What Australians think about Australia Day, Malcolm Turnbull and international relations

Almost four in five Australians think Australia Day is worth celebrating, while one in eight do not.

Of those who do not think it is worth celebrating, 65% believe it is a day that represents loss and injustice towards indigenous Australians, 35% say it’s just an excuse to party and drink, and 25% say it’s lacking in any real meaning.

The research from global polling and research firm YouGov also asked Australians what they thought of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

  • 51% believe he is performing better than predecessor Tony Abbott,
  • 27% believe he’s just the same,
  • 36% are feeling optimistic about the future under Turnbull, and
  • 33% feel it will be more or less the same, regardless of who is PM.

Participants were also asked to rate Turnbull’s performance from one to 10 on a number of categories.

Turnbull scored highest in the areas of international reputation and relations (5.88), security (5.79) and small and medium business (5.51), but lowest in environment (5.13), education (5.08), and social welfare (4.91).

57% in the study believe Australia should foster closer ties with the USA and China, 13% believe we should foster closer ties with China only, 7% say USA only, while 23% believe we should not foster closer relations with either country.

62% of Australians believe a ‘fair go’ is what defines the essence of the Australian way of life, and over half think ‘mateship’ defines it.

It wasn’t all positive though, as 17% also included ‘cultural cringe’ in their definition.

While opinions on the holiday still seem divided, the study – which surveyed 538 Australians online between 15 January and 19 January – at least confirmed that 86% of Australians still call it ‘Australia Day’, while 6% use other names such as ‘Anniversary Day’, ‘Foundation Day’ or ‘ANA day’.

8% have no opinion about what the day is known as.

Ben Ice
BY Ben Ice ON 25 January 2016