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Anna Mendoza / BuzzFeed

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This is Australia in 2016: it is home to the world's oldest continuous culture. One in two Australians have parents born overseas; one in four were born outside the country. There are 236 nationalities represented in Australia. And they identify with more than 270 ancestries. Australia is made up of 23.5 million people. Here are 58 of them.

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"What I love about Australia is my people - the First Nations people. I love the sacredness of our Mother Earth. And I love the culture of our people."
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"You can do anything in Australia. You have freedom. You can go anywhere. It is very peaceful here. Especially for people coming from the Middle East, that’s all they want - a peaceful life."
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"The people here are all so laid-back and friendly. I came here by myself, I was 18 then. And my friends would invite me to their place for a bbq. Everyone was just so lovely."
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"I came to Australia because it’s the land of opportunity. It allowed my parents to provide us with a better future."
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"Australia has a very broad community. It’s so different from when I lived in India and Dubai. It was really classist over there. Unlike here, it’s very mixed."
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"I met a girl here. We were even married for six months. It didn’t last, but there were plenty other reasons for me to stay. Australia just has a lot to offer."
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"After growing up as an orphan in Lebanon, I fled to Australia as soon as I could and joined the Australian army. Back then, immigrants were encouraged to come over and make a fresh start. I eventually brought my wife over and we started a family. I now breathe by my two lungs - Lebanon and Australia."
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"Over here, it’s pretty similar to the Dutch culture - how easy-going Aussies are. It felt like home straight away."
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"My parents decided to leave Romania when I was eight years old to get away from the oppressive communist regime. I’ve been here since, and I love the beach and the lifestyle. I just don’t think it gets better anywhere else in the world."
"The weather’s a big plus over here, coming from Scotland. I love the beaches. But I also love the ski down in Tasmania, it’s incredible! Also, there’s so much more here in terms of skill and opportunity."
"I love the fact that Australia is so open and free. And it’s generally accepting of other cultures. You can achieve anything you wanna achieve here."
"I was seven when I came. My dad wanted a better life for us. I particularly LOOOOVE the beaches here. They're so beautiful and clean and the people are amazing too."
"The little girl that I used to play with lost her virginity at 11 years old and told me about it. And as a 6-year-old, I went home and told my parents. My dad’s like “no daughter of mine is losing her virginity at 11!!!” and shipped us the hell out of America. We first moved to New Zealand, then found our way to Sydney and fell in love."
"What do I love about Australia? The diversity. Not the weather, though. Haha! I love the array of people that you meet and the opportunities. So many opportunities!"
"I think it’s the lifestyle here that I love. It’s quite simple, very beach-y, and there’s lots of art and fashion and stuff."
"Australia’s a beautiful place! It’s free. Lots of fresh air. Beautiful places to see and lots of things to do. It’s just a lovely place to live."
"I love that there are so many activists here that work for the social justice causes. I know for example that we’re seen as anti-refugee, but there are so many people working against that, and I love it!"

This photo and video essay is an ongoing project by BuzzFeed, where we aim to photograph at least one person from every background represented in Australia. If you are interested to take part, contact the writers at anna.mendoza@buzzfeed.com or tania.safi@buzzfeed.com.

Additional reporting by Michelle Rennex.