Australian Culture

Greetings

  • Greetings are usually informal in social settings.
  • First names are almost always used during initial introductions.
  • A handshake is the common greeting between strangers. Shaking with a firm hand and eye contact reflects confidence.
  • If you are a newcomer, take the initiative to introduce yourself. Depending on the situation, your Australian counterpart may expect you to do it yourself as opposed to introducing you to others.
  • It is sometimes assumed that people will get to know each other as they mingle in a social setting. In this context, an introduction is not always necessary and handshaking can seem forced and awkward.
  • Different physical greetings depend on one’s sense of another person’s comfort level.
  • When greeting each other, close friends may hug, back-slap or kiss one another on the cheek, while others may simply offer a nod.
  • Women generally tend to be more physically affectionate during greetings.
  • The average Australian greets with a simple Hey/Hello/Hi. Avoid saying “G’day” or “G’day mate” when first meeting someone as this can sound strange or patronising coming from a foreigner.
  • Many Australians greet by saying “Hey, how are you?”. This is simply a greeting, not an actual enquiry about your wellbeing. The common response is “I’m good, thanks. How are you?”. Giving an answer that is deeply personal or less positive can make them uncomfortable.
Australia
  • Population
    24,128,876
    [2016 census]
  • Average Age
    38
    [2016 census]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    English (72.7%)
    Mandarin (2.5%)
    Arabic (1.4%)
    Cantonese (1.2%)
    Vietnamese (1.2%)
    [2016 census]
    Note: More than 300 languages were identified in total.
  • Religion
    Christianity (51.6%)
    Catholic (22.6%)
    Anglican (13.3%)
    Other Christian (16.3%)
    Note: More than 100 religions were identified in total.
  • Cultural Dimensions
    36
    90
    61
    51
    21
    71
  • Ancestry
    English (33.6%)
    Australian (31.2%)
    Irish (10.2%)
    Scottish (8.6%)
    Chinese (5.2%)
    Italian (4.3%)
    German (4.2%)
    Indian (2.6%)
    [2016 census]
    Note: More than 300 ancestries were identified in total.
Indigenous Australia
  • Population
    649,171
    2.8% of Australian population
    [2016 census]
  • Average Age
    23
    [2016 census]
  • Languages
    According to the 2016 census, 1 in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people speak an Australian Indigenous language at home.
    The five language groups most widely spoken at home are:
    Arnham Land & Daly River Region (16.1%)
    Torres Strait Island (11.7%)
    Western Desert (11.1%)
    Yolngu Matha (10.6%)
    Arandic (7.3%)
    Note: 150 Australian Indigenous languages were identified in total.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (33.3%)
    Queensland (28.7%)
    Western Australia (11.7%)
    Northern Territory (9.0%)
    Victoria (7.4%)
    South Australia (5.3%)
    Tasmania (3.6%)
    Australian Capital Territory (1.0%)
    [2016 census]
Migrant Australia
  • Population
    6,150,197 people born overseas
    26.4% of Australian population
    [2016 census]
  • Top Overseas Birthplaces
    United Kingdom (4.6%)
    New Zealand (2.2%)
    China (2.2%)
    India (1.9%)
    Philippines (1.0%)
    Vietnam (0.9%)
    Italy (0.7%)
    South Africa (0.7%)
    Malaysia (0.6%)
    Sri Lanka (0.5%)
    Born elsewhere (11.1%)
    [2016 census]
  • Fastest Growing Migrant Populations
    By Population Change
    China (+190,586)
    India (+160,027)
    Philippines (+61,153)
    New Zealand (+35,068)
    Vietnam (+34,316)
    Pakistan (+31,692)
    Nepal (+30,119)
    South Korea (+24,238)
    Iran (+23,658)
    Sri Lanka (+23,437)
    By Percentage Change
    Mongolia (+240.5%)
    Bhutan (+142.4%)
    Nepal (+122.3%)
    South Sudan (+120.9%)
    Pakistan (+104.9%)
    Brazil (+90.4%)
    Nigeria (+87.8%)
    Qatar (+84.3%)
    Syria (+82.6%)
    Iran (+68.7%)
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