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.
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