Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

The Essence of Australia (or rather, Strayl-ya)

This new research from McCrindle Research explores the essence of Australia as a nation. From what is loved about this country, to the songs, brands and products that are distinctly Ocker, this insight into the heart of the lucky country comes just in time for Australia day.

Australia with three syllables, not four!

Australia is a nation loved by its inhabitants, yet its name has caused debate across the continent. Though the English dictionary dictates that Australia is pronounced with three syllables, to the people of Oz it is still very much up for discussion. The opinions of the nation are divided into the following three categories:

1. 13% of us pronounce Australia with just two syllables (“Strayl-ya”)
2. 39% pronounce Australia with 4 syllables (“Aus-tra-li-a”)
3. 48% pronounce Australia with 3 syllables (“Aus-tral-ya”)

Though Australians are divided in pronouncing the name of their country, there are other alternatives if it becomes too much effort. 83% of us feel positive towards the name ‘Down Under’ and when it comes to describing ourselves or something else we feel is particularly Australian, 55.6% of love ‘True Blue’.

Positive about Popularity
Australians have a high self-esteem when it comes to judging our collective popularity, with 87.9% of survey respondents of the opinion that Australia is viewed positively by the rest of the word. A miniscule 2.0% of respondents felt we are viewed negatively.

Social Researcher Mark McCrindle said, “The Australian attitude today is one of self confidence and sophistication. Gone is the cultural cringe, replaced with a global perspective that looks out not in. The “no worries” attitude is still there but with a posture of optimism, and confidence, comfortable on the world stage. In this land Down Under we embrace the iconic Australia of a previous era, yet we connect technologically and globally.”

This is a relatively new term in our lexicon, yet one that 2/3 of us use or relate to. Not giving others a fair go, cheating and looking out for just oneself, were the most common responses when survey participants were asked what they saw as “Un-Australian” behaviour.

Australia’s Theme Song
When asked what song most strongly indentifies Australia, the unprompted responses showed great consistency. These are the top 10 Aussie songs in order of most mentioned.

Top 10 Australian Theme Songs
1. I still call Australia home
2. Waltzing Matilda
3. True Blue
4. Advance Australia Fair
5. I come from a land down under
6. I am Australian
7. Great Southern Land (This is Australia)
8. Give me a home among the gum trees
9. Island Home
10. Khe Sanh

Iconic Brands and Products
When it comes to naming elements that contribute to our Australian identity, Aussies are well versed in their favourite brands and goods. Below are the top ten lists for both these categories, with iconic brands and products that have been around for over a century, as well as newer items which have captured the hearts of Australians.

Top 10 Favourite Australian Products
1. Vegemite
2. Tim Tams
3. Thongs
4. Akubra Hats
5. Victa Lawnmowers
6. Hills Hoist Washing Lines
7. Tooheys Beer
8. Meat Pies Four’n Twenty
9. RM Williams boots
10. Bundabeg Ginger Beer

McCrindle said, “Our lives are increasingly busy and complex yet our culture is down-to-earth. There is an earthy humility in our self-image. When compared to other countries they have visited, over 4 in 5 Australians (80.6%) stated there is nowhere else they would prefer to live. Our patriotism is today more articulated than it once was, and proudly supportive of “brand Australia” without being blindly nationalistic.”

Research method: National survey and focus groups conducted by McCrindle
This research was not funded or sponsored by any organisation. The 475 survey respondents were drawn from McCrindle Research’s proprietary research panel AustraliaSpeaks.com which is a national, representative, and research-only panel of Australians.

For comment or analysis: Mark McCrindle P: 02 8824 3422 M: 0411 5000 90, or general inquiries: Francesca Dalton P: (02) 8824 3566 or E: [email protected]

Contact Profile

This new research from McCrindle Research explores the essence of Australia.

McCrindle Research exists to conduct world class research and communicate the insights in innovative ways™. We specialise in analysing social trends, demographic shifts, generational studies, consumer insights and employment behaviour.
Francesca Dalton
P: 02 8824 3422
W: www.mccrindle.com.au

Mark McCrindle

M: 0411 5000 90


Australia Day, Social Research, McCrindle



More Formats

View QR Code