Helping You Build a Life Overseas

Five Characteristics that Make Australians Unique

There are many things about Australia that set it apart from other places in the world. The physical location of the country, bound by sea and in complete isolation from other countries, automatically imposes distinct characteristics on the island continent. The wildlife in Australia is unique and varied, from the iconic kangaroo, to the cuddly koala and the cagey cassowary. The indigenous people in Australia have a distinct and intriguing culture dating back over 60,000 years, and the landscapes are like nothing else that exist on this planet. Despite all of these original, extraordinary and exceptional features of the Land Down Under, some (including me) might say that the most unique part of Australia is actually its people. Here are five unique characteristics of Australians that set them apart from other nationalities across the world.
A Larrikin Sense of Humour
Don’t be surprised if you don’t get Australian humour right away. Many people who aren’t used to their brash style of wit can become offended by their blunt and upside down antics. Australian humour infiltrates almost every casual conversation and if you are the subject of a joke it is actually a compliment, not an insult. Australians generally direct their humour at themselves or at their friends - so if you are being included in the joke it means you are close enough to be considered a companion. Australians love mocking, teasing or taking liberties of others, all in friendship and good humour, of course. As a newbie to Australia, you will most certainly be warned about ‘Drop Bears’; a famous Australian joke aimed at new, naïve arrivals. 
A Twist to the English language
Although Australians speak English, many newcomers find their speaking hard to understand – not only because of the thickness of the accent, but because of the slang strewn into conversations. As an isolated island, the Australians have had free reign to decorate their language as they please ever since English settlement. Some common slang words and phrases to familiarise yourself with before arrival are “fair dinkum” which means real, true or genuine; “arvo” which means the afternoon; and “chockers” which means full. There are hundreds of other Australian idioms you will pick up, and slowly start using yourself, without a doubt.
Simplicity over Extravagance
Not to say the people in Australia are simple, this is far from the truth, but the lifestyle of many Australians exudes simplicity. Speaking in general terms, most Australians are very happy to spend their time relaxing by the beach with friends and family or at a backyard barbeque. That’s not to say Australians don’t have luxury or additional comforts in their life; there are lots of extravagant restaurants, cutting edge shops and sophisticated art and culture scenes. However, the typical Australian will probably say their favourite thing to do is simply spend time with friends and family, with little external distraction.
A Laid Back Attitude
The ‘no worries mate’ mentality is omnipresent in all parts of Australia. Australians, certainly compared to many other nationalities, are very present-moment focused, not distracted too much by the past or future. Perhaps it is the great outdoors that influences this zen-like disposition. It is rare to see Australians caught up in external events or panicked about things outside of their control. Not long after touching down in Australia you too will probably feel a wave of relaxation as you let your guard down. It’s just something about the sunny skies and the sand lined coast that melts worries away and brings the pace back a few notches.
A Preference for Exploring Domestic Soils
Australians aren’t overly proud as an inherent characteristic however when it comes to exploring their country, they tend to favour domestic travel – and who can really blame them? With tropical beaches, dense rainforest, metropolitan cities, and world-class surf all within their borders, there isn’t too much need to travel abroad. Although Australians also love international travel, many Australians use their extensive work holidays to explore their own state or country, and are humbly honoured to live in a place that offers so much diversity and natural beauty.
You are likely to fall in love with Australia the minute you arrive, and the more Australians you meet, the more you will appreciate their honest, direct and well intended nature.