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Culture, Society and ReligionBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Australia - Culture, Society and Religion
The first British settlers brought Anglicanism and other Christian faiths such as Catholicism, Methodism, Lutheran and Baptists to the country. These were followed by non-Christian religions such as Chinese Buddhism, as immigration began from other parts of the world. In 1901 up to 97% of the population was following a Christian religion. As immigration increased after World War Two the number of religions available grew. In recent years the number of people with a non-Christian faith has doubled as immigration has moved away from the European nations and more people from Asia and Africa are choosing to make their home in Australia.
19% of the population has no religion at all and there is no pressure for anybody to have a religion if they do not want to. Attendance at church services for all religions is on the decline a little across the country but this is a trend which is being seen all over the world.
Australia has a very diverse culture and the society is very liberal. The immigration policies have ensured that people of all races and creeds have settled in the country and are able to live side by side quite amicably. Australia has a policy of equality, freedom of speech and democracy, so that no person will feel inferior to another. The country has a classless society, so that there is no aristocracy and while some people are obviously poorer than others, there is no dividing line between a working class and middle class as they are in the UK.
As the majority of people live in the cities the lifestyle is particularly cosmopolitan and most have a laid back attitude to life. Outdoor pursuits are particularly popular and most people practise at least one sport. Australians are seen as being very informal and will speak their minds. They also believe that everybody has a fair chance to succeed, which has helped to make the immigration policy a success. Most Australians are welcoming to others, are outgoing and keep relationships in the work place very informal.
The country has a diverse approach to the arts and many people will go to at least one event each year. Around 70% of the population regularly go to the cinema and more than a quarter will visit art galleries and museums. Nearly 20% will go to the theatre and opera and classical music are popular with many.
Art in Australia is unique and the aboriginal art is becoming popular all over the world. This is in addition to more traditional works by artists such as Sidney Nolan, Margaret Olley and Clifton Pugh. Literature in the country is particularly good and there are several authors that have a global reputation such as Peter Carey, Thomas Keneally and Colleen McCullough.
The outdoor living which is favoured by many Australians means that family gatherings at events such as BBQs are popular. This is something that is increasing in popularity in countries such as the UK and the US. The lifestyle in Australia has been fostered by the warm climate.
Read more about this country
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