When i first saw the title of this my first thought was definitely Hispanic decent.... so i dont think it would work on a Non-Hispanic in Australia. If Aussie society is anything like NZ, it would feel a little out of place.
Esmeralda is not quite my taste in names, but it is definitely miles away from the worst i have heard! :)
Alot of names I love are from different ethnic backgrounds so I say it could definatly work. Although when discussing names my husband often uses the line We're not German, Dutch, chinese etc! So dont think he would agree. Sorry that probly doesnt help at all then :/ My first thought when I saw the name esmerelda was a witch though. Has there been a movie or tv show with a witch named Esmerelda in it?
Ahhh. The perpetual "can I use names not from my culture" question. Not from Australia, but I can say here in the US I think many people would assume she was Hispanic. If that doesn't bother you, then use it. It's a very pretty name.
I don't think anyone should be limited to names from their culture. I think you'll always get a few people asking if you are of Hispanic descent, but if that doesn't bother you then feel free to use it. The name's just a bit too much for me, but even though it's not my style I think it's rather sweet.
I think it's fine to use in Australia. I work with kids and I've come across many parents who have given their children names from different cultures. In the world that we live in today most people have a mixed background anyway. So it shouldn't really matter what you name your child...if you love the name use it!
I live in the US but I say go for it. What a gorgeous name. Most people use names that aren't originally from their country anyway. Americans especially use all sorts - Greek, Italian, French, without even realizing it sometimes.