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The culture of Australia is a Western culture, derived primarily from Britain but also influenced by the unique geography of Australia, the diverse input of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other Australian people.
The British colonization of Australia began in 1788, and waves of multi-ethnic migration followed.
The colonies established elected parliaments and rights for workers and women before most other Western nations.
Federation in 1901 evidenced a growing sense of national identity that had developed over the latter half of the 19th century, as seen in the works of the Heidelberg School painters and writers like Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson and Dorothea Mackellar.
Contact between the indigenous Australians and the new settlers ranged from cordiality to violent conflict, but the diseases brought by Europeans were devastating to Aboriginal populations and culture.
Several states and territories had their origins as penal colonies, with the first British convicts arriving at Sydney Cove in 1788.
The Australian Constitution established a federal democracy and enshrined human rights such as sections 41 (right to vote), 80 (right to trial by jury) and 116 (freedom of religion) as foundational principles of Australian law and included economic rights such as restricting the government to acquiring property only "on just terms".
The Australian Labor Party was established in the 1890s and the Liberal Party of Australia in 1944, both rising to be the dominant political parties and rivals of Australian politics, though various other parties have been and remain influential.
The main conqueror of Aborigines was to be disease and its ally, demoralisation." William Wentworth established Australia's first political party in 1835 to demand democratic government for New South Wales.
From the 1850s, the colonies set about writing constitutions which produced democratically advanced parliaments as Constitutional Monarchies with Queen Victoria as the head of state.