Greatest Cultural Differences Between the UK and Australia

Culture shock sign

There has always been a history of cultural differences between Australia and the UK and many of the stereotypical observations are light-hearted and humorous, such as how good or bad our national cricket team is, depending on which side of the world you originate from.

There is also a long history of people migrating in both directions to seek a new life, so what really are the greatest cultural differences that people will encounter when they venture onto foreign soil on the other side of the world?


There are many ways of measuring how Australian cultural attitudes vary in comparison to the UK and one of them is to look at how independent thinking and individual the nation’s citizens are compared to other countries.

The UK and Australia are considered quite similar when it comes to having an individualistic culture which roughly translates into a high self-image and a loose-knit society when people generally look after themselves and their immediate families.

If you are seeking work in Australia, you can often achieve promotion based on the merit of what you can do rather than relying on qualifications.

Masculinity and Femininity

This is an area where a lot of stereotypes can be found but despite the heavily biased beer advertising that you see in the UK relating to Australia, the general consensus is that Australian men are indeed highly masculine with good work values and Australian women do like to exhibit feminine attributes.

Overall Australia could fairly be called a more masculine society and environment than you would generally find in the UK.


If you are one of the many campers who travel Australia then you will almost certainly agree with the observation that many Australian citizens are free-spirited and love the great outdoors, displaying a sometimes high-risk or adventurous profile.

This is certainly a cultural difference that perhaps some Australians who come to the UK for work, are most surprised to witness when they encounter a generally more reserved outlook developed from a hierarchical history embedded in the DNA of past and present citizens of the British Isles.


Life always has a fair degree of uncertainty and some nations deal with this better than others. Australians general have a fairly pragmatic outlook on life and when it comes to dealing with life’s events and emotions are not really shown that much in Australia as people are fairly relaxed and not that adverse to taking a few risks.

This leads to a larger degree of acceptance of new ideas and a willingness to try anything new or different. The UK has arguably a more reserved outlook in that many people worry more than their Australian counterparts would do about things such as making the right impression and how some actions might affect their reputation or how someone feels about them.

People from the UK will often have a good experience of settling into a new life in Australia and finding acceptance on a work and personal relationships basis.

It is also fair to say that people in the UK are on the whole, also very accommodating when welcoming people from Australia who are looking to settle into a new life or take up a new challenge.

Understanding the cultural differences that exist because of our respective history that shapes the way citizens of both nations think and behave, will help to ensure that migration in either direction is a positive experience.

About the Author: Gemma Hobbs is a travel consultant that lives in Australia and has strong family links to the UK. Her articles mainly appear on travel blog. When planning a trip abroad, shop around to ensure your travel policy fits your needs.


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