Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Dust coats Australian outback myth


The huge outback dust storm that swept across eastern Australia on Sept. 23 smothering Sydney in red dirt was a stark reminder that after 221 years of white settlement Australians still only cling to the edge of this harsh island continent.

Australians love to promote the idea that they live in a sunburnt country, of rugged outback cattlemen and ancient Aboriginal culture, but for most Australians it’s a myth.

Australia’s 21.7 million people may live in the world’s driest inhabited continent, with a vast outback interior, but the country is one of the world’s most urbanised societies.

Almost 90 percent of people live in “urban Australia” and 67 percent call one of eight coastal cities home, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane dominating.