• 2023.11.02
  • A melting pot of religions and the Dreamtime.
In Australia, a large chunk of the population defines themselves as atheists.
Of those who are religious, more than half are Christian, with a very large majority being Catholic, although these are slowly decreasing as nowadays the Anglicans and Protestants are constantly growing.
The concept of spirituality is also gaining ground as distinct from religion and this term has increasingly entered common language and literature in the last decade both here and abroad.

As for the other religions present on Australian territory, they simply reflect the composition of the population. Australia has always been a land of immigration that hosts people from all over the world: Italians, Greeks, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, have all settled in this land bringing with them their religion and their beliefs.
Thus, in Australia you will find places of worship dedicated to Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism everywhere and Australia can be considered a true kaleidoscope of religions from all over the world.
In Sydney, I drove by the Al-Zahra Mosque many times. This is Australia's first and largest Shia mosque and it looks great but, unfortunately, it can only be visited by Muslims.
There are many synagogues in Sydney as well. About thirty from my research but I haven’t visited any.
One place I do have visited is the Nan Tien Temple located in the suburb of Berkeley, about an hour and a half south of Sydney.
It is the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere and its name means Southern paradise. It is truly impressive and has become a local tourist attraction. The first thing you notice upon arrival is the impressive architecture of this temple,
Inside this temple there are two prayer halls and the temple palace also houses a museum presenting historical, cultural, and artistic aspects of Chinese culture and Buddhism. Moreover, the place offers various meeting and meditation rooms, a restaurant (serving only vegetarian food), and the Pilgrim Lodge to welcome tourists and believers. The other notable structure is the 8-storey pagoda with prayer rooms and a writing room.

For what it concerns Aboriginal people and their traditional culture, we may say that they keep on living in tight relationship, or even in symbiosis, with the Earth.
They religiously venerate the myth of the Dreamtime which is a kind of system in which man, the universe and time come together into a single system composed of different beliefs. At the heart of this Aboriginal people practice is totemism. This says that if a human being is linked to an animal or a plant by totemism, he will have to respect a whole series of duties and prohibitions in his relationship with that species. This is why Aboriginal people have immense respect for nature in its broadest sense, which includes all living species, down to the smallest pebble.
For Aboriginal people the world was created when the Warramurrungundji came out of the sea and created humans. Then other spirits arrived later and thanks to Ginga the crocodile, Gandajitj the kangaroo and Almudj the snake, mountains were created and the earth, flat until then, changed look . Once the work was completed, they appeared to humans in dreams to guide them from one sacred place to another as Dream guides.
All these beliefs are quite complex to know and understand but it’s fascinating to understand lectures by Aboriginal people on this subject.
At the Sydney State Library it is not uncommon to see exhibitions on the topic as well as art shows and lectures.
They also offer workshops for children to attend and learn about First Nation culture through crafts and story telling events.

Australia is overall a very open-minded country and Australians are for the most part respectful people who accept other cultures and are also interested in learning more about them.


  • 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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