Australians - The Australian Population
Australia has been described as a Country (Continent) of unforgettable contrasts. In a day out and about the Country, the climate experienced is equivalent of Paris, Nairobi or even Sahara. This Continent lacks running water but amazingly produces food for its twenty two million people and remains with a surplus to export. It has been argued that the geographical position of the Australian Continent and its shape are factors which have defined the climate found here.
The British were the first colonizers of this so called ‘far fetched’ territory. The British found a land they could settle, introduce floras and faunas and culture too in the basis of a European way of life. Australia year’s later never experienced civil wars or revolutions as witnessed in other colonies. It is said the inhabitants enjoyed their toil and there has always been plenty to go around. The much hyped Out Backs have been assessed and life is out there is now endurable.
The Australian is said to prefer a male oriented society, ‘no puns intended’. To those who come from an over politicized Societies. Australia is an ultimate escape. The Australian is least bothered by politicians and his thoughts are spent on life’s better pursuits. There is also the Australian Aborigine. The history of the Australian Aborigine is a sorry tale. They occupied The Australian continent for at least 20,000 years, evidence found through carbon dating. The Aborigines lived in relative harmony with a cruel habitat. Their gentle nature made them victims of rapid development.
Though a free country, Australians are known to be conservative. Couples of decades ago, swimmers at Australian Beaches were obliged to wear neck-to-knee bathing suits. The major Cities which all have access to the sea host three quarter’s of the population. It has been described as the most urban nation in the world. To show case their ‘manly’ culture, Australians are fanatics of sports Cricket, Rugby, Soccer and Boxing just to mention a few. Australians is the first nation in the world to democratize sports. They achieved this by turning sports activities meant only for the upper-class into all inclusive events not withstanding backgrounds.
The Australia Continent harsh in some aspects did not mould the incoming inhabitants; it is the Australian who has shaped the Continent and created the magnificent Cities, which are an envy to the millions who visit this country.
Three quarter’s of Australians live in Cities. These major Cities all lie along the coastline. The country has a population of about twenty two million people. As a result of the large metropolitan population, most Australians are apathetic to politics. They have the vital necessities and can afford life’s luxuries. The largest City and probably the most populous in Australia, is Sydney. The first settlers arrived in this Harbor City in 1788.
Sydney’s feel and mood has been described as magically ‘Male’. A pulsating Pacific Ocean breeze cools the nerves of City residents. Those who have been to America’s New York reckon Sidney is Australia’s mirror reflection of New York. Both are the Hubs of Commerce and trade in their respective Countries. Canberra the Federal Capital of Australia is located South of Sydney and Washington DC is also to be found South of New York.
Observers’ assertions of the male dominance in Australian society may have been moved by the interlarding of speech with the revolting word ‘Bloody’. A past visitor once joked ‘’ An Australian bullock driver will use the curdling word ‘bloody’ more than 18 million times in his working life’’. The leadership of Australia have also not been spared when it comes to the use of this coarse expression, the Premier of Victoria commenting on a demonstration by striking workers said ‘’They can march up and down till they are ‘bloody’ well footsore’’.
The major Cities of Australia though affluent in life styles lack the distinctive smudge of aristocracy as found in the worlds ‘elite’ Cities of the world. Australians are said to enjoy a drink of beer and sun baking. Along the coastline, a stretch of green vegetation graces the land from Melbourne to Cape York up North. Australia is truly a modern form of social existence, where people converge in Cities and live luxuriously. Australians are true metropolitans of the new age.
Population of Australia
Population of Australia owing to its historical developments and governmental policies consists of people of different races, religion and countries. At first it was the land of the "Aboriginals" the original inhabitants of Australia.
The mingling of the races started with the formation of the colonial settlements of the English people during the later half of the 18 the century. They were followed by the people from the rest of the world, the majority of them being the Asians, giving the Australian population a diverse look.
There were the Chinese, Vietnamese, Indians and the Sri Lankans. They came to this island treasured with riches mainly in search of jobs and finally settled there and this all forms the Australian population.
Where on Earth Am I?
Where on Earth Am I?
by Luh S., Indonesia
As a teacher who sometimes talked about Australian culture with my students, surprisingly I was very shocked when I actually got to Australia. The differences to Indonesia were massive. The weather and the food were the first two things I found a bit hard to adjust to but after one month I got used to them. However, I am still in the process of understanding the habits and customs here. Some things are quite acceptable to my Indonesian point of view but plenty are a bit strange. Among them, communication and manners seem to be the things which often confuse me.
Most Australian are very decisive and determined in their communication style. They say yes or no very confidently and they refuse something if they don’t want or like it. In contrast as an Indonesian, I find it very difficult to show my “I don’t like it” feeling. I am afraid of making people disappointed and upset. Australians are also very open. They will say ‘bad or good’ depending on what they think. In Indonesia however, people try to please their new acquaintances by only saying good things.
Cartoon "What do you think?"
How Australians Use Slang
In Indonesia, ‘bahasa gaul’ is usually only used by young people in cities. In contrast, in Australia slang is used by both young and older people to create a sense of closeness and informality. Some slang is quite easy to understand because it still has a connection with the real meaning, like footy for football, ‘built like a brick shit house’ for a massively strong man, telly for television. I was totally confused however, when my friend said “Bob’s your uncle” because the fact is I don’t have an uncle named Bob. Later, I found out what he meant was “everything is A OK!”, or "I agree with you". Australians also really like saying” up” and “down”. They often say things like ‘the bag is up here’…or ‘I live down here’…. Even though sometimes the thing they refer to is neither up or down but is in a flat place.
Australia is the only country in the world that is its own continent and has a land mass of roughly the same size as the continental United States. And offers visitors some of the most diverse scenery seen anywhere in the world. Australia is a country of roughly 20 million people and will continue to grow at an extraordinary rate over the next 30 years to accommodate another 15 million by 2040. Australia is one of the largest mineral exporters in the world and has significant contracts with China, the USA, and Japan for raw material. So there is a lot more to Australia that meets the eye.
Life in Australia happens on the east coast and over 85% of Aussies find their home there. The east coast of Australia was the region that was settled first by Europeans at the end of the 18th century and the colony of New South Wales spent its first worrying years near starvation and under the assault of some of the indigenous clans that made their home in the area that would become Sydney. It was a miracle that the new colony even got off the ground in the first place, but through plucky determination, dumb luck and the inspired leadership of Arthur Phillip and his humanity that the colony flourished and continued to grow over the next decade. Norfolk Island, Hobart, Melbourne and the colony in Redcliffe were born over the next 30 years and the country began to take shape becoming the Commonwealth of Australia at the turn of the 20th century. It is interesting to note that those first settlers thought that the country could not sustain a farming community in the European model, but over time flood plains were discovered in New South Wales and Victoria and significant farming was underway.
But people don’t come to Australia to hear stories about farming, but come to see many of the awesome sights that Australians pass by everyday and take no notice of at all. Australia has some extraordinary man-made and natural sights in the world. The greatest of the man-made sights is the Sydney Opera House that stands in Sydney Harbour welcoming the ships of the world to come and find safety in the world’s largest deep water harbour. Sydney Opera House is still relatively young though and was only completed in the 70’s after significant dispute between the parties involved in its design, development and construction. The designer of the Sydney Opera House has never seen it and most probably never will having ambiguous feelings about the other parties involved in the creation of this icon of the world.
Of the great natural sights that Australia has to offer two stand out more than many of the others, although significant in themselves. And they are Ulura (Ayers Rock) and the Great Barrier Reef on the Queensland Coast. Ulura is not quite in the heart of Australia, but is pretty close to it and is a significant spiritual place for many indigenous people in the area. Ulura still remains one of the country’s significant international icons and a tourist Mecca for millions of people throughout the world. While the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s most significant reef and has many gateways to it on the Queensland coast and has been the subject of more documentary films than anything else in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is a diving wonderland and has seen significant tourist numbers make use of the reef in the past 50 years. The Great Barrier Reef is over 2000 kilometres long and is the home of still many undiscovered species of fish and sea life that has not been catalogued. So the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef is paramount for Australia.
There are four major culture myths that make up the Australian psyche and if you are going to do life in Australia then you will need to understand them a little.
‘The Australian Dream’ is the myth that developed largely out of the prosperity of the 1950’s and centres around the ownership of property, a house in particular. It is reported that the number one desire of most Australian families is to own a house in the suburbs and on the surface this seems to be true. And can be testified too because of the large urban sprawl that spread out from all Australian state capitals since the end of the Second World War when those veteran’s who survived the campaigns in North Africa and the Pacific returned home to settle down and start families. The Australian Dream is the dream of middle class Australian’s and it is a significant rite of passage for many people in that socio-economic group, up there with getting married and first communion. While the promise (opportunity) of home ownership is a significant drive for many of the recent and diverse migrants to Australia, ‘The Australian Dream’ is the country’s most capitalistic myth and lays at the heart of economic life in the country.
The notion of ‘The Fair Go’ underpins the essential democratic nature of the country. It is ironic that, in spite of this myth and the belief that Australian’s have about themselves that they are a people who are devoid of a class system. Australia is a fierce international competitor in the sporting arena and expectations of Aussie’s winning looms large over all Australian athletes. There are also divisions within Australian society and it is still difficult for indigenous Australians to get a foothold in society. But the myth serves its purpose and it is still widely believed and all Australians can use the myth in their favour when they are moving through the different stations of life. Even international students when they come up against difficulty in Australia can appeal to people to give them a ‘Fair Go’ and find that people often will.
Many Australian’s believe that they are an ‘Underdog’ and the idea of always supporting the ‘Underdog’ is as old as the Bible where the young shepherd boy David defeated the Philistine monstrosity Goliath in a fight to the death and support for the ‘Underdog’ is an essential myth of many cultures around the world. Not just Australia. But Australian’s have turned support for the ‘Underdog’ into an art form that has made them buy swimming pools for Senegalese swimmers who came last in their Olympic heats, supporting the Japanese rugby union side when they did not have a hope in Hades of winning and becoming the cheer squad for mediocre English cricketer Phil Tufnell. Supporting the ‘Underdog’ is by far Australian’s most endearing trait and it is when Australians support someone who they believe to be an ‘Underdog’ they that are at their most ego evasive. The support of the ‘Underdog’ is a purely emotional response to a person’s plight but it has a purpose and it is good to know that people will help you if they perceive you as an ‘Underdog’.
So from here we turn to one of the negative cultural myths in Australia. And that is the idea of ‘Culture Cringe’. No element of the Australian psyche has been more satirized then Australian’s sense of shame about their place in the world. Many Australian’s are (still) ashamed about where they come from. And it can be off putting for many visitors to Australia. Bill Bryson in his book ‘Down Under’ commented about this when he met an Australian woman in a rural town who insisted on telling him how awful Australians were. He said Australian’s at their most neurotic were downright frightening and he is right. And there was the time at a comedy gala in Canada when Australian comedian Adam Hill insisted on apologizing for Steve Irwin, in spite of the fact that Irwin was a cultural icon in North America who changed the nature of documentary film making. In reality Aussies do not have a lot to be ashamed off and play themselves down by insisting that they are a second rate people who have not achieved anything. While the fact of the matter is, is that Australia is a diverse society that administers itself well, has produced some extraordinary people and is seen as quirky alternative to the United States and Britain.
English is the language most used in Australia, although it is still not an official language. 80% of Australians use English in their home and Australian English is seen as an alternative to the language of the UK and US. Australian English is the 6th largest style of English used and Australian English is the inspiration for many of the weird phrases used by other English speakers throughout the world. Australian English has its own unique accent and vocabulary and is spoken broadly, generally and culturally. There seems to be no class divisions with the use of the different accents although middle class Aussies and women tend to speak with a general accent and upper class Australian women speak with a cultured accent. While a considerable portion of 2nd generation Australian’s are bilingual and there are 70 indigenous languages been spoken today throughout the country. Chinese is the second most common language in Australia, while Italian and Greek come in third and fourth. Australia has its own sign language spoken by roughly 7000 hearing impaired people called AUSLAN. As an international student you will need to have a good grasp on the English language and it is good to know that Australia is one of the administrators of IELTS and English language schools are common throughout the country and can be found in all major universities. YourGo To Australia Agent will help direct you to the best language school for you and a list of language schools can found at the Go To Australia website.