Aussie Pride: What Australians love about their country

Friday, January 25, 2013

Click here to download the Research Summary

Dick Smith: Australia’s favourite brand

In an unprompted question, Australians have overwhelmingly chosen Dick Smith, followed by Vegemite, as their favourite Australian brand. Bonds, Qantas and Holden were also popular.

Australia and its symbols

When asked about their level of pride in Australia, 39% of Australians said they were very proud and that hadn’t changed, 31% said they were proud and getting prouder, and 23% indicated that while proud, they were less proud than they used to be.

The Australian flag has the nation’s vote for being the image or symbol about which we are most proud. 95% of Australians take pride in the national flag, which is enjoying increasing popularity, with half (50%) saying that they are extremely proud.

Almost 7 in 10 Australians (68%) are proud of the Aboriginal flag, with the Eureka flag eliciting the mixed response with 1 in 10 (10%) being extremely proud while 1 in 3 (35%) are uncomfortable with its use.

“While Australians have always been understated in their patriotic expressions, the overwhelming majority are very proud of this nation, and the sense of pride is either growing, or at least unchanged for most” said social researcher Mark McCrindle. “The connection with the Australian flag is also notable- the highest response to it is “extremely proud” and it is the most embraced Australian symbol.”

The unique Aussie language

Australians still like traditional spelling, with almost 3 in 4 (73%) saying they do not like Americanised spelling being used in our language today, such as replacing “s” with “z” (as in “organize”) and condensing “colour” to “color”.

Australians also take great pride in many ‘Australian’ phrases. 9 in 10 Australians are positive about the phrases ‘down under’ (93%), ‘no worries’ (93%), ‘true blue’ (89%) and ‘g’day mate’ (88%). Nearly 3 in 4 Australians (74%) are positive about ‘dinki di’.

Stral-ya, Aust-ral-ya or Aust-ral-ee-a?

When it comes to pronunciation, more than half of Australians (51%) pronounce “Australia” using four syllables: Aust-ral-ee-a. Over 2 in 4 (44%) use three syllables (Aust-ral-ya) while just 4% go for the double-syllable “Stral-ya”.

“The unique Australian language is in many ways emblematic of the local culture and values. It is dressed down, relaxed and welcoming. From shortening names as a sign of affection and familiarity (from Tassie and Parra to Maccas and Woolies), to the shift to the unpretentious (it’s snags and veggies not sausages and vegetables, sunnies and cozzies not sunglasses and swimming costumes), Aussie English has a warmth like none other” Mark McCrindle commented.

Such a great place to live!

Australians think that the lifestyle, climate and landscape, and way of life are what make Australia such a great place to live. It was clear that the warm climate, wide open spaces and laid back, friendly people work together to set Australia apart from the rest of the world.

Smell, sound, sight: Kookaburras, eucalyptus, Uluru & Sydney Harbour

The natural environment holds the sound and smell of Australia. Kookaburras, followed by breaking waves, are the most commonly used sounds to summarise Australia, while eucalyptus was the smell Australians most associated with their country.

Both natural and built environments come to the Australian mind in association with Australia, with Uluru and the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House being the most commonly named landmarks in an unprompted question.

“ Australia is a very urbanised nation, with two in three of the population living in capital cities, yet the aesthetic and perceptions that define Australia are still of the bush and the outback. The iconic sound of the kookaburra, the smell of eucalyptus leaves, and the sights of Uluru and the red centre still most popularly define Australia” continued Mark McCrindle.


A majority of Australians (57%) now use the term ‘un-Australian’, showing it to have well and truly established itself into popular usage. This research shows the term to be associated with a lack of fairness, respect and looking out for your mates; Americanised linguistic changes (such as biscuits becoming cookies, footpaths becoming sidewalks and maths becoming math); snobbery; and Australian souvenirs made overseas.

No place like home

The overwhelming majority of Australians, 8 in 10 (83%), say there is no other country they would prefer to live in. Of the 17% who would prefer to live elsewhere, New Zealand and then Canada topped the list of preferred countries of residence.

Global perceptions

86% of Australians believe that their nation is viewed positively by the rest of the world, and 2 in 5 (41%) believe this global perception is extremely positive. Just 3% believe Australia to be viewed somewhat negatively overseas, and 0% believe Australia to be viewed very negatively.

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