Australia: the 'fair go' multicultural continent nation
Omari, M. & Paull, M.
School of Business and Law
For those far away, the image of Australia is one of contrasts: sun, sand, surf, blue skies, deserts, rainforests, and remarkably unique flora and fauna. Australian people are equally diverse, from the original Indigenous inhabitants to the British settlers, and the subsequent migrants from Europe, and more recently Asia, the Middle East and Africa: Qualities often associated with Australians include the notions of 'mateship', being 'down to earth', equality and freedom. Australians have prided themselves on a 'fair go' for all, while at the same time not necessarily always welcoming each new wave of migrants. Workplaces in Australia are multicultural; characterised by diverse value systems, providing different lenses through which interpersonal interactions are experienced, perceived and interpreted. This diversity at times leads to dissonance and conflict at work. Australian research on workplace abuse, incivility and bullying is fragmented. Recent findings from empirical work conducted in a variety of different sectors in Australia leads to the conclusion that there are inherent abuse, incivility and bullying issues in Australian workplaces needing attention. This chapter will provide a snapshot of Australia as a country, its cultural context, and findings to date relating to negative behaviours in the workplace.