Australia is the world’s smallest continent and is divided between four independent nations and four dependencies.
The largest polity on the island is the Kingdom of Australia, an autonomous part of the Empire of Britain and one of the most powerful parts of the empire, with only the North American Commonwealth and Indian Realm being wealthier. The Kingdom of Australia is made up of five provinces, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and New Zealand.
The Kingdom is federal in nature with each province enjoying broad autonomy from the Royal and Imperial governments.
Early in its history Australia was often ignored by Britain, colonization was slow, allowing other powers to settle the continent.
In the early years many of the first settlers were convicts, transported to Australia. Among them were Irishmen who were involved in unsuccessful rebellions. Some of these men travelled north, trying to escape the authorities and live a free life. Many died or were recaptured, but some managed to elude capture and settle down.
Several times these Irishmen tried to form their own nations, only to have them conquered by Britain. Finally near the Gulf of Carpentaria they managed to found the Éire Free Republic, which after several bush wars the British grudgingly recognised.
Comparatively small numbers of women managed to escape to the republic, so the Irishmen typically took native brides and the majority of citizens are mulattos.
In the west of the continent is the second largest territory, the French province of New Aquitaine, sadly this province is currently the most restive region on the continent. The government of the province is trying to toe the line between the military council in Paris and the Royal Government in Exile in Algiers.
The populace are mostly Royalists but New Aquitaine’s strategic location has ensured it has a strong military presence, including a full chemical, biological and nuclear arsenal. The war has not yet spread to Australia, but it seems inevitable.
To the south is the small but prosperous Swedish colony of New Gotland, founded on the Swan River in the late eighteenth century by King Gustav III.
New Gotland is probably most famous for its Royal Space Centre, where the Nordic Space Agency launches most of their missions from, including their recent manned missions
The smallest dependency is the Cape York Colony, administered by the Prussian Union. After the Ninth Anglo-Spanish War Britain was strapped for cash and so sold the Cape York Peninsula to Prussia for an exorbitant sum. The Prussians were furious when they discovered they had been sold the rights to settle, in the words of the Ambassador “worthless swampland, unfit for swine”, tensions caused by the sale very nearly caused the collapse of the Triple Alliance.
Prussia kept the territory, and after several failed attempts managed to found a small colony, with its current population of around 22,000 people. Around half of the population are aborigines and there is growing independence movement but liberal government policies and subsidies have prevented any serious attempts to break away.
Oldest of the independent states is the Xingning Republic, founded by Hakka merchants inspired by the Lanfang Republic in Borneo. The Republic has a distinctly cosmopolitan population, including Hakka, Malay, Han, Europeans, Vietnamese and aborigines among others. Aborigines were instrumental in the founding of the Republic with the Yolngu, Dangbon Jawoyn, Mara and Gunwinggu all having autonomous provinces.
While a republic, Xingning has close ties to the Chinese Empire and continues to pay tribute to the Emperor.
Overland trade between the various colonies was difficult and dangerous until the British started to bring in Pashtuns and their camels. These overland trade routes prospered until the First Great War (1876-1884), when central Australia was left in near anarchy, until the owner of one of the larger companies, Ahmer Mohammed Khan, started a campaign to eliminate bandits and restore order.
By the time the First Great War ended Ahmer Mohammed Khan has made himself Emir of all of central Australia, having won the support of his fellow Pashtuns, Algerian exiles and much of the European community and Aborigines.
His little empire couldn't remain under the radar for long, and much was reclaimed by the Europeans, but he managed to preserve the core of the Emirate, and the outback remains largely Islamic.
Sandwiched between the Emirate and Xingning is the tiny Grand Duchy of Larrimah. The nation has a population of only 561 people, but it’s absurdly low taxes help keep it afloat and independent. The nation is also notable for being the first carbon neutral country on earth, relying mostly on solar and wind power.