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After European settlement, the way of life in Australia substantially reflected the heritage of the British settlers. Customs were modified as the settlers adapted to the new country and its vastly different climate. A culture evolved that, although based on the British tradition, is unique to Australia. The increasing sophistication of Australian culture has been promoted by government subsidies for the arts and the provision of improved facilities. Many cities and towns have built or expanded art galleries and performing arts centers. The architecturally stunning Sydney Opera House is the best known of the modern venues. Opera, ballet, and dance companies; symphony orchestras; artists; playwrights; and writers are supported by the Australia Council. The federally funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation controls independent television and radio stations. Australia also has many other media companies, newspapers, and magazines that contribute to local culture, although some are now owned by foreigners.

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