After an anonymous parliamentarian complained, there was a brief effort to ban the term's use. At the time, many people considered the move un-Australian.
Even former PM Bob Hawke said the move was "pomposity gone mad." Due to the uproar, the ban never moved ahead. The closest parliament ever came to banning "mate" was banning "mating" with the bonk ban.
Until 2022, when the great mate debate has once again reared its head...
According to The Daily Telegraph, NSW government ministers took part in Respect at Work training and were advised to stop using the word "mate". No official word if "Okay boomer" is still acceptable, but from its lack of mention, we can safely assume it is.
One minister spoke out about the advice, saying that the word 'mate' is "as Australian as you can get. How can it be offensive?" Surely it depends on the tone used to say it. For example, "Lovely to meet you, mate" sounds quite warm. As opposed to "Shut your damn mouth while you chew, mate!" Or "Meet me in the parking lot, mate! BYO knuckleduster!"
The training also advised ministers to not drink at work or yell at staff. But unfortunately you can't keep people in check by saying, "Stop drinking and yelling at your colleagues, mate."
If the move goes ahead, here are some friendly alternatives to the word 'mate': bud, buddy, friend, pal, companion, compadre, amigo, comrade, and soul mate (if you're really vibing).
Do you think the word 'mate' is an acceptable term? Or would you rather one of the listed alternatives? Let us know, mates!