Australian Culture

Do's and Don'ts

Do’s
  • If an Australian teases you, reply with good humour and show that you are not disconcerted by it. Indulging in their jokes like this will show, in a non-arrogant way, that you are self-confident but don’t take yourself too seriously. Lightly teasing them back will also be received cheerfully.
  • Keep a measure on how much you criticise them directly.
  • Drink with them (if you can), relax and enjoy yourself in casual settings. Australians tend to bond quickly with people they ‘click’ with in informal social situations.
  • In any situation that allows for it, pitch in and contribute to the shared expense or task however possible. For example, if you are taking a trip in someone else’s car, offering to to contribute to fuel costs will be appreciated.
  • Try to be yourself. Australians warm most to those who seem genuine and comfortable with themselves.
  • Be aware that the Indigenous minority of Australia are the original custodians of the land and recognise the impact colonisation has had on their people.
  • Respect the natural environment, wildlife and land of Australia. Protection of the country’s ecology is very important to many Australians.

Do not’s
  • Do not boast or make ostentatious comments that give the impression that you see yourself as superior to others. Australians will find this contrived and obnoxious.
  • Avoid asking people to do tasks that you are clearly capable of doing.
  • Avoid seeming too conscious or constrained by rules as this could potentially make you seem untrustworthy or likely to ‘dob’ on them.
  • Avoid mentioning the divisive topics of Australian society (e.g. refugees, Indigenous affairs) unless you are approaching it with sensitivity and are prepared to hear adverse opinions.
  • Avoid being overly combative or argumentative. Australians tend to avoid the company of people who are too opinionated and may consider them a controversial character and be less enticed to keep your company.
Cultural Competence Program
Cultural Competence Program Logo

Join over 300 organisations already creating a better workplace

Find out more
Download this Cultural Profile

Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/217/au.svg Flag