Australasia: Understanding the Region

Australia comes from the Dutch adjectival form australis Che meaning “Australia” in the sense of “southern” was used by the Dutch people or rather officials in Batavia to refer to the newly discovered land to the south as early as 1638(Getting Down Under, 2017)

It is believed that the first English language writer to use the word Australia was Alexander Dalrymple in a historical collection of voyages and discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean, published in the year 1771. He only used the term to refer to the entire south pacific area and not specifically to the Australian continent.

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Twenty-two years later, 1793, George Shaw and Sir James Smith published zoology and botany of new Holland, in which they wrote about the “vast island, or rather, continent, of Australia, Australasia or other terms Australasia was also referred to as new Holland. The term Australia become popularized in the year 1814 work a voyage to Terra Australis by Mathew Flinders who was the navigator”. (Getting Down Under, 2017)

What makes up Australasia?

Well, this is a question that has different ideology and different perspective. According to the new world encyclopedia “Australasia can be derived as a region within the Oceania, this includes New Zealand and Australia, islands of the South Pacific, including Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and the adjacent islands.

All of the Oceania including the regions of Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Australia” (Getting Down Under, 2017) however the most common widely known term or definition of Australasia is; Australia, new Zealand , island of new guinea which consist of Indonesian providences Papua and Papua Barat and the independent country of Papua new guinea.

New Guinea

Nueva Guinea” was the first name instituted by the Spanish pioneer Ynigo Ortiz de Retez in 1545. He noticed the likeness of the general population to those he had seen before along the Guinean shore of Africa….