Words, Phrases and Symbols that Define 21st Century Australians

Monday, October 01, 2012

Aussie words, phrases and Symbols - Boxing Kangaroo imageOur national spirit is tied strongly to our words and phrases. And it seems that our unique Australian words are not only iconic, but well regarded by Australians. Top of the list was “mate” at 65.6% extremely/very proud of this word, 2nd was “g’day” (60.7% extremely/very proud) followed by “arvo”, “tucker” and “snags”.

However of all Australian terms, “arvo” is the most used by Australians (73.2% use this term) followed by “g’day” (71.1%).

Our unique language is still a strong part of our national brand. From our colourful language to our unique humour, the Aussie lexicon is one of fun. Only in Australia is a redhead called “Bluey”, and a stranger is called “mate”.

Top 5 “Best regarded Aussie words by Australians

  1. Mate
  2. G’day
  3. Arvo
  4. Tucker
  5. Snags

However there are some well recognised local slang that Australians feel uncomfortable using. The top 5 words with more Australians “uncomfortable” than “comfortable” in their use are:

Top 5 “most uncomfortable” Aussie words

  1. Cobber
  2. Sheila
  3. Strewth
  4. Dunny
  5. Crikey

We have affection for iconic Aussie phrases with “No worries” a clear winner (73.7% extremely/very proud) followed by “g’day mate“ (71%) and “she’ll be right” (56.7%).

Top 5 best regarded Aussie phrases

  1. No worries
  2. G’day mate
  3. She’ll be right
  4. Too easy
  5. Fair dinkum

Many phrases were well known and well regarded but considered too ocker to be used in general speech, and topping this list was “not within coo-ee” (12% of Australians have used this phrase), “woop-woop” (13% use this term) and “dinky-di” (18%).

Top 5 “too ocker” Aussie phrases

  1. Not within coo-ee
  2. Woop woop
  3. Dinky-di
  4. Stone the crows
  5. You beauty

The ubiquitous chant “Aussie aussie aussie – oi oi oi” split Australians but overall was rated more positively (45.5% proud) than negatively ( 37.5% uncomfortable).

As Australians we love our iconic phrases and particularly those that communicate our down-to-earth attitude and community values. From the relaxed “no worries” to the generous “too easy”, and anything ending in “mate”, our favoured phrases radiate warmth. However there is a self consciousness and even a cringe factor which sets in with words like “cobber, sheila” and “stone the crows”. We have an affection for our quirky language- but this is balanced with a 21st Century sophistication.

Further evidence of embracing our language, Australians are pushing back on the AmericaniZation of spelling. Less than 1 in 20 Australians (4.5%) embrace American standard spelling (color, organize, center etc) with almost 4 in 5 Australians (79%) strongly or significantly opposed to the trend.

Aussie symbols

We love the flag (79% of Australians are extremely or very proud of the Australian flag) and the “Australian Made” symbol (67.1% very/extremely proud) but have mixed views on the Southern Cross symbol. In fact both the Australian Aboriginal Flag, and the Boxing Kangaroo had a larger proportion of Australians rating a feeling being proud of them even over the southern cross. Further, 1 in 4 Australians (23%) stated they were “slightly” or “very” uncomfortable in its use. Only the Eureka Flag had a higher “discomfort rating”.

  1. Australian flag
  2. Australian Made
  3. Australian Aboriginal Flag
  4. Boxing Kangaroo
  5. Southern Cross

Australians have always been proud of their nation, but in an understated, assumed-not expressed manner. Of recent years this patriotism has been more visible, particularly seen through a fond embrace of the Australian flag” states Mark McCrindle. Yet it is not surprising that in this land of the “fair go” symbols which articulate exclusivism rather than belonging decline in popularity. The Eureka Flag has long been viewed this way, being joined more recently by the Southern Cross.

McCrindle Research Rooms: Sydney focus group facilities [VIDEO]

Thursday, September 27, 2012

McCrindle Research Rooms are located in the fastest growing area in Sydney. These purpose-built rooms are designed by researchers, for researchers specifically for focus groups and boardroom briefings.

Hit the jump for the video with a virtual walkthrough of what we provide!

For more information visit the Research Rooms website, or give us a buzz on FREECALL 1800 TRENDS (1800 873 637).

21st Century Customers: Engaging with the global consumers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Monday, September 24, 2012

Following from our last McCrindle Research Future Forum Breakfast Event, we've put together an infographic which maps out our increasingly global market culture. Take a look below!

21st Century Customers: Engaging with the global generations

McCrindle Research presents the Australian Communities Forum event [VIDEO]

Thursday, September 20, 2012

McCrindle Research are proud to present the Australin Communities Forum, which exists to empower and equip organisations to engage with their communities.

This one-day event will provide a demographic and social overview of Australian communities, it will equip leaders with resources to better connect with communities, and uniquely it will facilitate networking opportunities across the commercial, not-for-profit and government sectors. The Australian Communities Forum will deliver the latest information in an interactive format, with innovative local examples, and the sharing of great ideas.

Join us on Friday November 16th at The Star Room in IMAX, Darling Harbour for a full day's worth of analysis of Australian communities. We'll be looking at Communities Defined, Communities Engaged, Communities Equipped and Communities Inspired. Ticket prices are $495 per person, or $345 per person for multiple registrations.

Click here for more information on the event.
Click here to register now.

Six shifts in Australian communities

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Six shifts in Australian Communities

Australia has moved beyond the isolated, insignificant young country of the 'ocker' and the'outback' over the years to an urbanised, sophisticated and diverse nation. See how Australia's communities have shifted over the years in the table below.

McCrindle Research are running the Australian Communities Forum on Friday November 16th, 2012. Register now.

Read this Social Analysis in full. 
Click here to download the PDF 



Shift 1:
Global Identity

  • Tyranny of distance
  • Isolation from bustle of busy world
  • Independent, separated
  • Insignificant, down under
  • Insecure, cultural cringe
  • Close to new epicentre of world
  • Home to some global cities
  • Global connections, regional hub
  • Influencer, regional leader
  • New posture, cultural exporter

Shift 2:
Relaxed Complexity

  • Stereotypes, clichés
  • Self deprecating, dinky-di
  • Ocker, snags & beer
  • Success in sport
  • Beach & 'burbs
  • Sophistication, complexity
  • National self confidence, Aussie pride
  • Cosmopolitan, marinaded steak & wine
  • Leading-edge technology,
    world class medical innovation, business leadership

Shift 3:
Redefined Community

  • Diggers, cobbers, blokes, mates
  • Give us a fair go
  • Anti-authority
  • Community - geographically connected
  • Male, younger - middle age
  • Rich diversity, community engagement
  • Give all a fair go
  • Anti-pompous
  • Community - culturally & globally engaged
  • Gender, generational & cultural diversity

Shift 4:
Rich Diversity

  • Self consciously embraced, intentional engagement
  • Culturally defined, ethno-centric
  • True-blue = Aussie
  • Little more than food & festivals
  • Different groups & cultures
  • Who we are, intrinsic, part of our DNA
  • Diverse, mature, post-category
  • True blue = Authentic, real
  • Our national identity & way of life
  • Diverse lifestyles, richness of culture

Shift 5:

  • Outback, red centre
  • Uluru, untouched beaches
  • Koalas & Akubras
  • Football, meat pies, caravans
  • Tradition, nostalgic, historical
  • Urban life, built environment
  • Festivals, global events
  • Cafe culture, suburban lifestyles
  • Small business, focaccias, overseas holidays
  • Innovation, engaging, emotional

Shift 6:
Confident Ingenuity

  • No worries - it doesn't matter
  • Land of the long-weekend, lazy
  • Care-free, laid back
  • Less demanding, average quality
  • Tall poppy syndrome
  • Lucky country
  • No worries - we'll sort it out
  • Committed, hard working & social
  • Relaxed, warm but professional
  • Casual, enjoyable yet high standards
  • Celebrate success
  • Can-do attitude

Read this Social Analysis in full. Click here to download the PDF 

Humour, multiculturalism, and the Aussie spirit: The Australian Identity in 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

From our focus groups to our national surveys, from social research to demographic analysis, we spend much time taking the pulse of the community. In the lead up to the Australian Community Forum, here’s a snapshot of Australia in 2012.

Read this Social Analysis in full. Click here to download the PDF 

Australia today is loved for more than its sweeping plains and far horizons. Certainly the old affections run deep however there is more discussion on Australia as a cultural hub, a fashion destination and a nation hosting iconic events.

It seems that Australians are comfortable in their own skin - embracing of this sunburnt country with all its iconic landmarks, yet proud of the cultural achievements and events, many of which are renowned internationally. There’s an understated confidence that welcomes the world to this unique landscape, yet has the posture to proudly list off our cultural achievements.

There is expressed a self-assuredness of our place globally and an acceptance of our traditions, history and Australian Spirit beyond clichés.

The irrepressible Aussie humour comes through strongly too. It is a safe humour- witty, dry and usually self deprecating. Current events and troubles are responded to with a laugh. The old “stop laughing- this is serious” attitude lives on.

Our weaknesses (e.g. the old tyranny of distance and isolation) are reinterpreted humorously as strengths.

There is a depth to our reflections on 21st Century Australia. The iconic language and Australiana is retained and reinterpreted with a new sophistication, and without the cringe.

Read this Social Analysis in full. Click here to download the PDF 

Australia's community spirit: Pride, fun, teamwork, community, freedom

Thursday, September 13, 2012

McCrindle Research is delighted to be hosting the inaugural Australian Communities Forum in November. For more information, or to register click here. As a reminder of what Australians love about their communities, here’s a summary of 5 values and characteristics that define this community spirit.

[ Read this Social Analysis in full. Click here to download the PDF  ] 


Australians have a deep pride in our country and culture which is more often felt than spoken. Our understated Aussie spirit stands in contrast to the overt nationalism expressed in other countries. Forrest in Sydney says “We don’t seem inhibited by the fact we’re at the end of the world”. In the hearts of most Australians the love of this land, her people and achievements just is. As Susan from Clifton Beach NSW writes “Our eternal optimism, “She’ll be right mate” attitude in a world of negativity!”


From our colourful language to our unique humour, the Aussie spirit is one of fun. Only in Australia is a redhead called “Bluey”, and a stranger is called “mate”. Phil from Glebe sums this up well “This is what I like about Australia - we can laugh at ourselves in the face of adversity: The Pacific Dawn docked a few years back after its Swine flu troubles and the passengers chant: Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oink! Oink! Oink!”


Australia is collaborative rather than individualistic. As Aussies we recognize that individual achievement rarely occurs without a helping hand from others. After all we call this the lucky country- we don’t take the credit for it all ourselves. The community spirit- helping out your mate and your neighbour alike shines strongly in the Australian psyche. As Ian from Belair, SA says “Australians are legendary for their generosity and ability to collaborate to get things done”.


Whether at a street, city, state or nationally level, the Australian spirit unites us not just to celebrate success, but also to battle adversity. Having experienced such diverse and sometimes harsh environments and situations, Australians do not shy away from hardship, yet bond together to tackle it. As Tim, from Camberwell, VIC, states “What makes Australia great is the way we band together when things get tough”.


The Australian spirit is enlightened and motivated by our endless opportunities and equality for all. The freedom to pursue our dreams in this land gives everyone the chance to “make it”. As Woo from Highgate Hill, Queensland points out “You do not need to be ANYONE to be someone in Australia! It’s the ‘come over for a cuppa’ kinda attitude that makes an Aussie an Aussie”.

[ Read this Social Analysis in full. Click here to download the PDF  ] 

Mark McCrindle, Social Researcher is hosting the Australian Communities Forum in Sydney, November 2012

Emerging Research Methods: Five generations of research innovations [INFOGRAPHIC]

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Our latest infographic is based on information we shared at our most recent Future Forum Breakfast event. (it's not too late to register for the final breakfast in November!) 

Here we explore the various research methodologies across time, categorised by the generations that they really took off. From the more classical approaches to research such as pen & paper surveys during the Builder generation, to apps, tablets and smart phone technologies in the current Gen Z and Alpha generations.

As researchers, we're excited about the research methods yet to be discovered...!

Emerging Research Methods: Five generations of research innovations infographic | McCrindle Research

For a copy of the presentation from the most recent Future Forum Breakfast event, please click here.

Introducing: The Australian Communities Forum [EVENT]

Friday, August 31, 2012

Whether you’re part of a community-based organisation, a charity, a government agency or a commercial organisation with a community focus, the Australian Communities Forum will deliver to you and your team essential analysis and strategies.

The day will start with a session on Communities Defined -  a snapshot of the Australian Community and our diverse communities. This will help set foundation to understanding your specific community in the greater Australian context and where we are at as a nation.

Session #2 Communities Engaged will explore case studies and strategies to empower and engage with local communities. The session will look at methodologies to engage your local and greater community, highlighting social media and branding strategies.

Communities equipped will be an ideas marketplace where experts will share useful skills and practical tips. Get ready to put your thinking caps on and come ready to soak up innovative ideas.

Finally, Communities Inspired will equip you to think about your next steps. A future forecast, community forum and summary session with a focus on planning for the future.


This one-day event will provide a demographic and social overview of Australian communities, it will equip leaders with resources to better connect with communities, and uniquely it will facilitate networking opportunities across the commercial, not-for-profit and government sectors. 

The Australian Communities Forum will deliver the latest information in an interactive format, with innovative local examples, and the sharing of great ideas.

Friday 16 November 2012   |   9am-4pm

The Star Room
Level 6, The Imax Theatre Complex,
31 Wheat Road, Darling Harbour

Ticket price: $495 each | Group price (2+): $345 (save $150 per ticket)
Includes full attendance, all meals, handouts and digital resources.

To register, simply call us on FREECALL 1800 TRENDS, email info@mccrindle.com.au, or register online here.

Looking forward to seeing you there!
The McCrindle Team

Father's Day 2012: From House-Hubbies to On-Duty Dads, Australian fathers are actively parenting

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Father's Day Australia 2012 | McCrindle ResearchAussie dads are a diverse bunch. From workaholics to house-hubbies, McCrindle Research has crunched the statistics on what fatherhood looks like in 21st Century Australia... including what presents dad should expect to receive this Father’s Day!

A snapshot of fatherhood in Australia

20% of Australia’s population is made up of dads. There are approximately 4.6 million dads in Australia, with an estimated 2.2 million dads currently with children aged under 18. Of these, approximately 156,000 are single-parent fathers, who look after 228,000 children, which averages at 1.5 kids for each single dad.

Stay-at-home dads

ABS figures show that in Australia there are approximately 144,000 stay-at-home dads with dependent children. This means that of the 4.4 million dependent children in couple families where one parent is employed full time, 3% have a mother who is employed, while the father is not.

Fatherhood - a later life pursuit

There is certainly a trend of fatherhood becoming a delayed life stage, with the average age of a new father now 33.1 years of age! The Northern Territory and Tasmania are home to our nation’s youngest dads, with the median age of fathers at 31.5 and 31.7 years respectively at the child’s birth. However, Victoria and the ACT have the oldest dads, with a median age of 33.7 years at birth.

Time spent fathering the same...but roles are a-changing

While fathers spend roughly four hours a day caring for their children (the same in 2006 as it was 11 years before in 1997), the role of the father has significantly evolved. In a study conducted by McCrindle Research in 2010, it was uncovered that men under 30 are less likely to be adept at building a cubby house, fixing a tap or a punctured tire, but more likely to be able to change a baby’s nappy, bake a birthday cake, wash clothes and drop the kids off at school. In comparison, mum’s spend 8.5 hours caring for their children, up from just under 8 hours in 1997.

Work hard for the money

Our nation’s men are more likely to feel their work and family responsibilities are out of whack, with 16% saying these are rarely or never in balance (ABS, 2007). This could be due to the fact that men with chilren do not work any less than men without children – that is, 42 hours per week on average. This shows that while our dad’s are working hard, they still greatly value time with their greatest asset - their children.

Googling the perfect present

Interestingly, Google search trends show “Father’s Day” was one of the most popular searches in Australia... in June 2012! Rather than it being about shoppers getting in early, this shows the globalisation of these events, as America’s Father’s Day took place on June 16.

For those who got the date right, we can see some interesting trends in what presents people are considering for their dads. By using Google analytics and exploring what Australian’s are googling in the ‘shopping’ category recently, we’ve seen some interesting trends:

  1. One search term trending at the moment is for GPS navigation devices. This shows that perhaps dads today, though evolving in many ways, still share one fundamental attribute... that is, they’d still rather not stop and ask for directions!

  2. Soccer is rising in popularity in Australia and perhaps a dad or two is looking to get on field, with a sporting retailer specialising in soccer supplies at the top of the search list.

  3. Hardware and outdoors supplies are popular at the moment, with a supplier of this traditional choice in the top ten search trends in Australia at the moment. 

  4. For the rev-head dad, we are also seeing a car merchandise supplier in the top ten.

  5. The traditional ‘socks and jocks’ approach seems to be going up a level with the advent of online shopping and our good exchange rate of the moment. Over the past week we have seen ‘shoe size conversion’ trending in Google search... get ready dad to receive some fancy European loafers or German Birkenstocks!

References: ABS, McCrindle Research, Google Analytics
Download the PDF here.

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