Australia is a federal parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm. It is also a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
The Queen is represented in Australia by a Governor General who is appointed by the Queen on the advice of Australia's prime minister. Usually the Governor General acts on the advice of ministers, but in some circumstances he or she may act without or against advice, exercising reserve powers which include the power to appoint or dismiss a prime minister.
The Queen's royal style and title in Australia is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.
According to the official British monarchy website, "When The Queen visits Australia, she speaks and acts as queen of Australia, and not as queen of the United Kingdom."
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A Concise History of Australia by Stuart MacIntyre. Relates the advance from penal colony to a prosperous free nation, and discusses the search for binding traditions in a nation created by waves of newcomers.
The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding by Robert Hughes. Retells the story of Australia's founding and early history.
Napoleon's Australia by Terry Smyth. The conquest of Australia was on Bonaparte's agenda for world domination.
Britain & Imperialism
Australia and the British Embrace: The Demise of the Imperial Ideal by Stuart Ward. Looks at recent reasons for the weakening of ties between Australia and Great Britain.
British Imperialism and Australian Nationalism by Luke Trainor. Manipulation, conflict, and compromise in the late 19th century.
Monarchy & Crown
Australia and Monarchy by David Hill. The story of the enduring relationship between Australia and the British monarchy, stretching back to Captain Cook when he claimed the territory for King George III in 1770.
The Palace Letters: The Queen, The Governor-General, and the Plot to Dismiss Gough Whitlam by Jenny Hocking. What role did Elizabeth II play in plans to dismiss Australia's prime minister?
The Shapeshifting Crown: Locating the State in Postcolonial New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the UK edited by Cris Shore and David V. Williams. Who or what is the Crown and how is it embodied? Is it the monarch, the state, a relic of feudal England, or a mask for executive power?
Queen and Australia (official site)