Australian Culture

Life in Australia

Australia is a diverse country, home to people from a range of different cultures and backgrounds. Over a quarter of Australian residents were born overseas and migration has played a key role in shaping the country.

While you are studying at JCU, we encourage you to learn as much as you can about Australia and to get a feel for the Aussie lifestyle.

The Australian Government provides a range of material for people wanting to find out more about the country’s history, culture and lifestyle, including advice for students wishing to study in Australia.

North Queensland and Far North Queensland

Queensland is the second largest state in Australia and has an area of 1,727,000 square kilometres, making it seven times the size of Great Britain and two and a half times the size of Texas. The state is home to more than 4 million people, with more than half of them living outside of the state capital, Brisbane.

JCU has campuses located in Townsville, in the region of North Queensland and Cairns, in Far North Queensland.

Townsville is Australia’s largest tropical city and is home to approximately 189,000 people. It’s a thriving coastal city in a region which includes rainforests, reefs, sandy beaches, outback towns and islands. The traditional owners of the area are the Bindal and Wulgurukaba peoples.

Further north is the city of Cairns, one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. Cairns has a population of approximately 155,000 and surrounded by two World Heritage listed areas; the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics of Queensland. The Bama people are the traditional owners of the region.

Australian Holidays

Australia observes a number of public holidays throughout the year. These holidays are designated on a national, state and territory basis, therefore the dates of some holidays will change depending on where in Australia you live.

You can see the official list of public holidays observed in Queensland on the State Government website.

New Year’s Day

1 January

In Australia, New Year celebrations commence on 31 December.

Australia Day

26 January

The official national day of Australia commemorates Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet’s arrival at Sydney Cove in 1788.

Good Friday

March or April

A Christian holiday to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Australia observes religious holidays according to Protestant and Roman Catholic dates.

Easter Saturday

March or April

The Saturday during the festival of Easter.

Easter Monday

March or April

The Monday following the festival of Easter.

Anzac Day

25 April

A national day of remembrance held on the anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landing at Gallipoli during World War I.

Labour Day

First Monday in May

Celebrates Australia granting an 8-hour working day in the late 1850s.

Townsville Show Holiday

June or July

Show holidays mark a district’s annual agricultural or horticultural fair.

Cairns Show Holiday


Show holidays mark a district’s annual agricultural or horticultural fair.

Queen’s Birthday

First Monday in October

A day to mark the birth of Australia’s constitutional monarch.

Christmas Day

25 December

A Christian holiday to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Boxing Day

26 December

Observed by Commonwealth nations, it was traditionally a day when the wealthy would give gifts to the poor. In contemporary Australia, it is a popular day for sport and shopping.

JCU important dates and holidays can be found on the Important Dates and Calendar page.