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The Federal Capital Territory (later renamed the Australian Capital Territory) was formed in 1911 as the location for the future federal capital of Canberra.Melbourne was the temporary seat of government from 1901 to 1927 while Canberra was being constructed.

Even taller are Mawson Peak (at 2,745 metres or 9,006 feet), on the remote Australian territory of Heard Island, and, in the Australian Antarctic Territory, Mount Mc Clintock and Mount Menzies, at 3,492 metres (11,457 ft) and 3,355 metres (11,007 ft) respectively.

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 Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas.

The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland, and the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent (in 1606), are attributed to the Dutch.

The northernmost point of the east coast is the tropical-rainforested Cape York Peninsula.

At the north-west corner of the continent are the sandstone cliffs and gorges of The Kimberley, and below that the Pilbara.The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country".Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime.The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east.Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest urban area is Sydney.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—often referred to as the Stolen Generations—a practice which may also have contributed to the decline in the indigenous population.