Commonwealth of Australia
|Social and Moral Index||9th best|
|Land Area1||7 682 300 km2|
|Life Expectancy3||82.027yrs (2012)|
|ISO3166-1 Codes4||AU, AUS, 36|
“Prehistoric settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia at least 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession of the east coast in the name of Great Britain (all of Australia was claimed as British territory in 1829 with the creation of the colony of Western Australia). Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the Allied effort in World Wars I and II. In recent decades, Australia has become an internationally competitive, advanced market economy due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s and its location in one of the fastest growing regions of the world economy. Long-term concerns include ageing of the population, pressure on infrastructure, and environmental issues such as floods, droughts, and bushfires. Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth, making it particularly vulnerable to the challenges of climate change. Australia is home to 10 per cent of the world's biodiversity, and a great number of its flora and fauna exist nowhere else in the world. In January 2013, Australia assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2013-14 term.”
CIA's The World Factbook (2013)8
|UN's Human Development Index|
|Social and Moral Development|
The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others. The values in the chart are factored by 100.
The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2013).
|Life Expectancy (at birth)|
|3||St Vincent & Grenadines||2.0|
Australia's population is predicted to rise to 27.77 million by 2030. This rise is despite a low fertility rate, meaning, that this country is helping to alleviate problems with growing population in neighbouring countries by accepting immigrants, very likely as a requirement of maintaining an active workforce. This country has a fertility rate of 1.96. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.
|Female Vote and Stand|
Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.
Australia is on the way towards ending gender inequality and has been striving towards this end for quite some time.
|Disbelief In God|
Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below9:
The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Protestant 27.4% (Anglican 18.7%, Uniting Church 5.7%, Presbyterian and Reformed 3%), Catholic 25.8%, Eastern Orthodox 2.7%, other Christian 7.9%, Buddhist 2.1%, Muslim 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 11.3%, none 18.7% (2006 Census)10.
|IT Security Risks|
|Internet Users in Population|
|22||St Kitts & Nevis||76.59|
Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.
|Global Peace Index|
|Human Rights Treaties|
|Press Freedom Index|
|R & D Spending|
|Country||% RDP PPP|
|Gross National Income|
There has been a lot of historical abuse of children by individual Christian clergy over previous decades, but also, systematic abuse of children by Christian institutions in Australia. Well after the revelations of the Catholic Church's horrendous activities in Australia in the 1930s to 1960s, continued cases have come to light. So many that in 2008 July, Pope Benedict XVI has himself gone to Australia to apologize for the behaviour of his priesthood there. The Christian Brothers institute saw multiple complaints between 1919 and the 1960s, and a report finds that one of the boys who reported the abuse was physically beaten for it - "the physical abuse at the institutions contributed to a culture where boys were reluctant to report abuse for fear of consequences" and the institution moved 'Brothers' from one place to another when accusations surfaced, but did not attempt to deal with the abuse and then when it all went to concern, they were mostly concerned with avoiding financial costs15.
More cases have emerged amongst Priests from various denominations. Australian Catholic Priest Brian Joseph Spillane finds himself accused of seemingly endless abuses of teens and pre-teens in various circumstances (i.e., in the confessional box and at a Catholic boarding school), between 1971 and 1990. The Salvation Army in Australia is another Christian organisation that has fostered sexual abusers - "boys who attempted to report abuse were punished or accused of lying" according to the Royal Commission16. In another case, a Pastor from a (non-Catholic) Protestant church was caught out in the 1990s. The RCC in Australia, in order to limit further damage, has drawn up guidelines to prevent further abuse. "Roman Catholic bishops have sought to ban their priests from having any private contact with children. Guidelines drawn up with the approval of the Vatican mean that confessionals have to be fitted with glass viewing panels. Priests are also banned from seeing any child alone with the door closed"17.
Some news excerpts:
“Australia's Roman Catholic Church publicly apologised on Thursday to British and Maltese child migrants who suffered abuse including rape, whippings and slave labour in religious institutions. [...] Some children were told that were going on a holiday. [...] Two church bodies said the programme, in which more than 1,000 British and 310 Maltese children were sent to Australian Catholic schools between the late 1930s and 1960s, resulted in "suffering and dislocation". Many children were raped, whipped, stripped of their names and forced to scramble for food thrown on the floor. Some children were also made to do hard labour, including construction work, at some schools.
The inquiry found that migrant children were subjected to systematic abuse in religious schools in Australia, New Zealand and other countries.”
"Australian Church apologises to child migrants" (BBC News, 2001)
“MOLESTING girls in the confessional box and raping hypnotised boys was part of a pattern of "rampant pedophilia" by a former priest accused of sexually assaulting youngsters, a Sydney court has been told. Brian Joseph Spillane, a former chaplain at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst, [...] has been charged with an additional 29 counts of indecently assaulting 11 males and females, bringing the total number of charges against the former priest to 146. [...] Ms Walker said Mr Spillane sexually assaulted both boys and girls between 1971 and 1990 during his time at both St Stanislaus boys' school in NSW's central west and St Anthony's parish at Marsfield, in Sydney's north. [...] Mr Spillane is accused of serious offences including anal intercourse and group rape at the Bathurst boarding school, Ms Walker said. Teachers at St Stanislaus "hypnotised boys for the purpose of having sexual intercourse with them'', she told the court.”
“A pastor from a South Australian fundamentalist church has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years after admitting he had sex with two of his teenage daughters [...and] pleaded guilty to seven counts each of incest and unlawful sexual intercourse. The court heard that the man had sex with his daughters for nearly a decade in the 1990s at the family property. The man later told the court he had sex with the girls to "educate" them on how to be good wives - not for his own gratification.”
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.
(2013) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2013). Accessed 2016 Nov 01.
Furedi, Frank. Professor of sociology at the University of Kent, UK.
(2002) Paranoid Parenting: Why ignoring the experts may be best for your child. Chicago Review Press, Chicago, USA. This edition is "substantially different" from the 2001 UK version.
Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.