This paper presents an overview of geography in Australia. It answers three main questions. Does the teaching of geography in Australia focus on specific topics? How is geography taught in secondary schools? And, what differences are there in the approaches taken to geography in Australia and Japan.
In Australia, geography is first taught in year five at primary school level. The teaching of geography aims to provide background knowledge that is essential to understand both natural and human elements of the world and how they interrelate. This enables students to better understand the impacts of human beings on natural environments.
The teaching of geography in Australia is more advanced than it is in Japan. According to the website of the Institute of Australian Geographers, geography is taught at 18 of 41 universities in Australia. At these universities, geography programs are supported by a wide range of resources and include specialized research groups such as physical geography, GIS, remote sensing, and human geography. Some Australian universities have recently reformed their teaching systems. In this process, geography departments were merged with those of other disciplines, which resulted in a decline in the number of geographers. However, based on the above, geography is widely accepted as an academic subject in Australia.