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Sydney Lifestyle

Living Life in Sydney

Sydney is a cosmopolitan city.  People live in Sydney from all over the world.  Immigrants have steadily flowed into the city as well as New South Wales since World War II.  Although most immigrants have come from Europe, others have moved from the Middle East and Asia.  The mixing of these cultures with those of aboriginal and British descent have created on of the largest mixing-pots in the world.  As an example of the cultural diversity Special Broadcasting System (SBS), Australia’s ethnic radio and television stations that are publicly funded sends out 57 languages over the airwaves.


General Information

By nature, Australians are not pretentious.  Expect a casual approach to both work and social situations.  Use of first names is common, and a life saver may be that “mate” is appropriate if you forget a name.  Australians are known for letting you know if there is something that they dislike and for speaking their minds.  When taking a taxi, feel free to hop in the front seat and have a chat with the driver, this is the usual procedure for Australia.


Mens Matters

Stereotypically there are two types of Australian men.  One is a great friend for a laugh and a beer.  He may be classified as Neanderthal and naïve.  The second is a tough adventurer.  While he may be wearing a grey suit, do not let it hide the sharks dorsal fin underneath.  He is a great fan of sports and loves to let the world know about his great Australia.  Examples include America Cup winners Alan Bond and Rupert Murdoch. 


Australian men like to find a group of other men where they can relax.  Pubs for drinking, Australian rugby (footy) or any place away form the view of family member’s often good places to find men gathered.



Ladies Too

At many Australian parties, blokes gather on one half of the room near the beer keg, and Sheilas gather around the other side.  Women, like blokes are tough and self-reliant.  While sometimes lagging behind in pay, women find employment in fields that were male-dominated traditionally, such as politics, business and law.


Business Affairs 

Greetings-Up Close

A firm handshake is usual between men or men and women when both when they meet and depart, however the handshake is usually practiced between women.  When making that handshake, make sure to maintain eye contact and shake firmly, especially the first time you meet someone.  Among good friends, men will pat one another on the shoulder and women will kiss each other.  At times good male and female friends also greet with a kiss.   During the first meeting, a hug or kiss is not appropriate.


Greetings-Long Distance

A wave is appropriate from a long distance.  Verbally the greeting is gdie or gday (good day).  In rural areas expect to hear “Hoo-roo” as a way of saying good-bye.  Australians commonly use first names, but only after they are invited to do so. 


Other Social Situations

At a party, you will probably be introduced to each person by the host.  At a business meal, the person who did the inviting normally pays.  Exchanging business card using the right hand is the normal practice.  In Australia, use of one hand is the norm rather that the two handed presentation of common in Asia.

It is unlikely that you will be presented a gift during a first meeting, nor is one expected of you; however, you may be invited to have coffee or a drink.  Drinks often accompany business meetings, and each party is expected to “shout” (buy) his or her round.