A guide to Australia- etiquette, cultures, clothing, customs, facts, traditions, and more…

A guide to Australia- etiquette, cultures, clothing, customs, facts, traditions, and more…

Welcome to our helpful guide for Australia. Should you be looking to travel, live, relocate or do business there, we will give you a helpful head start on understanding the country and its cultures
Facts & statistics:
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It’s the world’s sixth largest country by total area and covers 3 different time zones.
The Capital: Canberra
Main Cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth
Population: 23.13 million
Size: 7.692 million sq. km (2.97 million sq. miles)
Major Religion: Christianity
Main Language: English
Climate: Australia’s seasons are at opposite times to those in the northern hemisphere. December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring.
Life Expectancy: 82 years
Dialling Code: +61
Emergency Numbers: 000 (secondary emergency numbers are 112 & 106)
The Currency:


Although Australia is a predominantly Christian country with about 52% of all Australians identifying as Christian, there is no official state religion. People in Australia are free to practice any religion they choose, as long as they are not breaking the law. Religions from all over the world are practiced in Australia, demonstrating its cultural diversity. Most universities and communities in Australia have facilities and places of worship for all types of faith, so international students in Australia should contact their international student officer about facilities at their educational institution.
Australian local dress styles are different from Australia’s fashions. Dress has been influenced by the experience of living in rugged country as well as modern leisure activities such as swimming, surfing and beach culture. This is reflected in different fabrics, such as moleskin and drill cotton, developed for more practical wear.
Today, even lifesavers wear long-sleeved tops or wetsuits and sun hats, as do children, as protection from the sun. In response to the beach experience, surf board shorts, singlets, colourful shirts and thongs have been adopted as part of a national dress code by both males and females. Females have also adopted the loose-flowing sarong from Indonesia, the sulu from the Fiji Islands and Punjabi shirts from India as a preferred choice of cut and garment style as beachwear, providing both sun protection and also as transition garments from the beaches to town.

Local culture:
The culture of Australia is a Western culture derived primarily from Britain but also influenced by the unique geography of the Australian continent, the diverse input of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other Oceania people. The oldest surviving cultural tradition in Australia (which are actually some of the oldest surviving traditions on earth) – are those of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Their ancestors inhabited Australia for between 40,000 and 60,000 years and they lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The boomerang and didgeridoo, which were invented by Aborigines, are to this day iconic symbols of the country.
Australians are generally laid back, open and direct. They say what they mean and are generally more individual and outgoing than other cultures. More than three quarters of Australians live in cities and urban centres, mainly along the coast.

Etiquette & customs:
Australians are generally not formal, so greetings, even initial greetings, are casual and laid back. It’s common to shake hands and Australians would normally just use first names to introduce people.
Gifts are exchanged at birthdays and Christmas as they are in the UK. It’s common to tip tradespeople at Christmas with a small amount of cash, a bottle of wine or even a 6 pack of beer! Gifts are usually opened when they are received, in front of the gift giver.
It’s hard to picture the Australian life without thinking about the good old Aussie “barbie”, holding a nice cold beer in your hand! Many invites to the home will indeed be to such an occasion and it’s usual to bring your own alcohol with you. It’s polite to phone head to see if the host or hostess would like you to bring anything else.

Language:  How many languages are spoken there in Australia?)
Australia has no official language, but the majority of the population speaks English as a first language. According to the 2016 census, 73% of people in Australia spoke only English at home, even including a large number of first- and second-generation migrants. Australian English has a distinctive accent and vocabulary. Because people from about 200 countries around the world have migrated to Australia, there is a vast collection of languages spoken in the country. Other languages spoken in Australia include Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, and Greek. It is believed that at one time, there were almost 400 Australian Aboriginal languages, but now only 70 of these languages have survived, and all but 30 are endangered. One indigenous language is still the main language for about 50,000 Aboriginal people in Australia.
Indigenous Australians, or Aboriginals, are the original inhabitants of Australia. They migrated from Africa to Asia around 70,000 years ago, and from Asia to Australia 40,000 to 50,000 years ago. When the British arrived and began to settle in Australia, they brought with them diseases such as measles, smallpox, and tuberculosis, causing massive amounts of damage to the Aboriginal population. The British also appropriated land and water resources in Australia, and converted rural lands for sheep and cattle grazing.
Nowadays, there is a great amount of diversity between different Indigenous communities and societies in Australia. Each has its own customs, cultures, and languages. The Indigenous Australian population is mostly urbanized, but as of 2017, 22% live in remote settlements. These settlements are often located on the sire of former church missions.
Australian Art:
Australian art dates back to prehistoric times. It includes Aboriginal, Colonial, Landscape, Atelier, early twentieth century painters, printmakers, photographers, sculptors, and contemporary art. Art in Australia has a long history. There is evidence of Aboriginal art that dates back at least 30,000 years. Examples of Aboriginal rock artwork can be found throughout the continent. Australia has produced many notable artists of both Western and Indigenous Australian schools throughout the course of its long and impressive history.
Australia has many major art museums and galleries, both supported by the national, state, and local government, and by university and privately owned museums. The more prominent of these museums include the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the Canberra Museum and Gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In addition, there are the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, the South Australian Art Gallery in Adelaide, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin, and the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth. International students in Australia who are interested in the fine arts will certainly have plenty to keep them busy during their stay.
Currency: Australian dollar
Symbols: $. A$
ISO 4217 Code: AUD
Central Bank: Reserve Bank of Australia
Currency Sub-Units: Cent (c) = 1/100 of a dollar
Denominations: Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. Coins: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c. $1, $2

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