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Blessed to be a Blessing!




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The Commonwealth of Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. These island territories include the Australian Antarctic Territory, Christmas, Heard, Cocos, McDonald, Norfolk, Coral Sea, Ashmore and Cartier islands. In total there are some 12,000 islands.

After discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales. Formal possession of the land occurred on 26 January 1788. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades; the continent was explored and an additional five self-governing Crown Colonies were established.

On 1 January 1901, the six colonies became a federation and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Since Federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system. The population is 22 million, with approximately 60% concentrated in and around the mainland state capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. The nation's capital city is Canberra, in the ACT.

Australia’s national day, Australia Day, on 26 January, marks the date in 1788 when Captain Arthur Phillip, of the British Royal Navy, commanding a fleet of 11 ships, sailed into Port Jackson (Sydney Cove). Phillip formally took possession of the eastern part of the continent for England and established a settlement, now Australia’s largest city, Sydney.

In all, about 160 000 men and women were brought to Australia as convicts from 1788 until penal transportation ended in 1868. The convicts were joined by free immigrants from the early 1790s. The wool industry and the gold rushes of the 1850s provided an impetus for free settlers to come to Australia.

Scarcity of labour, the vastness of the land and new wealth based on farming, mining and trade, made Australia a land of opportunity.


Legends of Terra Australis Incognita—an "unknown land of the South"—date back to Roman times and were commonplace in medieval geography, although not based on any documented knowledge of the continent. Following European discovery, names for the Australian landmass were often references to ‘Terra Australis’.

The earliest recorded use of the word ‘Australia’ in English was in 1625, in "A note of Australia del Espíritu Santo, written by Master Hakluyt, which was the original Spanish name for the mysterious great southland.

The name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who pushed for it to be formally adopted as early as 1804. When preparing his manuscript and charts for his ‘1814 A Voyage to Terra Australis’, he was persuaded by his patron, Sir Joseph Banks, to use the term Terra Australis as this was the name most familiar to the public. Flinders did so, but allowed himself the footnote:

"Had I permitted myself any innovation on the original term, it would have been to convert it to Australia; as being more agreeable to the ear…"

Lachlan Macquarie, a Governor of New South Wales, subsequently used the word in his dispatches to England, and on 12 December 1817 recommended to the Colonial Office that it be formally adopted. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known officially as ‘Australia’.


At the time of European settlement in the late 18th century, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers, with a complex oral culture and spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime.

  • The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland and the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent were attributed to the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon. He sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in early 1606, and made landfall on 26 February at the Pennefather River on the western shore of Cape York, near the modern town of Weipa.
  • The Dutch charted the whole of the western and northern coastlines of "New Holland" during the 17th century, but made no attempt at settlement.
  • William Dampier, an English explorer/privateer landed on the northwest coast of Australia in 1688 and again in 1699 on a return trip.
  • In 1770, James Cook sailed along and mapped the east coast of Australia, which he named New South Wales and claimed for Great Britain. Cook's discoveries prepared the way for establishment of a new penal colony.
  • The United Kingdom formally claimed the western part of Australia in 1828.
  • A campaign by the settlers of New South Wales led to the end of convict transportation to that colony; the last convict ship arrived in 1848.
  • Port Arthur in Tasmania was Australia's largest gaol for transported convicts.
  • Australia's landmass is 7,617,930 square kilometers.
  • The world's smallest continent and sixth largest country by total area, Australia—owing to its size and isolation—is often dubbed the 'island continent' and variably considered the world's largest island.
  • Australia has 34,218 kilometres of coastline.
  • The Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef, extends for over 2,000.
  • Australia is the flattest continent, with the oldest and least fertile soils; desert or semi-arid land commonly known as the ‘outback’ makes up by far the largest portion of land.
  • The driest inhabited continent, only its south-east and south-west corners have a temperate climate.
  • The population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, is among the lowest in the world.
  • Australia is the only nation to occupy an entire continent.
  • Is ranked third in the Index of Economic Freedom (2010)
  • Australia is the world's thirteenth largest economy and has the eleventh highest per capita GDP; higher than that of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada and Japan, and on par with that of the United States.
  • Most of the 22 million Australians are descended from colonial-era settlers and post-Federation immigrants from Europe, with almost 90% of the population being of European descent.
  • For generations, the vast majority of immigrants came from the British Isles, and the people of Australia are still mainly of British or Irish ethnic origin.
  • In the 2006 Australian census, the most commonly nominated ancestry was:
  • Australian (37.13%),
  • English (31.65%)
  • Irish (9.08%)
  • Scottish (7.56%)
  • Italian (4.29%)
  • German (4.09%)
  • Chinese (3.37%)
  • Greek (1.84%).
  • The Indigenous population—mainland Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders—was counted at 410,003 (2.2% of the total population) in 2001.
  • Indigenous Australians experience higher than average rates of imprisonment and unemployment, lower levels of education, and life expectancies for males and females that are 11–17 years lower than those of non-indigenous Australians.
  • Nearly three quarters of Australians live in metropolitan cities and coastal areas.
  • The beach is an integral part of the Australian identity.
  • Fewer than 15% of Australians live in rural areas.
  • Australia’s official language is English, by common usage rather than law. Australian English does not differ significantly from other forms of English, although some colloquial and slang expressions are unique.
  • Australia has no state religion. In the 2006 census, 64% of Australians listed themselves as:
  • Christian, including 26% as Roman Catholic and 19% as Anglican.
  • About 19% of the population cited "No religion" (which includes humanism, atheism, agnosticism, and rationalism), which was the fastest-growing group from 2001 to 2006, and a further 12% did not answer (the question is optional) or did not give a response adequate for interpretation.
  • The largest non-Christian religion in Australia is Buddhism (2.1%),
  • Islam (1.7%),
  • Hinduism (0.8%),
  • Judaism (0.5%).
  • Overall, fewer than 6% of Australians identify with non-Christian religions.
  • Weekly attendance at church services in 2004 was about 1.5 million: about 7.5% of the population.
  • Religion does not play a central role in the lives of much of the population.
  • Australia today stands at a crossroads where our Christian heritage is under attack as never before. God is giving us a choice. We either take a stand and reclaim our Christian heritage or let it slip and allow other god's to take this Great Southland for themselves.
  • Life expectancy in Australia is relatively high, with figures of 78.7 years for males and 83.5 years for females born in 2006.
  • Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.
  • Australia has one of the highest proportions of overweight citizens amongst developed nations.It is one of the world’s most urbanised countries, with about 70 per cent of the population living in the 10 largest cities.
  • Most of the population is concentrated along the eastern seaboard and the south-eastern corner of the continent.
  • Australia’s lifestyle reflects its mainly Western origins, but Australia is also a multicultural society which has been enriched by over six million settlers from almost 200 nations.
  • Four out of ten Australians are migrants or the first-generation children of migrants, half of them from non-English speaking backgrounds.
  • Isolation of the Australian island-continent has created a sanctuary for the flora and fauna.
  • Australia’s best-known animals are the kangaroo, koala, platypus and spiny anteater.
  • Of more than 700 bird species listed in Australia, 400 - including the large, flightless emu - are found nowhere else.
  • Australia has 20 000 species of plants, including living fossils such as the cycad palm and the grass tree, and brilliant wildflowers such as the waratah, Sturt’s desert pea, the flowering cones of banksia trees, and the red and green kangaroo paw.
  • The continent has 700 species of acacia, which Australians call wattle,
  • 1200 species in the Myrtaceae family which includes eucalypts or gum trees.
  • Australia’s national anthem, Advance Australia Fair, is a revised version of a late 19th-century patriotic song.
  • It was declared the national anthem in April 1984, replacing God Save the Queen.
  • In the same year, Australia officially adopted green and gold as its national colours.
  • Out of the experience of war was born one of Australia’s most enduring values: the ‘Anzac’ ethos of courage and spirit. Every year on 25 April, Australia commemorates the brave but devastating battle fought by the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps—Anzacs—at Gallipoli, Turkey, in 1915. The day also commemorates all Australian soldiers who have fought in wars since then.
  • During the Second World War Australian forces made a significant contribution to the Allied victory in Europe and in Asia and the Pacific. The generation that fought in the war and survived came out of the war with a sense of pride in Australia’s capabilities. Australia has soldiers in active service today in Afghanistan.
  • Today Australia is one of the most cosmopolitan and dynamic societiesin the world.
  • Over 200 languages are spoken, with English the common language.
  • The nation has thriving ethnic media, an international business reputation, an innovative artistic community, diverse religious and cultural activities and variety in foods, restaurants, fashion and architecture.
  • A prosperous developed country, Australia is the world's thirteenth largest economy.
  • Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance such as human development, quality of life, health care, life expectancy, public education, economic freedom and the protection of civil liberties and political rights.
  • 2010 Prophetic word: Australia, My beloved, will ride the crest of the great wave, the wave that will pour out the Glory of My Presence and Power over all nations. Those with the 'spirit of Elijah' will rise up from within her and cause signs in the heavens and on the earth that will be visible for all mankind to see. Salvations and healings shall be on every corner. I will move in every sphere of human life to such a degree that it will be rare for one not to know My Name. I will breathe My life into the performing and creative arts to such a degree that Australia will become the world leader in creativity. Invention and ground-breaking innovations will flow like a river and will stun the world due to the sheer magnitude of creativity and brilliance that will come from My breath and inspiration, says the Lord.

Aboriginal technology - before 1788

  • Boomerang
  • Didgeridoo
  • Woomera

Colonial era - 19th century

  • 1838 - Pre-paid postage - Colonial Postmaster-General of New South Wales, James Raymond introduced the world's first pre-paid postal system, using pre-stamped sheets as envelopes.
  • 1843 - Grain stripper - John Ridley and John Bull of South Australia developed the world's first grain stripper that cut the crop then removed and placed the grain into bins.
  • 1856 - Refrigerator - Using the principal of vapour compression, James Harrison produced the world's first practical ice making machine and refrigerator.
  • 1874 - Underwater torpedo - Invented by Louis Brennan, the torpedo had two propellers, rotated by wires which were attached to winding engines on the shore station. By varying the speed at which the two wires were extracted, the torpedo could be steered to the left or right by an operator on the shore.
  • Stump jump plough - Richard and Clarence Bowyer Smith developed a plough which could jump over stumps and stones, enabling newly-cleared land to be cultivated.
  • 1877 - Mechanical clippers - Various mechanical shearing patents were registered in Australia before Frederick York Wolseley finally succeeded in developing a practical hand piece with a comb and reciprocating cutter driven by power transmitted from a stationary engine.
  • 1889 - Electric drill - Arthur James Arnot patented the world's first electric drill on 20 August 1889 while working for the Union Electric Company in Melbourne. He designed it primarily to drill rock and to dig coal.
  • 1894 - Powered flight - Lawrence Hargrave discovered that curved surfaces lift more than flat ones. He subsequently built the world's first box kites, hitched four together, added an engine and flew five metres. Hargrave corresponded freely with other aviation pioneers, including the Wright Brothers.
  • 20th Century Post-Federation - 1901–1950

  • 1902 - Notepad - For 500 years, paper had been supplied in loose sheets. Launceston stationer J.A. Birchall decided that it would be a good idea to cut the sheets into half, back them with cardboard and glue them together at the top.
  • 1903 - Froth flotation - The process of separating minerals from rock by flotation was developed by Charles Potter and Guillaume Delprat in New South Wales. Both worked independently at the same time on different parts of the process for the mining company Broken Hill Pty. Ltd. (BHP).
  • 1906 - Feature film - The world's first feature length film, The Story of the Kelly Gang, was a little over an hour long.
  • 1906 - Surf life-saving reel - The first surf life-saving reel in the world was demonstrated at Bondi Beach on 23 December 1906 by its designer, Bondi surfer Lester Ormsby.
  • 1907 - Thrust bearing - Fluid-film thrust bearings were invented by Australian engineer George Michell. Michell bearings contain a number of sector-shaped pads, arranged in a circle around the shaft, and which are free to pivot. These create wedge-shaped regions of oil inside the bearing between the pads and a rotating disk, which support the applied thrust and eliminate metal-on-metal contact. The small size (one-tenth the size of old bearing designs), low friction and long life of Michell's invention made possible the development of larger propellers and engines in ships. They were used extensively in ships built during World War I, and have become the standard bearing used on turbine shafts in ships and power plants worldwide.
  • 1910 - Humespun pipe-making process - The Humespun process was developed by Walter Hume of Humes Ltd for making concrete pipes of high strength and low permeability. The process used centrifugal force to evenly distribute concrete onto wire reinforcing, revolutionising pipe manufacture.
  • 1910 - Dethridge wheel - The wheel used to measure the water flow in an irrigation channel, consisting of a drum on an axle, with eight v-shaped vanes fixed to its outside, was invented by John Dethridge, Commissioner of the Victorian State Rivers and Water Supply Commission.

  • 1912 - Surf ski - Harry McLaren and his brother Jack used an early version of the surf ski for use around the family's oyster beds on Lake Innes, near Port Macquarie, New South Wales, and the brothers used them in the surf on Port Macquarie's beaches. The board was propelled in a sitting position with two small hand blades, which was probably not a highly efficient method to negotiate the surf. The deck is flat with a bung plug at the rear and a nose ring with a leash, possibly originally required for mooring. The rails are square and there is pronounced rocker. The boards' obvious buoyancy indicates hollow construction, with thin boards of cedar fixed longtitudinally down the board.
  • 1912 - Tank - A South Australian named Lance de Mole submitted a proposal to the British War Office, for a 'chain-rail vehicle which could be easily steered and carry heavy loads over rough ground and trenches' complete with extensive drawings. The British war office rejected the idea at the time, but De Mole made several more proposals to the British War Office in 1914 and 1916, and formally requested he be recognised as the inventor of the Mark I tank. The British Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors eventually made a payment of £987 to De Mole to cover his expenses; promoting him to an honorary corporal.
  • 1912 - Self-Propelled Rotary Hoe - At the age of 16 Cliff Howard of Gilgandra invented a machine with rotating hoe blades on an axle that simultaneously hoed the ground and pulled the machine forward.
  • 1913 - Automatic totalisator - The world's first automatic totalisator for calculating horse-racing bets was made by Sir George Julius.
  • 1928 - Electronic Pacemaker - The heart pacemaker had a portable apparatus which 'plugged into a lighting point. One pole was applied to a skin pad soaked in strong salt solution' while the other pole 'consisted of a needle insulated except at its point, and was plunged into the appropriate cardiac chamber'. 'The pacemaker rate was variable from about 80 to 120 pulses per minute, and likewise the voltage variable from 1.5 to 120 volts.' The apparatus was used to revive a potentially stillborn infant at Crown Street Women's Hospital, Sydney whose heart continued 'to beat on its own accord', 'at the end of 10 minutes' of stimulation.
  • 1930 - Clapperboard - The wooden marker used to synchronise sound and film was invented by Frank Thring Sr of Efftee Studios in Melbourne.
  • 1951-53 Holden Ute1934 - Coupé utility - The car body style, known colloquially as the ute in Australia and New Zealand, combines a two-door "coupé" cabin with an integral cargo bed behind the cabin—using a light-duty passenger vehicle-derived platform. It was designed by Lewis Brandt at the Ford Motor Company in Geelong, Victoria. The first ute rolled off the Ford production lines in 1934. The idea came from a Geelong farmer's wife who wrote to Ford in 1933 advising the need for a new sort of vehicle to take her 'to church on Sundays and pigs to market on Mondays.
  • 1940 - Zinc Cream - This white sun block made from zinc oxide was developed by the Fauldings pharmaceutical company.
  • 1943 - Splayd - The combination knife, fork and spoon was invented by William McArthur after seeing ladies struggle to eat at barbecues with standard cutlery from plates on their laps.
  • 20th century Post-World War II
  • 1948 - Rotary Clothes Line - The famous Hills Hoist rotary clothes line with a winding mechanism allowing the frame to be lowered and raised with ease was developed by Lance Hill in 1945, although the clothes line design itself was originally patented by Gilbert Toyne in Adelaide in 1926.
  • 1952 - Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer - The atomic absorption spectrophotometer is a complex analytical instrument incorporating micro-computer electronics and precision optics and mechanics, used in chemical analysis to determine low concentrations of metals in a wide variety of substances. It was first developed by Sir Alan Walsh of the CSIRO.
  • 1953 - Solar hot water - Developed by a team at the CSIRO led by Roger N Morse.
  • 1955 - Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) - Invented and developed by Edward George Bowen of the CSIRO, the first DME network, operating in the 200 MHz band, became operational in Australia.
  • 1956 - Pneumatic broadacre air seeder - Invented and patented by Albert Fuss in 1956, the lightweight air seeder uses a spinning distributor, blew the seeds through a pipe into the plating tynes. It was first used that same year to sow wheat near Dalby in Queensland.
  • 1957 - Flame ionisation detector - The flame ionisation detector is one of the most accurate instruments ever developed for the detection of emissions. It was invented by Ian McWilliam. The instrument, which can measure one part in 10 million, has been used in chemical analysis in the petrochemical industry, medical and biochemical research, and in the monitoring of the environment.
  • 1957 - Wool clothing with a permanent crease - The process for producing permanently creased fabric was invented by Dr Arthur Farnworth of the CSIRO.
  • 1958 - Black box flight recorder - The 'black box' voice and instrument data recorder was invented by Dr David Warren in Melbourne.
  • 1960 - Plastic spectacle lenses - The world's first plastic spectacle lenses, 60 per cent lighter than glass lenses, were designed by Scientific Optical Laboratories in Adelaide.
  • 1961 - Ultrasound - David Robinson and George Kossoff's work at the Australian Department of Health, resulted in the first commercially practical water path ultrasonic scanner in 1961.
  • 1965 - Inflatable escape slide - The inflatable aircraft escape slide which doubles as a raft was invented by Jack Grant of Qantas.
  • 1965 - Wine cask - Invented by Thomas Angove of Renmark, South Australia, the wine cask is a cardboard box housing a plastic container which collapses as the wine is drawn off, thus preventing contact with the air. Angroves' original design with a re-sealable spout was replaced with a tap by the Penfolds wine company in 1972.
  • 1970 - Staysharp knife - The self-sharpening knife was developed by Wiltshire.
  • 1971 - Variable rack and pinion steering - The variable ratio rack and pinion steering in motor vehicles allowing smooth steering with minimal feedback was invented by Australian engineer, Arthur Bishop.
  • 1972 - Orbital engine - The orbital internal combustion process engine was invented by engineer Ralph Sarich of Perth, Western Australia. The system uses a single piston to directly inject fuel into 5 orbiting chambers. It has never challenged the dominance of four-stroke combustion engines but has replaced many two-stroke engines with a more efficient, powerful and cleaner system. Orbital engines now appear in boats, motorcycles and small cars.
  • 1972 - Instream analysis - To speed-up analysis of metals during the recovery process, which used to take up to 24 hours, Amdel Limited developed an on-the-spot analysis equipment called the In-Stream Analysis System, for the processing of copper, zinc, lead and platinum - and the washing of coal. This computerised system allowed continuous analysis of key metals and meant greater productivity for the mineral industry worldwide.
  • 1974 - Super Sopper - Gordon Withnall at the age of 56 invented the Super Sopper, a giant rolling sponge used to quickly soak up water from sporting grounds so that play can continue.
  • 1978 - Synroc - The synthetic ceramic Synroc that incorporates radioactive waste into its crystal structure was invented in 1978 by a team led by Dr Ted Ringwood at the Australian National University.
  • 1979 - Digital sampler - The Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument) was the first polyphonic digital sampling synthesizer. It was designed in 1979 by the founders of Fairlight, Peter Vogel and Kim Ryrie in Sydney, Australia.
  • 1979 - RaceCam - Race Cam was developed by Geoff Healey, an engineer with Australian Television Network Seven in Sydney. The tiny lightweight camera is used in sports broadcasts and provides viewers with spectacular views of events such as motor racing, which are impossible with conventional cameras.
  • 1979 - Bionic ear - The cochlear implant was invented by Professor Graeme Clark of the University of Melbourne.
  • 1980 - Dual flush toilet - Bruce Thompson, working for Caroma in Australia, developed the Duoset cistern, with two buttons, and two flush volumes as a water-saving measure, now responsible for savings in excess of 32000 litres of water per household per year.
  • 1980 - Wave-piercing catamaran - The first high speed, stable catamarans were developed by Phillip Hercus and Robert Clifford of Incat in Tasmania.
  • 1981 - CPAP mask - Professor Colin Sullivan of Sydney University developed the Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP) mask. The CPAP system first developed by Sullivan has become the most common treatment for sleep disordered breathing. The invention was commercialised in 1989 by Australian firm ResMed, which is currently one of the world's two largest suppliers of CPAP technology.
  • 1983 - Winged Keel - Ben Lexcen designed a winged keel that helped Australia II end the New York Yacht Club's 132 year ownership of the America's Cup. The keel gave the yacht better steering and manoeuvrability in heavy winds.
  • 1984 - Baby Safety Capsule - Babies in a car crash used to bounce around like a football. In 1984, for the first time babies had a bassinette with an air bubble in the base and a harness that distributed forces across the bassinette protecting the baby. New South Wales public hospitals now refuse to allow parents take a baby home by car without one.
  • 1986 - Gene shears - The discovery of gene shears was made by CSIRO scientists, Wayne Gerlach and Jim Haseloff. So-called hammerhead ribozymes are bits of genetic material that interrupt a DNA code at a particular point, and can be designed to cut out genes that cause disease or dangerous proteins.
  • 1989 - Polilight forensic lamp - Ron Warrender and Milutin Stoilovic, forensic scientists at the Australian National University in Canberra, developed Unilite which could be set to just the right wavelength to show fingerprints up well against any background. Rofin Australia Pty Ltd, developed this product into the portable Polilight which shows up invisible clues such as fingerprints and writing that has been scribbled over, as well as reworked sections on paintings.
  • 1991 - Buffalo fly trap - In 1991 the CSIRO developed a low-tech translucent plastic tent with a dark inner tunnel lined with brushes. When a cow walks through, the brushed flies fly upwards toward the light and become trapped in the solar-heated plastic dome where they quickly die from desiccation (drying out) and fall to the ground, where ants eat them.
  • 1992 - Multi-focal contact lens - The world's first multi-focal contact lens was invented by optical research scientist, Stephen Newman in Queensland.
  • 1992 - Spray-on skin - Developed by Dr Fiona Wood at Royal Perth Hospital.
  • 1993 - Underwater PC - The world's first underwater computer with a five-button hand-held keypad was developed by Bruce Macdonald at the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
  • 1995 - EXELGRAM - The world's most sophisticated optical anti-counterfeiting technology was developed by the CSIRO.
  • 1995 - Jindalee Radar System - Developed by Scientists at the CSIRO, the Jindalee Radar System detects stealthy aircraft and missiles by searching for the turbulence generated by such vehicles.
  • 2000 - Wi-Fi - Using the mathematical formulas known as Fourier transforms, John O'Sullivan, Graham Daniels, John Deane, Diethelm Ostry and Terry Percival, working under the CSIRO and another organisation, Radiata, developed the first wireless transfer of data in a local area network.
  • 21st century
  • 2002 - Scramjet - On July 30, 2002, the University of Queensland's HyShot team (and international partners) conducted the first ever successful test flight of a scramjet. This test was conducted at the rocket range in outback South Australia called Woomera.
  • 2003 - Blast Glass - A ballistic and blast resistant glass system was invented by Peter Stephinson. Unlike conventional bullet proof glass it incorporates an air cavity to absorb the shock wave of explosions, and was effective in protecting the Australian Embassy in the Jakarta bombings of 2004.