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Australia is an island continent and sovereign country comprising the former British colonies of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia on the mainland of the Australian continent, and the island of Tasmania off the coast of Victoria, and numerous smaller islands. The continental colonies and Tasmania came together to form the Federation of Australia in 1901, which has a Governor-General representing the British monarch, and a Federal parliament in the capital, Canberra. The colonies became States and retained their laws and parliaments each under a State Governor appointed by and representing the British monarch.

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