Austria - officially the Republic of Austria (German: Österreich) - is a country of roughly 8.3 million people in Central Europe. It borders Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,872 square kilometres, and has a temperate and alpine climate. Austria's terrain is highly mountainous, only 32% of the country is below 500 metres, and its highest point is 3,797 metres. The majority of the population speaks German, which is also the country's official language. Other local official languages are Croatian, Hungarian and Slovene.
The origins of Austria date back to the time of the Roman Empire when a Celtic kingdom was conquered by the Romans in approximately 15 BC, and later became Noricum, a Roman province, in the mid 1st century AD - an area which mostly encloses today's Austria.
Today, Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states. The capital Vienna is Austria's largest city with a population exceeding 1.6 million. Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, with a nominal per capita GDP of $43,570. The country has developed a high standard of living, and in 2008 was ranked 14th in the world for its Human Development Index. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, joined the European Union in 1995, and is a founder of the OECD. Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the European currency, the euro, in 1999.
History of immigration from Austria
It is difficult to determine the precise number of Austrians in Victoria until after World War I because everyone from the Austro-Hungarian Empire was considered Austrian. A small number of Austrians came to Victoria during the gold rushes of the 1850s. After World War II the Assisted Passage scheme helped many Austrians to migrate to Australia and many settled in Victoria.
The number of Austria-born living in Victoria peaked in the 1960s at 8,615, then declined in the following decades. A total of 5,216 Austrian-born Victorians were recorded in 2001 (last official census). The majority of the Austria-born population in Victoria was aged over fifty; 38% spoke German at home. Although the community is ageing, Austrian cultural traditions have been maintained through local organisations including the Austrian Cultural Society, the Austrian Choir, the Robert Stolz Society, Radio 3ZZZ, SBS, and others.
Austrian Radio Group on 3ZZZ
The radio programs of the Austrian group aim to entertain as well as to inform their listeners. The presenters broadcast mostly Austrian (as well as German and some Swiss) music that is rarely heard otherwise on Australian media, and is usually a mixture of old and new folk music (Volksmusik), popular music (volkstümliche und moderne Schlager), Viennese and light classical music. We also bring up-to-date news from Austria, the events and entertainment programs of the local German-speaking community organisations, some interviews, historical and cultural information, as well as other matters of general interest.
The program times of the Austrian radio group are:
Mondays 3 pm - 4 pm
Tursdays 12 noon - 1 pm
Fridays 7 pm - 8 pm
The programs are presented by a team of seven keen volunteers, who share the time spots on an irregular rotating basis to provide a variety of programming. They are:
Bruno Klepp (Convenor)
Assisting the smooth running of the group are treasurer Poldi Klepp and secretary Margaret Janout.
We would be pleased to hear from you with any comments, questions or suggestions about our programs.
Mail: Austrian Radio Group, P.O Box 1106 Collingwood VIC 3066
Weekly Show Schedule
- 12:00 - 13:00
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