Australia - Its People

Aussies are almost as diverse as the land we inhabit. Since European settlement in Australia began with the establishment of the initial Convict Colony at Port Jackson (Sydney) in 1788, we have grown to a large, sophisticated, multicultural society inhabiting the length and breadth of the land. With a current population of over 22 million people, you will find most population located on the coastal fringes of this island continent, with nearly every capital city (apart from Canberra) located on or near the coast.

Aussies well known for our friendly "laid back" attitudes ("She'll be right mate"), our love of the beach and outdoor lifestyle, our utmost dedication to our sporting conquests (we have a national obsession with anything AFL, NRL, Cricket, or the Melbourne Cup, and will give a hearty "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - Oi Oi Oi" to anything even remotely connected with an international sporting competition), and perhaps our reputation for thumbing our noses at authority, and beer-swilling drinking habits. Perhaps it's the climate, or maybe our convict roots. Or a combination of both. All in all, we are indeed unique.

All in all, whilst we may not always openly admit the fact, we are proud of the land we live in. When times are down (and we have had our share of droughts, bushfires, floods, cyclones and natural disasters over the years), Aussies are well renowned for "helping a mate in trouble", and we are proud to stand side by side and show our generosity and compassion to those in need when disaster strikes. And when it comes to the opportunity to show ourselves off to the world, we have immense pride in showing off our absolute best.

 Small group of people camping at Sturt National Park, Outback<br />Credit: Tourism NSW; Sally Mayman

The recent Olympic Games in Sydney at the turn of the Century was a prime example where we all worked together to bring the world "..the best Games ever..". No one more proud to display this attitude than the hundreds and hundreds of volunteers, who gave their time and energy - without reward - to show us off to the world. We are always anxious to please

If you have taken a trip from overseas to Australia, probably one of the most asked questions you will have from the Aussies you meet is "...so what did you think of...?

Being a multicultural nation, there is a wonderful variety and mix of cultures to be experienced, both in food and dining through to the many cultural experiences to be found in the various parts of our cities and towns.