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How did Australia get its name? An expert explains

201 years ago today, Governor Lachlan Macquarie recommended our country adopt the name ‘Australia’.

Our great southern land had previously been known by various names, including Terra Australis and New Holland.

So why was ‘Australia’ settled on?

Professor of history at Charles Darwin University David Carment tells Michael McLaren the name has a long history.

“‘Australia’ was used for the first time to apply to the continent of Australia towards the end of the 18th century and then it was really popularised in the early 19th century by Matthew Flinders.

“He was very keen on the word and felt that it should be formally adopted.

“It wasn’t until Governor Macquarie took up this issue in 1817 that it actually happened.”

Professor Carment reveals how long it took for the name to be adopted.

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Michael McLaren