Australian Culture


Primary Author
Nina Evason,
  • 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 most common verbal greeting is a simple “Hey”, “Hello”, or “Hi”. 
  • Some people may use Australian slang and say “G’day” or “G’day mate”. However, this is less common in cities.
  • Many Australians greet by saying “Hey, how are you?”. This is usually spoken as a simple greeting, and is 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 to someone you are meeting for the first time (or do not know well) can make them uncomfortable.

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