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We’re really happy little Vegemites:

A survey conducted for Australia Day shows we still think we're the lucky country.
By Motherpedia
Date: January 26 2013
Editor Rating:

We Australians are pretty happy about being Australian.

According to a survey conducted by McCrindle Research, 70% of us said we were, as a minimum, “proud” of our country and 83% say there is no other nation on earth where we’d prefer to live. Despite our claims of being one of the most multicultural nations on earth, when the 17% who broke rank and said they would prefer to live elsewhere were asked to nominate where, New Zealand and Canada topped the list.

Our most popular symbol is not one of our unique fauna, but the Australian flag – despite the fact it’s almost impossible to discern from the flag of New Zealand at a distance and it includes the flag of another country in the top left corner. Almost 7 in 10 of us are also proud of the Aboriginal flag but more than one-third of us are “uncomfortable” with the navy and white Eureka flag.

“While Australians have always been understated in their patriotic expressions, the overwhelming majority are very proud of this nation, and the sense of pride is either growing or at least unchanged for most,” said researcher Mark McCrindle.

“The connection with the Australian flag is also notable. The highest response to it is ‘extremely proud’ and it is the most embraced Australian symbol.”

We think Australia is a great place to live because of the lifestyle, climate and landscape. We believe that our warm climate, wide open spaces and laid back, friendly people work together to set us apart from the rest of the world.

We’re excited by the sound of our country – kookaburras and breaking surf are the most common sounds used to summarise the nation; while eucalyptus is the most common smell.

In terms of the environment, we’re most proud of Uluru as well as the manmade structures of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

“Despite being a very urbanised nation, the aesthetic and perceptions that define Australia are still of the bush and the outback. The iconic sound of the kookaburra, the smell of eucalyptus leaves, and the sights of Uluru and the red centre still most popularly define Australia,” said Mr McCrindle.

While the old song might argue about how to say ‘potato’ or ‘tomato’, one thing we do differ over is how to actually pronounce the name of our country.

  • Half of us pronounce it in four syllables: ‘Austr-rale-ee-a’.
  • Two in 5 of us pronounced it in three syllables: ‘Aust-ral-ya’.
  • And 4% of us just go for two syllables: ‘Stral-ya’.

But however you want to pronounce it, 93% of us would say “no worries” because that’s one of the phrases we’re most proud of together with “down under”, “true blue” and “g’day mate”. Conversely, when the 57% of us who use the term “unAustralian” say it, what we’re associating it with is a lack of respect, not looking out for your mates, snobbery, Americanisation of some terms (eg. ‘cookies’ instead of ‘biscuits’) and – bad luck about this one because China seems to have cornered the market – Australian souvenirs made overseas!

Not only do we think the world of ourselves, we’re pretty certain the rest of the world does too. 86% of us say the rest of the world views Australia positively and 0% - yes, 0% - believe Australia to be viewed negatively.

When asked to nominate our favourite brands associated with Australia, the most popular was overwhelmingly Dick Smith followed by, in order, Vegemite, Bonds, Qantas and Holden.

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