Australian values can be summed up rather succinctly. Show tolerance, respect other people, play fair, give people freedom and equality, and remember to take care of the planet. Like the United States, Australia is a bit of a melting pot of people from the native Aboriginal culture to European immigrants. This created an inclusive community where customs and etiquette adjust depending on the setting.
Laid back is not simply a description; it’s a way of life in Australia. The people here love holidays, entertaining friends and family and enjoy travel. Nonetheless, there is also a strong work ethic, no matter the job – it matters. The idea of the “self made” person has not gone by the wayside here. If you want to honestly try and stick with a goal, then you get the “fair go” as they say.
Sports and social events certainly figure into the Australian lifestyle, as does barbecue, which seems to be nearly a national pastime. The phrase “no worries” sums up their lifestyle beautifully – no matter the problem, there is always a solution or an alternative. If you’re looking at a wall, get a ladder and hop over it. But don’t rush. Tackle every issue individually. By the way, this ideology expands to driving too – you actually have polite drivers in Australia who will let you in without honking!
Help your Neighbor; Help yourself
There seems to be an underlying sense of community support in Australian values. When people hear of a problem, they set up fundraisers or volunteer to help. From floods to bushfires, this land has seen more than one disaster, and the locals are ready, willing and able to step up to make things better.
It does not matter what “status” you have in life here – its more about what you do and who you are. Walk your talk, and you’ll find respect in this Nation. And don’t forget your manners. Please and thank you are tools for relationship building, and words that others notice. Be on time for meetings, and if invited to a social occasion bring a little token for the hosts – chocolates, flowers or cake are nearly always welcomed, unless it's a gathering of males, where beer may be the choice.
Business is, well, business in Australia. There is no need to know someone for years before negotiations. Business communications tend to be very direct and no-nonsense with a touch of humor to keep things interesting. As with social events, however, punctuality is not simply preferred, it’s necessary as is being straight forward. Put your proposal on the table and let it speak for itself without sentimentality. Your facts and figures are the key to success.
Keep business meetings brief. Australian values and business etiquette appreciate the LACK of small talk in this setting. Listen actively. Don’t expect to bargain – you will either get an offer or be told no.
Overall Australia and the United States have much in common but people who visit or move there will still have some adjustments to make, particularly with the pace of life. Immigration laws are very restricted and time consuming, as the government wants to bring the most favorable elements into the Nation. As a vacation destination, there are numerous breathtaking sites that you’ll remember for a lifetime.
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