If everyday Australians had their way, Steve Irwin would be the country’s icon, Men at Work’s Down Under the anthem, and a roast dinner the national dish.

That’s according to ING’s Sense of Us snapshot – a ‘census’ of more than 1000 Australian adults on what they are doing and what they love.

Some of the results were unsurprising: Cathy Freeman is the country’s sporting hero, Kath and Kim its best TV show and Hugh Jackman the country’s most relatable celebrity. Others less so.

Cappuccinos were the most popular coffee order, Facebook the favourite social media platform, and The Castle beat Crocodile Dundee for the greatest film.

Bushwalking, swimming or surfing and camping were the three most popular outdoor activities, and ‘yeah nah’ the most commonly used slang.

After a year that prevented one in two respondents from achieving what they wanted, financial, travel and career goals topped the list for 2021.

Relationship and family dynamics also shifted in 2020, with one in five saying they’d become closer to family.


Meanwhile, more people listed pets as close companions than their in-laws.

To be fair, we’re ready for Steve on our banknotes! What are your thoughts on the census results?