Australian PrehistoryHistory - AustralianAustralian CultureAustralian SportAustralian IdentityAustralian animals

Emotion & innovation

Group vs individual

Tradition & change

Cults of multiculturalism

Warden & Convicts

Failed revolutionaries

Thinkers and Drinkers

Immigration and emmigration

India Cultural Differences Between Australia and India
Convicts and Maharajas

Colonial masters


Samurai & Convicts

New Zealand
Convicts vs Do gooders

Papua New Guinea
Chiefs and Elites

South Africa
Kaffirs and Convicts

South Korea
The middle-powers

Australia is a big country

Cultural Intelligence in Australia

Cultural Intelligence (CQ) refers to a person's capability to function effectively in situations characterized by cultural diversity. It is particularly important in a country like Australia where around one in two Australians were either born abroad or have at least one parent abroad.

Ironically, many Australians consider the recognition of cultural diversity to be a taboo topic that is akin to racism. In the words of Denis Dragovi, honoury fellow at the University of Melbourne:

“In Australia, discussing differences of culture and religion is often frowned upon. The popular response is to present an image of compassion and universalism, but this misplaced projection of common humanity reflects a dangerous mix of arrogance and ignorance.” 

Admittedly, within every population there is a diversity of individual personality types. For example, introverts from China and Australia may have more in common with each other than with extroverts from their respective countries. In that regard, there is such a thing as universal humanity. Nevertheless, some of the individuals in each population will have a variety of social identities based on things such as gender, religion, nationalism or race. The myths of these social identities will govern how the individual behaves in specific situations. Furthermore, the individuals will have expectations of what constitutes "proper" conduct based upon the economic, linguistic, environmental and historical influences of their places of origin. In that regard, individuals from different cultures often have significant differences that need to be considered in order for offence not to be taken and cross-cultural education to be realised.

The comparisons on this site identify certain patterns and approaches that distinguish a large number of Australians from a large number of people in another country. These kinds of patterns have a tendency to give rise to myths of cultural identities that some individuals will embrace and other individuals will reject. In other words, the differences mentioned in this site only aply to some of the people some of the time. Effective cultural intelligence is therefore identifying which individuals the cultural patterns are applicable to.