Australia is generally recognized as a relaxed and informal nation. In most instances a first name or Christian name is used as the form of address. Men will usually shake hands with each other. Hand shaking can signify many things including, friendship, trust and respect. It is common for women also to shake hands especially in more formal or business situations.
In greeting people regardless of status Australian’s will always make eye contact. Not to look at someone when speaking to them is regarded as rude and promotes mistrust. On greeting each other Australian’s will often show affection with either an embrace or a kiss or both. This does not signify a romantic attachment but friendship and affection. Both men and women will greet in this way.
Informality does not mean a lack of respect in Australian culture. Children are expected to respect their parents and their elders in general. Respect is also shown to those in positions of authority whether in the school yard or the wider community. Respect is demonstrated through polite demeanor and appropriate body language. Australian’s are generally very welcoming and accepting of newcomers and expect personal introductions.