Acceptable Public Behavior

  • Very friendly and open culture
  • “G’day!” the informal “Hello!” is overuse by tourists.
  • They expect one’s work to speak for itself, so they are not impressed with your position, title, or status.
  • They are not impressed with the latest status symbol in material objects that announce how important you think you are.

Business Attire

  • Men wear a conservative dark business suit and tie.  But different clothing styles may be used depending on the industry, the location of the meeting, the nature of the discussion (it is alright to ask questions about appropriate dress)
  • Women may wear a dress, or skirt and blouse, for business.
  • Informal clothing is appropriate when not attending business functions.  Casual pants are fine for both men and women.
  • Women who wear red suits can be considered aggressive
  • Women are perceived as more professional if they wear light make up/ cosmetics
  • It is better to over dress than to under dress. Even if you are not as well off as someone else, you are expected to dress similar to them.
  • Men are expected to shave each day and keep their beard, moustache, nose, eyebrows and ear hairs neatly trimmed.

Conversations and Networking

  • English is the spoken language.
  • Shake hands when meeting and when leaving.
  • Although uncommon, some women may greet each other with a kiss on the cheek.
  • Exchanging business chards is common among professional workers.
  • They are open and friendly, but directness and brevity are valued
  • Opinions are respected, and opinionated discussions are entertaining.
  • Be an active listener, and ask if you do not understand something in the conversation.
  • Do not hype yourself, your company or your information.
  • Men should not become physically demonstrative with another man, or wink at a woman.
  • Sightseeing and sports are good conversational topics.
  • Being punctual is critical.
  • Maintain good eye contact during meetings and conversations.
  • A single, male passenger using a taxi should sit in the front seat.
  • Gift giving is not a common practice in business.
  • You may bring a small gift of chocolate, wine or flowers if invited to someone’s home.

Meetings, Presentations, and Negotiation Tactics

  • First names are used almost all the time
  • People talk slower or faster depending where they are from
  • Conversation is hard to understand as words are often ‘cut off’ before the end and they tend to run together
  • Appointment times can be delayed-many people obtain a mobile phone number and ring before the allotted time to say that they have been delayed and will be there soon
  • You are expected to look people in the eye during business meetings
  • You can take notes on paper during a meeting
  • You should turn off your mobile phone during a meeting as soon as all guests have arrived
  • Not everyone feels comfortable shaking a woman’s hand…so be ready to offer it but not feel as if you must shake everyone’s hand
  • Men are expected to shake hands firmly but not hard
  • Smiling and looking at the person’s face is encouraged on greeting and it is appropriate to say hello and introduce yourself.
  • It is best to start asking questions then the other person will reciprocate.
  • Personal information can be discussed – but only reveal what you are happy to have passed on to someone else.
  • Do not try to discuss topics you are not familiar with.  Pretending to know a lot about something when you have just read some basic information is not a good idea, international guests that do this are often ridiculed

Dinner Etiquette

  • Afternoon tea is about 4:00pm.
  • Tea is between 6-8:00pm and is an evening meal.
  • Supper is a late night light meal or snack.
  • When paying for a round of drinks, do not pick up the tab out of turn, and make sure to pay when it is you turn.
  • If you have invited someone out for lunch or coffee be prepared to pay unless agreed otherwise. A tip is not always required.



  • It is a good idea, particularly if you are male, to have a major sporting team that you barrack for (either Australian Rules Football or Rugby) – preferably one based in the location where you are living (barracking for the Sydney Swans in Melbourne doesn’t always go down too well!)
  • Be familiar with basic popular culture – it is important to be aware of general topics of discussion and have viewed at least one episode of regularly discussed television programs
  • Only make promises that you intend to keep.
  • Should you approach a line, go to the end and wait your turn.
  • Do not litter


A summary of this information can be found at Executive Planet.
For more information go to: