The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Culture of Sydney

The culture of Sydney is diverse and multicultural. Many of the individual cultures that make up the Sydney mosaic are centred on the ethnic, linguistic and religious communities formed by waves of immigration. (See History of Sydney.) In addition, as a major Australian city, Sydney boasts a full roster of musical, theatrical and artistic activity.



The Sydney Symphony Orchestra is internationally noted and frequently performs at the Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Dance Company under the leadership of Graeme Murphy during the late 20th century has also gained acclaim. Many well-known Australian rock bands have had their genesis in Sydney, from Midnight Oil to INXS, as well as a host of independent groups from punk rock Radio Birdman, indie rockers The Clouds and The Crystal Set, to electronic music pioneers Severed Heads, Single Gun Theory and Itch-E and Scratch-E. To a lesser extent jazz and new music (such as Sydney-based The Necks) has found a home in places like "The Basement " and the Harbourside Brasserie.

Literature and theatre

Sydney Theatre Company boasts a regular roster of local plays, such as noted playwright David Williamson, classics and international playwrights. From the 1940s through to the 1970s the Sydney Push, an intellectual subculture of authors and activists questioning of authority grew, its members included Germaine Greer.


Sydney has been home to many visual artists, from the lush pastoralism of Lloyd Rees depictions of Sydney Harbour to Jeffrey Smart's portraits of bleak urban alienation. The Archibald Prize is a noted portraiture prize awarded each year by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales located in Sydney.


Sydney is a host to many different festivals including the Sydney Festival , a celebration of free performances throughout January; the Big Day Out, a travelling rock music festival which originated in Sydney; the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (see below) and the Sydney Film Festival.

Sydney communities and subcultures

Ethnic communities

Examples of ethnic communities in Sydney include;

Whilst such ethic groupings exist, these are only general representations of the relative distribution of ethnic groups in Sydney. So, for example, whilst there are many Asians in Eastwood the majority of the population is still of a Western European background.

The gay community

Sydney is famous for its gay community, centered around Oxford Street, and the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13