Live, Study, Work, Play
A young and diverse nation, the more time you spend living and making friends in Australia the more you will realise that not only does culture exist in Australia, but also that there is no such thing as a 'typical' Australian. The population of Australia is made up of a wide variety of cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds. Due to this multicultural mixture, you will encounter a wide range of social customs, habits and perspectives on life, many of which may be new to you and very different from your previous experiences.
'Please' and 'thank you' are very helpful words in Australia. Australians tend to think that people who do not say 'please' or 'thank you' are rude.
Australians often say 'Excuse me' to get a person's attention, and 'sorry' if they bump into you. Australians also say, 'Excuse me' or 'pardon me' if we burp or belch in public or in a person's home. Again, in these contexts you may be perceived as rude if you do not use these words.
You should always try to be on time for meetings and other visits. If you are going to be late, try to contact the person you are meeting to let them know.
When meeting someone for the first time, it is usual to shake the person's right hand with your right hand. People who do not know each other generally do not kiss or hug when meeting.
Many Australians seek eye contact with the people they are talking to. They consider this a sign of respect, and an indication that they are listening. However, do not stare at the person for a long time!
You can address a new acquaintance using their title and family name. For example, you may say, "Hello, Mr. Smith." You may use a person's first name when they ask you to, or if they introduce themselves using their first name. For example, if a person greets you by saying, "Hi, I'm Peter," it's acceptable to them refer to him as Peter.
Many people will also say 'Bless you' when you sneeze. This phrase has no religious intent and is merely an expression of politeness.
Common Aussie Slang
Aussie: 'Aussie' can mean variously a resident of Australia, Australia itself, or even to describe something as being very 'Australian' (i.e., "His attitude is so Aussie!")
Barbie: Outdoor cooking over a barbeque, usually of meat over a grill or hotplate and using gas or coals
Cuppa: A cup of tea or coffee. “Drop by this arvo for a cuppa” means, “Visit this afternoon for a cup of tea (or coffee).”
“How ya goin'?”: “How are you?”
Loo / dunny: Toilet: “Where's the dunny, mate?”
Shout: To buy a drink in a bar: “It's my shout.”
Tucker: Food, i.e., “Have you had some tucker yet?”
Sheila: A female, i.e., “The Sheila working in the Post Office is very friendly.”