Live in Australia: how to become a Real Aussie?

Posted by on 1 May 2015 | Comments

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How to be a real Aussie: Rule Number 1: get the Aussie Attitude!

Australia, as a former convict colony, was destined to quite a trashy future. However, thanks to the harsh everyday conditions, same as for inmates, jail officers and queen's soldiers, a deep sense of equality and mutual assistance developed since the beginning; then 3 typical Australian principles emerged:

  • Mateship
  • Larrikinism
  • Fair Go

What does this mean? These are untouchable principles in Australia and if you don't understand these particularities, you will have difficulties to grab the jokes and Australian comedies, even the people's reactions in a political context.

Mateship is everything symbolising mutual assistance: whatever the situation is, if you know people or not, if someone needs help, no hesitation, everyone will come to the rescue. A typical example was during the mortal floods in Queensland, especially in Brisbane in 2014: 50,000 volunteers came individually in addition to the fire brigades, from each state, to help restore Brisbane from the flood. No one thought it was purely a government obligation, but rather a citizen duty. Try it yourself: stop anywhere with a map in your hand and act like if you were lost, I guarantee you people will come and talk to you directly and offer their help.

Larrikinism is a typically Australian behaviour which shows a certain disdain for social conventions, imposed politics and class hierarchy: “I won't acknowledge any authority if it affects my personal freedom”. It cannot be considered as arrogance, just a deep feeling of equality. Indeed Australian soldiers got noticed during world wars I and II because of their lack of compliance toward the British armies, when orders didn't go their way. As you can notice nowadays, at work everyone is treated the same way: boss, managers, clerks and cleaners.

Fair Go is an institution in Australia: everyone has a place and a chance in society, as long as you deserve it. Everyone can succeed in Australia, whatever your origins. You will quickly notice that middle Management are generally migrants and all the millionaires aren't necessarily Australian-born.

To conclude this first part: you need to forget your European habits when arriving in Australia, such as:

  • Criticise or judge people (about their look, behaviour etc)
  • Thinking you are smarter than everyone else
  • Whatever your social class is, you will be treated equally as everyone else

If you want to know more about this matter, we recommend you the following books:

And the following movies:

We will conclude on these supporting words: You'll be right mate! Good on you! :-)