Australia has a unique history that has shaped the diversity of its peoples, their cultures and lifestyles today. Three major contributors to Australia’s demographic make-up are a diverse Indigenous population, a British colonial past and extensive immigration from many different countries and cultures. Today, Australia’s population of about 23.4 million is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse populations in the world.
Although the majority of the population are Australian born:
- More than 75% of Australians identified with an ancestry other than Australian as their first response to the 2016 Census question;
- About 3% of Australians identified as being Aboriginal, Torres Strait islander or both; and,
- About 45% reported having at least one parent who has born overseas.
Around 26% of the population were born in another country. Of the overseas born, the major countries of birth were England, New Zealand and China. About 19% of overseas born Australians were born in non-English speaking countries. In all, Australians come from over 200 birthplaces.
Collectively, Australians speak over 200 languages. Languages other than English are spoken by about 21% of the population. Of these, almost 64,800 people reported speaking an Indigenous language. Other than English, the most common languages spoken today are Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese and Italian. There are over 50 Indigenous languages and Australian creoles actively spoken by Australians.
The major religion in Australia is Christianity with about 52% of the population identifying as Christian. This group comprises over 70 different Christian denominations with the major denominations being:
- Church of England (Anglican);
- Uniting Church;
- Presbyterian and Reformed; and,
- Eastern Orthodox.
Other major religions represented in Australia today include Buddhism (2% of the population), Islam (3%), Hinduism (2%) and Judaism (less than 1%). Almost 8,100 Australians practise Aboriginal traditional religions. Almost 30% of Australians reported having no religion.
Homestay Network and Cultural Diversity
Based on the Australia’s diversity of cultures, languages and religions, Homestay Network works hard to ensure our hosts are representative of this iversity. That doesn’t mean we are able to place you with someone of a similar cultural background to you. We place you within our guidlines for travel to to you education Provider, your age and availability of public transport services to get you safely to and from school, college or university.
HSN – Homestay Network offers a diverse range of host families for students to stay with. You could be offered a large, small or single family of many cultural backgrounds. We do our best to match your needs with the families we have available within a 45 minute travel time to the educational institution.
We don’t like our students to travel too far or for too long to get to University or their destination as it just makes their day longer and they are at risk of getting lost on their journey.
Your family may have pets, it is very common in Australia for families to have cats and/or dogs as pets. In all cases these pets are friendly, otherwise we wouldn’t have the families hosting our students for us. If you are a little scared of dogs – just state this on your application form as this allows us to place you with a family who have a small dog and may give you more choice of host families closer to your school.
Australia is a culturally diverse nation and we embrace the many cultures that these different nations have introduced into our beautiful country. You will be offered a family that speaks English and has resided in Australia for many years, however please remember that everyone comes from somewhere, Sydney is home to people from over 140 countries around the world. This means that we have families of English, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, American, French backgrounds just to name a few. You are welcome to state on your application if you do not wish to have homestay with a particular nationality.
You may find that regardless of your host family’s cultural background, they will prepare meals as diverse as a stir-fry to a traditional Sunday roast or even baking their own bread. If you have special dietary needs or prefer specific foods, let us know in your application and please tell your host family as well as this will help with your integration into your family for the duration of your stay.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us either by email, telephone or send an enquiry from our contact page.