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Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales (NSW). Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people. Inhabitants of Sydney are called Sydneysiders, comprising a cosmopolitan and international population.

The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson which is commonly known as Sydney Harbour, where the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge feature prominently. The hinterland of the metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and the coastal regions feature many bays, rivers, inlets and beaches including the famous Bondi Beach. Within the city are many notable parks, including Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

In 2010, Sydney was ranked 7th in Asia and 28th globally for economic innovation in the Innovation Cities Top 100 Index. Sydney also ranks among the top 10 most liveable cities in the world according to The Economist.

Sydney is home to some of Australia's most prominent educational institutions. The University of Sydney, established in 1850, is Australia's oldest university and the largest in Sydney. Other public universities located in Sydney include the University of Technology, Sydney, the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, the University of Western Sydney and the Australian Catholic University. Other universities which operate secondary campuses in Sydney include the University of Notre Dame Australia, the University of Wollongong and Curtin University of Technology.

There are four multi-campus government-funded Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes in Sydney, which provide vocational training at a tertiary level: the Sydney Institute of Technology, Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE, Western Sydney Institute of TAFE and South Western Sydney Institute of TAFE.

Sydney has public, denominational and independent schools. Public schools, including pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, and special schools are administered by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training (NSW DET). There are four state-administered education areas in Sydney, that together co-ordinate 919 schools. Of the 30 selective high schools in the state, 25 are in Sydney.

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. As of June 2009, the greater geographical area had an approximate population of 4 million. Inhabitants of Melbourne are called Melburnians.

The metropolis is located on the large natural bay known as Port Phillip, with the city centre positioned at the estuary of the Yarra River (at the northern-most point of the bay). The metropolitan area then extends south from the city centre, along the eastern and western shorelines of Port Phillip, and expands into the hinterland. The city centre is situated in the municipality known as the City of Melbourne, and the metropolitan area consists of a further 30 municipalities.

Often referred to as the "cultural capital of Australia", Melbourne is the birthplace of cultural institutions such as Australian film, Australian television, Australian rules football, the Australian impressionist art movement and Australian dance styles such as New Vogue and the Melbourne Shuffle.

Melbourne was ranked as the world's most liveable city in the World's Most Livable Cities ratings by the Economist Group's Intelligence Unit in August, 2011. It was also ranked in the top 10 Global University Cities by RMIT's Global University Cities Index since 2006. The metropolis is also home to the world's largest tram network.

Melbourne was ranked the world's 4th top University City in 2008 after London, Boston and Tokyo in a poll commissioned by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). Melbourne is the home of the University of Melbourne, as well as Monash University, the largest university in Australia. The University of Melbourne is the second oldest university in Australia. It was ranked first among Australian universities in the 2010 THES international rankings.

The Times Higher Education Supplement ranked the University of Melbourne as the 36th best university in the world. Monash University was ranked the 178th best university in the world. Both universities are members of the Group of Eight.

Other universities located in Melbourne include La Trobe University, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, based in the inner city Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn, Victoria University, which has nine campuses across Melbourne's western region, including three in the heart of Melbourne's Central Business District (CBD) and another four within 10km of the CBD, and the St Patrick's campus of the Australian Catholic University. Deakin University maintains two major campuses in Melbourne and Geelong, and is the third largest university in Victoria. In recent years, the number of international students at Melbourne's universities has risen rapidly, a result of an increasing number of places being made available to full fee paying students.

Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 280 km south-west of Sydney, and 660 km north-east of Melbourne. A resident of Canberra is known as a "Canberran".

The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city. The city's design was heavily influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation that have earned Canberra the title of the "bush capital".

As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance, such as the Australian War Memorial, Australian National University, Australian Institute of Sport, National Gallery, National Museum and the National Library. The Australian Army's officer corps are trained at the Royal Military College, Duntroon and the Australian Defence Force Academy is also located in the capital.

The two main tertiary institutions are the Australian National University (ANU) in Acton and the University of Canberra (UC) in Bruce, with over 10,500 and 8,000 full-time-equivalent students respectively. Established in 1946, the ANU has always had a strong research focus and is ranked among the leading universities in the world and the best in Australia by The Times Higher Education Supplement. There are two religious university campuses in Canberra: Signadou in the northern suburb of Watson is a campus of the Australian Catholic University, St Mark's Theological College in Barton is part of the secular Charles Sturt University. Tertiary level vocational education is also available through the multi-campus Canberra Institute of Technology.

In February 2004 there were 140 schools in Canberra; 96 were operated by the government and 44 were private. During 2006, the ACT Government announced closures of up to 39 schools, to take effect from the end of the school year, and after a series of consultations unveiled its Towards 2020: Renewing Our Schools policy.

Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane is also known as the River City and has the self-proclaimed title of Australia's New World City. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3 million. The demonym of Brisbane is Brisbanian, but is known to be Brisbanite.

Brisbane has multi-campus universities and colleges including Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland. Other universities which have campuses in Brisbane include the Australian Catholic University, Central Queensland University, James Cook University, JMC Academy, University of Southern Queensland and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

There are three major TAFE colleges in Brisbane; the Brisbane North Institute of TAFE, the Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE, and the Southbank Institute of TAFE. Brisbane is also home to numerous other independent tertiary providers, including the Australian College of Natural Medicine, the Brisbane College of Theology, QANTM, as well as Jschool: Journalism Education & Training.

The majority of Brisbane's preschool, primary, and secondary schools are run under the jurisdiction of Education Queensland, a branch of the Queensland Government. There are also a large number of independent and Roman Catholic run schools.

Gold Coast is a coastal city of Australia located in South East Queensland, 94km south of the state capital Brisbane. With a population approximately 540,000 in 2010, it is the second most populous city in the state, the sixth most populous city in the country, and also the most populous non-capital city in Australia. The Gold Coast also holds the title of the largest cross-state population of any metro area in Australia, due to its close proximity to Tweed Heads in NSW. The total metro area of the region is over 600,000 people, many of whom cross the border daily. In addition, the urban area of the Gold Coast has almost joined with the urban areas of Logan and Brisbane, some 50km north.

Gold Coast is known as a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, canal and waterway systems, its high-rise dominated skyline, nightlife and rainforest hinterland. Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Gold Coast's education infrastructure includes:

Universities – Three major university campuses (The Southern Cross University Beachside Campus, which offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in business, convention and event management, international tourism management and law and paralegal studies; Bond University at Robina and Griffith University, incorporating the Griffith Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and Oral Health at the Gold Coast Hospital and the main campus at Southport) and the smaller campus of Central Queensland University at Southport

TAFE – four campuses at Southport, Ridgeway (Ashmore), Benowa and Coolangatta

Schools – Over 100 primary and secondary schools, both public and private and of a variety of denominations, including the selective state high school Queensland Academy for Health Sciences and single-sex private schools The Southport School and St Hilda's School.

Cairn is is a regional city in Far North Queensland, Australia, founded 1876. The city was named after William Wellington Cairns, then-current Governor of Queensland. It was formed to serve miners heading for the Hodgkinson River goldfield, but experienced a decline when an easier route was discovered from Port Douglas. It later developed into a railhead and major port for exporting sugar cane, gold and other metals, minerals and agricultural products from surrounding coastal areas and the Atherton Tableland region. As of 2010, the population is approximately 150,920.

Cairns is located about 1,700 km from Brisbane, and about 2,420 km from Sydney by road. It is a popular travel destination for foreign tourists because of its tropical climate. It serves as a starting point for people wanting to visit the Great Barrier Reef and Far North Queensland.

Cairns has numerous primary and secondary schools. Separate systems of private and public schools operate in Queensland. There are 20 state primary schools and 16 state high schools operated by the Queensland state government Department of Education within the Cairns City Council area, including 6 schools in the predominantly rural areas south of Gordonvale.

The Cairns Campus of James Cook University is located at Smithfield. The city is also home to a TAFE college, and a School of the Air base, both located in the inner suburb of Manunda.

Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory (NT). Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin has a population of 127,500, making it by far the largest and most populated city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australia's capital cities. It is the smallest and most northerly of the Australian capital cities, and acts as the Top End's regional centre.

The region, like the rest of the Top End, has a tropical climate, with a wet and a dry season. It receives heavy rainfall during the Wet, and is well known for its spectacular lightning. The original inhabitants of the greater Darwin area are the Larrakia people.

Education is overseen territory-wide by the Department of Education and Training (DET), whose role is to continually improve education outcomes for all students, with a focus on Indigenous students.

Darwin is served by a number of public and private schools that cater to local and overseas students. Over 16,500 primary and secondary students are enrolled in schools in Darwin, with 10,524 students attending primary education, and 5,932 students attending secondary education. There are over 12,089 students enrolled in government schools and 2,124 students enrolled in independent schools.

Darwin's largest University is the Charles Darwin University which is the central provider of tertiary education in the Northern Territory, it covers both vocational and academic courses, acting as both a university and an Institute of TAFE. There are over 5,500 students enrolled in tertiary and further education courses.

Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA) and the 4th most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000.

The metropolitan area is located in the South West Division of Western Australia. The central business district and suburbs of Perth are situated on the banks of the Swan River. Shortly after the establishment of the port settlement of Fremantle, Perth was founded on 12 June 1829 by Captain James Stirling as the political centre of the Swan River Colony. As the business and administration centre for the resource-rich state, Perth has grown consistently faster than the national average.

Perth became known worldwide as the "City of Light" when city residents lit their house lights and streetlights.The city repeated the act as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in 1998. Perth is tied for eighth place in The Economist's 2011 list of the World's Most Livable Cities.

Perth is home to four public universities: the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch University, and Edith Cowan University. There is also one private university, the University of Notre Dame.

The University of Western Australia, which was founded in 1911, is renowned as one of Australia's leading research institutions. The university's monumental neo-classical architecture, most of which is carved from white limestone, is a notable tourist destination in the city. It is the only university in the state to be a member of the Group of Eight, as well as the Sandstone universities.

Curtin University (known as Curtin University of Technology until 2010) is Western Australia's largest university by student population, and was known from its founding in 1966 until 1986 as the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT) and had amalgamated with Western Australian School of Mines and the Muresk Institute.

Murdoch University was established in the 1970s, and is Australia's largest campus in geographical area necessary to accommodate Western Australia's only veterinary school.

Edith Cowan University was established in the early 1990s from the existing Western Australian College of Advanced Education (WACAE) which itself was formed in the 1970s from the existing Teachers Colleges at Claremont, Churchlands, and Mount Lawley. It incorporates the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

The University of Notre Dame Australia was established in 1990. Notre Dame was established as a Catholic university with its lead campus in Fremantle and a large campus in Sydney. Its campus is set in the west end of Fremantle, utilising historic port buildings built in the 1890s, giving Notre Dame a distinct European university atmosphere.

Colleges of TAFE provide trade and vocational training, including certificate- and diploma-level courses. TAFE began as a system of technical colleges and schools under the Education Department, from which they were separated in the 1980s and ultimately formed into regional colleges. Four exist in the Perth metropolitan area: Central Institute of Technology (formerly Central TAFE); West Coast Institute of Training (northern suburbs); Polytechnic West (eastern and south-eastern suburbs; formerly Swan TAFE); and Challenger Institute of Technology (Fremantle/Peel).