Mainland Australia is the world’s largest island, but smallest continent. It’s the only continent governed as a single country, with a population of almost 23 million people. It’s also one of the most urban, coast-dwelling populations in the world, with more than 80 percent of residents living within about 60 miles of the coastline.
Australian society is made up of people from a rich variety of social, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds, and this is a defining feature of the culture. The most commonly spoken language is English.
The most common religion is Christianity, although the country embraces a rainbow of spiritual beliefs, with Catholic and Anglican churches, Hindu Sikh and Buddhist temples, mosques and synagogues lining the cities’ streets. Many more Australians identify with religious organizations than actually attend church. The number of people reporting no religion has increased dramatically over the past hundred years, from one in 250 people to one in five, with the biggest increase seen in young people aged 20-24.
A growing Globalscope team recently launched the 10th campus ministry, called “The Garden,” in Brisbane and the University of Queensland. All of the team members are now on the field. They host a weekly Bible study on Tuesday nights and offer many other social activities.
A CMF team member works with at-risk youth in the low socio-economic suburb of Dandenong, one of the most culturally diverse suburbs in Australia, in cooperation with a local Christian church. Ministries include an after-school youth program (Youth Unlimited), volunteer work with elementary students at the Dandenong West Primary School, church youth groups, Bible studies with kids and teens, and mentoring programs with girls and their mothers.