Welcome to Australia
The culture of Australia is essentially a Western culture influenced by the unique geography of the Australian continent, the diverse input of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other Oceanian people, the British colonisation of Australia that began in 1788, and the various waves of multi-ethnic migration that followed. Evidence of a significant Anglo-Celtic heritage includes the predominance of the English language, the existence of a democratic system of government drawing upon the British traditions of Westminster Government, Parliamentarianism and constitutional monarchy, American constitutionalist and federalist traditions, Christianity as the dominant religion, and the popularity of sports originating in (or influenced by) the British Isles. Australian culture has diverged significantly since British settlement.
Festival and Holidays
Traditionally, work, public or private, were entitled to take off a public holiday with regular pay. In recent years this tradition has changed somewhat. For example, businesses that are normally open on a public holiday may request employees to work on the day, and refusal can only be denied by the employer on reasonable business grounds.
The entitlement to penalty rates was eliminated entirely in many workplaces under WorkChoices; however since the implementation of the Fair Work Act 2009 and the modern awards in 2010, most public holiday penalty rates have increased dramatically. Currently, employees are generally paid at a penalty rate—usually 2.5 times (known as "double time and a half") the base rate of pay.
Besides designating days as public holidays, some of these days are also designated as restricted trading days.
Public holidays are determined by a combination of:
- Statutes, with specific gazetting of public holidays; and
- Industrial awards and agreements.
If a standard public holiday falls on a weekend, a substitute public holiday will sometimes be observed on the first non-weekend day (usually Monday) after the weekend, whether by virtue of the public holiday legislation or by ad hocproclamation. If a worker is required to work on a public holiday or substituted public holiday, they will usually be entitled to be paid at a holiday penalty rate.
All states have their own public holidays in addition to national public holidays, and in some states public holidays are provided on a local basis, such as Melbourne Cup Day.
Alcohol licences in many states prevent sale of alcohol on certain public holidays, such as Good Friday.
Sydney Festival (January)
National Multicultural Festival, Canberra (February)
th International Arts Festival (February–March)
Adelaide Festival of Arts (March)
Ten Days on the Island, Tasmania (March)
Brisbane Festival (September)
Melbourne International Arts Festival (October)
Darwin Festival (August)
Thing to do
The Great Ocean Road
The Grampians National Park
The Great Reef Barrier
Kakdu National Park
Wine Glass Bay