Jarraban

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Jarrabanian Commonwealth
Anthem: Prosperous is Jarraban
Royal anthemGod Save the Queen
CapitalRoyceston
Largest city Derby
Official language(s) English
Recognised regional languages
  • Bayutan
  • East Wauroppa
  • Goarra
  • Grio
  • West Wauroppa
  • Yakop
Ethnic groups (2014)
Demonym Jarrabanian, Jarran (colloquial)
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
 -  Monarch Elizabeth II
 -  Governor General Phil Pittard
 -  Prime Minister Lou Dodd (Coalition)
Legislature Parliament
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house House of Assembly
Independence from United Kingdom 
 -  Self-government 15 May 1886 
 -  Dominion 16 September 1919 
 -  Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 13 October 1948 
 -  Severance Acts 3 November 1986 
Area
 -  Total 400,344 km2 
154,574 sq mi 
Population
 -  2017 estimate 5,520,160 (25th in AIN)
 -  2014 census 5,363,435 
 -  Density 13.79/km2 
35.7/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate
 -  Total $207.148 billion 
 -  Per capita $37,526 (15th in AIN)
HDI  0.907 (very high
Currency Jarrabanian dollar (JAD)
Time zone JAT (UTC+7)
Date formats dd/mm/yyyy
Drives on the left
Internet TLD .ja
Calling code +611

Jarraban (officially the “Jarrabanian Commonwealth”) is an island country situated in the Indian Ocean between Australia and Illium. It comprises the Jarrabanian mainland, the Yakop Islands and numerous small coastal islands. A volcanic plateau that was formed around 95 million years ago, Jarraban’s long geographical isolation and harsh environment led it to develop an array of unique animal and plant life found nowhere else.

Jarraban was first inhabited approximately 15,000 to 20,000 years ago during the last glacial maximum, when lower sea levels enabled Indigenous peoples to cross the Batavia Strait from Australia. Austronesians then arrived around 800-900 AD and mixed with these original inhabitants, producing the Goarra, Grio, Wauroppa, Bayutan and Yakop peoples. After European discovery by Dutch explorers in the early 17th century, the island was first settled by the British in 1794 and became self-governing in 1886. Today, its 5.5 million inhabitants are mostly of European descent, with Indigenous minorities and immigrants - primarily from Asia - comprising the remainder.

Jarraban is a developed country that ranks highly in most key health, educational and economic indicators. Legislative authority is vested within an elected, bicameral parliament, whilst executive power is exercised by the Cabinet and Prime Minister. Queen Elizabeth II is the country’s head of state and is represented locally by the Governor General. Jarraban is divided into five provinces, two local territories with limited autonomy, and one external territory (the Wayala Islands). Jarraban is a member of the United Nations, Alliance of Independent Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Etymology

The name Jarraban is an old Wauroppa term literally meaning " big hill". It references the Jarraban Ranges in the south of the country and received its name from James Cook in 1771. Frederick de Houtman termed the island Keyserland in 1619 (after Dutch navigator Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser), but this was supplanted by the name Jarraban following British arrival. Some early maps reference the entire island as New Cornwall, which eventually became the name for the province now known as Whartonia during the early 19th century, but this was never officially adopted.

History

Indigenous inhabitation

Jarraban was first inhabited around 15,000 to 20,000 years ago during the last glacial maximum, when Indigenous peoples from Australia’s west coast traversed the Batavia Strait via land bridges and short sea crossings. They initially led a hunter-gatherer existence, but later developed horticultural and aquacultural practices along with weaponry and sophisticated social hierarchies. Numerous clans formed that competed against each other for land, water sources and crops, often leading to brutal fighting and, in some instances, genocide of entire clans. Storytelling was developed through carvings, rock paintings and oral traditions.

Between 800-900AD, Austronesian settlers arrived in outrigger canoes from Borneo, Java and Malaysia beginning at the northern tip of the Yakop Islands. From here, they gradually progressed through the western half of Jarraban, wiping out many of its original inhabitants. Upon arriving in the eastern half, however, they were met with fierce resistance from local clans, who had developed weaponry sophisticated enough to counter their attacks. This led to further inter-clan warfare and additional reductions to the Indigenous population. Eventually, however, both groups traded, settled down, and came to mix, producing the Wauroppa, Grio and Goarra peoples. Many Austronesians still retreated to the western half, where they became the Bayutan and Yakop Islander peoples. All five peoples were divided into clans and headed by chiefs. They carried out slash-and-burn agriculture, developed distinct languages and practiced animism until the arrival of Europeans.

European settlement

Although some historians claim that Jarraban may have been visited by the Chinese prior to European habitation, its first recorded sighting was by Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon in 1618. He reported landing at the northern tip of Braun Island, where he sighted pristine beaches and dense forest, initially believing the land to be connected to Australia. Fellow Dutch explorer Fredrick de Houtman, however, discovered the southern coast in 1619, confirming that Jarraban was, in fact, an island. He named it Keyserland after navigator Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser.

Early settlers near Derby

On his return voyage from Australia in 1688, William Dampier made landfall at Point Carnarvon. Here, he sighted a “peculiar, leaping beast” (the karramako) and narrowly avoided confrontation with armed Goarra, seeking refuge inside his ship the Cygnet. Following this, James Cook visited the land in 1771, where he mapped the entire coast, discovered “unique” flora and fauna, and had amicable encounters with Indigenous people. He renamed the land Jarraban after an old Wauroppa term literally translating to “big hill” (in reference to the Jarraban Ranges), and indicated to Britain upon his return that the northern coast of present-day Parrigo was suitable for a possible penal colony.

Although the first British settlers arrived in 1794 aboard a fleet headed by Captains Quincy Lovell and Richard Lancaster, the first penal colony was not established until 1812 at the mouth of the Bulkeley River in present-day Parrigo. Seven more were established in the following two decades at various locations throughout northern Yeduan, Parrigo and Whartonia, but these would prove unsuccessful due to corruption and poor governance within them. As such, they were abandoned, with convicts left to settle freely. However, convicts were barred from returning to Britain by the colonial government and instead founded the two settlements of Parkesville and Fullerton south of Derby.

Dutch concessions in 1879

Elsewhere, British settlement took place with increasing regularity. In 1860, then-Colonial Secretary Samuel Armstrong sought to have Western Australia incorporated into the Jarraban colony, but his plans were thwarted. Dutch settlements were established along the south eastern coast, leading the Crown to grant three concessions to the Netherlands - Apeldorn, New Haarlem and Cape Bosscher. Although these were initially founded as resupply ports for ships travelling to Indonesia, they attracted nearly 12,000 migrants from the Netherlands, establishing a significant Dutch influence within the region that is still felt today. In 1879, the Netherlands’ waning interest in retaining the concessions, largely due to the substantial detours necessary for ships to reach Jarraban en route to Indonesia, saw them returned to Britain. Numerous settlers from Wales also migrated to Parrigo; a fact reflected by the province’s place names, architecture and culture.

Meanwhile, tensions between the colonial government and Indigenous peoples over land ownership escalated significantly during a period known as The Silent War (1873-82). Although armed conflict was largely avoided between the two groups and the issue remained somewhat hidden from the public eye, deep diplomatic divisions developed on an administrative level between senior figures from both, hence the descriptor “silent” entering usage. Widespread dispossession had occurred since European arrival, frustrating chiefs and eventually leading to numerous movements amongst the Indigenous to reclaim Crown land. However, this dissent was largely ignored, leading to a standoff between an Indigenous delegation of three chiefs (one from each of the Wauroppa, Grio and Goarra peoples) - Konnatulluka, Linnota Kringa, and Battowa Dorra respectively - and the government. Attempting to pacify heightened tensions, Colonial Secretary William Fry struck agreements with the delegation in 1882 known as The Three Treaties, where a number of land reserves were assigned to each of the Wauroppa, Grio and Goarra peoples. All other affairs concerning these peoples were additionally placed under dual Crown-Indigenous control as part of the agreements. Similar treaties with the Bayutan and Yakop peoples were not brokered until the 1980s.

With the colony developing a distinct identity, internal self-government was granted on May 15 1886. Jarraban Day is now annually celebrated on this date. The provinces of Whartonia, East Jarraban (renamed Budibella in 1910), Diamantina, Parrigo and Yeduan Land were established, Coburg was chosen as the capital city (it later lost this status to Royceston), and the entrenched Jarraban Constitution Act was placed into effect the following year. The Liberal Party (now defunct), headed by Alexander Watson, came to power as the first popularly-elected political party, edging out the also newly-founded Conservative Party. Later in 1900, a proposal to join the Australian federation was rejected by Jarrabanian voters in a referendum.

Early 20th century

The early 20th century was heavily shaped by Jarraban’s participation in World War I, which was mandated by British control of the nation’s foreign affairs. However, it elected to fight within the British Army rather than alongside the Australia, New Duveland and New Zealand Army Corps (ANDNZACs) due to governmental apprehension regarding the latter’s strength. Of 96,532 men who served, 19,000 were killed and another 40,000 wounded, causing significant economic and social distress back home. Nevertheless, the country’s participation is roundly regarded as a watershed moment in its history, with Commemoration Day celebrated on August 21 to mark the arrival of Jarrabanian troops at the Second Battle of the Somme in 1918. Here, they played a significant role in aiding the British Army to defeat the German Empire.

On September 16 1919, at the request of the Commonwealth Parliament, Jarraban was proclaimed a dominion within the British Empire by King George V. Although this designation had no legal implications as self-government had already been granted, concern had arisen in the lead-up to and during World War I that the term “dominion” would “ceremonially divorce” it from Britain (as suggested at the time by Prime Minister Joseph Taylor), potentially weakening its empire during a period of frailty. However, economic growth, a sound agricultural sector and the development of a unique national identity had established Jarraban as a firmly independent young nation, thus warranting this status. Five years later in 1924 the capital city was relocated to Royceston, where the nation’s first territory was established (encompassing the city) and a new Parliament House constructed.

A Goarra arrest during the Midlands Massacres

Throughout the early 1920s fierce tensions arose amongst the Wauroppa, Grio and Goarra peoples in relation to reserve ownership. Reserve boundaries were poorly defined by The Three Treaties, sparking a desire from many chiefs to redraw them on the basis of their clans’ historical possessions. This culminated in the Midlands Massacres of 1923-24, where 613 casualties and numerous injuries resulted across all three peoples due to heavy inter-clan fighting. The government responded by establishing a statutory body known as the Indigenous Lands Authority (ILA), relinquishing their partial control of the reserves and of Indigenous affairs and placing it under the control of the ILA. This was headed by a number of senior police and legal figures appointed to maintain order in the reserves, who were later criticised for their racially discriminatory practices.

Two years later in 1926, The First Indigenous Voting Rights case heard by the Supreme Court stripped the Wauroppa, Grio and Goarra peoples of their voting rights in national elections. As the government had delegated their legislative authority with respect to these peoples to an independent body, the court determined that they could no longer legally participate in the political process. Upon appeal to the Privy Council in Britain from a delegation of Indigenous chiefs - who claimed that the government had unlawfully abdicated their responsibilites within the treaties - the verdict was upheld. They found that nowhere in the treaties was the government expressly prohibited from allotting their responsiblities to subordinate statutory bodies. Shortly afterwards, the government additionally revoked the voting rights of the Bayutan and Yakop peoples - a move that was legally valid as land was not returned to them by The Three Treaties, therefore placing it all under Crown control. The Midlands Massacres and their fallout aroused significant distrust within the general populace of Indigenous people, straining Indigenous-European relations for years to come.

Like many other nations, Jarraban was heavily impacted by the Great Depression of the 1930s. The collapse in international demand for agricultural products such as wool, wheat and dairy affected the country’s economy significantly, resulting in a 17% decline in Gross Domestic Product during the first half of the decade. Unemployment hit a record high of approximately 35% in 1933 and many important infrastructure projects were abandoned such as dam and road construction. Labour Prime Minister Royce Faulkner responded by implementing Keynesian economic reforms in 1935, and although these attracted criticism at the time for increasing government expenditure, they alleviated immediate social and economic hardship for many families and individuals.

Shortly afterwards, the country would suffer further setbacks with the advent of World War II in 1939. Jarrabanian forces were initially deployed to the Mediterranean to aid Britain in combating Germany’s war effort, but these were largely withdrawn following the outbreak of the Pacific War and instead redistributed throughout Southeast Asia. In total, 7,320 troops were killed and a further 9,308 wounded in combat. Although the country largely escaped the direct attacks that occurred elsewhere, 72 were killed when Japan bombed Bockullat Harbour in Royceston on the morning of September 27 1943, heightening concern surrounding a Japanese invasion. The war led to a number of economic and social changes within the nation and fostered a greater reliance on the US with respect to military affairs and foreign policy.

Post-World War II

With World War II ushering in numerous social changes, the proceeding decade saw a number of key political developments take place. In 1948, the Jarrabanian government formally adopted the Statute of Westminster, ending Britain’s legislative authority over the country with respect to foreign affairs. As such, it ceased using the term “dominion” and became known as the Jarrabanian Commonwealth. This instigated a gradual shift in the country’s foreign policy towards a greater reliance on Australia and the United States instead of Britain.

Meanwhile, a group known as the IFM (Indigenous Freedom Movement) expressed growing angst with the government’s revocation of Indigenous voting rights in 1926 and the often-criticised practices of the ILA. Led by Goarra activist Martin Lattiliya, the group embarked on a series of print and media campaigns aimed at reversing the High Court’s decision and assuaging historical grievances. Despite strong public backing, the then-Conservative government were reluctant to champion their cause.

This eventually culminated in the historic Second Indigenous Voting Rights case of 1958 heard before the Supreme Court, where the 1926 decision was reversed. The court cited two reasons for this reversal - voting was essential to the principle of “representative government” underpinning the National Parliament, and the wording of The Three Treaties implied that neither Indigenous peoples nor parliament could transfer their legislative powers between one another concerning land reserves. As such, they determined that the government had unlawfully abdicated their responsibilities within the treaties by delegating Indigenous law-making powers to the ILA. This saw Indigenous voting rights and participation in the national landscape restored, a decision roundly commended by the media and public. The government then codified this by passing the Indigenous Affairs Act, which additionally returned voting rights to the Bayutan and Yakop peoples and reformed the ILA.

RJA troops carrying out a fire mission during the Vietnam War

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Jarrabanian society underwent arguably some of the most profound changes in its short history. In the face of international concern over the Cold War, the Conservative government sent 1,150 troops to Vietnam in 1965. Although these numbers were the minimum necessary to meet allied expectations, it stretched the country’s already-small military resources and triggered protests throughout the nation. In an effort to appease the local populace, the Labour government upon election in 1968 removed these troops against the wishes of Australia and the United States, somewhat straining Jarraban’s military relations with the two countries.

This Labour government, led by Robert Abrahams, embarked on a number of notable reforms during the 1970s. Metrification commenced in 1971 with the conversion of the national currency from the pound to the dollar and was largely completed over the course of the decade. JarraHealth - the country’s publicly-funded universal healthcare system - was introduced in 1977, reducing the costs of medical care and making it more accessible to a broader range of people. Immigration policies favouring Western European migration were relaxed, leading to large influxes of Mediterranean, Eastern European and Asian arrivals, whilst almost 15,000 Vietnamese refugees were resettled during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

A changing ethnic face and the proliferation of foreign media greatly altered Jarrabanian identity and culture during this time. Its conservative, traditionally British values were increasingly challenged by the global spread of American television and cuisine, repressing local radio, print and film industries that had thrived during the 1960s. The population became increasingly urbanised and educated with the advent of public housing and free tertiary education, gradually bestowing upon it a more cosmopolitan and progressive outlook. More empowered than ever, Indigenous people, migrant groups and women enjoyed greater rights that underpinned an increasingly egalitarian society.

The 1980s saw Indigenous land rights thrust back into the national spotlight. The Linuba Agreements, which returned land reserves to Bayutan and Yakop Islanders, were finally brokered with chiefs from both peoples in 1984 and 1987 respectively, over a century after The Three Treaties were ratified. This arose from the landmark Linuba case in 1982, where the High Court interpreted the Bayutan and Yakop Islander Land Act 1975 (Cth) prohibiting the acquisition of these peoples’ lands for non-Indigenous purposes to also include any acquisition by non-Indigenous entities, and hence by extension the National Parliament. As such, it was widely acknowledged that justice and parity had finally been achieved for all Indigenous peoples with respect to land rights, although criticism of the outcome and associated legal disputes continue to fester.

Another notable political development occurred in 1986 with the passing of the Severance Acts. These were two separate statutes - one removed the United Kingdom’s ability to legislate with effect to Jarrabanian affairs, and the other eliminated the possibility for appeals from the High Court to the Privy Council. This effectively marked the conclusion of the country’s long journey to independence. Four years later in 1990, the Yakop Islands split from Yeduan to become the country’s second territory.

Jarraban was heavily impacted by the worldwide economic downturn that took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s - more so than many other nations. It suffered its worst recession since the Great Depression, with share prices tumbling by almost 45%. Drought that disrupted grain harvests (a principal export of the country) and high government expenditure in the earlier part of the decade further compounded the matter. In the proceeding years, governments shifted away from protectionist economic policies and deregulated the telecommunications, electricity and transportation industries to enable the economy to recover. These moves, however, have been increasingly criticised in recent years for raising the cost of living.

Proposed flag defeated in the 1996 referendum

Meanwhile, a growing push to alter the national flag surfaced. This culminated in a 1996 referendum where a new design sporting the karramako, Southern Cross and national colours of gold and blue was narrowly defeated. National pride was heightened amongst Jarrabanians at the time, reviving the country’s film and television industry and sparking debates surrounding immigration. For a time, a strong pro-republic undercurrent surfaced that modelled itself on Australia’s campaign, but this proved unable to garner sustained support.

The early 2000s saw three notable natural disasters occur - the eruption of Mount McLaughlin in June 2003, the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, and the Blazing Monday bushfires in January 2005. The eruption of Mount McLaughlin devastated large areas of wilderness in the Northern Alps and claimed 46 lives, whilst the Indian Ocean tsunami killed 29 in the Wayala Islands and northern Yakop Islands. Blazing Monday occurred due to a combination of unusually dry, warm and blustery conditions and caused in excess of $800 million of damage.

Jarraban today is a cosmopolitan and diverse nation characterised by its very high quality of life and stable government. Its Gross Domestic Product (PPP) per capita ranks highly at US$36,741 (2015), with its economy driven primarily by agriculture and services. Its egalitarian ethos is underpinned by free healthcare and education for all citizens and permanent residents, whilst same-sex marriage was legalised in 2014. 23% of its population is foreign-born, highlighting its firm political and social commitment to multiculturalism, even though "turnback" refugee policies in the form of Operation Deterrance continue to attract criticism.

Geography and climate

Detailed map of Jarraban
Satellite view of Jarraban

Jarraban is located in the Indian Ocean and is separated from the south-western coast of Australia by the Batavia Strait. It does not form part of the Australian continent, but is included within the wider regions of Australasia and Oceania. Surrounded entirely by ocean, it has a landmass of 400,344 km² that is mostly contained within the mainland, with the Yakop Islands and several other outlying islands accounting for only a small proportion of its area. The mainland spans 1,476km in a west-east direction at its widest point and lies between latitudes 25° and 34°S and longitudes 86° and 102°E.

Jarraban itself is a volcanic plateau that was formed approximately 95 million years ago after separating from the Kerguelen Plateau, a large igneous province (LIP). When Australia and Antartica began to separate around this time, the Southeast Indian Ridge fractured the Kerguelen Plateau, splitting off the island. Between 20 Ma and 95 Ma, it was underwater for various periods, but was ultimately pushed upwards by the Southeast Indian Ridge.

The bulk of this tectonic uplifting impacted the south of the island, producing the Jarraban Ranges where a number of peaks reach over 2,000m in height. Topographically, much of the northern part of the island is flat, although the interior slopes up gently to meet the Jarraban Ranges. The undulating Northern Alps in the north-eastern corner of the island contain the country’s highest peak of Mount Victoria, which reaches 3,140m in height. To the west, the terrain again becomes somewhat mountainous and undulating due to its proximity to the Southeast Indian Ridge, with much of Yeduan reaching over 1,000m in height. Throughout much of its history, Jarraban has experienced heavy volcanic activity, although only seven volcanoes currently remain active.

Climate

Köppen climate map of Jarraban

Despite its small geographical size, Jarraban has a varied climate attributable to its location at the convergence of the West Australian and South Equatorial currents. Rainfall patterns over much of the country are highly seasonal due to the hot, sinking air of the subtropical high pressure belt, although the southern and western coasts are generally wetter due to the presence of prevailing coastal winds. Average annual temperatures range from roughly 9°C in the Northern Alps to 23°C in the northern Yakop Islands, whilst historical maxima and minima are 49.2°C at Wiocke, Parrigo and -10°C at Nogarra in the Northern Alps.

The Riyaga Desert, Jarraban's hottest and driest location

The eastern portion of the country, along with the central coasts of Yeduan and Diamantina, is characterised by a humid subtropical climate with mild, damp winters and warm, dry summers. Although average rainfall is markedly less during the summer months (December-February), this period is known for its heavy thunderstorms which occasionally produce flash flooding. The Esperance Peninsula, however, contains a highlands climate due to its elevation, with snow often occurring above 1500 metres between May and August. The Whartonian capital of Coburg often experiences cold winter nights becuase of this.

Devon Ranges

Southern portions of the country have a temperate oceanic climate dominated by southerly winds, receiving ample winter rainfall. These months are characterised by ever-changing weather often termed “the four seasons in one day”, with high winds, heavy cloud and showers often segueing into sustained periods of crisp and clear conditions. Northerly winds that persistently blow from the Parrigan interior entail dry summer conditions, occasionally producing bushfires like Blazing Monday in January 2004.

Coastal regions, with the exception of those around major cities (these have been largely deforested for agricultural purposes since European inhabitation), are typically dominated by bushland as a result of higher rainfall. The northern coast spanning from Perroa to Salisbury, however, features subtropical grasslands and marshes, as do some portions of Yeduan. The country’s interior is rain shadowed by the Jarraban Ranges and therefore remains dry, producing savannah and an arid region known as the Riyaga Desert. These grasslands reach the Midlands and Eppa Basin near Royceston, where moderate autumn and spring rainfall allows farmland to predominate.

Land use

Farmland in the Midlands region

Throughout large areas of Jarraban, fertile soil and rich natural resources have enabled land to be used extensively for agriculture and to a lesser extent mining. The country has thriving grain, dairy, cattle and wool industries that are largely confined to its eastern half. Natural gas and brown coal reserves feature, but are mostly limited to select areas. Although significant areas of bush have been cleared since European arrival to construct towns and cities, the designation of numerous National Parks has preserved much of the land’s natural beauty.

Around half of the country’s wool, 70% of its grain and almost all dairy is produced in the Midlands region encompassing the interior of Whartonia and Budibella, where rich volcanic soil and temperate weather ensure highly fertile land. However, winter frosts occasionally damage crops and kill livestock, an issue that has garnered increasing concern amongst the agricultural sector in recent years with the accentuation of climate change.

The Wiyumarra region in Parrigo experiences dry but stable conditions that allow the remainder of Jarraban’s important agriculture to take place. Whilst comparatively little beef or dairy is produced here, the area is a key player in the country’s wool and wheat industry.

Coal mining features heavily in the southern Derby Basin surrounding Strathearn, where much of the country’s electricity is produced. This has attracted increased scrutiny in recent years as the government seeks to invest further in renewable energy sources, leading to a gradual decline in coal production here. It is mined to a lesser extent throughout areas of Yeduan, although comparatively high shipping costs and the desire of many to protect the province’s vast bushland has made this option less feasible. Large-scale natural gas extraction takes place off the southern coasts of Diamantina and Yeduan in the Prince Alfred Bight, and iron ore has been mined in northern Parrigo since the 1980s.

Pulp milling has extensively, and rather controversially, taken place in Yeduan. The Conservative government of the 1970s removed numerous regulations pertaining to this practice in an effort to encourage economic growth in the area, dividing opinion across the nation. Protests in the 1990s saw this industry heavily regulated again, although it is again beginning to undergo somewhat of a renaissance despite efforts from organisations, lobby groups and authorities to preserve large tracts of forest.

Wine production is another large local industry. Ample sunshine during the warmer months allows extensive grape growing to take place in the southeastern portion of the country, where a number of world-renowned wines are produced. It is most heavily concentrated in the Richmond, New Haarlem (encompassing Labatta and surrounds) and Apeldorn regions, where picturesque vineyards act as a tourist drawcard. Smaller-scale production also takes place in the Wiyumarra of Parrigo, although its drier climate commands more irrigation and hence costs, making heavy production less economically viable.

Flora and fauna

Eucalypt forests such as this are common throughout coastal areas of Jarraban

Jarraban’s long geographical isolation has given rise to numerous species of unique plants and animals. The majority are descended from Gondawanan organisms, with a smaller number deriving from animals that flew and swam there. It is estimated that approximately 75,000 different species of both plants and animals inhabit the land, with around 70% of these endemic. Many, however, still remain undiscovered.

Indigenous settlement around 15,000 to 20,000 years ago marked the beginning of mass reductions to species numbers, including the extinction of the Yakop crocodile and southern hooped hawk. Hunting and slash-and-burn agriculture widely decimated habitats, a predicament further accentuated by European arrival in the late 18th century. Here, the clearing of extensive bushland for logging, settlements and pastures reduced forest cover by a further two-fifths. Bush occupies only 21% of the country’s land area today, although significant efforts are being made to preserve and reclaim it.

With European settlement, rabbits, rats, feral cats and numerous other mammals were also introduced. Due to a lack of predators, these consumed native animals and vegetation, greatly reducing food sources and disrupting ecosystems. Noxious weeds and grasses encroached upon forests and pastures, further denying native plants the opportunity to grow. This spread of invasive organisms thus incurred additional losses to native species.

Despite this, many native animals continue to thrive. The country’s ecology is dominated by marsupials and, to a lesser extent, native birds and reptiles. The endemic karramako is featured on the Jarrabanian coat of arms and is widely regarded as the national symbol, whilst other marsupials, possums, waterfowl and flightless birds are widespread. An overwhelming majority of plants are native and vary greatly in genus according to location. Eucalypts such as the wogorro and aggonwen trees are common to the eastern half of the country, whilst broadleaf trees and flowering plants predominate in Yeduan and the Northern Alps.


Notable Jarrabanian animals:

Karramako- Name is taken from a Grio word literally meaning “one who leaps” (in reference to the animal’s use of its hind legs to hop). They are a small macropod whose body grows to between 40 and 70 cm in length, marked by their brushy tail and short, coarse grey fur covering. Their diet consists primarily of insects and grasses, with a long, narrow snout and sharp claws aiding them to seek out termites and other bugs from the ground. Endemic and regarded as the country’s national symbol.

Illustration of a karramako

Woucana glider- A gliding possum known for their preference for Woucana berries, hence the name. At 40-50cm in length, they are somewhat large and have a more rounded head than most other species of possums. Have sharp claws and a distinctive dark brown coating on their head that is said to camouflage them against potential predators.

Kayataura- A marsupial thought to be descended from the numbat, although another theory suggests they diverged from the karramako. Have a narrow body that measures 55-70cm in length with short legs, a brushy tail and a grey coating bespeckled with black. Unlike the numbat, their head is more rounded and their diet consists primarily of small mammals, chiefly rats and mice.

Woobalog- An endangered, flightless bird that inhabits swamps, lakes and estuaries. Reaching 80-90cm in height, they have a large beak, long neck and covering of white, grey and brown feathers. Their diet consists of fish and freshwater crustaceans caught in the shallows of water bodies, where they wade and scoop up schools of small fish with their beak (often ingesting much mud in the process). This has led them to become widely known as the “wader bird”. Found almost exclusively in coastal Parrigo, with small populations in far western Whartonia.

Turratat- Another endangered, flightless bird native to southern Budibella, but much smaller than the Woobalog, reaching only 20-30cm in length. They have somewhat long, thick legs that they hop on in a similar vein to sparrows. Have a pointy, orange beak and body coated in grey feathers, whilst the feathers atop their head are small, white and fluffy. Carnivorous with a diet consisting primarily of bugs, lizards, mice and small fish.

Sucho- Also known as the “spottyback lizard”, this is a medium-sized lizard reaching 20-30cm in length. Known for its rapid, darting movements, beady eyes and distinct cream-coloured spots on its back and tail. Their scales are rather small, giving them a smooth texture and appearance, whilst they have sharp claws that enable them to climb trees and vertical surfaces. Long considered a pest due to their tendency to nest in house rooves and damage wires, plaster and wood, resulting in numbers dropping significantly and the species earning protected status.

Parrigan dragon- Famed monitor lizard that can grow up to 2m in length and weigh over 20kg. Has a set of distinctive, raised scales on its back, bulky legs and a large head. They eat small mammals, fish and birds and can live for up to 60 years. Unfortunately, the species is now endangered and confined to coastal Parrigo and north-eastern Yeduan.

Parrigan dragon

Yakop crocodile- Extinct medium-sized crocodile that once inhabited the Yakop Islands, northern Yeduan and the coastal marshes of Parrigo. It grew to between 2-2.5 metres in length and dwelled almost exclusively in brackish waters. The arrival of Indigenous peoples precipitated a decline in their numbers, with their habitat reduced to the northern Yakop Islands by the time of European settlement. Bounty hunting saw the species all but vanish, the last surviving member dying in captivity in 1896.

Southern hooped hawk- Another extinct species whose bones were first discovered in 1857. Historically inhabiting the Jarraban Ranges to the south, the bird’s name arose from Wauroppa mythology and cave paintings depicting it with a distinct hooped pattern. Its considerable wingspan of 100-120cm is thought to be attributable to a lack of natural predators. Hunted to extinction around 1500 AD.


Notable Jarrabanian trees and plants:

The roicka plant, first cultivated by Indigenous Jarrabanians and later by Europeans

Wogorro- An evergreen eucalyptus tree with a thick trunk covered in flaky, dark-coloured bark. Has army green leaves and produces small, strong-smelling pink flowers that are bulbous in appearance. Common everywhere except the Esperance Peninsula and coastal Yeduan.

Aggonwen- A towering eucalyptus tree that can reach up to 80m in height with a wide crown spread. Bark is fibrous in composition and appears burnt due to its very dark colour. Its flowers produce a small, amber berry whose toxins can cause hallucinations and death if ingested.

Woucana- Flowering broadleaf tree that grows to roughly 10m in height. Leaves are flat and papery in texture with a light green colour, whilst its trunk is thick and almost perfectly cylindrical. It is known for producing the edible woucana berry which has a savoury taste not unlike that of a tomato (these are a favourite for possums!).

Lancaster’s Flower- A large purple flower typically found in bushland to the south and east of the country, where there are 16 different species. They produce a pleasant, sweet-smelling aroma and can span 20cm across. It is Jarraban’s national floral emblem, featured on the coat of arms.

Roicka- Native, hourglass-shaped root vegetable. It was first cultivated by Indigenous peoples and later by Europeans, where commercial farming began to take place. Has a slighty sweet, salty flavour that somewhat resembles that of a parsnip and is often used in local cooking.

Government and politics

Lou Dodd, Jarraban's current Prime Minister

Jarraban is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch and ceremonial head of state. She is represented in Jarraban by the Governor General at national level and by Governors at provincial level, both of whom are appointed on the recommendation of the respective parliaments’ cabinets. Although they are expressly required by the Constitution to act on the advice of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, they are also endowed with some reserve powers that can be exercised without the approval of parliament (these are seldom used).

Division of powers

The country has two levels of government - national and provincial. It is a unitary state where the national parliament, by authorisation of the Constitution, delegates legislative powers to the provinces (and can revoke them) as it wishes. For this reason, both levels’ powers per se are mostly not set out by the Constitution, although it expressly prohibits provinces from legislating with respect to currency, foreign affairs, defence, telecommunications and international treaties.

This division of powers has heavily centralised power within the national parliament, sparking debate and calls for the country to adopt a federal legislative model. Many argue, however, that the unitary model ensures nationwide legislative uniformity and stability.

The national parliament’s law-making responsibilities, known as national powers, are wide-reaching and include:

  • Regulating the provinces’ legislative abilities
  • Military affairs
  • Currency and coining money
  • International trade
  • Conditional funding to provincial governments
  • Major infrastructure projects
  • Telecommunications and broadcasting laws
  • Hospitals, JarraHealth and emergency services (except fire authorities)
  • Education, with the exception of childcare
  • Social security and child welfare
  • Electricity, gas, water and fuel
  • Railways
  • National roads, vehicle registration, most road laws
  • Consumer and workplace laws
  • Marriage, divorce and family law

The provinces only exercise minor responsibilities affecting citizens at a local level. These are known as provincial powers and encompass:

  • Provincial, district and magistrates’ courts
  • Health inspections, sanitation and waste disposal
  • Childcare and community health services
  • Libraries
  • Provincial and local roads
  • Fire services
  • Official provincial languages

Some powers are concurrent and may be exercised by both national and provincial governments. However, in the event of conflict between the laws of both, the national law always prevails. Examples of concurrent powers include:

  • Taxation
  • Electoral boundaries
  • Environmental regulations
  • Indigenous affairs
  • Disability and aged care services
  • Planning regulations and building controls
  • Sporting, art and cultural facilities

Jarraban’s two territories - Royceston and the Yakop Islands - are not afforded the uniform legislative abilities of the provinces. Their courts, roads, taxation, environmental laws, planning regulations and sports facilities are partially administered by the national government and partially incorporated into the legislative frameworks of Budibella and Yeduan respectively. The Yakop Islands, however, enjoy more autonomy than Royceston in this regard.

The constitution allows provinces to refer their legislative powers to the national parliament where they see fit, making them concurrent. This typically only occurs on matters of national concern, a recent example being the referral of disability service regulation from all five provinces in 2014 to create the National Disability Services Authority. Additionally, governments can, and often do, delegate their legislative power in certain areas to independent statutory bodies - for example the Indigenous Reservations Authority, which oversees the management of Indigenous lands in liaison with clans and their chiefs.

Unlike many other nations, Jarraban has no local government in the form of counties, shires or municipalities. Such ideas have been mooted in the past, but have generally attracted suspicion due to widely-held perceptions amongst Jarrabanians that excessive layers of government increase bureaucracy and stifle the legislative process. Each province is divided into a number of districts, but these exist purely for electoral, statistical and court purposes.

Parliamentary structure, codes and conventions

Parliamentary Precinct, Royceston
Structure of Jarraban's national parliament

Jarraban’s national parliament is bicameral, containing an upper house (the Senate) and a lower house (the House of Assembly). The Senate contains 54 seats that are allocated equally to the provinces of Whartonia, Budibella and Diamantina (each represented by 12 senators), whilst Parrigo receives eight, Yeduan six and the territories two each. The House of Assembly contains 110 seats distributed according to provincial population, with the party or coalition that receives a majority of seats (60/110) forming government. Both senators and assembly members are elected to three-year terms, whilst the Prime Minister is not directly elected by citizens and is instead chosen by Cabinet.

Each province’s parliament is comprised of a unicameral Provincial Assembly. In both Royceston and the Yakop Islands, these take the form of the Territorial Assembly. The number of seats in these vary according to provincial population and members are all elected to three-year terms. The party with a majority forms government (its leader is termed the Premier) - mostly either of the two major parties due to the use of the first-past-the post system, which does not require an absolute majority. All legislative districts are single-member at both national and provincial level.

Several prominent legal codes establish the parameters that the Jarrabanian government must operate within. The most pertinent of these is the Jarraban Constitution Act 1888, an entrenched document that acts as the country’s supreme law by codifying numerous parliamentary conventions inherited from the Westminster system. Its wording may only be altered in two ways: by referendum where a majority of voters nationwide (51% or more) endorse a proposed change, or implicitly by the Constitutional Division of the High Court whose role is to determine its application and meaning.

Also set out by the Constitution is the separation of powers, which prevents absolute rule by vesting legislative power within three separate arms: the legislative (encompassing the bicameral parliament), executive (Governor General and Cabinet) and judiciary (High Court). This, however, has often been criticised as ineffectual due to judicial conservatism and the overlapping roles of the executive and legislative functions.

Jarraban has a statutory bill of rights known as the Rights and Freedoms Act, which was enacted in 1991 to fulfill its commitment to various international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It offers comprehensive protections with respect to life, civil and political rights, anti-discrimination rights, Indigenous rights, freedom of religion, natural justice and criminal rights. The Attorney-General reports to parliament on legislation that is inconsistent with the Act, typically following complaints to the Human Rights Commission. However, parliament is not required to act upon their recommendations.

An interesting aspect of Jarraban’s parliamentary system is the requirement for the House of Assembly to be dissolved should the party forming government seek a leadership ballot. This has occurred twice - firstly in 1960 and later in 1988, with the result on both occasions being a change of government from Labour to the Conservatives. As such, governments have historically been reluctant to change leaders mid-term, ensuring party stability and cohesion.

Parties and elections

All elections in Jarraban, across both houses in the national parliament and at provincial level, are held every three years unless the normal cycle is interrupted by a dissolution. At national level the House of Assembly is elected using party-list proportional representation (the D'Hondt method), whereas the Senate is elected via the first-past-the-post system. Provincial Assemblies also use the latter method. Voting is non-compulsory and open to citizens aged 18 years and over in all elections, with turnout at 78.2 per cent for the most recent national election held in 2015.

Jarraban has a two-party system where either the Labour Party (centre-left) or the Coalition, consisting of the Conservative Party (centre-right) and the Country Party (agrarian conservative), typically form government. Other parties currently represented at national level include:

The country contains numerous other minor parties and independents that remain unrepresented in parliament and/or unregistered. Historically, the legislative influence of micro-parties has been limited due to their inability to accrue seats in the Senate, leading it to be described in some quarters as a “rubber stamp” house where Bills passed by the government of the day face little opposition. Minor parties, however, often shape the political landscape indirectly via lobbying and pressuring the two major parties in the media.

Foreign relations and military

Jarraban’s formative years were marked by a close relationship with the United Kingdom in relation to trade, military and foreign policy. Since World War II, its focus has shifted towards cooperation with Australia, New Duveland, Illium, the United States, and more recently Asia, although its relations with the former three were briefly tested when the government withdrew troops from Vietnam in 1968.

Today, it is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations, the OECD, the World Trade Organisation, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Cairns Group. It ranks very favourably in transparency, peace and press freedom and enjoys extensive bilateral ties with foreign nations. In 2014-15, it distributed US$348.6 million of international aid to 20 different countries and has been commended for its involvement in peacekeeping and disaster relief operations.

The country’s armed forces are known as the Royal Jarrabanian Defence Force (RJDF) and comprise three arms - the Royal Jarrabanian Navy (RJN), the Royal Jarrabanian Army (RJA) and the Royal Jarrabanian Air Force (RJAF). The Governor General is responsible for appointing a Chief of the Defence Force to act on the advice of government in overseeing the RJDF’s operation, although military policy is formulated by the Ministry of Defence. Recently, Jarraban participated in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan until soldiers were withdrawn in 2012.

Law

Jarraban uses a hierarchy of courts to develop precedent, as outlined here

Jarraban’s legal system is based on the common law doctrine of stare decisis inherited from Britain. This has fostered a considerable reliance on judges and courts to develop law, even though statute and the Constitution are legally supreme and can thus overrule precedent. More recently, elements of customary law have been introduced to criminal cases involving Indigenous defendents who satisfy certain criteria.

Since 1986, when appeals to the Privy Council were abolished with the passing of the Severance Acts, the High Court of Jarraban (formerly the Supreme Court) has been the nation’s superior court. As such, its decisions are binding on all lower courts. It has three separate arms:

  • A constitutional arm that hears disputes arising under interpretation of the Constitution
  • A national law arm that hears indictable offences and major civil cases arising under national law
  • An appellate arm that hears appeals on points of law from Provincial Courts

The High Court does not have jurisdiction to hear cases concerning legislative disputes between provinces and/or the national parliament, even if either have acted ultra vires. As Jarraban is a unitary state, the Constitution bequeaths power to the national parliament to invalidate provincial legislation enacted ultra vires; and it also implicitly allows it to pass any laws that override those of the provinces. It cannot, however, enact, amend or repeal provincial legislation in itself.

Each of the provinces is headed by a Provincial Court. These have two arms:

  • A criminal arm whose original jurisdiction comprises major indictable offences such as manslaughter and murder, in addition to summary offences arising under national law. Its appellate jurisdiction includes appeals on points of law from the Magistrates’ Court, along with appeals on case facts and sentencing in provinces with no District Courts.
  • A civil arm whose original jurisdiction comprises civil claims in excess of $100,000. In provinces with no District Courts, it may hear claims of over $10,000. Its appellate jurisdiction only allows for appeals on points of law from the Magistrates’ Court. All cases are referred to compulsory mediation during pre-trial proceedings.

Whartonia and Budibella also have numerous District Courts. These have never formed part of the Parrigan or Yeduanian hierarchies, whilst Diamantina abolished theirs in 1991. Their role in criminal cases is to hear intermediate indictable offences along with appeals from the Magistrates’ Court in relation to case facts and sentencing. In civil cases, they may hear claims of between $10,000 and $100,000, but possess no appellate jurisdiction.

Lowest in the nation’s court hierarchy is the Magistrates’ Court. Its criminal jurisdiction incorporates summary offences and committal hearings, whilst civil claims under $10,000 are dealt with via mediation by a number of specialist tribunals. For criminal matters, this court is also divided into specialised arms each tasked with hearing cases arising under a specific area of the law, including Indigenous, family law, children’s, sexual offences, traffic offences, and drug and alcohol arms.

Due to their territorial status, Royceston’s and the Yakop Islands’ courts are integrated into the Budibellan and Yeduanian hierarchies respectively. Royceston is headed by a District Court and contains a further four Magistrates’ Courts, whilst the Yakop Islands have two Magistrates’ Courts who often conduct circuit sittings in Indigenous communities.

An Indigenous arm has operated within the Magistrates’ Court since 1996. This is open to Indigenous defendents who have not previously been tried for the same offence, who plead guilty and who commit to changing their behaviour. Decisions are made in accordance with customary law by a panel of chiefs, Indigenous Judicial Liaison Officers (IJLOs) and family members, although a Magistrate ultimately passes sentence. The program has been lauded for reducing Indigenous offending and increasing equality in the legal system.

Law enforcement in Jarraban is administered by a number of statutory authorities, the most notable being the Royal Jarrabanian Police Force (RJPF). It is responsible for enforcing a wide range of laws, spanning from summary offences such as traffic infringements to national indictable offences such as terrorism, drug trafficking and treason. Unlike police in many nations, RJPF officers are prohibited from carrying firearms except in adverse circumstances.

Provinces and territories

Province/territory name Abrv Province Population  % of total population Area (km2) Density /km2 Capital
Budibella BDL 880,294 16.41% 62,932 13.99 Bracanna
Diamantina DTN 515,182 9.61% 70,910 7.27 Richmond
Parrigo PAR 296,014 5.52% 62,358 4.73 Salisbury
Royceston RYC 472,669 8.81% 450 1,050.37 Royceston
Whartonia WTN 2,954,379 55.08% 64,783 45.60 Coburg
Yakop Islands YKP 102,883 1.92% 10,404 9.89 Tuangula
Yeduan YDN 142,014 2.65% 128,327 1.11 Perroa

External territory

Economy

Jarraban has a developed market economy with a GDP (PPP) of US$201.45 billion in 2016. Traditionally relying primarily on agriculture, the economy has modernised in recent decades and is becoming increasingly concentrated within the service sector, which now accounts for nearly 60% of its GDP. Main industries include food processing, industrial and transportation equipment, agriculture, finance and tourism. Public debt, currently at 34.5% of GDP, has been reduced in recent years due to cuts in government spending, and its credit rating is currently AA.

Trade

Jarraban mostly exports agricultural products (75% of total exports in 2014-15), which has left it susceptible to fluctuations in global commodity prices. Wheat, dairy, meat, wine and wool constitute almost this entire figure, with wood only contributing minorly due to considerable government restrictions on logging. Farmers and agricultural businesses are subsidised in varying amounts by the Ministry of Environment, Primary Industries and Sustainability. Natural gas, mining (chiefly coal), machinery, fertilisers and fish largely comprise the remainder of its exports.

The total value of its exports in 2014-15 was US$66.19 billion. Key export partners include:

  • Australia (20.8%)
  • New Duveland (18.5%)
  • Illium (16.2%)
  • China (14.3%)
  • United States (8.5%)

The country’s main imports comprise machinery and transport, petroleum and crude oil, chemicals, plastics, electronics and pharmaceuticals. The total value of its imports in 2014-15 was US$71.68 billion, with key partners including:

  • Australia (26.1%)
  • Illium (19.5%)
  • New Duveland (19.2%)
  • China (14.6%)
  • Japan (11.3%)

Foreign land ownership has been a highly contentious issue in Jarraban. The Foreign Investment and Acquisition Act, reformed in 2000 to deter what was seen as the exploitation of local real estate, required that all properties within the country be at least partially owned by Jarrabanian entities and that they are involved in any business decisions affecting said property. However, it emerged in the early 2010s that many foreign investors had systematically rorted this scheme by forging documentation and engaging local entities as mere ‘proxies’ in agreeing to decisions. This resulted in a lengthy Royal Commission that triggered extensive legislative changes, with foreign land ownership now guarded rather closely.

Infrastructure

85% of Jarraban’s energy is produced via oil, gas and coal, with only 15% generated from renewable sources. Although the country possesses large brown coal reserves, its heavy reliance on these has attracted criticism, leading the national government in 2010 to set an ambitious target of doubling renewable energy production by 2020. The state-owned National Energy Authority oversaw energy production until the early 1990s, when it was progressively privatised. Water supply is coordinated at a national level, and sanitation is the responsibility of provincial governments.

Telecommunications are of a high standard and were managed by the National Telecommunications Authority (NTA) until it was partially privatised in 1994 and rebranded as NatTel. Further restructuring and another name change, this time to JTel, took place in 2007. Although the national government still owns telecommunications infrastructure, service provision is deregulated and vested within numerous different companies.

Postal services are largely provided by the Post Office of Jarraban (POJ). Whilst it remains state-owned as a statutory authority, deregulation has enabled private companies to operate postal services alongside it. Significant budget cuts, however, have impacted the POJ in recent years, and the current Conservative government has floated the possibility of a private merger.

Jarraban has an extensive network of highways and roads

The local aviation industry has also been subjected to privatisation. Whilst airports remain state-owned, national carrier Jarraban Airways was partially sold to private investors and listed on the Jarrabanian Stock Exchange in 1993. This has resulted in several low-cost carriers entering the market, most notably Jetstar and locally-owned HopperAir.

Transportation throughout the country comprises a comprehensive network of roads and railway lines. Roads are classified into N-routes (national highways), P-routes (provincial roads) and U-routes (urban routes, found in the cities of Derby, Royceston, Bracanna and Richmond), whilst numerous undesignated local routes can also be found in rural and suburban areas. As a result of large-scale highway construction between the 1980s and 2000s, Derby is connected to all major cities by motorway and/or dual carriageway with the exception of Perroa.

Although private car ownership is high, train and bus services are used extensively and link most major towns. With the exception of services in Derby (operated by DMet), certain intercity routes operated by Landlink and some freight lines, rail and bus services are managed by the state-owned National Transit Authority (NTA). Recent governments have proposed various high-speed rail options linking Derby, Royceston and Bracanna on the east coast, although it is estimated such an investment could cost as much as JA$40 billion.

Standard of living

Jarraban is a developed country universally regarded as one of the world’s best places to live. Its Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.904 was ranked 16th of 188 nations in 2014, with GDP (PPP) per capita 30th in 2015 at US$36,741. An average life expectancy at birth of 80 years and universal literacy, both largely attributable to the implementation of strong public health measures and an education system ranked 5th best in the world by the United Nations’ Education Index (EI) in 2013, further highlight its socio-economic prosperity.

However, unemployment, a shortage of skilled professionals and growing income inequality has aroused some concern in recent years. Historically high following the 1970s oil shocks and 1987 share market crash, unemployment fell gradually during the 1990s and 2000s before increasing sharply again following the global financial crisis. In the second quarter of 2016-17, it was officially at 6.5% of the national population, a figure higher than similarly developed countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. A local shortage of professional positions has ensued due to the emigration of between one fifth and one third of the country’s highly skilled workers, mostly to Australia.

Both major parties have long oscillated between importing more skilled workers to fill this void and tighter emigration policies aimed at deterring professionals from departing, a fact which has produced few sustainable solutions to the problem. In 2013, the country’s Gini index (measuring income inequality) stood at 36.7, ranked 73rd lowest out of 158 countries.

Currency

The national currency is the Jarrabanian dollar, otherwise known informally as the ‘Jarra dollar’. It is divided into 100 cents and trades at US$0.68 as of April 2016. Prior to 1971, the Jarrabanian pound was used.

Banknotes and coins are issued by the Reserve Bank of Jarraban. Coins come in 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 denominations, whilst banknotes come in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. 1c, 2c and 5c coins, along with $1 and $2 notes, were once issued but are no longer legal tender. Polymer notes were introduced in 2003.

Demographics

Urban Areas

Largest cities or towns in Jarraban
Statistics Jarraban (2014)
Rank Name Province/Territory Pop. Rank Name Province/Territory Pop.
Derby
Derby

Royceston
Royceston

1 Derby Whartonia 1,878,210 11 Port Uniatta Diamantina 64,102 Bracanna
Bracanna

Richmond
Richmond

2 Royceston Royceston 472,669 12 Heidelberg Whartonia 55,868
3 Bracanna Budibella 452,312 13 Port Ellesmere Budibella 38,238
4 Richmond Diamantina 223,876 14 Carnegie Whartonia 37,984
5 Coburg Whartonia 186,416 15 Griattau Parrigo 33,835
6 Salisbury Parrigo 121,659 16 Banona Diamantina 33,185
7 Tiverton Budibella 100,113 17 Glamorgan Parrigo 31,356
8 Perroa Yeduan 94,924 18 Tuangula Yakop Islands 29,153
9 Mellema Whartonia 90,864 19 Cottenham Budibella 27,729
10 Strathearn Whartonia 81,401 20 Cobham Whartonia 25,992

Language

Jarraban’s sole official language at national level is English, spoken by 97% of the population. Goarra, Grio, East Wauroppa, West Wauroppa, Bayutan and Yakop have regional status in various provinces and territories. Besides English, the most commonly spoken languages are Mandarin (2.1%), Cantonese (1.6%), Hindi (1.5%), Vietnamese (1.2%) and Italian (1%). Jaslan, the country’s sign language, is spoken as a first language by around 1,500 deaf people.

Jarrabanian English is based on the British variety and bears many similarities to the varieties spoken in neighbouring Australia and New Zealand, although some differences exist. It contains numerous slang expressions and idioms, most of which are borrowed from Australia. However, other terms and phrases feature in local vernacular, the most common of which include:

  • Bag of bikkies = excellent, well done
  • Block = slab, carton of beer (24 cans)
  • Cashpoint = ATM
  • Choppy = cheeky
  • Cool box = Esky, cooler
  • Crisps = potato chips
  • Deli = milk bar, dairy
  • Fizz! = an expression of disappointment
  • Fizzy = soft drink, soda
  • Goffy = crazy or ridiculous
  • Halfie = 12 pack of beer
  • Hinnie = Backcountry, bush (i.e. “I’m hiking out in the hinnie this weekend”). Derived from the Goarra word “hinniya”, meaning “of the trees”.
  • Howya? (often pronounced hair-ya) = Hello and how are you? Ubiquitous local greeting
  • Ice block = icy pole, ice pop
  • Jarra = Jarrabanian
  • Jellies = soft lollies, gummy candy
  • Karra = karramako
  • Koi = Loanword from the Goarra language that once referred to traditional clan ceremonies involving feasts and games. Nowadays, it is used to describe a casual gathering or barbeque.
  • Plate lunch = A social gathering where guests each bring food to be shared. Known by terms such as a potluck elsewhere.
  • Pupper = stubby holder, can cooler
  • Pusher = pram, stroller
  • Roaster = idiot, unlikeable person
  • Thongs = sandals
  • Townie = bogan, redneck
  • Trainers = runners, sneakers
  • What’s the sauce? = what’s news?

The Jarrabanian accent resembles that in Australia, but is somewhat stronger. Vowels are vocalised more heavily and the L sound is pronounced as a light L. Words ending in -ary, -ery, -ory, -bury and -berry tend towards the schwa sound rather than a full vowel, resulting in words such as “necessary” being pronounced “necess-ry”. The trap-bath split also features heavily, with words such as graph, chance, answer, example and castle pronounced using the broad A (as in father). There are several regional accent variations - in eastern Parrigo, where a Welsh twang is present (known as the Parrigan twang); in Yeduan and the Yakop Islands, which feature stronger vowel vocalisation; and in Richmond and eastern Diamantina, where vowel sounds are more rounded.

Six indigenous languages are spoken in Jarraban, each of which have official status in at least one province or territory. Indigenous peoples were historically discouraged from speaking their own languages by Europeans, but most have undergone revitalisation since the 1970s. In 2014, roughly 25% of Indigenous Jarrabanians reported speaking an Indigenous language, an increase from 23% in 2009.

Religion

Slightly over half of Jarraban’s population (54.5%) identified as Christian in 2014, with the main denominations being Roman Catholicism (21.8%) and Anglicanism (15.6%). 0.5% follow Indigenous branches of Christianity. Other religions are adhered to by 6.2%, including Buddhism (2.1%), Islam (1.7%), Hinduism (0.9%) and Judaism (0.6%). However, the country is highly secular, with 29.6% considering themselves irreligious and weekly church attendance estimated at a mere 10%.

Prior to European settlement, Indigenous people practiced various forms of animism for thousands of years. Their spirituality was shaped heavily by interactions with nature - particularly water, plants and animals - and is depicted heavily in their art, music, stories and traditions. It is estimated that fewer than 1500 people continue to follow traditional Indigenous beliefs.

Ethnicity

A Goarra performance in 1981

Although citizens of Jarraban are formally known as “Jarrabanians”, the colloquial “Jarra” is often used both locally and abroad. Indigenous peoples reached the country in two waves - firstly from Australia around 13,000-14,000 years ago, and later from Borneo, Java and Malaysia around 800-900AD. Europeans then arrived beginning at the end of the 18th century - mostly from Britain, Ireland and Australia, with smaller numbers from mainland Europe. Migration quotas favouring those of Anglo-Celtic descent were progressively relaxed following World War II before being abolished completely in 1976 with the passing of the Immigration Act, allowing large-scale immigration from Asia and elsewhere. Around this time, large numbers of Vietnamese refugees were resettled.

In the 2014 census, 79.9% of the population identified ethnically as European, a decrease from 80.5% in 2009 and 82% in 2004. An additional 8.6% of responses claimed Asian ethnicity, 8.2% Indigenous, and 3.3% other or unstated. The most commonly nominated ancestries were:

Immigration

Approximately 24% of Jarraban’s population is foreign-born. Whilst the United Kingdom is the largest provider of migrants, an increasing number of skilled professionals from Asia and South Africa are arriving to fill local vacancies in the healthcare, engineering, finance and technology sectors. Immigration has intermittently been a topical issue, with mandatory detention and boat turnbacks for refugees, social harmony, Jarraban’s national identity, overpopulation and economic concerns currently generating attention and debate.

Migrants disembarking from a ship in 1885
Jarrabanian permanent residents by country of birth, 2014
Country of birth Estimated population (2016) Percent
Jarraban Jarraban 4,168,290 76.35
United Kingdom United Kingdom 313,350 5.74
South Africa South Africa 149,460 2.74
China People's Republic of China 112,650 2.06
India India 95,660 1.75
Australia Australia 89,300 1.64
Illium Illium 72,850 1.33
New Duveland New Duveland 48,660 0.89
Vietnam Vietnam 35,670 0.65
Italy Italy 33,430 0.61
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 31,980 0.59
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe 29,070 0.53
Philippines Philippines 21,400 0.39
Germany Germany 20,500 0.38
Other countries 236,830 4.34
Total 5,459,100 100

Education

Schooling in Jarraban is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16. Although public school attendance is free for citizens and permanent residents, a large non-government sector exists. Schooling is spread across 13 years, operating under a three-tier system that incorporates:

  • Primary school (Kindergarten-Year 4)
  • Middle school (Years 5-8)
  • High school (Years 9-12)

Students may obtain one of two school leaving qualifications - either the Jarrabanian Matriculation Certificate (Jamat) or the Jarrabanian Leaver’s Diploma (Jadip). Both, in conjunction with applications and interviews, can allow entry into university or college respectively.

The University of Whartonia's Derby campus

Tertiary institutions come in the form of universities and colleges. They may either be government-owned or private. Colleges specialise in vocational education, including trades following a merger with the polytechnic sector during the 2000s. The Tertiary Loan Scheme (TLS) covers course fees and expenses for Jarrabanian citizens and permanent residents, and is recovered via tax deductions once a certain income threshold is reached (variable according to the course(s) undertaken).

Jarraban’s education system was ranked the world’s 5th best by the United Nations’ Education Index (EI) in 2013. Its literacy rate is estimated at 99% and 60.3% of adults have tertiary or post-secondary qualifications. Concern has arisen in recent years, however, over the rising costs of university attendance, a fact often attributed to the partial deregulation of university fees in 2005.

Health

Jarraban’s life expectancy for males (78.5 years) and females (82.3 years) is the 18th and 29th highest respectively in the world. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths (7.3%), with obesity second at 7.1% and cardiovascular disease third at 7%. In 2014, 30.8% of the country’s population was obese, ranking 23rd in the world.

Universal health care, known as JarraHealth, was introduced in 1977. It is funded by a tax surcharge that was set at a flat 1% in 2015 following amendments to the Taxation Act. Previously, this surcharge was graduated according to income. JarraHealth covers consultations, emergency treatment, some surgical procedures and, following a merger with the Pharmaceutical Scheduling Authority (PSA) in 2005, a large range of medicines. In 2013, total healthcare expenditure per capita was US$3,890.

Culture

The karramako, as depicted on this road sign, is widely considered one of Jarraban's national symbols

Jarrabanian culture has been mostly influenced by Anglo-Celtic Western culture, but with some adaptions from Indigenous peoples and immigration. Rural and natural themes feature prominently in local art, literature and entertainment, owing heavily to the country’s environmental uniqueness and diversity. Indigenous peoples depicted this through a variety of forms - particularly rock paintings, carvings, storytelling, music and dance - until British settlement introduced a European lens to the country’s natural landscapes. Although recent immigration, urbanisation and technological advancements have seen Jarrabanian society become more cosmopolitan, it still retains its conservative, agrarian roots in many respects.

The nauback, a Goarra wind instrument. It is played by blowing into the puanni (mouthpiece) and using the attayi (endpiece with handle) to create distortions in beat, rhythm and tempo.

Informality, resourcefulness and egalitarianism underpin Jarrabanian society today. The rural life of many early settlers led to “Jarras” being depicted as a rugged, unintellectual people who relied heavily on each other’s support. The concept of “mateship”, emphasising equality and affability, became central to the country’s ethos. At the same time, humility was expected and led to the development of the “tall poppy syndrome”, where high-achievers are often derided and criticised. Jarraban’s identity is reinforced by numerous cultural icons, including the karramako, wogorro trees, the hinnie (bush), the roicka, rugby union, agricultural symbols (wheat, cattle and wool), and the national colours of gold, red and blue.

Media and entertainment

Prior to World War II, Jarraban had a fledgling film industry that effectively ceased with the rise of Hollywood. It did not recover until the 1980s, when films exploring themes of national identity attracted local success. Locally-produced television was highly successful from the 1970s, with several game, variety and skit shows enjoying widespread viewership. Local sitcoms have experienced popularity since the 1990s, particularly This Week with the Smiths (centred around a dysfunctional middle-class family) and Oak Street (explores hipster culture in the context of a fictional Derby neighbourhood). Popular music has closely mimicked Western trends, with notable local artists including 1980s rock band Crowded House and alternative dance group Rüfüs.

Although Jarraban is ranked 11th of 178 countries with regards to press freedom, most local media is owned by a small handful of foreign companies. There is one public television station (JTV) and several public radio stations. A number of daily newspapers exist, three of which are circulated nationally - The Jarraban Post, The Daily Observer and The Rural Advocate. Other popular newspapers include The Cornwall Sun (Derby and Whartonia), The Roycestonian (Royceston), The South Eastern Herald (Bracanna) and The Dragon (Salisbury).

Sport

Harbour Park Stadium in Derby. With a capacity of roughly 70,000, it is Jarraban's largest stadium.

Sport is extremely popular in Jarraban. Participation is widespread and both local and international events regularly attract large crowds. Rugby union is considered the national sport, with the Karramakoes (Jarraban’s national team) historically excelling at test level, including in World Cups. Domestically, the Jarrabanian Rugby Premiership (JRP) has a large fanbase and consists of 13 teams - the Bracanna Mariners, Coburg Royals, Connaught Eagles, Croydon Reds, Derby Lions, East Derby Rovers, Kensington Hawks, Newport Sharks, Richmond Bulls, Royceston Saints, Salisbury Dragons, St George Seagulls and Western Chiefs (based in Perroa).

Cricket is the biggest sport in terms of formal participation and is widely enjoyed during the summer months. Jarraban (nicknamed The Tricolours) is one of 13 nations to compete at test level and has experienced historical success in all three forms of the game. Other locally popular sports include horseracing (particularly the Cornwall Cup), surfing, motorsports, tennis, bowls, netball, cycling, golf, and more recently basketball and soccer. Jarraban has competed in every Olympic Games since 1920 (with the exception of the 1980 Moscow games) and has hosted the Commonwealth Games on two occasions - in 1966 (Royceston) and 1990 (Derby).

Cuisine

Chicken parmigiana, a popular Italian-inspired dish common to Jarraban's pubs and restaurants

Indigenous peoples hunted animals and cultivated native plants, especially the roicka. They practised some basic cooking techniques using open fires, earth ovens and hot springs. Today, Western fare predominates as a result of European settlement, with popular dishes including the Sunday roast, fish and chips (often dressed in vinegar), and “pub grub”. Since the mid-20th century, immigration from Asia and Southern Europe has diversified Jarraban’s culinary scene, as has the introduction of global fast food chains. Alcohol is commonly consumed, especially in the form of beer and wine.

Some uniquely Jarrabanian food items are:

  • Blackfingers- Softer version of the shortbread biscuit coated in gooey caramel with an outer chocolate layer
  • Curry tart- Similar to a quiche, but filled with curried beef, lamb or chicken mince and served hot
  • Custard puffs- Small spongecake balls with a custard filling and vanilla sauce coating. Served cold.
  • Settler’s pie- Pastry lid served atop a thick vegetarian soup of roicka, mushrooms, cabbage, beans, carrot, corn, peas, onion, lentils and gravy
  • Soldiers’ creams- A variation of the Anzac biscuit, featuring a jam or cream centre sandwiched between two small oat biscuits