The History of Gift Giving in Australia

Gift Exchange

Where Gifting All Started 

G’day, mates! When it comes to sharing love, appreciation, and camaraderie, Australians have a long and rich tradition of giving gifts. From our indigenous ancestors to the multicultural society we are today, gift-giving has always been a part of the Australian fabric. Let’s delve into the history of this beautiful gesture and how it has evolved Down Under.

1. Indigenous Beginnings

Long before the British set foot on our shores, Australia’s Indigenous people were already exchanging gifts as a way of establishing relationships and maintaining social connections. Traditional offerings like ochre (used for art and ceremonial purposes), tools, and ceremonial items played a crucial role in forging alliances and showing respect among different communities. This tradition is deeply embedded in the culture and symbolises the importance of community and connection.

2. Early European Settlers

The arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 brought with it the European customs and traditions of gift-giving. Christmas became a notable occasion, with early settlers exchanging handmade gifts and English delicacies as they sought to recreate the festive spirit from back home in this new and unfamiliar land. While initially, these gifts were humble, they reflected the resilience and camaraderie of a budding community far from their homeland.

3. Gold Rush Boom

The 1850s Gold Rush era brought fortune seekers from around the world to Australia. This period saw a mix of cultures and traditions blending in the vibrant goldfields. With newfound prosperity, more elaborate gifts, often imported from overseas, began to emerge. From intricate jewellery pieces to exotic perfumes, gift-giving became an expression of both wealth and affection.

4. Birth of Aussie Icons

As Australia forged its identity in the 20th century, iconic Australian gifts made their debut. The likes of Vegemite, Akubra hats, and UGG boots became popular gifts both domestically and for friends and family overseas. Giving something distinctively Australian became a source of national pride.

5. Modern Multiculturalism

In the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st, waves of migration from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe brought a diverse range of traditions and gift-giving practices. Events like Diwali, Eid, Hanukkah, and Lunar New Year have enriched the Australian gift-giving calendar. Today, walking into an Aussie gift shop, one can find a mesmerising blend of traditional Australian items with gifts from all over the world.

6. Digital Evolution and E-commerce Boom

With the rise of the digital age and e-commerce platforms, Australians have started to lean towards online shopping for their gift-giving needs. Websites, such as, offer a plethora of choices catering to diverse tastes and preferences including Food Hampers & Pamper Hampers. The convenience of online shopping, combined with the thoughtfulness of a handpicked gift basket or, represents the modern face of Australian flower delivery & hamper delivery.

Wrapping It Up

From the ochre of our First Nations to the digital baskets of today, gift-giving in Australia has journeyed through time, reflecting the evolution of our culture, values, and identity. Whether you’re celebrating a traditional Australian event, an international festival, or simply wanting to show someone you care, a gift can transcend words, encapsulating love, history, and a touch of Aussie spirit.

And remember, while gifts can be a beautiful expression of our feelings, it’s the thought and intention behind them that truly count. So, next time you’re hunting for the perfect present, think of the rich history of gift-giving in Australia and add your chapter to this ongoing story.

Happy gifting, Australia! 🎁🇦🇺