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47).  The Australian Parliament Building    Canberra, Australia (February 2002)

After spending two months in New Zealand, I flew on to Australia.  One of my first stops in Australia was its unusual capital city, Canberra.  Australia, like the U.S., began as a group of colonies ruled by England.  In 1901 the colonies united to form the nation of Australia, and Canberra a desolate site exactly halfway between Sydney and Melbourne was selected to be its capital.  Australia adopted several elements of the U.S. political system, including a House and Senate (not to mention long-winded speeches).  Here are the Senate chambers in the Australian Parliament Building.