Australian cultural companionship, egalitarianism, authenticity, optimism, humility, informality, easy-going, common sense. The culture of companionship, combined with that of the original convict and then the colonial culture, has created an irreverence towards established authority, especially if it is pompous or disconnected from reality. The Menzies government (1949-196) and the Holt government maintained the White Australia policy, but relaxed it, and then the legal barriers to multiracial immigration were dismantled during the 1970s, with the promotion of multiculturalism by the Whitlam and Fraser governments. Educational methods vary according to individual requirements; for example, the education of children in remote rural areas depends largely on advanced communication technologies.
Despite the focus on cultural diversity, the Anglo-Celtic heritage continues to dominate most institutional aspects of society, including the media, the legal system, public education, and the health care system. Groups such as the Bangarra Dance Theatre bring a modern sensibility to the essential storytelling and ritual of Aboriginal culture. Increasingly, works by Aboriginal authors and others from diverse cultural backgrounds are being published and appreciated. While heavily influenced by Anglo-Celtic origins, Australia's culture has also been shaped by multi-ethnic migration that has influenced every aspect of Australian life, including business, the arts, cuisine, sense of humor, and sporting tastes.
Australians have a particular affinity for surfing lifeguards, and surfing lifeguards have a revered status in Australian culture. However, today, Italian food is an important part of the national culinary culture, and pizza and pasta are among the most popular dishes in Australia. Australia's culture is primarily a Western culture, originally derived from Great Britain, but also influenced by the unique geography of Australia and the cultural contribution of Aboriginal people, Torres Strait Islanders, and other Australian peoples. In the capitals, the Royal Easter Shows and the Royal Show Days are held, with annual agricultural shows, with exhibitions, competitions and side shows that highlight rural tradition.
Writers as diverse as Robin Boyd, Donald Horne and Hugh Stretton, as well as the satirical writer Barry Humphries (Dame Edna Everage), drew attention to the importance of the suburban spirit in Australian culture. Unlike other cultures based on a welcoming landscape that seek to protect from others, Australian colonists experienced great difficulties and had to support each other in order to survive. In turn, companies in the process of globalization, from Holden to Exxon, have tried to associate their brand with Australian cultural identity. American pop culture and cinema were embraced in the 20th century, with country music and, later, rock and roll sweeping Australia, with the help of new television technology and a wealth of American content.