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Business etiquette, language & culture

Overview

In many ways the Australian way of doing business is similar to that in the UK. English is the primary language, although meetings tend to be more informal. Greetings tend to be relaxed – usually a handshake and a smile and first name terms. Australians are modest and often self-deprecating – also it is not unusual to hear colourful language which would be unacceptable elsewhere, but best not to try and join in. Stick with standard terms, and do not try Australian ones for risk of seeming patronising as a foreigner.

Australians place a high value on relationships, but unlike much of Asia, it is not necessary to spend months or years building relationships in Australia before doing business. However, their work is collaborative, so meetings can take some time as everyone may be consulted. Be patient.

Appointments should be made in advance and confirmed beforehand, and always arrive on time as punctuality is considered important. Australians are very down-to-earth and straightforward – if they take exception to something that you say, they will likely tell you so. However, they like the same in return and do not like high-pressure selling techniques. They value authenticity, sincerity, and hate pretentiousness, preferring people who are modest, humble, self-deprecating and with a sense of humour. Any presentations you make should therefore stick to facts and figures, and avoid self-importance.

 

Public holidays

2016

 Date

Weekday

Holiday name

Holiday type

Where it is observed

Nov 1

Tuesday

Melbourne Cup Day

State Holiday

Victoria

Nov 7

Monday

Recreation Day

State Holiday

Tasmania

Dec 25

Sunday

Christmas Day

National Holiday

 

Dec 26

Monday

Boxing Day

National Holiday

 

Dec 27

Tuesday

Christmas/Boxing Day Holiday

National Holiday

All except SA

Dec 27

Tuesday

Proclamation Day

National Holiday

South Australia

 

 

2017

Date

Weekday

Holiday name

Holiday type

Where it is observed

Jan 1

Sunday

New Year's Day

National Holiday

 

Jan 2

Monday

New Year's Day observed

National Holiday

 

Jan 26

Thursday

Australia Day

National Holiday

 

Feb 13

Monday

Royal Hobart Regatta

State Holiday

Tasmania

Mar 6

Monday

Labour Day

Common State holiday

Western Australia

Mar 13

Monday

Labour Day

Common State holiday

Victoria

Mar 13

Monday

Eight Hours Day

Common State holiday

Tasmania

Mar 13

Monday

Adelaide Cup

State Holiday

South Australia

Mar 13

Monday

Canberra Day

State Holiday

Australian Capital Territory

Apr 14

Friday

Good Friday

National Holiday

 

Apr 15

Saturday

Holy Saturday

Common State holiday

All except Tas, WA

Apr 16

Sunday

Easter Day

State Holiday

Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales

Apr 17

Monday

Easter Monday

National Holiday

 

Apr 18

Tuesday

Easter Tuesday

State Holiday

Tasmania

Apr 25

Tuesday

ANZAC Day

National Holiday

All

May 1

Monday

May Day

Common State holiday

Northern Territory, Queensland

Jun 5

Monday

Western Australia Day

Common State holiday

Western Australia

Jun 12

Monday

Queen's Birthday

Common State holiday

All except Qld, WA

Aug 7

Monday

New South Wales Bank Holiday

State Holiday

New South Wales

Aug 7

Monday

Northern Territory Picnic Day

State Holiday

Northern Territory

Aug 16

Wednesday

Royal National Agricultural Show Day Queensland

State Holiday

Queensland

Sep 25

Monday

Queen's Birthday

Common State holiday

Western Australia

Sep 25

Monday

Family & Community Day

State Holiday

Australian Capital Territory

Oct 2

Monday

Queen's Birthday

Common State holiday

Queensland

Oct 2

Monday

Labour Day

Common State holiday

ACT, NSW, SA

Nov 6

Monday

Recreation Day

State Holiday

Tasmania

Nov 7

Tuesday

Melbourne Cup Day

State Holiday

Victoria

Dec 25

Monday

Christmas Day

National Holiday

 

Dec 26

Tuesday

Boxing Day

National Holiday

 


 

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