parliamentary system of government with Queen 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.

Australia has a market economy with high GDP per capita and a low rate of poverty. The Australian dollar is the currency for the nation, including Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu. After the 2006 merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange is now the ninth largest in the world.

School attendance is compulsory throughout Australia. Education is the responsibility of the individual states and territories. Australia has 37 government-funded universities and two private universities, as well as a number of other specialist institutions that provide approved courses at the higher education level. The University of Sydney is Australia's oldest university, having been founded in 1850, followed by the University of Melbourne three years later. Other notable universities include those of the Group of Eight leading tertiary institutions, including the University of Adelaide (which boasts an association with five Nobel Laureates), the Australian National University located in the national capital of Canberra, Monash University and the University of New South Wales.

Australia and Indonesia have an effective development partnership that is changing millions of lives by improving health and education services, helping to protect the poor and vulnerable from shocks and boosting economic growth through infrastructure development and improved economic management. Australia also provides support to strengthen democracy and justice and good governance.

Esai ini lolos seleksi Program Joint Field School Programme di Univ of Sydney Australia

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