Australia’s first inhabitants were the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who settled the land at least 40 000 years ago. Indigenous Australians have their own unique spiritual beliefs, a deep connection to the land, a rich and diverse culture and an ongoing art tradition that is one of the oldest in the world. Indigenous cultures are a vital part of Australia’s national identity and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples contribute significantly to the arts, media, academia, sport and business. Information about Australia’s history, heritage and Indigenous culture is at www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/culture-and-arts
Australia is an accepting, diverse society with people from many different cultures, religions and ethnic backgrounds. Australians come from all over the world. Around 46 per cent of Australians were either born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas. Although English is the national language, there are around 300 languages, including Indigenous languages, spoken in Australia. All of the world’s major religions are practised here.
In Australia, everyone is free to follow and celebrate their cultural and religious traditions as long as they do not break Australian laws. Everyone can participate and belong to the community as an Australian. At first, you may not be used to such diversity. However, if you are open and respectful towards other people, their ideas and traditions, you are likely to fit in and be successful in your new life.
The Australian Government supports the diversity of the Australian community, and has reaffirmed its commitment to a culturally diverse nation where everyone belongs and has the opportunity to participate in the life of the nation. To learn more about Australia, go to www.australia.gov.au/about-australia