Not all of Australia’s drinking activities are uncivilized, as you may have picked up from our article about the culture of shouting. But that aside, it is clear that the country still has a major problem when its longest serving emergency department director throws out the “d” word.
“We have developed this incredibly dumb drinking culture in Australia…and it’s a national issue,” said Professor Gordian Fulde of St. Vincent Hospital in Sydney.
Fulde’s comments last year came in light of the estimated 3,500 Australians that suffer brain damage as a result of assaults each year. Approximately 82 percent of these injuries occur on weekends, between the hours of midnight and 4am, and 70 percent of them happened in the close vicinity of pubs or clubs.
While this may shed some light into the macho Australian attitude that I experienced within minutes of landing in Sydney during one visit, especially when fueled by alcohol, it is a serious issue that has many officials calling for even stricter regulations on nightlife (there are already bans in place for serving drinks in glasses after midnight).
The government also launched a multimedia campaign last year, called Real Heroes Walk Away, in hopes of curbing the late night violence.
According to Fulde, the larger problem lies in the culture, how young people have a badge of honor attached to engaging in violence and winning fights. “And we have to show Dad that what he looks like on Saturday morning with a hangover is horrible,” he added.