This dog is not actually Australian, but Spanish in origin. The Spanish that were using the breed emigrated to Australia and the dog made its way to America from there. Hence the name. The breed was primarily a sheep herder, but they have been used for cattle as well. People who work with the dog insist that they are still better with sheep.
This breed is an interesting mix of traits. They are independent, as all herders tend to be, but also get very attached to the primary caregiver. They are easy to train and eager to please, but still have a stubborn streak in them. They are very adept at tricks and need mental exercise. If they are bored, you will pay for it. They may not be the best animal for small children, as they may nip at heels to herd the kids.