Australian Values, Things which are

Important to Australian People

Australian values include some of the highest ideals of human nature: respect for the others, tolerance, equality and equal opportunity for everyone, fair play, freedom, respect for the environment.

These values are all incorporated into the Australian lifestyle. Australian people think of their country as a melting pot.

On the one hand there are the old traditions of Aboriginal Australians. On the other, the North Western European customs of the first immigrants.

Both have blended with the numerous social and cultural habits of the more recent migrants of different ethnicity and race.

The result: Australian people are tolerant and informal. They accept, include and respect others and have formed an egalitarian community.

This means everyone has equal opportunities; it is up to them to make their dreams come true.

Australian Values - Lifestyle

Australians come across as relaxed and easy going. They enjoy to entertain, love their sports and their holidays and are keen to travel. But they are also extremely hard working and acknowledge the value of any job, big or small.

I still remember the image that struck me when we first arrived in Australia: a man in his late sixties dressed in shorts, boots and knee-high socks, proudly carrying his tools of trade.

He came to do some maintenance work at the house we were renting. As we chatted the handyman said that he was the owner of several waterfront properties in Sydney.

He didn't need to work any more...he was helping around because this was what he had always done.

Then there is the stereotype of the Crocodile Dundee, the tough Aussie bloke, a self made man, who roams free, loves the bush and the wildlife. And believes in giving others a "fair go".

Stereotype or not, there is some truth in this, although everyone is different.

The truth is not in the "free roaming" bit - most people live in cities and not in remote bush areas. But they tend to have an outdoor lifestyle, enjoy barbecues with friends in the park or at the beach and congregate at sporting and social events.

circular quay sydney A night out at Circular Quay in Sydney

Aussies love their environment, the native animals and plants and protect them. There are various wildlife parks where parents take their children to learn to appreciate the unique flora and fauna of this continent.

Australian Values - Respect and Tolerance

Australian people are generally optimistic, outgoing and confident.

"No worries" is the phrase that comes very often in any conversation - just a way of saying that there is a solution for everything, if not the one that you are expecting, then an alternative. Just look for it and you will find something.

Or if you want to use the Aussie slang for "no worries" then "she'll be right, mate" should be fine.

And did I mention easy going? Australians don't like to rush, they do things one at a time.

In traffic, drivers politely give way to incoming cars and expect the same. Try that in some other parts of the world - you'll either be stuck in traffic, as everyone else will force their way in, or you'll get those behind you honking their horns.

sydney public transport

When you wait for the bus, standing in line is the norm. If all seats are full, better wait for another one.

Standing in the bus? Yes, you can do that, but leave plenty of room around you. And don't go past the yellow line behind the driver's seat.

Australian people tend to be open and direct. And they like to start a conversation.

The shop assistant will always greet you, smile and will probably ask "how has your day been".

Australian Values - Helping Others

Supporting and helping others is part of Australian values. People are quick to lend a hand when needed, participate to fundraising projects and volunteer for charity or community work.

A large number of volunteers participate in emergency and rescue operations during bushfires, storms, floods or even assist medical teams to provide health services in remote areas.

As a new migrant, volunteering is an excellent opportunity to socialise and better understand your new country. And it can help you with the search for your first job.

We joined a bush regeneration group soon after we arrived in Sydney to help with some weeding and planting in the nearby park. This was a very rewarding experience for us: we met new people, made some friends and got some useful tips about life in Australia.

Australian Values - Equality

Aussies usually call each other by their first names, whether at work, with friends or acquaintances. This is just another small proof of an egalitarian society, where status or wealth does not make you a better person or give you more rights.

The quality of life in Australia is one of the highest in the world. It is the outcome of the joined efforts of many generations of daring Australian people who tamed the harsh environment and made it into a friendly and desirable place to live.

Like This Page?

ask a question

Subscribe to
Starting in Sydney News


I keep this private