Doing Business in Australia (DBIA)
Protocols: Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners
and Welcome to Country
Understanding the difference between a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of the Traditional Owners
Welcoming to Country and Acknowledging of the Traditional Owners are elements of Aboriginal cutural which are ancient in origin.
These practices are also increasingly becoming part of Australian culture. However there is often some confusion regarding which is
which and who can be asked to give it.
A Welcome to Country is a formal welcome onto Aboriginal land given by an Elder or person of that land. That is, someone who is a
Traditional Owner of that place. As Traditional Owners it is they only who can welcome onto their Country. A Welcome to Country is not
always needed and in many cases an Acknowledgment of the Traditional Owners is sufficiently respectful.
An Acknowledgement of the Traditional Owners is a statement of recognition of the Traditional Owners of the land. That is, an
acknowledgment of the Aboriginal community who historically have occupied and continue to be the cultural custodians and holders of
knowledge for an area. An Acknowledgement of Country can be given by any person, Indigenous or not. As mentioned, an
Acknowledgment of the Traditional Owners is usually a sufficient act of respect.
Recommended wording for an Acknowledgment of the Traditional Owners at UTS events
Giving an Acknowledgment of the Traditional Owners is an act of courtesy on the part of the speaker. Therefore it should be said in a
respectful and sincere manner. It should also be given very early in the formal proceedings. Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning,
UTS suggests the following form of words for UTS staff and students:
'Before we begin the proceedings and behalf of all those present, I would like to acknowledge and pay
respect to the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet; the Gadigal and Guring-gai people of the
Eora Nation. It is upon their ancestral lands that UTS stands. Similarly, I would also like to pay respect to
the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for this
Areas of Discussion
1. Public holidays in 2014
1. Cultural differences Australia and China
2. Economic differences Australia and China including bilateral trade
1. News sources, TV , useful Web sites and social networks
1. Doing Business in Australia
1. Australian business, introductions, entertainment guidelines
1. The Next wave and Lucky Country
”…complex system of concepts, values, norms,
beliefs and practices that are shared, created
and contested by people who make up a cultural
group and are passed on from generation to
generation. Cultural systems include variable
ways of seeing, interpreting and understanding
the world. They are constructed and transmitted
by members of the group through the processes
of socialisation and representation.”
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)
2011, Draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages, Sydney
Aspects of Culture
(you can see)
Order of priorities
Patterns of interpersonal
Concerns for efficiency
Approaches to performing task
How tasks are assigned
Work and learning styles
What motivates people
Attitudes towards work
Attitudes towards planning
Ways of establishing rapport
Attitudes towards authority
Tempo of Work
Pace of moving from
formal to informal
Aspects of Culture
(you cannot see)
Australia and Freedom
"You feel free in Australia. There is
great relief in the atmosphere - a
relief from tension, from pressure, an
absence of control of will or form. The
skies open above you and the areas
open around you"
D.H Lawrence (English author)
• Hero or Villain? – “such is life”
• Notorious bushranger carried
out a series of successful bank
robberies and outwitted the
• Became a hero in the eyes of
the oppressed and Irish until
he was gunned down and
captured in a police shoot-out
Aussie Icon – Ned Kelly 1880
Aussie Icon – Sydney Opera House
Grand Opening 1973
Sydney Opera House
Australian invents 'world's smallest washing machine’
Kate Jones, July 21, 2014, brisbanetimes.com.au
Ashley Newland, inventor of the Scrubba.
Commonwealth and state powers
s.52: Exclusive powers of Parliament
s.90: Customs, excise and bounties
s.92: Free trade between the States
s.105: Taking over state public debts
s.114: Military forces
s.122: Government of federal territories
Exclusive, concurrent and residual powers
According to Google "Australians are known for *"
Source : http://blogoscoped.com/prejudice
China in Comparison with Australia (Hofstede)
What about Australia and China Economic Differences ?
Australian Businessperson - Group Think
Take about 15 -20 mins to think about
some discussion points on an Australian
Businessperson and indicate how you
might build a relationship and commence
a meeting. Let’s discuss
Australian News Sources
Useful Australian Websites
Ideas concerning Australia may be different between Chinese
people in Australia and Chinese citizen. (date: 1st May 2014)
• Sina weibo (132,555,895)
• QQ weibo (3,721,300)
• Taisha BBS (1,228,967)
In total: 137,506,162
• Tigtag (21,755,909)
• Oursteps (14,568,879)
• FreeOZ (4,718,210)
In total: 47,678,151
The following numbers are the Australian-related posts found in each site.
Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2014
Sydney drops from 9 (2013) to 26 in 2014
Melbourne drops from 16 to 33
Brisbane and Canberra fall outside top 50
Adelaide (59) has also fallen twenty five spots
Shanghai is 10
Beijing is 11
The drop in rankings mean Australia becomes more attractive for global talent because
expat dollars will go further, it does not mean that Australian cities have become
cheaper for Australians
The survey covers 211 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost
of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing,
household goods, and entertainment.
How Australia and comparator economies rank on the ease of doing business
How Australia ranks on the ease of doing business
Doing Business 2014 data for Australia
The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation
Getting Credit: Australia improved its credit information system through the Privacy
Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012, which permits credit bureaus to collect
account payment history with improved privacy protection.
2014 RANK 11
Doing Business 2014 data for Australia
The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation
What Australians are Taught : Greeting the Chinese
In China, Westerners are greeted with a handshake along with a slight
A younger person should bow lower to an older person: the deeper the
bow the greater the respect.
Handshakes should be slightly soft and never aggressive.
The Asian collectivist values are not physically oriented. They do not
display a need for close physical contact.
Do not try to greet a Chinese in a customary fashion. A slight bow of
the head is appreciated.
• Casual or formal dress ?
• Work hours Mon-Fri 9:00 am to ~5:00 pm
• Small talk before hand
• Hand shake at beginning and end
• Exchange email addresses, LinkedIn or business cards (often no
• Gift giving is not normal
• Invitations to BBQ after hours on occasions (bring food and wine)
First names used in Australia indicates friendliness and informality
People shake hands firmly and in a friendly manner upon introduction as
well as at the beginning and end of meetings
The business title is often not used
Aussies greet each other with “Hello” or an informal “G’day
Presentation of business card is often informal and might not
Australians are direct like Americans
Introductory conversation before meeting unrelated to business relating to
events, architecture or even sightseeing
Be punctual time is valued by most Australians
Be informal, but courteous
Americans feel very comfortable dealing with Australians
Humor can be a useful icebreaker
Make presentations detailed and factual.
Make brief introduction and then present
Offers should be close to final – Australians do not like to haggle!
Australians commence with being generous but very quickly move
away from being so flexible
In spite of informality and friendliness written contracts are important
Australian English is spoken language
Business is sometimes conducted over drinks/refreshments. Beer is very popular
Buy only when it is your turn in the circle as rude to buy out of
Melbournians are more conservative than fellow
Get down to business quickly
Presentation should be complete but do not hide problems
Due to great distances important to have representation within
Senior executives still have traditional “old school” network so useful to have
relationships with others in the network
Normally no formal seating arrangement
Business lunches are a popular approach to business but after a relationship is established
But leisure time is often separated from business and not good practice to use social events
to talk business.
Dinner is usually about 6 pm and come close to the time but not late
Guests bring flowers or wine but not gifts. Sometimes a tea drinker will accept tea as a gift
but check in advance
A “thank-you”when leaving
Formal evening entertaining once a business relationship established
Home invite is very special otherwise meet up in a club based around a sporting event
Home BBQ with family might be offered
Check dress code
Weekend entertainment very rare
Humor and Business
1. There is no formula for funny.
2. Like chess, there are some proven openings, but you have to do the hard
work of filling in the details and there’s no guarantee you’ll get it right (in fact
you won’t most of the time as you start). And get this – comedy case studies
are useless, once the joke is out copycats are viewed with disdain.
3. At the heart of comedy is the irony of us being woefully unable to deal with
everyday life. For more on this, Steve Kaplan’s “The Hidden Tools of
Comedy” is worth reading.
4. Brute force does work. As a young person I thought Johnny Carson was just
an amazingly funny guy, then I learned there are teams of people that drive
the late night shows. I don’t know why this was so surprising to me, I was
also amazed to hear about the same thing about This American Life, only
about half of the segments that get made make it to the airwaves.
5. Committees never work, it may be funny, but not funny enough to go viral.
This is the bane of corporate humor. Pretty good for 10 people is not even
in the same country, never mind neighborhood of awesome to 1. Even great
to 4 people will probably be ignored.
Humor and Business
6. Humor never works when there is power disparity – making jokes when
you are laying someone off is a bad idea. If you are the big boss you may
be in for a rude awakening when you tell the same jokes and stories to
people not on your payroll.
7. Humor runs the risk of being offensive. As mentioned earlier, a lot of
humor is about our inability to deal with life. That’s why there are a lot of
victims in comedy and that doesn’t always mesh with political correctness
or the PR position of your brand.
8. Much of business is improvisation. I thought there would be a lot of
material here. There are a bunch of books on improvisational comedy.
99% of it boils down to working well with your partners and some generally
agreed to frameworks (again back to the chess openings). The other
theme here that keeps showing up is: do a ton of writing.
9. “Be funny” is like saying, “be charming, be empathic, be service oriented,
be a great product designer”. Good advice at first listen, until you realize
that there aren’t any detailed instructions besides “Listen well, and act
10. To do one great video, create 10 maybe you’ll be lucky and get one hit.
Doing projects one at a time guarantees failure.
Finance and Tourism Sectors
Australia is the eighth largest tourism market in the world and is
fast becoming a major destination for business investment. Located
in the world’s strongest tourism region, and the largest global
aviation market, Australia offers a secure and stable environment for
The financial sector is the largest industry sector by capitalisation
and consists of trading and investment banks, asset managers,
insurance companies, REITs and other providers of financial
services. Due to compulsory superannuation, Australia has the
fourth largest pension fund pool in the world, creating a
favourable environment for banks, asset management, financial
planning and insurance companies.
Australia’s Current, Next and Future Wave of Growth 2013-
Positioning for Prosperity? Catching the next wave
Deloitte October 2013
Agribusiness: Global population growth of 60 million per year will increase food
demand, with Asia’s growing middle classes set to boost their protein
Gas: Rapid growth in emerging economies has polluted the air in the major
cities to our north. That will underwrite demand for gas, a cleaner and
Tourism: This sector is set to double in size in the next 20 years, with Asia’s
expanding middle classes fuelling the growth.
International education: Foreign students are already our fourth biggest export
earner; with India and China likely to drive great growth in demand in the
Wealth management: Three billion people in Asia will join the middle class by
2030 and by 2050 the region will account for more than half the world’s
The Lucky Country?
What do you think with respect to
doing business in Australia ?