Life in Australia

Multicultural Population

The population of was 25,649,985 people at 31 March 2020 (ABS). Just as the land is diverse, so too are the people. Nearly 25% of the population was born outside of Australia and have ethnic ties spanning over 140 countries.

This melting pot of cultures range from the indigenous groups, to early European settlement, particularly the UK and Ireland, to immigration from countries across the globe, including Italy, Greece, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, India and Sri Lanka.


Although English is the official language of Australia, more than 2.4 million people speak another language at home.


Australia is the sixth largest continent in the world, yet it has the lowest population density, with only two people per square kilometre. It is a land of contrasts, from harsh deserts to huge grazing lands, sweeping golden beaches and exotic coral reefs to mountain ranges, tropical rainforests to modern cities. It is world-renowned for its stunning landscapes. Surrounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Australia is home to an abundance of animals and plants, many of which are unique to the continent.

Government of Politics

Australia is a stable democracy, with compulsory voting for those over 18 years of age ensuring a representative government. Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of any democracy and Australians have no hesitation in expressing their views on political and controversial issues. There are three levels of government:

Commonwealth Government or Federal Government

Led by the Prime Minister of Australia, responsibilities at this level of government include nation-wide matters such as defence, trade, foreign affairs and tele communications.

State Governments

This level of government is led by various State Premiers, and complements the activities of the Commonwealth Government, especially in the areas of education, social welfare and law enforcement.

Local Governments

This level of government is administered by locally-elected councillors. Responsible for municipal activities such as town planning, building regulations and waste disposal.

Common law is the basis of Australia's legal system. The Parliament is based on the Westminster system of government. Australia is a member of the Commonwealth. Elected by the people of Australia, the Commonwealth Government of Australia governs our nation as a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is also the Queen of Australia. Formally, she is the head of state, represented in Australia by a Governor-General.

Australian Working Conditions & Wages

Australian working conditions are often considered some of the best in the world. Contributing to these high standards is the fact that Australian industrial relations are characterized by high union membership numbers and a federally driven, but state controlled, mandatory arbitration and conciliation system.

In Australia, there is now only 1 major central union association, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). "Awards" are the legal decisions made by independent industrial organizations and they specify the minimum standards of pay and working conditions that an employer must meet or otherwise face legal penalties. According to the Grattan Institute the typical Australian (median) full-time worker earns $78,268 a year.

Life in Australia

Australia has much to offer to intended migrants:

  • Excellent weather
  • Friendly people
  • Balanced lifestyle
  • Fresh air and clear skies
  • Clean and safe
  • Great place to raise a family
  • Excellent schools and universities
  • Peaceful multicultural society
  • Political stability and freedom of speech
  • Outdoor lifestyle and sports
  • Lovely beaches
  • Wide open spaces
  • Technological and sporting achievements


Australia uses Australian Dollars: a decimal currency with 100 cents in the dollar. The currency consists of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar bank notes. Coinage consists of 5, 10, 20, 50 cent pieces and 1 and 2 dollar coins.

Cost of Living in Australia

This is approx. calculation of expenses for one week for one person in Sydney. Cost may vary depending on your individual lifestyle.

Rent (studio unit) = $AU150
Food = $AU50
Travel = $AU30
Bills (electricity, water, telephone) = $AU20
Other =$AU20


Unemployment Rate in Australia approx. 6%. Job advertisements usually coming out on Wednesday and Saturday in local newspapers and web sites. See Links. You also can use services of employment agencies.

Housing in Australia

Homes for sale are usually advertised in newspapers, especially on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you want to buy a house or home unit, look in the 'Real Estate' section.

When you come to Australia for the first time you will need, probably, rent a house or unit. Properties usually given for lease through Real Estate agency. Properties for rent are advertised in the 'To Let' section of newspapers. You should arrange to inspect the property you are interested in before making a decision to move in. To secure a property, you will need a security bond (refundable deposit) plus a payment of several week's rent which has to be paid in advance. In most cases you will also be required to provide two 'references'.

Health Care in Australia

Australia has an excellent public health care scheme known as Medicare. Benefits include free treatment as a Medicare patient in a public hospital and free or subsidised treatment by practitioners such as doctors, including some specific services performed by specialists, participating optometrists and dentists. Medicareis available to all Australian citizens and individuals holding a permanent visa.

Study in Australia

Did you know Australia has the third highest number of international students in the world behind only the United Kingdom and the United States? Not surprising when you consider Australia has seven of the top 100 universities in the world! In fact, with over 22,000 courses across 1,100 institutions, Australia sits above the likes of Germany, the Netherlands and Japan.

Australian institutions are just as highly rated too. Australia has five of the 30 best cities in the world for students based on student mix, affordability, quality of life, and employer activity – all important elements for students when choosing the best study destination.

Gateway College Sydney - we've got it all



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