Australian Culture

Do's and Don'ts

  • Try to take Australian humour in jest and indulge in their jokes. Making self-deprecating jokes is often a fast way to build familiarity, as it is a non-arrogant way or showing that you are self-confident but don’t take yourself too seriously. 
  • Keep a measure on how much you criticise others directly.
  • Try to relax and enjoy yourself in casual settings. Australians often warm to informality and tend to bond quickly with people who seem genuine and comfortable in casual 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 contribute to fuel costs will be appreciated.
  • Respect the natural environment, wildlife and land of Australia. Protection of the country’s ecology is very important to many Australians. 
  • Be aware that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the original custodians of the land and recognise the impact has had on their people. See Other Considerations for more advice on how to be culturally sensitive in this regard.
  • Do not boast or make ostentatious comments that give the impression that you see yourself as superior to others. Some Australians may 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 ‘’ 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.

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