A directory of universities and tafes plus useful information for international students
Your guide to every non-government school in Australia. The best place to begin looking for the right school for your child
|The Australian school year runs from January to December, with four school terms. The longest holiday is over the Christmas period (the Australian summer). Most educational institutions close for at least six weeks over the Christmas holidays.|
|There are three other two-week school holidays during the year, in April (Easter), July and October.|
According to UNESCO figures, Australia has one of the highest ratios of enrolment in primary and secondary education in the world; on a par with the United Kingdom.
Each Australian state runs and manages its own education system. In New South Wales (NSW) there are almost 2,200 public schools, including primary and high schools. Children in public schools typically start school at 9.25 am and finish at 3.25 pm. Some private schools start earlier and finish earlier.
Public schools are free, in theory, although you are asked to pay school fees, which are voluntary. That said, most parents pay school fees and expect to pay extra amounts during the year for school excursions and special performances.
The NSW Government has recently changed fee structures for temporary visa holders. Guidelines are available by visiting the Department of Education and Training website.
Private schools are competitively priced when compared to schools in Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. An William M. Mercer survey of day school tuition fees charged by secondary schools where expatriate professional and management staff send their children found that Sydney schools were less than one-third the cost of equivalent London and Tokyo schools, and more than 60% cheaper than New York schools.
In NSW, there are 3,092 schools, 902 of which are private schools, catering for all age groups from primary to high school. Many private schools are affiliated with church organisations. Boarding facilities are provided within many top schools and fees range from around A$2,000 to over A$20,000 a year.
You can search for a private school in the area where you live at the Private Schools of Australia website. You will usually have to phone the school in person to get an idea of fees and facilities.
You’ll also find private schools listed on CitySearch.
Education in NSW can start at a kindergarten or pre-school – the majority of pre-schools are privately run. Children from two to five years can attend these schools.
Most suburbs will also have a long day-care centre where babies and under-fives can stay from around 7 am to 6 pm, catering for working parents.
Day care centres and pre-schools must be council approved and local councils can provide lists of those in your area.
Fees vary from area to area. There is an opportunity to claim back some fees from the government if you work, depending on how much you earn and your visa status. Visit the Centrelink website to find out about it.
A little on vaccinations
You may find that primary and pre-schools insist your children have been vaccinated against childhood illnesses such as polio, smallpox, measles and diphtheria. You will need to show a vaccination certificate and schools usually ask to see your child’s birth certificate for proof of age.
In NSW, children must turn five before July 31 in the year they start school, although gifted and talented children may be allowed to start school earlier. By law, children have to start school by their sixth birthday.
Children start school in kindergarten – usually called ‘kindy’ – and continue until year six, when children are 11 or 12 years old and they leave primary school.
High school options
In NSW, students enter high school in year seven at age 11 or 12. Students can legally leave school at age 15, however students remain at school if they want to take their School Certificate in year 10 or Higher School Certificate (HSC) in year 12.
The HSC earns a mark out of 100. Universities and colleges set a Tertiary Entrance Requirement (TER) out of 100 that students must achieve to gain entry to courses. As an example, would-be medical students usually have to earn a TER of 96 to 99 to win a place on a medical course.
There are four kinds of government-run high schools in NSW:
To find a primary or high school in your area use the Department of Education website search tool.
Universities and colleges
Australia is ranked 12th out of 36 countries for the percentage of the population that has attained at least a tertiary level of education (28%), just behind Ireland and ahead of the United Kingdom and Germany (OECD Indicators 2000 Edition).
Almost one in six of NSW’s population in the 15-64 age bracket has a bachelors degree or higher and 46 per cent have post-school qualifications.
For information on the entry requirements for universities and colleges visit the Universities Admissions Centre (NSW & ACT) website. This site also provides a course search facility and details of admission requirements for overseas students.
A full list of Australia’s universities and colleges is available from The Good Guides website. The site lists courses and campuses and rates their facilities. It also has sections on courses for international students and corporate executives.
Colleges of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) are located around NSW and offer a wide range of diploma courses – which are usually shorter than university degree courses. Diplomas also tend to have more of a commercial focus and course types are widely varied compared to academic university courses. For example, you can do diplomas in car mechanics, building trades and plumbing.
The TAFE website lists courses, college locations, and visitor and entry requirements for NSW residents and overseas students.
Adult Education courses are available around NSW and topics range from computing and marketing to car mechanics and photography. Courses in instructional topics usually last for a term and classes are generally held in the evenings. To look at the range of courses available go to the Board of Adult and Community Education website.
Guide to Importing Cats and Dogs into Australia from Approved Countries
To bring cats and dogs to Australia, they must meet all of the AQIS import conditions prior to export. This is to minimise the risk of exotic diseases being introduced into Australia. Australia is free from many animal-related diseases found in other parts of the world.
Select the country you intend to export a cat or dog from the list below to determine if the importation to Australia is permitted. If permitted, you will able to download an information package that outlines the AQIS import conditions that apply and the steps involved for bringing cats and dogs to Australia.
Further information are available here by visiting the AQIS website.
NOTE: The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) commonly known as the Pet Passport Scheme, does not apply to cats and dogs being imported or returning to Australia. All cats and dogs being imported to Australia, whether it be for the first time or returning, must meet the standard AQIS import conditions.
Overview of the Quarantine Station Accommodation: –
Australia has a highly favourable animal health status and is free from a number of cat and dog diseases. In order to protect this status, cats and dogs entering Australia are required to undertake a period of quarantine on arrival. This quarantine period allows the Australian Quarantine and Inspectation Service (AQIS) to monitor the animal’s health and become aware of any disease concerns prior to the animal’s release into Australia.
AQIS operates three animal quarantine stations that are equipped to accommodate cats and dogs. The information provided on this page applies to all three. More detailed information about each individual quarantine station can be viewed below: –
Our staff are experienced and carefully selected, ensuring that cats and dogs receive expert care and attention throughout their stay in quarantine. Staff are fully trained and in many cases have prior experience as veterinary nurses and boarding kennel attendants. An assigned attendant will care for your animal/s during the quarantine period.
Our staff are Commonwealth government employees and are unable to accept gifts. If you wish to express your thanks to staff members, client feedback forms are available at the quarantine stations or from the AQIS website.
Bookings are essential to reserve a space for your animal/s. Once a valid import permit has been granted, you will need to contact the relevant animal quarantine station to make a reservation.
An import permit does not guarantee a space at an animal quarantine station.
You must provide an air waybill number to the animal quarantine station to confirm your animal/s reservation closer to the date of departure.
AQIS will not allow imported cats and dogs to travel on domestic flights within Australia. Your animal must travel to Sydney, Melbourne or Perth on an international flight. If there are no direct flights from the country of export into either Sydney, Melbourne or Perth, contact the Live Animal Imports Program to discuss your animal’s flight route.
If your postal address and/or contact information has changed since you received the AQIS import permit, you must contact the quarantine station to update your records.
It is important that you provide the animal quarantine station with a name, address and telephone numbers of a contact person based in Australia in the event that your animal experiences any feeding or health problems.
Once your animal is booked onto a flight to Australia, the airline will notify the relevant quarantine station of your animal’s import permit number, arrival date and time.
Your animal will be met at the airport by an AQIS officer.
You will not be able to visit your animal at the airport.
When a plane lands there are a number of formalities that must occur before your animal leaves the airport and is taken straight to the quarantine station.
Your animal will need to be cleared by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. To avoid any delays with this clearance your physical /home address in Australia (rather than a post office box number or the quarantine station address) should be noted on the air waybill.
Staff will always endeavour to get your animal to the quarantine station in the shortest time practicable.
On arrival at the quarantine station your animal will be introduced to a quarantine officer. The quarantine officer will weigh your animal and check for signs of stress and illness before settling your animal into the accommodation.
Transport crates are the property of the importer; it is the importer’s responsibility to collect the crate with the animal. Any crates that are not collected will be considered forfeit to the Commonwealth of Australia and will be disposed of.
Animals must not arrive on Australian public holidays, weekends or outside the quarantine station office hours. Please refer to the individual quarantine station information for further details.
Two animals of the same species may share quarantine accommodation.
The animals must be sent from the same household and have the same importer and exporter as listed on the AQIS import permit.
If your animals arrive in Australia on different dates, they will not be allowed to share accommodation until it has been determined that both animals have met the import requirements.
If one animal is eligible for release from quarantine prior to the other, they must spend a minimum of 30 days together before the animal is released – this may result in one animal spending longer in quarantine than would be required if they weren’t sharing accommodation.
The decision to allow animals to share quarantine accommodation is at the discretion of the quarantine station.
Should any quarantine, behavioural, welfare or staff occupational health and safety issues arise due to animals sharing accommodation, the animals may be seperated.
If your animals are separated you will be charged the full quarantine fees for each animal.
Eastern Creek, Spotswood and Byford Quarantine Stations: The Qurarantine invoice will be forwarded to the Importer’s address as listed on the permit. This invoice will be sent within approximately 7 days of the animal arrival.
Once your animal has arrived, we recommend you contact the animal quarantine station to confirm the release date of your animal and the amount of the quarantine fees, and to update your contact details.
Your account must be paid prior to the release of your animal. If your animal is due for release on a weekend or an Australian public holiday, please ensure that your amount is paid in full on a business day prior, as payment cannot be taken on weekends.
AQIS can accept payment via EFTPOS, Cash, Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Payment by bank cheque/draft must be received at least 14 working days prior to your animal’s collection. No personal cheques will be accepted.
NOTE: AQIS fees and charges may change at any time. Fees for government animal quarantine stations for cats and dogs.
Animal departure hours differ between the quarantine stations. Please refer to the individual quarantine station information for further details.
Due to the large number of animals at the quarantine stations, AQIS cannot quarantee the return of belongings that arrive with your animal.
Importers are responsible for the collection of their animals from the quarantine station. The animal will only be released once the quarantine station account has been paid in full.
Photo identification must be presented at the time of release.
The animal will only be released to the importer or their authorised agent. This authority must be arranged with the quarantine station prior to the collection of the animal.
If you are unable to pick up your animal on their release date, you must contact the quarantine station prior to the specified release date.
In most cases it is not possible for your animal to stay beyond its designated release date.
Many pet transport companies offer the service of collecting your animal from the quarantine station and provide boarding until you are able to take it yourself.
Pet transport companies worldwide and within Australia: www.ipata.com
The person listed as the importer, on the AQIS import permit, is classified as the owner and is responsible for the animal during the quarantine period, the release of the animal from quarantine, and all associated fees.
The importer may authorise other persons – ‘agents’ (e.g. family members, friends, pet transport agencies, etc.) – by written permission to make enquires, visit or collect the animal at its intended release date.
This written permission must to be forwarded to the animal quarantine station may be given out to the exporter or pet transport agent that transported the animal to Australia. Any other information regarding an animal will only be given out to the importer or their authorised agent.
You can visit and interact with your animal during the quarantine period. As visiting hours differ, please refer to the individual quarantine station information for further details.
AQIS does not allow the visiting of animals of the day of arrival.
This is because staff are busy making the trip to and from the airport, checking your animal into the quarantine station, providing food and water, and settling the animal into the accommodation.
Whilst AQIS staff do not generally exercise the animals, each quarantine station is equipped with outdoor exercise yards for dogs. Importers may exercise their dogs, weather permitting, subject to the availability of the yards.
Importers may employ the services of a private dog walker, at their own expense.
Contact the relevant quarantine station to find out more information about when your dog/s can be exercised.
Your animal will be fed a high quality nutritionally balanced commercial cat or dog food.
As feeding differs between the quarantine stations, please contact the relevant quarantine station for further information.
It is the importer’s responsibility to provide any special dietary requirements, including prescription diets, to the quarantine station for your animal/s if required. Please be advised that AQIS is unable to reduce the daily accommodation animal fee where importers choose to supply their own food.
Do not send food with your animal/s as it will be destroyed upon arrival due to quarantine risk.
Bedding which travels in the crate with your animal is generally soiled and may be destroyed on arrival due to quarantine risk. If you wish to send bedding for your animal’s stay in quarantine it should be attached to the outside of the crate.
Alternatively bedding can be sourced in Australia and mailed to the quarantine station or supplied by you during a visit.
Beanbags and hammock beds are not permitted as a form of bedding.
If you wish to bring in treats for your animal, please discuss their suitability with AQIS staff to ensure that your animal is not overfed.
You will need to discuss the suitability of toys with your animal’s attendant. Some toys can present a hazard. Please avoid toys that are easily destroyed by biting or chewing as they are choking hazard (e.g. tennis balls) and those suspended by string. Suitable toys can be sourced in Australia and sent to the quarantine station once the animal has arrived.
Importers are welcome to groom their animals during the quarantine period or to arrange for a private groomer.
The quarantine stations’ grooming rooms are available by appointing only. Appointments must be arranged with the administration office 48 hours in advance.
Importers can also arrange for a professional groomer to attend to their animals. Please speak to the relevant quarantine station regarding private grooming arrangements.
Importers of long coated cats and dogs should arrange for private grooming. If an animal arrives at the quarantine station in a matted condition or is difficult to groom, it is the responsibility of the importer to arrange for a private groomer.
All private grooming fees are at the importer’s expense.
An AQIS veterinary officer examines your animal within three days of arriving at the quarantine station. AQIS veterinary officers only investigate exotic disease symptoms.
If AQIS staff identify an illness in your animal, veterinary attention must be provided by a private veterinarian at the importer’s expense.
A Veterinary Attendance and Treatment Authorisation form must be completed at the time you submit your import permit application. This form gives AQIS the authorisation to seek veterinary services for your animal during the quarantine period, if required.
It also allows you to nominate a private veterinarian of your choice. If you do not have a private veterinarian, the quarantine station will contact one on your behalf.
In the event that your animal/s require veterinary attention, the quarantine station will make every attempt to contact you. However, in the event of an emergency, the quarantine station will not delay in obtaining veterinary care for your animal should you be unreachable.
Private veterinary fees are not included in your quarantee fees. If a private veterinarian is contacted for your animal, they will invoice you separately. The payment of all costs and expenses associated with attendances and treatment by a private veterinarian is the responsibility of the importer.
All fees due to the private veterinarian must be paid prior to the release of your animal/s from the quarantine station.
AQIS discourages, on welfare grounds, the importation of chronically ill animals.
Importers should take into account the age and condition of their animals as well as travel and climatic stress when deciding to send their animals to Australia.
If your animal is on any kind of prescription medication a letter from your animal’s veterinarian must be submitted with your import permit application. This letter must outline the animal’s medical history, the type of medication required and the dosage rate.
AQIS staff will administer medication to your animal.
AQIS does not supply medication.
Due to Australian legislative requirements and the potential quarantine risk associated with imported veterinary medication, any medication that arrives with your animal is unable to be released from the quarantine station. This medication will be destroyed following the release of your animal. This applies to all medications, even those that may be commercially available in Australia. As such, you should only send medication in a sufficient quantity as required to treat your animal during its stay in quarantine.
AQIS recommends that you check that your animal’s current medication is available in Australia. If your animal’s medication is not available in Australia, you may wish to consider changing its medication to an equivalent one that is available in Australia.
You should arrange for a private veterinarian in Australia to examine your animal either during the quarantine period or after the animal is released. Your veterinarian can then prescribe appropriate medication.
Medication can only be administered between the hours of 8.00am to 4.30pm – 7 days a week. There is no medication administered outside these hours.
There are not the hours that the animal quarantine stations are open to the public.
Importers of animals that require the administration of therapeutics (e.g. diabetic or epileptic animals) outside the medication hours should discuss alternative treatment intervals with the animal’s veterinarian prior to export.
If attendance is required after hours or in the case of an emergency, additional overtime charges will apply.
Female animals must not be more than 3 weeks pregnant nor be suckling young and must be eligible for the minimum 30 days in Australia quarantine at time of export.
Heartworm disease for dogs is endemic in Australia. Its occurance varies widely in different areas of Australia. Heartworm is caused by the microorganism Dirofilaria immitis and is spread by mosquitoes. No testing or treatment for heartworm is required for your dog to be eligible for importation to Australia.
Ace! : Excellent! Very good!
Aerial pingpong : Australian Rules football
Amber fluid : beer
Ambo : ambulance, ambulance driver
Ankle biter : small child
Apples, she’ll be : It’ll be all right
Arvo : afternoon
Aussie (pron. Ozzie) : Australian
Aussie salute : brushing away flies with the hand
Avos : avocados
B & S : Bachelors’ and Spinsters’ Ball – a very enjoyable party usually held in rural areas
Back of Bourke : a very long way away
Bail (somebody) up : to corner somebody physically
Bail out : depart, usually angrily
Banana bender : a person from Queensland
Barbie : barbecue (noun)
Barrack : to cheer on (football team etc.)
Bastard : term of endearment
Bathers : swimming costume
Battler : someone working hard and only just making a living
Beaut, beauty : great, fantastic
Big-note oneself : brag, boast
Bikkie : biscuit (also “it cost big bikkies” – it was expensive)
Billabong : an ox-bow river or watering hole
Billy : teapot. Container for boiling water.
Bingle : motor vehicle accident
Bities : biting insects
Bitzer : mongrel dog (bits of this and bits of that)
Bizzo : business (“mind your own bizzo”)
Black Stump, beyond the : a long way away, the back of nowhere
Bloke : man, guy
Bloody : very (bloody hard yakka)
Bloody oath! : that’s certainly true
Blow in the bag : have a breathalyser test
Blowie : blow fly
Bludger : lazy person, layabout, somebody who always relies on other people to do things or lend him things
Blue : fight (“he was having a blue with his wife”)
Blue, make a : make a mistake
Bluey : pack, equipment, traffic ticket, redhead
Bluey : blue cattle dog (named after its subtle markings) which is an excellent working dog. Everyone’s favourite all-Aussie dog.
Bluey : heavy wool or felt jacket worn by mining and construction workers.
Bluey : bluebottle jellyfish
Bodgy : of inferior quality
Bog in : commence eating, to attack food with enthusiasm
Bog standard : basic, unadorned, without accessories (a bog standard car, telephone etc.)
Bogan : person who takes little pride in his appearance, spends his days slacking and drinking beer
Bogged : Stuck in mud, deep sand (a vehicle).
Bondi cigar : see “brown-eyed mullet”
Bonzer : great, ripper
Boogie board : a hybrid, half-sized surf board
Boomer : a large male kangaroo
Booze bus : police vehicle used for catching drunk drivers
Boozer : a pub
Bored shitless : very bored
Bottle shop : liquor shop
Bottle-o : liquor shop (originally a man with hessian bags going around picking up beer bottles in the 50’s and 60’s)
Bottler : something excellent
Bottling, his blood’s worth : he’s an excellent, helpful bloke.
Bounce : a bully
Bourke Street, he doesn’t know Christmas from : he’s a bit slow in the head. (Bourke Street is a brightly lit Melbourne street)
Bowl of rice, not my : not my cup of tea; I don’t like it
Brass razoo, he hasn’t got a : he’s very poor
Brekkie : breakfast
Brick shit house, built like a : big strong bloke
Brickie : bricklayer
Brisvegas : Brisbane, state capital of Queensland
Brizzie : Brisbane, state capital of Queensland
Brown-eyed mullet : a turd in the sea (where you’re swimming!)
Brumby : a wild horse
Buck’s night : stag party, male gathering the night before the wedding
Buckley’s, Buckley’s chance : no chance (“New Zealand stands Buckley’s of beating Australia at football”)
Budgie smugglers : men’s bathing costume
Bull bar : stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos (also roo bar)
Bundy : short for Bundaberg, Queensland, and the brand of rum that’s made there
Bunyip : mythical outback creature
Bush : the hinterland, the Outback, anywhere that isn’t in town
Bush bash : long competitive running or motorcar race through the bush
Bush oyster : nasal mucus
Bush telly : campfire
Bushie : someone who lives in the Bush
Bushman’s hanky : Emitting nasal mucus by placing one index finger on the outside of the nose (thus blocking one nostril) and blowing.
Bushranger : highwayman, outlaw
Butcher : small glass of beer in South Australia – From the theory that a butcher could take a quick break from his job, have a drink and be back at work
BYO : unlicensed restaurant where you have to Bring Your Own grog, also similar party or barbecue
Cab Sav : Cabernet Sauvignon (a variety of wine grape)
Cactus : dead, not functioning (“this bloody washing machine is cactus”)
Cane toad : a person from Queensland
Captain Cook : look (noun) (“let’s have a Captain Cook”)
Cark it : to die, cease functioning
Cat burying shit, as busy as a : busy
Cat’s piss, as mean as : mean, stingy, uncharitable
Chewie : chewing gum
Chokkie : chocolate
Chook : a chicken
Chrissie : Christmas
Christmas : see Bourke Street
Chuck a sickie : take the day off sick from work when you’re perfectly healthy
Chunder : vomit
Clacker : anus (from Latin cloaca = sewer). Also the single orifice of monotremes (platypus and echidna) used both for reproduction and for the elimination of body wastes.
Clayton’s : fake, substitute
Cleanskin : Bottle of wine without a label. Usually bought in bulk by companies who then add their own personalised label and use the wine as e.g. gifts to clients
Cleanskin : cattle that have not been branded, earmarked or castrated.
Click : kilometre – “it’s 10 clicks away”
Clucky : feeling broody or maternal
Coathanger : Sydney Harbour bridge
Cobber : friend
Cockie : farmer
Cockie : cockatoo
Cockie : cockroach
Cockroach : a person from New South Wales
Coldie : a beer
Come a gutser : make a bad mistake, have an accident
Compo : Workers’ Compensation pay
Conch (adj. conchy) : a conscientious person. Somebody who would rather work or study than go out and enjoy him/herself.
Cooee, not within : figuratively a long way away, far off – England weren’t within cooee of beating Australia at cricket
Cooee, within : nearby – I was within cooee of landing a big fish when the line broke. He lives within cooee of Sydney.
Cook (noun) : One’s wife
Corker : something excellent. A good stroke in cricket might be described as a ‘corker of a shot’
Corroboree : an aboriginal dance festival
Counter lunch : pub lunch
Cozzie : swimming costume
Crack a fat : get an erection
Crack onto (someone) : to hit on someone, pursue someone romantically
Cranky : in a bad mood, angry
Cream (verb) : defeat by a large margin
Crook : sick, or badly made
Crow eater : a person from South Australia
Cubby house : Small, usually timber, house in the garden used as a children’s plaything.
Cut lunch : sandwiches
Cut lunch commando : army reservist
Cut snake, mad as a : very angry
Dag : a funny person, nerd, goof
Daks : trousers
Damper : bread made from flour and water
Date : arse[hole] (“get off your fat date”)
Dead dingo’s donger, as dry as a : dry
Dead horse : Tomato sauce
Deadset : true, the truth
Dero : tramp, hobo, homeless person (from “derelict”)
Dickhead : see “whacker”
Digger : a soldier
Dill : an idiot
Dingo’s breakfast : a yawn, a leak and a good look round (i.e. no breakfast)
Dinkum, fair dinkum : true, real, genuine (“I’m a dinkum Aussie”; “is he fair dinkum?”)
Dinky-di : the real thing, genuine
Dipstick : a loser, idiot
Divvy van : Police vehicle used for transporting criminals. Named after the protective ‘division’ between the driver and the villains.
Dob (somebody) in : inform on somebody. Hence dobber, a tell-tale
Docket : a bill, receipt
Doco : documentary
Dog : unattractive woman
Dog’s balls, stands out like : obvious
Dog’s eye : meat pie
Dole bludger : somebody on social assistance when unjustified
Donger : penis
Doodle : penis
Down Under : Australia and New Zealand
Drink with the flies : to drink alone
Drongo : a dope, stupid person
Dropkick : see ‘dipstick’
Drum : information, tip-off (“I’ll give you the drum”)
Duchess : sideboard
Duffer, cattle : rustler
Dummy, spit the : get very upset at something
Dunny : outside lavatory
Dunny budgie : blowfly
Dunny rat, cunning as a : very cunning
Durry : tobacco, cigarette
Dux : top of the class (n.); to be top of the class (v.) – “She duxed four of her subjects”.
Earbashing : nagging, non-stop chatter
Ekka : the Brisbane Exhibition, an annual show
Esky : large insulated food/drink container for picnics, barbecues etc.
Exy : expensive
Face, off one’s : drunk (“He was off his face by 9pm”)
Fair dinkum : true, genuine
Fair go : a chance (“give a bloke a fair go”)
Fair suck of the sav! : exclamation of wonder, awe, disbelief (see also “sav”)
Fairy floss : candy floss, cotton candy
Feral : V8 ute (q.v.) sporting large heavy bullbar, numerous aerials, large truck mudflaps and stickers almost all over the rear window and tailgate. Sometimes seen with a Mack emblem on the bonnet and always with large (multiple) driving lights
Feral (n.) : a hippie
Figjam : “F*ck I‘m good; just ask me”. Nickname for people who have a high opinion of themselves.
Fisho : fishmonger
Flake : shark’s flesh (sold in fish & chips shops)
Flat out like a lizard drinking : flat out, busy
Flick : to give something or somebody the flick is to get rid of it or him/her
Flick it on : to sell something, usually for a quick profit, soon after buying it.
Fly wire : gauze flyscreen covering a window or doorway.
Footy : Australian Rules football
Fossick : search, rummage (“fossicking through the kitchen drawers”)
Fossick : to prospect, e.g. for gold
Fossicker : prospector, e.g. for gold
Franger : condom
Freckle : anus
Fremantle Doctor : the cooling afternoon breeze that arrives in Perth from the direction of Freeo
Freo : Fremantle in Western Australia
Frog in a sock, as cross as a : sounding angry – a person or your hard drive!
Fruit loop : fool
Full : drunk
Furphy : false or unreliable rumour
G’Day : hello!
Gabba : Wooloongabba – the Brisbane cricket ground
Galah : fool, silly person. Named after the bird of the same name because of its antics and the noise it makes.
Garbo, garbologist : municipal garbage collector
Give it a burl : try it, have a go
Gobful, give a : to abuse, usually justifiably (“The neighbours were having a noisy party so I went and gave them a gobful”)
Gobsmacked : surprised, astounded
Going off : used of a night spot or party that is a lot of fun – “the place was really going off”
Good oil : useful information, a good idea, the truth
Good onya : good for you, well done
Goog, as full as a : drunk. “Goog” is a variation of the northern English slangword “goggie” meaning an egg.
Greenie : environmentalist
Grinning like a shot fox : very happy, smugly satisfied
Grog : liquor, beer (“bring your own grog, you bludger”)
Grouse (adj.) : great, terrific, very good
Grundies : undies, underwear (from Reg Grundy, a television person)
Gutful of piss : drunk, “he’s got a gutful of piss”
Gyno : gynaecologist
Handle : beer glass with a handle
Heaps : a lot, e.g. “thanks heaps”, “(s)he earned heaps of money” etc.
Holy dooley! : an exclamation of surprise = “Good heavens!”, “My goodness!” “Good grief!” or similar
Hoon : hooligan
Hooroo : goodbye
Hotel : often just a pub
Hottie : hot water bottle
Icy pole, ice block : popsicle, lollypop
Jackaroo : a male trainee station manager or station hand (a station is a big farm/grazing property)
Jillaroo : a female trainee station manager or station hand
Joey : baby kangaroo
Journo : journalist
Jug : electric kettle
Jumbuck : sheep
Kangaroos loose in the top paddock : Intellectually inadequate (“he’s got kangaroos loose in the top paddock”)
Kelpie : Australian sheepdog originally bred from Scottish collie
Kero : kerosene
Kindie : kindergarten
Knock : to criticise
Knock back : refusal (noun), refuse (transitive verb)
Knocker : somebody who criticises
Lair : a flashily dressed young man of brash and vulgar behaviour, to dress up in flashy clothes, to renovate or dress up something in bad taste
Lair it up : to behave in a brash and vulgar manner
Larrikin : a bloke who is always enjoying himself, harmless prankster
Lend of, to have a : to take advantage of somebody’s gullibility, to have someone on (“he’s having a lend of you”)
Lippy : lipstick
Liquid laugh : vomit
Lizard drinking, flat out like a : flat out, busy
Lob, lob in : drop in to see someone (“the rellies have lobbed”)
Lollies : sweets, candy
London to a brick : absolute certainty (“it’s London to a brick that taxes won’t go down”)
Long paddock : the side of the road where livestock is grazed during droughts
Longneck : 750ml bottle of beer in South Australia
Lucky Country, The : Australia, where else?
Lunch, who opened their? : OK, who farted?
Lurk : illegal or underhanded racket
Maccas (pron. “mackers”) : McDonald’s (the hamburger place)
Mallee bull, as fit as a : very fit and strong. The Mallee is very arid beef country in Victoria/South Australia.
Manchester : Household linen, eg sheets etc.
Mappa Tassie : map of Tasmania – a woman’s pubic area
Mate : buddy, friend
Mate’s rate, mate’s discount : cheaper than usual for a “friend”
Matilda : swagman’s bedding, sleeping roll
Metho : methylated spirits
Mexican : a person from south of the Queensland or New South Wales border
Mickey Mouse : excellent, very good. Beware though – in some parts of Australia it means inconsequential, frivolous or not very good!
Middy : 285 ml beer glass in New South Wales
Milk bar : corner shop that sells takeaway food
Milko : milkman
Mob : group of people, not necessarily troublesome
Mob : family or herd (?) of kangaroos
Mongrel : despicable person
Moolah : money
Mozzie : mosquito
Muddy : mud crab (a great delicacy)
Mug : friendly insult (“have a go, yer mug”), gullible person
Mull : grass (the kind you smoke)
Muster : round up sheep or cattle
Mystery bag : a sausage
Nasho : National Service (compulsory military service)
Naughty, have a : have sex
Never Never : the Outback, centre of Australia
Nipper : young surf lifesaver
No drama : same as ‘no worries’
No worries! : Expression of forgiveness or reassurance (No problem; forget about it; I can do it; Yes, I’ll do it)
No-hoper : somebody who’ll never do well
Not the full quid : not bright intellectually
Nuddy, in the : naked
Nun’s nasty, as dry as a : dry
Nut out : hammer out or work out (an agreement, say)
O.S. : overseas (“he’s gone O.S.”)
Ocker : an unsophisticated person
Offsider : an assistant, helper
Old fella : penis
Oldies : parents – “I’ll have to ask my oldies”
Op shop : opportunity shop, thrift store, place where second hand goods are sold.
Outback : interior of Australia
Oz : Australia!
Paddock : see ‘long paddock’
Pash : a long passionate kiss; hence “pashing on”
Pav : Pavlova – a rich, creamy Australian dessert
Perve (noun & verb) : looking lustfully at the opposite sex
Piece of piss : easy task
Pig’s arse! : I don’t agree with you
Piker : Someone who doesn’t want to fit in with others socially, leaves parties early
Pink slip, get the : get the sack (from the colour of the termination form)
Pint : large glass of beer (esp. in South Australia)
Piss : beer. Hence “hit the piss”, “sink some piss”
Plate, bring a : Instruction on party or BBQ invitation to bring your own food. It doesn’t mean they’re short of crockery!
Plonk : cheap wine
Pokies : poker machines, fruit machines, gambling slot machines
Polly : politician
Pom, pommy : an Englishman
Pommy bastard : an Englishman
Pommy shower : using deodorant instead of taking a shower
Pommy’s towel, as dry as a : very dry – based on the canard that Poms bathe about once a month
Porky : Lie, untruth (pork pie = lie)
Port : suitcase (portmanteau)
Postie : postman, mailman
Pot : 285 ml beer glass in Queensland and Victoria
Pozzy : position – get a good pozzy at the football stadium
Prezzy : present, gift
Quid, make a : earn a living – “are you making a quid?”
Quid, not the full : of low IQ. [Historical note: ‘quid’ is slang for a pound. £1 became $2 when Australia converted to decimal currency]
Rack off : push off! get lost! get out of here! also “rack off hairy legs!”.
Rage : party
Rage on : to continue partying – “we raged on until 3am”
Rapt : pleased, delighted
Ratbag : mild insult
Raw prawn, to come the : to bullshit, to be generally disagreeable
Reckon! : you bet! Absolutely!
Reffo : refugee
Rego : vehicle registration
Rellie or relo : family relative
Ridgy-didge : original, genuine
Right, she : it’ll be all right
Right, that’d be : Accepting bad news as inevitable. (“I went fishing but caught nothing.” “Yeah, that’d be right.”)
Rip snorter : great, fantastic – “it was a rip snorter of a party”
Ripper : great, fantastic – “it was a ripper party”
Ripper, you little! : Exclamation of delight or as a reaction to good news
Road train : big truck with many trailers
Rock up : to turn up, to arrive – “we rocked up at their house at 8pm”
Rollie : a cigarette that you roll yourself
Roo : kangaroo
Roo bar : stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos (also bull bar)
Root (verb and noun) : synonym for f*ck in nearly all its senses: “I feel rooted”; “this washing machine is rooted”; “(s)he’s a good root”. A very useful word in fairly polite company.
Root rat : somebody who is constantly looking for sex.
Ropeable : very angry
Rort (verb or noun) : Cheating, fiddling, defrauding (expenses, the system etc.). Usually used of politicians
Rotten : drunk – “I went out last night and got rotten”
Rubbish (verb) : to criticize
Salute, Aussie : brushing flies away
Salvos, the : Salvation Army, bless them
Sandgroper : a person from Western Australia
Sanger : a sandwich
Sav : saveloy (see also “fair suck of the sav!”)
Schooner : large beer glass in Queensland; medium beer glass in South Australia
Scratchy : instant lottery ticket
Screamer : party lover; “two pot screamer” – somebody who gets drunk on very little alcohol
Seppo : an American
Servo : petrol station
Shag on a rock, stands out like a : very obvious
Shark biscuit : somebody new to surfing
She’ll be right : it’ll turn out okay
Sheila : a woman
Shit house (adj.) : of poor quality, unenjoyable (“this car is shit house”, “the movie was shit house”)
Shit house (noun) : toilet, lavatory
Shonky : dubious, underhanded. E.g. a shonky practice, shonky business etc.
Shoot through : to leave
Shout : turn to buy – a round of drinks usually (“it’s your shout”)
Show pony : someone who tries hard, by his dress or behaviour, to impress those around him.
Sickie : day off sick from work (chuck a sickie = take the day off sick from work when you’re perfectly healthy!)
Skite : boast, brag
Skull/Skol (a beer) : to drink a beer in a single draught without taking a breath
Slab : a carton of 24 bottles or cans of beer
Sleepout : house verandah converted to a bedroom
Smoko : smoke or coffee break
Snag : a sausage
Sook : person or animal who is soft, tame, inoffensive. Hence sooky (adj.)
Spag bol : spaghetti bolognese
Spewin’ : very angry
Spiffy, pretty spiffy : great, excellent
Spit the dummy : get very upset at something
Spruiker : man who stands outside a nightclub or restaurant trying to persuade people to enter
Sprung : caught doing something wrong
Spunk : a good looking person (of either sex)
Squizz (noun) : look – “take a squizz at this”
Standover man : a large man, usually gang-related, who threatens people with physical violence in order to have his wishes carried out.
Station : a big farm/grazing property
Stickybeak : nosy person
Stoked : very pleased
Stonkered : drunk
Strewth : exclamation, mild oath (“Strewth, that Chris is a bonzer bloke”)
Strides : trousers
Strine : Australian slang and pronunciation
Stubby : a 375ml. beer bottle
Stubby holder : polystyrene insulated holder for a stubby
Stuffed, I feel : I’m tired
Stuffed, I’ll be : expression of surprise
Sunbake : sunbathe
Sunnies : sunglasses
Surfies : people who go surfing – usually more often than they go to work!
Swag : rolled up bedding etc. carried by a swagman
Swaggie : swagman
Swagman : tramp, hobo
Tall poppies : successful people
Tall poppy syndrome : the tendency to criticize successful people
Tallie : 750ml bottle of beer
Taswegian : derogatory term for a person from Tasmania
Technicolor yawn : vomit
Tee-up : to set up (an appointment)
Thingo : Wadjamacallit, thingummy, whatsit
Thongs : cheap rubber backless sandals
Throw-down : small bottle of beer which you can throw down quickly.
Tickets, to have on oneself : to have a high opinion of oneself
Tinny : can of beer
Tinny : small aluminium boat
Tinny, tin-arsed : lucky
Togs : swim suit
Too right! : definitely!
Top End : far north of Australia
Trackie daks/dacks : tracksuit pants
Trackies : track suit
Troppo, gone : to have escaped to a state of tropical madness; to have lost the veneer of civilisation after spending too long in the tropics.
Trough lolly : the solid piece of perfumed disinfectant in a men’s urinal
Truckie : truck driver
True blue : patriotic
Tucker : food
Tucker-bag : food bag
Turps : turpentine, alcoholic drink
Turps, hit the : go on a drinking binge
Two up : gambling game played by spinning two coins simultaneously
Uni : university
Unit : flat, apartment
Up oneself : have a high opinion of oneself – “he’s really up himself”
Up somebody, get : to rebuke somebody – “the boss got up me for being late”
Useful as an ashtray on a motorbike / tits on a bull : unhelpful or incompetent person or thing – “he, she or it is about as useful as tits on a bull” etc. etc.
Ute : utility vehicle, pickup truck
Vedgies : vegetables
Vee dub : Volkswagen
Veg out : relax in front of the TV (like a vegetable)
Vejjo : vegetarian
Vinnie’s : St. Vincent De Paul’s (charity thrift stores and hostels)
WACA (pron. whacker) : Western Australian Cricket Association and the Perth cricket ground
Waggin’ school : playing truant
Walkabout : a walk in the Outback by Aborigines that lasts for an indefinite amount of time
Walkabout, it’s gone : it’s lost, can’t be found
Weekend warrior : army reservist
Whacker, whacka : Idiot; somebody who talks drivel; somebody with whom you have little patience; a dickhead
Whinge : complain
White pointers : topless (female) sunbathers
Whiteant (verb) : to criticise something to deter somebody from buying it. A car dealer might whiteant another dealer’s cars or a real estate salesman might whiteant another agent’s property
Wobbly : excitable behaviour (“I complained about the food and the waiter threw a wobbly”)
Wobbly boot on, he’s got the : drunk
Wog : flu or trivial illness
Wog : person of Mediterranean origin. A milder insult than the same word in the UK and perhaps elsewhere.
Wombat : somebody who eats, roots and leaves (see also root)
Woop Woop : invented name for any small unimportant town – “he lives in Woop Woop”
Wowser : straight-laced person, prude, puritan, spoilsport
Wuss : coward; nervous person or animal
XXXX : pronounced Four X, brand of beer made in Queensland
Yabber : talk (a lot)
Yabby : inland freshwater crayfish found in Australia (Cherax destructor)
Yakka : work (noun)
Yewy : u-turn in traffic (“chuck a yewy at the next traffic lights”)
Yobbo : an uncouth person
Zack : sixpence (5 cents) – “it isn’t worth a zack”, “he hasn’t got a zack”