An expat woman who moved to Australia 15 years ago has taken to social media to express her frustrations about Australian culture and life in the so-called 'lucky country' in a long, detailed and scathing rant that has drawn widespread attention online.
In response to the question: "Do you regret moving to Australia?" posed by a user on the knowledge-sharing platform Quora, the woman from one of the French-speaking countries in the Schengen Area shared several points explaining her regrets about moving Down Under.
"At least once a day," began the 28-paragraph diatribe that critiqued in detail almost every aspect of Aussie life and culture. The expat, who explained that she moved to Australia as a student to attend TAFE while her parents funded her studies, started by slamming the "low" level of learning she came across following the Cambridge curriculum she had completed overseas.
'So far from the best': Australia like 'living in the 1970s'
The long list of criticisms included a sharp gender divide, a primitive economy, houses that are "unaffordable glorified tents", a social undercurrent of bullying, second-rate infrastructure and a nation which claims to be laid back but is actually addicted to rules.
"They think they are the best, they are so far from being the best it is laughable," the migrant of 15 years wrote.
"I also found a detached society where it is perfectly fine to cancel on anyone at the last second, show no courtesy or affection, and build superficial friendships that go nowhere.
"Many Australians would not know the meaning of empathy," she wrote as she continued to describe the Australian value system, which she claimed was "like living in the 1970s".
Citing barbecues as an example, the woman moaned about how men stayed outside acting "blokey", while women stayed inside talking about kids. "Be ready for a passive-aggressive culture which I believe has its roots in colonial Australia with the convicts not being the finest of all. I've never met so many uncultured and rough people on my travels," she claimed.
Aussie humour branded 'bullying'
The woman also took issue with Australian humour. "Every time a migrant comes here, they say you need to get used to them 'taking the piss out of you' - all this is an accepted version of bullying."
Also in the firing line were Australia's steep housing prices and the government's heavy-handed response to the Covid-19 pandemic. "During Covid, all states closed their borders to each other so families were separated including husband and wife, children and parents etc... It was like living in an insane dystopia. It was inhumane and parochial, very strange."
She went on to decry the treatment of Australia's Indigenous people, describing it as "horrible, discriminatory and racist" and arguing that many Aussies "deny that a genocide ever happened". While offering only anecdotal evidence, the claim echoes the 2014 assertion by former prime minister John Howard that there was no genocide against Indigenous Australians and the incredible gaffe by former PM Scott Morrison in 2020 when he wrongly claimed there was no slavery in Australia.
'Australia is a marketing ploy'
According to the woman's verbose assessment, Australia is a marketing caricature that relies on its appealing natural environment to be relevant.
"For me, Australia is a mirage, a marketing ploy of a country that needs to tell a great story to retain and attract global talent because its economy has no complexity," she wrote.
"Everything gourmet in Australia comes from Italy and Italy is 1000000000000 times ahead in culture. Let's take a minute to think of Italy's contributions to the world in art, food, design, brands and culture vs Australia."
After claiming Australian society is against climate-change science and the nation is poorly governed, the woman noted the anglo-dominance of politics citing the significance of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese coming from an Italian heritage and having a surname "which all Australians mispronounce including the PM himself".
Quora users respond
The woman's comments, though controversial, have garnered more than 10,000 views since they were posted on Quora, with the scathing diatribe being shared across social media.
Several members of the message board agreed with her response and expressed their own frustrations about life in Australia. However other members saw things a little differently.
"I am a guy from Slovakia. I moved to Australia three years ago. It's been a life-changing experience for me," someone commented. "After three years I can say it was worth it. I am still here, I made many friends that have the same value for me as ones that I left in the home country."
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