Australian Dictionary

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Kimberley—a region in the Northern Territory covering more than 420,000sq km, the Kimberley is commonly described as Australia’s last frontier. Divided by ranges and seasonally huge rivers, it is a wilderness of marginal cattle stations and small, isolated Aboriginal communities, with a ragged, tide-swept coastline inhabited chiefly by crocodiles. The extreme seasons and harsh terrain make access slow and difficult—for those who live here, light aircraft are a necessity rather than an indulgence. Several national parks protect the area, including the Windjana Gorges and the Prince Regent River, which has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Notable features are the Fitzroy River and the Geikie Gorge carved by the river; the coastal township of Broome, world famous for its pearling industry; Cable Beach, which extends for 24km along a turquoise sea; and the Buccaneer Archipelago, or 'Thousand Islands'.

Kimberley Basin—the area is separated from the Pilbara Block by the Phanerozoic Canning Basin. The Palaeoproterozoic Kimberley Basin is surrounded to the south-west and south-east by the Halls Creek and King Leopold Mobile Belts and by the coast to the other sides. The basin hosts mostly undisturbed sedimentary rocks with some lava flows that were intruded by dolerite dykes. Kimberley Basin succession has been divided into three generally conformable groups—Speewah, Kimberley and Bastion. The Speewah Group is characterized by red feldspathic arenite of fluvial to shallow-marine origin derived probably from the eastern rising land of Halls Creek Mobile Belt. The Kimberley Group consists of mature sandstone alternating with red siltstone and basalt with minor dolomite and it occurs uniformly throughout the basin. Bastion Group rocks are similar to those of Kimberley Group and show similar north to north-west palaeocurrent directions and shallow-marine conditions of deposition. The sedimentary layers are slightly deformed throughout the basin. The deformation is particularly pronounced adjacent to the mobile belts. Near the junction of King Leopold Mobile Belt and Halls Creek Mobile Belt, to its north around Mount House area and to the east of Halls Creek Mobile Belt (East Kimberley) Neoproterozoic succession is exposed in small patches. It contains the characteristic glacigenic tillite beds and cap dolomite beds.

Kimberley disease—a usually fatal disease of horses in which liver damage occurs (from the Kimberley Range, WA).

Kinchega National Park—one of the outback's oldest and best known national parks. Here the arid outback environment gives way to waterside tranquillity with the Darling River and several ephemeral lakes. Evidence of life is everywhere; waterbirds thrive in its backwaters and flooded woodlands and the park is rich in both Aboriginal and European cultural history. You can explore the park’s Aboriginal sites, as well as its European relics, such as the Kinchega Woolshed. Car-based or caravan camping is available at the rest area near Lake Cawndilla, beside Emu Lake or along the river. You can also stay in the old wool shearers’ quarters.


King, Captain Phillip Gidley—(1758-1808) born Launceston, Cornwall, England, the third governor of the colony of New South Wales, serving from 28 September 1800 to 12 August 1806. He arrived in New South Wales with the First Fleet in 1788, serving under Captain Arthur Phillip. King had served with Phillip in the Channel Fleet in 1780 and was chosen by Phillip as second lieutenant on HMS Sirius. Soon after arriving in Port Jackson, Phillip chose King to establish a new settlement on Norfolk Island. He was promoted to Lieutenant Governor of Norfolk Island and later to the rank of commander. Whilst governor of New South Wales, King also governed Tahiti. Like John Hunter before him and William Bligh after him, King had difficulty with the military offices of the New South Wales Corps, and their control of the courts and liquor trade.

King, Phillip Parker—the eldest son of Governor King, was born on Norfolk Island in 1791. He joined the British Navy and was the first Australian to become an admiral. In 1817 King was given command of an expedition to complete the exploration of the north-western coast of Australia. Sailing in the cutter Mermaid, by way of Bass Strait to North West Cape, he commenced his survey along the coast towards Arnhem Land. During his four voyages off the northern northern and north-western coasts, King named Port Essington and Buccaneer's Archipelago (after Dampier), proved the insularity of Melville Island and charted the coastline. He also surveyed the west coast from Rottnest Island to Cygnet Bay (in King George Sound) and the entrance to Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania.

King Billy pineAthrotaxis selaginoides, a conifer endemic to Tasmania, yet in the same family as the California redwood. It may live for 1000 years or more, and can reach 40m in height. In exposed areas, the trees are often stunted and twisted. It yields a valuable commercial timber, straight grained, durable and easily workable for boat building. Waldheim Chalet at Cradle Mountain is made from King Billy pine. The wood is also used for making the sound boards in stringed musical instruments. King Billy pine occur in montane regions with high rainfall in central, western and southern Tasmania. Recommended sites for viewing the trees are Enchanted Walk at Cradle Mountain and Russell Falls at Mount Field.

King bioregion—perhumid warm coastal plains and low hills comprising King Island and the north-western tip of Tasmania. It is a region of subdued topography and low relief. Precambrian metamorphic rocks are overlain by diverse soils, including recent marine deposits covered by deep sandy profiles that support extensive messmate open forest and myrtle beech closed forest. Blackwood closed forest and swamp paperbark closed forest occur on poorly drained, low-lying sites. The vegetation of King Island has been substantially degraded by clearing and burning following European settlement.

King Dick—a person who has an excessively high opinion of himself, who sees himself as far above ordinary people.

King Edward River—located in the far north of the Kimberley region on the Mitchell Plateau, it empties into into Napier Broome Bay. The way King Edward River functions is primarily a result of tide energy, as it is a tide-dominated estuary. In 2004 thirty sites on the King Edward and Carson Rivers were sampled for fish. A total of 24 fish species were recorded in the catchment. Located in Western Australia.

king fernAngiopteris evecta, produces possibly the longest fern fronds in the world, which often grow up over five metres long, and can grow to 7m, arching and semi-weeping. The king fern's rhizome is a massive trunk up to 1.5m tall, woody on the outside, deeply grooved and quite fleshy within. This trunk is black, very broad, and bears numerous crowns of fronds, whose stipes are erect, fleshy, green, smooth and swollen at the base. Its spores are in dense clutters of five to eight opposite pairs, which become confluent with age, as a brown powdery mass. Thick, rope-like roots support the entire fern. It appears to be a very ancient, relatively unchanged genus, for Angiopteris fossils have been found that are several hundred million years old. The king fern likes dimly-lit rainforest stream banks, where old specimens have been found with trunks up to 2m across. Their enormous size means they have to live in very wet areas to retain turgor to keep their fronds erect. Thus this plant is very restricted in where it can live, which is usually only near waterfalls, along creeks and in gullies in well-developed rainforest. Also called the giant fern. Can be found in Queensland from sea level to about 600m, New South Wales (only the north-east where it is very rare however), Polynesia and Malaysia.

King George Falls—here, the King George River plunges 100m over a sandstone cliff into tidal waters. These falls are in full force from late December through to early May each year and gradually recede to a small flow in September. They are situated 8km from the coast; if entering the river from the sea, the route up the river from the gorge to the falls is one of the worlds most spectacular sights. The surrounding coastline is also spectacular, with coastal cliffs, gorges, mangrove-lined bays, enormous sand dunes and rugged sandstone country. This remote coastline is known as the Diamond Coast. Located in Western Australia.

King George Settlement—a penal colony founded as a military base, for the protection of British interests against French encroachment. Major Edmund Lockyer arrived from Sydney at Princess Royal Harbour in 1826. With him were soldiers and a small group of convicts to assist in establishing a military fort. In 1831, the King George Settlement was incorporated into the Swan River Colony, and a civil administration was established. Located at King George Sound in the Great Southern region of Western Australia.

King George Sound—one of the finest natural harbours of Western Australia's south coast. An inlet of the Indian Ocean, the sound, with a surface area of 91sq km, has an entrance 8km wide, flanked by Bald Head on the south-west and Cape Vancouver on the north-east. Its shores are generally steep and rocky. It was discovered, claimed for England and named "King George the Third's Sound" on 28th September, 1791, by Captain George Vancouver. Later, it became the site of King George Settlement, precursor to the modern city of Albany. Located in the Princess Harbour in Western Australia.

king hit—1. a sudden and crushing misfortune. 2. a sudden blow that knocks one out. 3. (Australian Rules football) hit, usually behind play, when the receiver is not ready for it.

King Island—located off the north-west tip of Tasmania, the island mirrors the diversity found in Tasmania as a whole. The north and east coasts of the island feature sandy beaches, while the jagged cliffs to the south make it easy to see why this area has claimed more shipwrecks than anywhere else in Australia—at least 60 vessels and more than 800 lives during the past 180 years—and is home to one of Australia’s tallest lighthouses, at Cape Wickham. King Island forms a barrier to the western approach to Bass Strait, which vessels must navigate. The area between King Island and Cape Otway on the Victorian coast is known as the "Eye of the Needle",King Island lies in the path of the roaring forties, the ever-present westerlies that circle the world’s southern latitudes. Once a breeding ground for sea elephants and seals, the discovery of King island in 1798 quickly led to the depletion of these animals. Now, beef and dairy cattle shelter behind thick ti-tree hedges on King Island’s flat farmlands. The Lavinia Nature Reserve is home to one of Tasmania's rarest bird species, the orange-bellied parrot. A unique attraction is the calcified forest where, many years ago, forest was rapidly covered by sand dunes, which have since receded. A fairy penguin colony calls the grassy area home. King Island was settled around 1800 by sealers.

King Island Maritime Trail—was opened during the Descendants Weekend 3-5th August 2001. The western Bass Strait entrance was a short cut to Sydney for sailing ships transporting immigrants to Australia. Because of poor navigation, King Island became a graveyard for many sailing ships. The weekend commemorates the 200th anniversary of King Island's sovereignty to the British Empire. Known descendants of shipwreck persons, lighthouse keepers, rescuers, shipping pioneers and others interested in maritime history visited the island to commemorate our cultural heritage, a significant part of Australian history.

King Leopold Ranges—the highest range in the Kimberley. Fringing the ranges on their southern edge is the 350-million-year-old Devonian limestone reef now exposed as the Napier and Oscar Ranges. On its western edge is found the drowned coastline of the Buccaneer Archipelago. Located in the Northern Territory.

King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park—an area of 392,100ha containing many beautiful gorges. The best-known features in the park include Bell Gorge, Silent Grove and Lennard Gorge. Alexander Forrest named the King Leopold Ranges after King Leopold of Belgium in 1879.

king orchidThelychiton speciosus (formerly Dendrobium speciosum), a popular and relatively easy-to-grow orchid. The epithet speciosus means beautiful and is in reference to the great racemes of showy, cream to yellow flowers on the outer of the petals and sepals and tending to a reflective white toward the center; the lower petal, the labellum, is attractively spotted with purple. And the flowering stem of the plant—borne from the plant’s crown of 2 to 5 dark-green leaves—produces up to 120 of these flowers, many of which may be open at once, producing a spectacular floral show. These tough, oblong-shaped leaves arise at the top of laterally ribbed canes that can grow to approximately 40cm high. The exact time of flowering depends on the region's climate. In nature, the king orchid is usually found growing as a lithophyte (growing on rocks) on sandstone or granite in damper sclerophyll forest or occasionally rainforest, or growing as an epiphyte. Its intolerance to frost means its distribution is limited in Victoria to far-east Gippsland and near to the coast in NSW. In Queensland its distribution can venture further inland. In places king orchid populations have been devastated by illegal orchid poachers, but it remains common in many areas. Also known as rock lily.

king parrot—any of several parrots, especially the mainly scarlet and green Alisterus scapularis of eastern Australia.

king plate—an inscribed metal plate given to an Aboriginal leader.

King Richard the Third—(rhyming slang) turd.

King William pine—the coniferous tree Athrotaxis selaginoides of Tasmania.

King's Canyon—a sandstone canyon with walls rising over 270m above the valley of King's Creek (named by Ernest Giles in 1872). The Canyon Walk begins with a steep climb to the top of the canyon, then follows the canyon rim around before descending to the car park. Approximately half-way along the walk is the ‘Garden of Eden', a palm-shaded area with ferns and cycads, known as the Garden of Eden. Kings Canyon is located within Watarrka National Park, Northern Territory, and is approximately 3 hours drive from either Alice Springs or Uluru.

King's Cross—perhaps the most notorious place in Sydney in terms of criminal history is King's Cross in inner eastern Sydney. It has a long history of illegal gambling clubs, sex clubs, paedophilia, drug dealing, "shooting galleries", police corruption and murder. The Wood Royal Commission in the 1990s found widespread corruption amongst the police at King's Cross, and several were forced to resign.

Kingford-Smith, Sir Charles Edward—(1897–1935) was born in Hamilton, Brisbane, Australia on February 9, 1897 and graduated from Sydney Technical College as an electrical engineer at age 16. He enrolled in the Australian Military Forces in 1915, firstly serving in the Middle East then, in 1917, in France as a fighter pilot where he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in action. From 1919 to 1927 Kingsford-Smith performed at aerial circuses and pioneered commercial aviation service throughout Australia. In 1927, he went to the United States to purchase and prepare a Fokker Trimotor aircraft that he named the "Southern Cross". On May 31, 1928, Kingsford-Smith and his crew took off from Oakland, California, arriving in Brisbane via Honolulu and Fiji nine days later. In succeeding months, piloting "Southern Cross" he made the first non-stop flight across the Australian continent and the first flight across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand. In 1929, Kingsford-Smith completed a round-the-world flight and in 1934, he made the first west-to-east crossing of the Pacific. In November 1935, on a flight from England to Australia, Kingsford-Smith and his co-pilot John Pethybridge disappeared in typhoon weather over the Bay of Bengal. In 1933 after once again breaking the record for solo flight from England to Australia, he was acclaimed as the world's greatest airman. 'Smithy' held more long distance flying records than anyone else on earth. At 38 Smithy was a veteran but wanted to prove he still had what it took. So, on November 6, 1935, 'Smithy' and Tommy Pethybridge took off from England on what was to be his last record breaking attempt. A day later 'Smithy's' plane disappeared near Burma. It has never been found. Charles Kingsford-Smith pioneered more long distance routes than any pilot in history. He lived and died for flying.

Kingston, Charles Cameron—Australia's pioneer of compulsory arbitration.

kip—1. a sleep or nap. 2. small piece of board used to toss the coins in the game of two-up.

kip down—sleep; to take a nap.

kipper—an Aboriginal male who has been initiated into manhood; the ceremony in which such an initiation takes place.

kipsie—a house, home, lean-to, or shelter.

Kirrae Whurrong—an Aboriginal people of the Port Campbell area. Evidence of their presence can be found in many places along the coast. The shell middens show that the sea provided a rich and bountiful source of food for these people. The original inhabitants of the area lived in harmony with nature right along the Victorian coast. But their lifestyle was upset with the coming of whalers and sealers in the early 1800s. Further disruption happened with full-scale white settlement about 40 years later.

Kirrae Whurrong Aboriginal Corporation—holds in trust the land of the Framlingham Forest and Reserve. The corporation was established under the Aboriginal Lands Act, 1970 (VIC), which also conferred the power to make by-laws and regulations for Framlingham Forest, including access and management of sacred sites. In his affidavit on 26 May 1998 the Registrar of Aboriginal Corporations stated that except for the actual ownership of the land by the Kirrae-Wurrong Aboriginal Corporation, ‘the benefit of the use and enjoyment of that land has not been made available to the wider Aboriginal community in the area’. In 1998 the Registrar commenced proceedings to wind-up the corporation in the Federal Court.

Kirrae-Wurong—(see: Kirrae Whurrong).

kiss the dust—(see: lick the dust).

kitchen tea—pre-wedding party for women where the guests bring an item for the kitchen as a gift; wedding shower.

kite-flying—1. fraudulent use of cheques and accounts. 2. the testing of public opinion by spreading rumours.

Kiwi—a New Zealander or pertaining to New Zealand.


Klunzinger's soft coralEchinophyllia Klunzinger, highly variable in color, encrusting or laminar colonies showing rounded ridges that are free of the substrate; folds with corallites occasionally rising, pointed in different directions. An aggressive group of corals with strong, stinging, sweeper tentacles (note absence of other life around natural colonies), at night when their tentacles are extended.

km—abbreviation for kilometre.

knacker—(Brit.) 1. a person who buys worn-out or old livestock and slaughters them to sell the meat or hides. 2. a person who buys discarded structures and dismantles them to sell the materials.

knackered—1. tired; exhausted. 2. useless; worn-out; broken; ruined. 3. castrated.

knackers—1. testicles. 2. a place where old and useless horses are taken for slaughter.

Knarn Kolak—an Aboriginal people of the Port Fairy area, Victoria, long before the arrival of Europeans. They lived a simple life beside the sea and their middens testify to the success of their fishing.

knee-trembling—frightening; terrifying; scary.

knickers—originally a colloquial contraction of “knickerbockers”. Knickerbockers were (at first) short, loose-fitting trousers gathered in at or just below the knee. Then knickerbockers came to be applied to bloomer-like underwear worn by women. As bloomers faded from the scene, the name 'knickerbockers' (in its abbreviated form of 'knickers') was transferred to more modern women’s undergarments. And knickers (like trousers) is a plural word because they clothe that part of the body that is bifurcated.

knife—pertaining to betrayal, double-crossing: e.g., He'd knife his own mother if it meant making money.

knock about/around with—associate with; keep company with.

knock into a cocked hat—defeat utterly.

knock it on the head—put a stop to (it, something).

knock on the head/scone—1. a reminder: e.g., He needs a knock on the head every now and again because he's so forgetful. 2. stop; put an end to.

knock (one) around—tire, exhaust, cause considerable discomfort or hardship to (one): e.g., Sitting in a plane for twenty hours knocks one around a bit.

knock out a living -to earn money, a living: e.g., He knocks out about 600 dollars a week. The saying has its origin on the goldfields, where the ‘knocking out' was quite literal.

knock (someone) bandy—completely overwhelm, defeat, flabbergast (someone).

knock up—1. make, construct or arrange in a hurried manner: e.g., I'll knock up something to wear tonight. 2. exhaust; tire; wear out: e.g., I'm going to knock up this horse to teach him a lesson.

knock-back—1. a set-back; rebuff; rejection; bad turn of events. 2. a refusal or rejection.

knock-down—an introduction.

knock-over—1. easily accomplished task: e.g., These exams are going to be a knock- over. 2. person easily cheated, duped, convinced.

knocked up—1. pregnant. 2. exhausted; tired; worn out. 3. increased in price: e.g., That house has been knocked up by thousands.

knocker—person who consistently derides, criticises and condemns everybody and anything.

know all the lurks (and perks)—1. to be shrewd, knowledgeable, well-informed. 2. to be worldly, especially in sexual knowledge.

know chalk from cheese—recognise differences.

know how many beans make five—to be well informed, aware of the facts.

know (one's) onions—be familiar with (one's) job, subject etc; be skilled in (one's) field, trade, profession.

know sweet F.A./Fanny Adams—to know very little; be ill- informed; have little or no relevant knowledge about.

knuckle in on—move in on, intrude in a bullying manner.

knuckle-duster—metal guard wrapped around the fist as a weapon in fighting.

koalaPhascolarctos cinereus, a nomadic, arboreal marsupial that spends most of its life in trees, and the sole member of the family Phascolarctidae. Koalas feed exclusively on eucalyptus leaves—mainly red river gum, forest gum, grey gum, manna gum, swamp gum and blue gum—and seldom drink water. Born the size of a jelly bean, koalas travel in their mother’s pouch until old enough to cling onto her back. Adults have large claws and strong muscles, with two thumbs and three fingers on each front paw, enabling them to maintain their grip on the branches of trees. In addition, they have a clawless big toe on their hind legs which allows them to grip with their hind feet. Two of their hind toes are joined, forming a two-toothed comb that is used for grooming fur and removing ticks. Mainly nocturnal, koalas conserve energy, sleeping 80% of the time, but may walk many kilometres around a feeding territory or when dispersing. Koalas communicate with each other, making a noise like a snore and then a belch, known as a 'bellow,' and three fingers on each front paw, enabling them to maintain their grip on the branches of trees. In addition, they have a clawless big toe on their hind legs which allows them to grip with their hind feet. Two of their hind toes are joined, forming a two-toothed comb that is used for grooming fur and removing ticks. Koalas communicate with each other, making a noise like a snore and then a belch, known as a ‘bellow’. Mating sounds range from the pig-like grunts and growls of the males to the high-pitched trembling sounds of the females. 'Koala' is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘no drink’.

koelEudynamys scolopacea, a large Indonesian cuckoo that migrates to Australia to breed. Their breeding season is from September to February, which corresponds to the summer Wet season in many areas. Many people assert that the birdcalls correspond with the event of rain, hence their common name of rainbird. The birds migrate to south-east Queensland in spring and stay until March-April, when they head back to Indonesia. Australian stopovers also include coastal areas in northern Australia and down the east coast to Victoria. Male koels are blue-black with a striking red eye and a long tail. Females are slightly smaller, with a black face, chestnut throat, red eye and olive or green beak. Females lay a single egg in another bird's nest and leave it to the host bird to raise her chick. Koels shun human contact, but the males are often seen perched in high positions, calling and displaying themselves for the females' appreciation.

Koka Ai-ebadu—alternate spelling of Ajabatha.

Koko Aiebadu—alternate spelling of Ajabatha.

Kokoberra—an Aboriginal clan containing a number of tribal groups, whose country stretches from the southern part of the Mitchell River delta to the Nassau River. Now living in the self-governing community of Kowanyama.

Kokominjen—an Aboriginal tribe from the lower reaches of the Mitchell River delta in the Northern Territory. This tribe is also known as the Yir Yoront.

Kombi—any small, multi-purpose, van-like vehicle.

Kombolgie Formation—a rock unit that forms the Arnhem Land plateau in the eastern part of the Alligator Rivers region. This formation is composed of minerals that are essentially benign in terms of weathering. Hydraulic testing of the fractured rock aquifer in the Kombolgie Formation at Jabila to date indicates low levels of permeability. Therefore, it is believed that waste rock or mine tailings placed on the land surface adjacent to uranium mines within this region will neither leach nor create an environmental impact.

Kongkandji—a tribe of Aboriginal rainforest pygmies that inhabited the area just south of Cairns. The territories of three local tribes, the Irandji, Idindji and Kongkandji, were contiguous at Trinity Inlet. They drew fresh water from shallow wells in the sand ridges on which the business part of Cairns now stands. Beche-de-mer fishermen visited Trinity Inlet to obtain water supplies from these wells and collect wood of the red mangrove to smoke-cure the sea slug, which led to armed conflict between fishermen and natives. The Kongkandji tribal lands covered the coastal area around Cape Grafton in Far North Queensland.

konk—the nose.

kookaburra—any Australian kingfisher of the genus Dacelo, especially D. novaeguinea, which makes a strange laughing cry. Also called laughing jackass.

Koombooloomba Forest Reserve—surrounding Lake Koombooloomba, the reserve protects tropical rainforest, tall eucalypt forest and dry open forest remnants at the southern end of the Evelyn Tableland. The forest is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and located in one of the wettest areas in Queensland. Several rare and threatened animals live in the forest, including Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo, the Herbert River ringtail possum and the red goshawk. Four-wheel-drive access is possible in the dry season only. Permits are required. Koombooloomba is 34km south of Ravenshoe.

koonac—either of two small freshwater crayfish, Cherax plebejus and C. glaber, that live in inland rivers and swamps which dry up seasonally.

Koongarra—an area of the Kakadu National Park, situated upstream of the Woolwonga wetlands, which is listed in the Ramsar Convention. The 1977 Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry Second Report (the Fox Report), which recommended mining at Ranger, explicitly stated: "If uranium mining proceeds, it should be restricted, west of the Arnhem Land Reserve, to one drainage basin, so that environmental damage from mining can be geographically contained… the Woolwonga area is so valuable ecologically that we oppose in principle any mining development upstream of it".

Koongarra deposit—a uranium deposit in the Northern Territory, discovered in 1970. The Koongarra mineral lease, about 12.5sq km, is located on Aboriginal land and is surrounded by the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Koongarra is in the South Alligator River catchment, an area that was intended for protection by Kakadu National Park. An Act providing for a change of the boundaries of the project (and thus the area of excision from Kakadu National Park) was passed in 1981, but has not been proclaimed. The Koongarra deposit is situated about 3km east of Nourlangie Rock, a well-known tourist attraction in Kakadu visited by around 90% of the 230,000 tourists who visit annually. One of the lookouts at Nourlangie overlooks the Koongarra lease and project area, which is now owned by Cogema Ltd.

Koongarra lease—confers mining rights to the Koongarra deposit in the Northern Territory. In 1996, the new owners of the Koongarra lease, Koongarra Ltd, sought traditional owner consent to the issuance of an exploration licence. Under the Northern Territory Land Rights Act, this is the only stage at which a company requires traditional owner consent—and consent for exploration activities is interpreted as consent to mine. The Northern Land Council meeting of April 2000 resolved to refuse consent to the Koongarra uranium mine. The resolution of the Northern Land Council asserted that the issue of mining at Koongarra would not be re-evaluated for 5 years (until April 2005). Following the decision, Koongarra Ltd shut its Darwin office.

Koongarra Ltd—an Australian-based uranium mining company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Cogema. The Koongarra deposit is about 25km south-west of Ranger, in the South Alligator River catchment. An Act providing for a change of the boundaries of the project—and thus the area of excision from Kakadu National Park—was passed in 1981, but has not so far been proclaimed.

Kooragang Nature Reserve—part of the Hunter River, and the largest single estuarine reserve in New South Wales (2,926ha). The site is important as a roosting and feeding site for migratory shorebirds, including the bar-tailed godwit, greenshank, terek sandpiper, and eastern curlew. 190 bird species use the site, representing 25% of species known in Australia. A high diversity of wetland types, including mangroves, saltmarsh, saline and freshwater pasture, Casuarina forest, brackish and freshwater swamps, mudflats, sandy beaches and rainforest remnants. Located 9km north of the Newcastle CBD in NSW.

Koori—an Aborigine. The word 'Koori' was recorded as early as 1886, being in use by the Aborigines from the Riverina and Victorian regions. The term is currently in use among Aborigines in eastern Australia (New South Wales and Victoria) and means "person" or "man". Other terms are preferred in other regions: Murri over most of south and central Queensland, Bama in north Queensland, Nunga in southern South Australia, Nyoongah around Perth, Mulba in the Pilbara region, Wongi in the Kalgoorlie region, Yamitji in the Murchison River region, Yolngu in Arnhem Land, Anangu in central Australia, and Yuin on the south coast of New South Wales.

kootchah—any of several small, stingless honey-bees of the genus Trigona.

Koowarta vs. Bjelke-Peterson—an historic native title claim, second only to Mabo vs. Queensland. The Wik people of Archer River in western Cape York Peninsula became widely known in the 1990s through their historic native title claim.

kopi—1. a fine, powdery gypsum occurring near salt lakes in arid areas, and used in ritual Aboriginal mourning. 2. a more cohesive, gypsum-rich mass, sometimes a rock, found where opal is mined.

Kosciuszko National Park—named after Mount Kosciuszko, which at 2228m is Australia's highest mountain. Kosciuszko lies astride the Great Dividing Range. The north-south line of the range cuts across the moisture-laden westerly air streams, bringing much more rain and snow to the western escarpment than to the lower rain-shadow areas to the east. The park contains the headwaters of some of Australia's major rivers including the Snowy, the Murrumbidgee and the Murray. The park also contains most of Australia's snow and all of New South Wales's alpine zone, glacial features and ski fields. Many of the park's plants above the treeline are found nowhere else in the world. A feature of the park is its large area which enables viable wildlife populations to survive. Species found in the park include the mountain pygmy possum, which was thought to be extinct until 1966. The possum is only found in Kosciuszko National Park above 1500 metres and in the high country of Victoria. Another endangered species found in the park's alpine sphagnum bogs is the northern corroboree frog.

Kow Swamp—one of Australia's two most archeologically important ancient Aboriginal burial sites, the other being Lake Mungo. The Kow Swamp skeletons are renowned for their archaic appearance, with one school of thought arguing they were descended from Java Man, a primitive form of human known as Homo erectus, who lived in Indonesia. The site, located between Swan Hill and Echuca, contains the largest known group of human skeletons from the Late Pleistocene period (120,000 to 10,000 years ago).

Kowanyama—in 1919 an Anglican mission was relocated to the present site of Kowanyama (formerly the Mitchell River mission). Today, the community of 1300 which houses the direct descendants of indigenous inhabitants of the lower Mitchell and Alice rivers and their neighbouring areas, including the Kokoberra, Yir Yorant and Kunjen clans. In 1967 the church gave control of the mission to the state Department of Aboriginal and Islander Affairs. In 1987 the community was given a DOGIT over the Mitchell River delta, an area of 250sq km. Like other DOGIT communities it has a Council of Elders, who are consulted by the community council when making community decisions. Also consulted are the Kunjen, who hold title to the Oriners Pastoral Holding. Kowanyama is Aboriginal for 'place of many waters'. Through its Land and Natural Resource Management Office Kowanyama Community has brought together the elected council, the traditional elders and the wider community to set the standards for a truly community based management strategy for the traditional lands of the Kowanyama residents. Kowanyama provides four public camping areas, with two campsites apiece. Management of Kowanyama's natural resources is articulated through their community rangers. The senior ranger of the office is also a Fisheries Inspector under State fisheries law. There is a designated tourist season, which extends from June 1st to October 1st. The Kowanyama community is located 25km from the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland.

Kowanyama Olkola–members of the Olkola tribe who are now living within the Kowanyama community.

kowariDasyuroides byrnie, a tiny, desert-dwelling, carnivorous marsupial, living either in a self-dug burrow or in one dug by another animal. It is solitary, marking its territory with secretions from a scent gland, leaving scats and urine at certain places throughout its home territory. Kowari inhabit gibber plains and shrubland between sand dunes and river channels in Central Australia (western Queensland and north-eastern South Australia), where they feed on insects, small birds, reptiles and small mammals. When approached, they are very aggressive, with much hissing and chattering and thrashing of tail. Often referred to as Byrne's marsupial mouse—after P M Byrne, who collected the first specimen. Also known as the brush-tailed marsupial rat.

kph—kilometres per hour.

krasnozems—deep, friable red clay soils, often strongly acidic, are found mainly on the volcanic rocks which have a scattered distribution in the eastern states. The krasnozems were originally densely forested, but, with little proper exploitation of their timber resources, these soils were rapidly cleared and converted to intensive forms of agriculture ranging from perennial pastures and temperate fodder crops, vegetable and grain crops in southern areas, to sugar, maize, peanuts, and some sown pastures in tropical and sub-tropical localities. The initial fertility of the soils has declined rather rapidly, and they have a restricted response to superphosphate due to a high rate of reversion of phosphorus to less available forms. They respond widely to molybdenum and, over increasing areas, to potassium. Despite their limitations, however, including a somewhat difficult fertilizer economy, these soils retain their position amongst the most productive in Australia.

Krefft, Johann Ludwig (Louis) Gerard—(1830-1881) came to the Victorian goldfields in 1852. In 1857-58, he went as a collector on William Blandowski's expedition to the lower Murray River and Darling River, and was then employed at the Melbourne Museum to catalogue the expedition's collection. In June 1860 he was appointed Assistant Curator of the Australian Museum, then acting Curator and Secretary after Pittard's death. Krefft built up the Museum's collections and won international repute as a scientist, corresponding with Charles Darwin, Sir Richard Owen and Albert Gunther of the British Museum. He was an early supporter of Darwin's theory of evolution. Krefft's discovery of the Queensland lungfish and its description in 1870, and his exploration of Wellington Caves in 1866, and writings of its fossils, are two of his significant achievements. His major publications include The Snakes of Australia (1869); A Short Guide to the Australian Fossil Remains in the Australian Museum (1870), The Mammals of Australia (1871) and A Catalogue of the Minerals and Rocks in the Australian Museum (1873). In dispute with the Trust, Krefft was dismissed and forcefully and dramatically removed from the premises on 21 September 1874.

Krefft's river turtleEmyduru krefflii is found only on Fraser Island off Queensland's eastern coast. The turtles live in numerous fresh water lakes on the island. Also known as the Fraser Island short-necked turtle.

Kriol—a creole spoken by Aborigines in the north of Australia.

KronosaurusKronosaurus queenslandicus was a sort of large, short-necked marine reptile called a pliosaur. There is some disagreement as to exactly how big Kronosaurus was, with estimates ranging from 8m to 12m long. It had a particularly large head and teeth that were roughly the same size and shape as a small banana, which enabled it to crush the shells of the huge shellfish called ammonites that lived in the Eromanga Sea. Its sheer size meant that it could have eaten just about anything smaller than itself, including other plesiosaurs and pliosaurs. The skull of a specimen of long-necked plesiosaur, Woolungasaurus glendowerensis, an animal that was 8m long, has tooth marks on it. No other creature yet found would have been capable of inflicting such damage. The best specimen is one of the most impressive exhibits at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. This famous specimen of Kronosaurus queenslandicus was found in Queensland in the early 1930s. The tail of Kronosaurus is too short and tapered to be really useful in moving rapidly over a distance. Its short neck would have made any sudden movement of its head impossible, but its flippers were large and powerful enough to allow it to dart forward suddenly to capture its prey. It was more likely to lunge after its victims than chase them. No direct evidence has been found to tell us that Kronosaurus certainly had live young born at sea, but the incredible bulk of the animal must have made it very difficult to come ashore and lay eggs. Kronosaurus is not a dinosaur, but a pliosaur, a marine reptile which lived in the vast inland sea that covered western Queensland between 110 and 100 million years ago. Kronosaurus is named after Kronos.

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park—the second oldest national park in New South Wales, created in 1894. The park comprises some 15,000 hectares of sandstone bushland, consisting of heathlands on the sandstone ridges, dense forests on the slopes, and mangroves on the tidal mudflats. Natural features of the park include winding creeks, sheltered beaches, hidden coves and wide expanses of water. More than 800 Aboriginal sites have been recorded within the park, including rock engravings, burial sites, axe-grinding grooves and middens. Located 24km from the Sydney CBD, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park lies at the point where the Hawkesbury River meets the sea, in New South Wales.

Kujani—an Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory and South Australia.

Ku Yalanji—an indigenous tribe of Cape Tribulation in Far North Queensland. Their native territory is now part of a World Heritage area within the Daintree National Park. In 1877, the discovery of gold in the Hodgkinson River – along with mineral explorations, tin mining and the development of a road linking to Port Douglas—shattered the culture the Ku Yalanji. Violent clashes between the indigenous people and the European settlers often resulted in fatalities. Around the time of World War II, local Aboriginal groups from the Daintree rainforest region were moved to the Mossman Gorge Reserve, which is still active today.

Kutj—language spoken in Aurun, on the Normanton Aboriginal Reserve.

Kulin nation—five related Aboriginal language groups. The people are: Woiwurrung, the Wurundjeri people; Boonerwrung, the Boonerwrung people; Wathaurong, the Wathaurong people; Taungerong, the Taungerong people; and Dja Dja Wrung, the Jaara people. When Europeans first settled the Port Phillip region, it was occupied by these five Aboriginal language groups. Taungurong country was inland, including part of the Goulburn Valley. The Woiworung lived around the Yarra River, which they called Beireirung, and its tributaries. And the Bunurong lived east of the bay and around streams that did not drain to the Yarra. The camps moved with the seasons and the food as well as the cycle of meetings among groups.

kultarrAntechinomys laniger, a member of the Dasyuromorphia order and the only species in the Antechinomys genus. The kultarr usually measures 7-10cm, with a 10-15cm tail. It weighs 20-30g; males are larger and heavier than females. The most distinctive features are the prominent ears and elongated, four-toed hind hind feet that have a large, cushioned pad. Fast runners, they do not hop bipedally; instead, they "gallop", springing from the long hindfeet and landing on the short forefeet. It is coloured fawn grey to sandy brown above, with a white chest and darker eye-ring. The kultarr is a solitary carnivore, feeding mostly on terrestrial invertebrates including cockroaches, spiders and crickets. Mating occurs in winter and spring, with young being born around August-November. Terrestrial and nocturnal, the species nests in soil cracks or utilises abandoned burrows of other species. Native to central and southern Australia, they can live in a variety of arid habitats, including savannah, grassland and desert. Also known as the jerboa-marsupial, the jerboa pouched-mouse, the wah-wah or the pit chi-pit chi.

kumara—sweet potato.

kumarlTrichosurus vulpecula, the common brushtail possum.

Kunjen—together with the Olkola, the Kunjen clan is known as part of the 'Top End Mob'. As one of the original inhabitants of the lower Mitchell region, the Kunjen are consulted by the Kowanyama elders on issues affecting the community. The Kunjen now hold native title to the Oriners Pastoral Holding.

Kunngkari—an Aboriginal people of Queensland's central west.

Kununurra—a town in the Kimberley, beside a lake of the same name on the Ord River, and adjacent to the Mirima National Park. The town came into existence in the early 1960s as a construction centre for the Ord River Scheme, and is the major site for the Argyle Diamond Mine (the largest producing diamond mine in the world) and the Ord River Irrigation Area. Kununurra's greatest attraction is the Mirima Hidden Valley National Park, located 2km from the town centre. Mirima was formed by the erosion of quartz sandstone to an unusual and dramatic effect. Another striking feature of the park is the boab trees that grow on the rock faces. The seeds of the boab are ingested by rock wallabies who then deposit the seeds in their dung. Kununurra is Aboriginal for 'big water'.

Kunwinjku—an Aboriginal people of the western part of Arnhem Land. There are very significant stylistic differences that distinguish the art of the Kunwinjku painters from other Arnhem Land artists. The imagery in paintings is presented without "filling in" the background. In other parts of Arnhem Land the entire surface of paintings is generally covered by images and cross-hatching. In more recent years the background of works on paper have been gouached, often in a decorative manner, but the actual imagery remains central. The Kunwinjku paintings are usually representational, with very little abstraction.

Kuranda—the village hidden in the rainforest. It is located among the trees in the hills above Cairns, Qld and enjoys a climate that is refreshingly cool compared to the seaside humidity of Cairns. In the heart of Kuranda, one of the largest free-flight aviaries in Australia is located below the rainforest trees. Fifty-six different species of native Australian birds live in the safe enclosure, including brightly coloured parrots, playful lorikeets and large exotic cassowaries.

Kurdaitcha—a ritual "executioner" in Australian Aboriginal culture (specifically, the term comes from the Arrernte people). Among traditional Indigenous Australians there is no such thing as a belief in natural death. All deaths are considered to be the result of evil spirits or spells, usually influenced by an enemy. Often, a dying person will whisper the name of the person they think caused their death. If the identity of the guilty person is not known, a "magic man" will watch for a sign, such as an animal burrow leading from the grave showing the direction of the home of the guilty party. This may take years but the identity is always eventually discovered. The elders of the mob that the deceased belonged to then hold a meeting to decide a suitable punishment. A Kurdaitcha may or may not be arranged to avenge them. The practice of Kurdaitcha had died out completely in Southern Australia by the 20th century although it was still carried out infrequently in the North. The practice, in regard to bone pointing by itself, does continue into modern times, albeit very rarely.

Kurdaitcha shoes—the name Kurdaitcha is also used by Europeans to refer to the oval shoes worn by the Kurdaitcha. The Indigenous name for the shoes is interlinia in Northern Australia and intathurta in the South. The shoe is basically a mat of feathers mixed with human blood in such a way that the blood can not be detected, and even a close examination does not reveal how the feathers remain stuck together. The upper surface is covered with a net woven from human hair. An opening in the centre allows the foot to be inserted. It is taboo for any woman or child to see them and when not in use are kept wrapped in kangaroo skin or hidden in a sacred place. Although they may be used more than once they usually don't last more than one journey. When in use, they are decorated with lines of white and pink down, and are said to leave no tracks. Before the shoes can be worn a secret ritual must be performed. A stone is heated red-hot and then placed against the ball of the small toe. Once the joint has softened the toe is jerked outwards, dislocating the joint. Although the ritual has never been observed, examinations of the feet of men who claim to be Kurdaitcha have all shown the same peculiar dislocation. Additionally, the genuine Kurdaitcha shoe has a small opening on one side where a dislocated little toe can be inserted.

Kureinji—a tribe occupying the mid-Murray River area in New South Wales; the traditional owners of that land, and their language.

Kuringgai—variant spelling of Guringai.

Kurnai—a clan of south-eastern Victoria—the Gippsland region—where the Lake Tyers mission is located.

Kurnell Peninsula—located on the eastern-most extremity of Sutherland Shire in New South Wales. In 1770, James Cook first set foot on Australian soil at Kurnell. When Cook arrived, the Kurnell Peninsula was covered with massive trees, and ancient tree stumps are still to be seen in the surrounding sandy swamplands. Kurnell contains 324ha known as the Captain Cook landing place, a part of the Botany Bay National Park. Within this reserve is the old well dug by men of the Endeavour in their initial search for fresh water. A little further along the beach is the small creek known as Cook's watering place. Seaman Forby Sutherland, after whom Cook named Point Sutherland, is buried in the area. Relics, old maps, documentation and other relevant material is presented in the Discovery Centre maintained by the local parks and wildlife service.

kurosols—these are strongly acid soils with an abrupt increase in clay down the soil profile. They extend from southern Queensland, through coastal and sub-coastal New South Wales to Tasmania, mainly in higher rainfall areas. They are less common in south-west Western Australia, where small areas are used for cereal growing. Also known podzolic soils; texture contrast soils.

kurrajong—Most (29 of 31) of the trees belonging to the Brachychiton family are endemic to Australia. They are found growing in a variety of situations, from rainforest to woodlands, but all seem to have evolved to cope with drought conditions. They tend to drop their leaves in the dry season, and several species have swollen stems for water storage. Many of the species which grow in tropical woodlands are commonly known as kurrajongs.

Kuurn Kopan Noot—an Aboriginal people of the south-western coast of Victoria.

Kwaka—a Kawasaki motorcycle.

kwongan heathlands—dense thickets of shrubs and heath plants, nurtured by a mild Mediterranean climate, grow on infertile sand plains along the coast from Cape Naturaliste to Perth. These species-rich communities are dominated by hard- and small-leaved plants that constitute the highest levels of endemism in Western Australia. Magnificent wildflowers are also found here; and from the large western gray kangaroo to the diminutive western pygmy possum, this region is full of marsupials. Western pygmy possums feed on insects and nectar while honey possums eat only nectar—the only mammal in the world to do so except for some bats. Also found here is the southern brown bandicoot, which uses its powerful forearms to dig for invertebrates and fungi. And if alarmed, the western brush wallaby won't hang around.

kybosh—nonsense; rubbish.

kylie—(chiefly Western Australia)—a boomerang.

Kyogle—a timber town surrounded by one of the largest remaining areas of rainforest in NSW. The area was settled through the 1840s and 1850s with only a small number of large holdings occupying the upper Richmond Valley. The dominant industry from the 1860s until the 1890s was cedar-cutting. When the cedars were decimated, hoop pine took over, with the region becoming an important supplier of plywoods. Kyogle is still sustained by the local timber industry. Prior to European settlement, the area around Kyogle was home to the Bundjalung people. It is claimed that the Bundjalung word kaiou-gal means 'the place of the bush turkey’. Kyogle is located 758km north of Sydney and 32km north of Casino, on the Richmond River.

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