5 Unique Australian Customs Every Immigrant Must Know

5 Unique Australian Customs Every Immigrant Must Know


Australia is known for many things—its great outdoors, its endemic species, and its friendly people. But we all know that there’s more to these, and perhaps a lot of them could only be discovered and understood when you live or spend time with the locals.
 
Surely, the laid-back office culture (flip-flops, almost flat hierarchy) and the bizarre taxi rule (back seat is not for individual travellers) would surprise. Add to this their striking accents and the easy-going demeanour, it's hard not to fall in love with this beautiful country.
 
Here are five more items to add to the list of unique traits only found in the land down under:
 
  1. Laid-back, but not lazy
 
Australians are known for being the most laid-back people in the world. The country is replete with beautiful beaches, greens, and great hiking spots, so there's a nice balance of city and outback adventures.
 
But don’t confuse their chilled vibes with their work attitude. A recent study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) suggests that Australians are amongst the most hard-working nations in the world. It states that Australian workers devoted 1,664 hours to work in 2014; a staggering amount to put them high in the rankings in the global organisation’s Top-38 list.
 
A new report from CNN says Australian workers spend 32.4 hours per week, second only to Americans who top the race at 34.4 hours a week. The number is quite mediocre compared with the 2011 data garnered by the Australian government, in which the average working week was 44 hours.
 
 
  1. Almost everyone travels
 
“Why you Australians travel a lot?” Australian travel writer Ben Groundwater admits that he gets asked this question frequently. 
 
He revealed a few answers. One is financial since the country is quite wealthy and its passport is very powerful. He even blames it on geography, because Australia is strategically set apart from the rest of the world.  
 
Groundwater says it psychologically teases them to constantly think of going away, of experiencing what’s “out there.” Furthermore, local travel is a bit cheaper than going international. But in his simplest explanation, he says, “It's a notion that's been ingrained in us for so long now that it's unlikely to change.”
 
 
  1. Unabashed love for Vegemite
 
Most Australians love Vegemite. A study by Roy Morgan Research on global condiments consumption revealed that 85 percent of the world’s total Vegemite eaters are born in Australia. A big percentage of Australians love it, too; safe to say that learning to love the yeast-based spread could help you gain friends in your first days and weeks in the country.
 
But what does the iconic spread taste like? Well, it’s a bit salty and slightly bitter. “With its unique taste and unappealing appearance, Vegemite inspires either love or hate in people,” explains Angela Smith, Group Account Director of Roy Morgan Research. Yes, it sounds weird at first, but for a start, most Vegemite lovers always recommend not making the mistake of spreading it too thick. 
 
 
  1. Dinner invitation = barbeque
 
Don’t expect a fancy meal or wear a suit when somebody invites you to lunch or dinner. It’s most likely for a barbeque. It’s a national pastime; everyone does a “barbie”, and most families own a grill. Almost every establishment has its own barbeque area, especially resorts, campsites, and even local parks.
 
It’s also polite to bring a bottle of wine or beer for sharing. In some parts of the country, the host will even ask you to bring your own meat.

 
  1. The immense sporting culture
 
Immense as in IMMENSE. Or you could say “sports mad.”
 
They say that the best way to initiate a conversation with a stranger is through sports. For Australians, sports is not just Aussie rules football but also rugby, cricket, horse racing, even golf, motor sports, tennis, water polo, harness racing, hockey, and basketball.
 
Sascha Wenninger of The Conversation gave a theoretical answer in his 2013 piece on why this may be: "When Australians identify with a [sports] club, they enjoy a strong feeling of belonging outside of their families and their places of work (which, after all, are not voluntary in the way football is voluntary)."
 
Moreover, a second look at Australians’ fondness for sports gives us a glimpse of another enviable quality: they just love to celebrate life. 
 
 
 
The best thing about Australia from an immigrant’s perspective is that level of respect given towards everyone. For a country that was built on immigration, you can enjoy a simple life without being anxious about blatant racism and inequality. 
 
Surely the country isn’t perfect, but there’s a famous adage in Australia about giving everyone “a fair go.” This phrase alone paints a picture of acceptance amidst a society that doesn’t give a premium to the class system and cultural differences.
 
 

Talk to our seasoned migration consultants to know more about obtaining an Australian visa.
 

 

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