Kevin Rudd

After 40,000 years, recognition for Aboriginal people beckons

About 40,000 years after Aboriginal people settled in Australia, a referendum is to be held on whether to amend the constitution to recognise them as the country's original inhabitants. The move, announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, follows her predecessor Kevin Rudd's apology to the "Stolen Generations" of Aboriginal children forcibly removed from their families. It comes nearly 223 years after the First Fleet arrived in Sydney, heralding the colonisation of Australia by European settlers.

Australia faces the prospect of first hung parliament since 1940

The Australian opposition leader, Tony Abbott, is a keen triathlete who rarely shuns a physical challenge. Yesterday he set himself a new endurance test: to campaign for 36 hours straight in a last-ditch attempt to win government in tomorrow's federal election.

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Man charged over deadly Australian fire

Authorities charged a man today with 'arson causing death' after a week of devasting fires that killed a total of more than 180 people in Australia, and whisked him into protective custody to guard him from public fury.

Australian bushfires kill 171

Weary firefighters and rescuers pulled the remains of dozens of people from charred buildings today as the toll from Australia's deadliest bushfires rose to 171.

Australia may follow British lead on Olympic funding

For years, Britain has envied the efficiency with which the Australian sporting structure turns out elite athletes who excel on the international stage. Now, following Britain's historic success at the Beijing Olympics, the boot is, so to speak, on the other foot.