• 2021.11.15
  • Australian MATESHIP
“Hey, Mate!” …you will probably hear this expression a million time if you come to Australia.
It is the most common expression to call the attention of a friend or a peer.
But the term ‘mateship’ is a bigger concept: it is an Australian expression that could be translated as ‘fraternal equality’.
Just like between companies or business partners the term partnership stands for a collaborative relationship toward a common project, the term ‘mateship’ means a collaboration between different subjects united by a social purpose.
Mate means friend and all Australians are called and refer to one another as ‘mates’ to mean that we are all equal, like brothers.
This important value has even been the subject of a debate to insert this principle into the Australian constitution.
In Australia, therefore, any social or professional hierarchy is not strictly speaking visible and snobbery or any elitism is literally misunderstood and frowned upon.
You will rarely be asked what schools you have attended, and a good handshake is preferred to conclude a contract.
Australians are trustworthy individuals who like to trust others too…
Also, don't get offended if a stranger greets you with a “Hi Mate!” as I mentioned at the start of this article. They don’t mean to be disrespectful or overly friendly, but they simply wish to put you at ease. And do not get surprised when you are naturally asked “how are you?” in the supermarket or in any other shop, otherwise you risk sounding like a snob without good manners.
This principle of ‘mateship’ will make your relationships much more pleasant and easier on a daily basis, whether in the street asking for directions, on public transport or even lost in the middle of the OZ Bush, there will always be someone ready to help you.
This life where everyone always agrees with you with a smile can sometimes surprise you, especially in the professional life where conflict is always avoided.
Sometimes also in your social relationships, you will never really know if your friends are saying a sincere “yes” or only to please you.
Mateship is considered as an Australian virtue but sometimes it is misinterpreted also because Mateship stands for friendship and such friendship is often between strangers and between men alike.
The term is recognized in Australian English and it has an heritage which dates back to the 19th century.
Australian people are well-known for their civic sense, their national pride and the awareness of being isolated from the world.
You will quickly notice that Australians are very respectful of established rules and laws.
Australians have a strong moral rigor and non-compliance with the rules is frowned upon in Australia. You will notice this as soon as you arrive at the airport and you will see that it is better not to joke with customs.
Australians are very friendly and helpful people with a great sense of humour and therefore they show a strong respect for the value of ‘mateship’.
Even if sometimes their reserved and detached behaviour, typical of their Anglo-Saxon origins, can seem cold from the outside, it is enough just to approach them to break the ice.
When moving abroad, the greatest fear is that of not being able to find new friends but, the truth is, meeting new people in Australia is the easiest thing in the world.
It is an extremely young and multi-ethnic country.
People move easily from one city to another for work or for a desire for change.
Australians are very sociable and strike up a conversation with everyone.
To make new friends it is enough to go out, travel and share your experience.


  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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