Australian culture is as different and diverse as the country’s landscape and this is reflected in the food and lifestyle of Australians making for a rich and diverse experience for visitors and residents alike. About a quarter of Australia’s population was born overseas, and almost half of the population has at least one parent who was born overseas.
Australia’s Rich History
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were present in Australia over 50,000 years ago and spoke hundreds of different languages. After European colonisation in Australia and the establishment of a government in similar form to that which we see today, Australia was declared a secular country by law. Religious diversity has been a protected part of Australian society for many generations.
Aboriginal Sacred sites are places within the landscape that have a special significance under Aboriginal tradition. Hills, rocks, waterholes, trees, plains and other natural features may be sacred sites. Uluru, or Ayres Rock, is the most popular and well-known site sacred to Aboriginal people. Located in Alice Springs, Uluru is the heart of Aboriginal Australia. Some members of the Indigenous community ask out of respect that visitors do not climb it.
Cultural Festivities and Traditions
Today Australia has legal protections for religious freedom, and people are free to practice cultural traditions safely and free from discrimination by law. Australia is one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world and is generally regarded as a safe place to live, study and work for people of many religious backgrounds.
The government has a multicultural policy, guided by the principle that ‘diverse cultural expression enriches all Australians and makes our multicultural nation more vibrant and creative’. Government policy also includes a commitment ‘to a just, inclusive and socially cohesive society where everyone can participate in the opportunities that Australia offers and where government services are responsive to the needs of Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds’.
The Australian government, as well as state governments and local councils, provide grants for various community groups to express their cultural heritage and traditions, often in the form of fairs, festivals or gala days.
With so many varying cultures coming together in Australia, food diversity is a national pleasure. You’ll be able to find cuisine from all over the world in most major cities and townships in Australia. Expect to find:
- Sri Lankan
- So much more!