20 ways to be australian

As details regarding the finer-points of Aussie culture tend to get lost in a quagmire of stereotypes based on films from the 80s, we set the record straight. Read and learn...

by Briony Wright
25 January 2016, 9:10pm

For a far-away continent with relatively few inhabitants, Australia has produced its fair share of the planet's recognisable and respected creative talents. But while the world knows our Nicole Kidmans and Kylie Minogues, details regarding the finer-points of the culture tend to get lost in a quagmire of stereotypes based on films from the 80s. It's true that we may have enjoyed perpetuating the odd cultural myth for effect but don't believe the hype, we're really more nuanced than all that. Here are our 20 ways to be a ripper Aussie. Read and learn...

1. Travel. A lot. We love our country but seem to love leaving it even more. That's why you'll come across a lot of us in places like London, New York or Bali.

2. Start a band, fashion label or magazine. We have a very D.I.Y, creative culture and tend to be encouraging of each other. Plus, being involved in such ventures tends to facilitate the aforementioned travelling.

3. Spend a lot of time at the beach and remember that it's perfectly acceptable to wear a bikini within a 1km radius of that beach.

4. Watch Catherine McNeil's Guide to Australia.

5. Get acquainted with drinking. A lot. People think we're all about beer but we have some of the world's best wines and we don't wait for special occasions to drink them.

6. Wear heaps of sunscreen — on your face, body, hair, lips, everywhere. Our sun is hotter than yours and you will regret not taking our advice here.

7. Say "heaps" when you mean "a lot."

8. Pay a great deal of attention to what you wear but keep it comfortable. Fashion is important to us and we tend to wear a lot of local designers - not only do they make great clothes but they're seasonally appropriate.

9. Invest in a raincoat. Sure we're sunbaked and the red center is given to drought, but from our tropical north to our moody south, rain is a constant. A chic weatherproof outerwear with a hood will serve you well.

10. Go to festivals. We have more regular music festivals than anywhere else in the world and bands love to play at them because it's hot and we all love to have fun.

11. Pawpaw ointment fixes everything. All that sun, sand, and surf is great for holidays but tough on skin. Keep a tube of this magic balm in your bag for everything.

12. Pick a team. We love sports, be it AFL, NRL, cricket, or soccer (sorry, football). It shows in our clothes too—Australia embraced sports lux wholeheartedly. Caps, mesh, and neoprene reign supreme all year around.

13. Swear. Australians are some of the nicest people on the planet, so don't take the salty language as an affront, it's just our style—we're fucking expressive! Hey, we're the descendants of convicts, so what can you expect?

14. Wear opals. The rest of the world can have their precious stones; Australia's heart belongs to opals. Whether they're milky or black, the multi colored stones aren't just for tourists. Local jewelers like Alpha 60 are embracing the homegrown heroes and reclaiming them as the coolest stone around.

15. Pick a colour. From Flamingo Park's Australiana inspired prints, to Romance was Born's riot of tones we love colour all year round.

16. Understand coffee and drink it like water.

17. Be funny, a souvenir T-shirt or novelty earrings can have a place in your wardrobe.

18. Embrace our multiculturalism. Australia is a literal melting pot of people from all over the world and while we have a long way to go with certain attitudes before it's harmonious, the majority would agree that it's the best.

19. Go camping. Our beaches, forests and lakes are stunning and our air is the freshest you'll find. Get amongst it.

20. Have a good sense of humour and don't take it all too seriously. Because in the end you know, "she'll be right!"