While living in a foreign country it is important to learn about the country’s government and the economic climate. The Australian government is formally known as the Commonwealth of Australia and is considered a “federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy”. There are three branches: the legislative, executive, and judicial branch and the government was formed under the guidelines of the Australian Constitution. The legislative branch is the Australian Parliament, which is composed of Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. The executive branch is made up of the Australian Government and the judicial branch is composed of the legal part of the federal government. In addition, there are six states within Australia, each with their own power to make laws for the matters in which the Commonwealth does not govern over. Elections to choose the 46th Parliament of Australia are coming up in May. As the election date inches closer and closer, advertising efforts are ramping up. Signs for local candidates running for election can be seen stapled onto telephone poles and promotional advertisements are playing on local television channels. However, society does not seem to show large outward support for candidates in the form of placing campaign signs in their front lawns. Back home in Connecticut, many citizens would place multiple campaign signs in their lawn to advertise and designate which candidate they believe is the ideal candidate.
The Australian economy has lasted 27 years without a recession and has seen economic growth, especially with the number of exports on the rise over the past few years. However, historical data shows that the price of houses has been growing significantly faster than the growth of Australian income. A large majority of the Australian population is in debt and mortgages play a significant role in the high level of debt. However, the economy is entering a state of correction because just recently there has been a sharp drop in house prices. Also, Australia has seen a drop in its unemployment rate due to an influx in job creation, which will be beneficial in countering the high debt rates. Overall, Australia’s economy is healthy and is optimistically showing signs of growth.
When comparing the United States currency to the Australian currency, the Australian dollar has been hovering around 1 Australian Dollars to 0.72 American Dollars. This means that while I spend money in Australia, my U.S. dollars goes further. This is a definite perk to coming to study Australia and is unlike Europe, where the U.S. dollar is worth less than the Euro. Another interesting fact about Australia is they do not tip when you go out to restaurants. The workers are already compensated with higher wages, making tipping uncustomary. As a student, this is another significant cost savings!
Sources: Australia.gov and Deloitte Insights
Student, UConn School of Business
Hello UConn! My name is Victoria Myers and I am a junior accounting major with a minor in economics. In my free time, I play on UConn’s club field hockey team, volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and I am also a member of the UConn Consulting Group. A fun fact about myself is that I was born on Halloween; however, ironically, I am terrified of horror movies and the scary aspects of Halloween. View Posts