Australia is one of the most multi-cultural societies in the world – one in four was born overseas and 46% have at least one parent who was born overseas (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4102.0-Australian Social Trends - April 2013). Therefore, it is not a big surprise that we have different types of people, personalities and cultures in today’s work force.
Cultural differences can be shown in form of communication to teamwork, perception of time, formality or different cultural calendars. It is vital to understand, communicate and interact with people across different cultures. Below are some tips on how to manage cultural differences in the workplace.
1 – TEAMWORK
It is important to have an open mind towards new culture and embrace the different dynamic on shared teamwork rather than focus on individual differences. See other people’s opinion as an opportunity to expand your horizons.
2 – MODEL THE RIGHT BEHAVIOR
Everyone in the workplace should lead by example and embrace and respect diversity Put harmony before being right and use a sense of humour.
3 – AWARENESS
A good way to get to build a healthy work environment is to celebrate cultural celebrations and make everyone aware of your co-workers’ perspectives and way of life.
The best way to practice effective communication in a multi-cultural environment is by keeping an open mind, have some knowledge of cultural differences, practice active listening and watch your nonverbal communication.
1 February 1858
The first balloon flight in Australia occurs
7 February 1788
The Colony of New South Wales is formally proclaimed
12 February 1814
Government House, Sydney, issues an official announcement of the new discoveries west of the Blue Mountains
15 February 1876
The current state flag of New South Wales is adopted
16 February 1793
The first free settlers arrive in New South Wales
FRIXOS ACHILLEFS LIVERIOS
City: Gold Coast
Why did you decide to do your internship in Australia?
I chose Australia so to get the opportunity to work in an innovative country and gain invaluable experiences that will benefit me in many aspects of my life. Here I had the chance to boost my knowledge in the Civil Engineering industry, and form my skills and qualifications in an integrated way. Besides, it was a unique way to broaden my horizons by getting involved with the Australian way of life, meet interesting people and discover new cultures and traditions.
What made this experience unique and special?
There is nothing more exciting than living and working in the no. 1 holiday destination in Australia. In Gold Coast, you always have the option to relax on the beach after a tedious day at work or why not try some surfing right before the sunset! Undoubtedly, working in a city where construction is thriving due to the upcoming Commonwealth Games, is something really special.
How has this experience impacted your future?
I believe that after this experience my future will be much brighter. Working and living abroad, especially in a progressive country like Australia, equipped me with important tools and knowledge and helped me master new skills. I am more than sure that this 6-month adventure will definitely help me in every aspect of my life.
What was the highlight of your experience?
Surely, you don’t experience every day Christmas holidays under the hot summer sun or next to the beach enjoying some ice cream! And of course you are not used to see surfin’ Santas! Or what about the unforgettable NYE fireworks celebration in Sydney? Definitely, that was a highlight.
What advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in Australia?
Before I arrive in Australia, everybody was telling me to be aware of the fierce sun and to always use sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. My answer was: NO WORRIES! I am coming from Greece! I am used to it! Absolutely wrong. The sun here can be quite dangerous, but of course, with the appropriate equipment you have nothing to worry about.
INTERNSHIP PROGRAM MANAGER
I have lived in Sydney, Hobart and Adelaide and have also travelled to many countries. However Brisbane is my hometown and I truly love this city!
I love meeting new people and I love learning about cultural differences and cultural history when meeting internationals.
How would you describe your work?
My role as an ‘Internship Program Manager’ is primarily about developing and maintaining successful relationships with industry and securing rewarding placement opportunities for our interns.
As we deal with such a cross section of industries, I am in a very fortunate position where I learn something new every single day about a particular industry, discipline or profession. I spend a lot of time making sure that I understand the intern’s career objective and understanding the host organisations requirements. I work with a fantastic bunch of intelligent and professional individuals, which makes for a very rewarding and supportive working environment.
What do you like the most about your work?
I have had a very client focussed career path with a background in Psychology and Human Services and now with 14 years of experience working in Business Development, I love finding the perfect internship ‘match’ and then hearing the success stories, particularly stories where someone has overcome challenges and triumphed! I also love having the opportunity to work on an international stage and learning about different cultures and cultural practices. This is the most rewarding aspect and will continue to reward and benefit me throughout life!
Your message to the interns?
Opportunity is often difficult to recognise. Keep your mind open and see the potential in everything that you do! There are limitless opportunities in every industry and when you combine hard work, a positive attitude and an open mind suddenly doors will open for you.
Brisbane – Chinese Lunar New Year
Come and celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year in Fortitude Valley’s Chinatown Mall. Get involved in the festivities with lion dancers, fire shows, traditional music, cultural performances, interactive workshops and roving street performers to welcome the Year of the Dog. Find more information here.
FRINGE WORLD Festival is Western Australia's most popular festival and the third largest Fringe in the world.
The 2018 Festival will run from 26 January to 25 February 2018 and feature more than 750 events at 130 venues all over the Perth metro area. Find more information here.
Melbourne – White Night
The biggest, most unmissable freebie of all is White Night Melbourne, back with another 12-hour carnival of amazing, accessible culture. Find more information here.
The south Coast englobes Wollongong area, Shellharbour region, Kiama region, Jervis Bay and other paradises. The area is full of dolphins, whales, fur seals, stingrays and little penguins. You can also easily spot wild kangaroos while visiting one of those beautiful beaches.
Lord Howe Island
The island is a World Heritage-listed paradise less than 2 hours flying from Brisbane or Sydney. It measures less than 11km, end to end, and only permits 400 visitors at a time.
Located between Sydney and Newcastle areas, Central Coast is home to several natural beauties: beaches, national parks and wildlife. It is the perfect destination for a short weekend trip for those based in Sydney, and it offers several types of activities such as quad biking, horse riding, zip lining, Kayaking, etc.
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