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August 24, 2019, 07:54:59 am

Author Topic: Australia's cultural values - what are they!?  (Read 772 times)  Share 

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Australia's cultural values - what are they!?
« on: July 14, 2015, 01:49:04 pm »
Australia is a unique country with its own distinct cultural values. These values include:


Egalitarianism: this is the belief in the idea of equality for all people; that all citizens should be granted a ‘fair go’. This idea should not be confused with socialism or communism, which is a political ideology.

This notion of egalitarianism can be seen in a famous example, when cricketer Dennis Lillee met the Queen, he greeted her with a handshake and a friendly: “g’day, how ya go’in?”.

Egalitarian cultural ideologies can also be reflected in certain lexical choices. For example, due to the widespread use of informality amongst most interlocutors, it would not be uncommon to hear many Australians use the lexeme ‘mate’ as a sign of friendliness and mateship.


Tall poppy syndrome is the idea that anyone who demonstrates superiority or flaunts their success will be ‘cut back down’ and often criticised for displaying this superiority. Again, as mentioned above, this value grew out of convict resentment and Australia’s penal colony history.

Author Kel Richards argues this is semantic solidarity but also the Australian way of using informality to puncture affectation and undercut authority “This is verbal signage we belong to the same mob. Many an inflated, smug, syllable-heavy word gets a quick snip with the Aussie verbal scissors to reduce it to a bonsai version of its former self.”

This would explain why many Australians refer to politicians are ‘pollies’, which could indicate the intended undercutting of authority, and disrespect or authority figures.


I am sure many Australians would realise that we can be a very laid-back bunch. This notion is very clearly evident in the colloquial phrase ‘no worries mate’ or ‘she’ll be right!’. While the term ‘no worries’ can be heard overseas, Australia has the largest usage of this unique phrase!

According to linguist Anna Weirzbicka, this colloquial expression exemplifies Australian culture and identity, including “amiability, friendliness, an expectation of shared attitudes (a proneness to easy ‘mateship’), jocular toughness, good humour, and, above all, casual optimism.”


Entirely new forms of Australian language are emerging as our accent adapts to the growing value of multiculturalism, says Fiona Cox, a phonetician from Macquarie University in Sydney.

“Changes in accent parallel sociocultural changes, because accent is a fundamental marker of identity,” she says.

“Our dialect is still quite young by global standards but as it matures we can expect some
more regional variations and ethnocultural variations to come into the language.”

This would explain why Australia nowadays has a variety of ethnolects such as ‘Greek Australian English, ‘Chinese Australian English’ and so forth.
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