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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Understanding Multiculuralism

Images above: A photograph in an exhibition on Multicultural Australia in Hyde Park, Sydney on a sunny Sunday morning in 2011.

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Write 100 words on:
Australia is a multicultural country. What does this mean in official Australian
Government policy terms?

Background research for you to consider before writing your 100 words.

From the Australian Government website on Multiculturalism

Australia’s multicultural policy embraces our shared values and cultural traditions. It also allows those who choose to call Australia home the right to practise and share their cultural traditions and languages within the law and free from discrimination.
Almost a quarter of us were born overseas, and four million Australians speak a language other than English. Since the Second World War over seven million migrants have settlement in Australia. Today, Australians speak more than 260 languages and identify with over 270 ancestries.

Australian culture is as broad and diverse as the country's landscape. Australia is multicultural and multiracial, and this is reflected in the country's food, lifestyle and cultural practices and experience.

Australia is a society of people from a rich diversity of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have inhabited Australia for tens of thousands of years. Most Australians are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants who arrived during the past two centuries from more than 200 countries.

In the recent global social and political environment, threats to social cohesion, harmony and security have emerged. The Australian Government is responding to these challenges by encouraging continuing dialogue with a wide range of community groups.
The diversity of the Australian population brings us important economic and cultural benefits, and has given us a greater understanding of the globalised world.

Multiculturalism has strengthened Australian society. The diversity of the Australian population brings economic and cultural benefits, and a greater understanding of our region and world.
The Australian Government’s new multicultural policy aims to celebrate and value: Australia’s cultural diversity, strengthen the government’s commitment to social inclusion, social cohesion and responsive government services, welcome the trade and investment benefits of Australia’s diversity, and promote understanding and acceptance while responding to intolerance.
The policy also outlines rights and responsibilities enshrined in our citizenship pledge, which requires future citizens to pledge their loyalty to Australia and its people, uphold our laws and democracy and respect our rights and liberties. These rights and liberties include Australians of all backgrounds being entitled to celebrate, practise and maintain their cultural heritage, traditions and language, within the law and free from discrimination.

The actual Australian Multicultural Policy document.
Go to and read it.

An interesting aspect of multicultural Australia is the document new citizens sign when being awarded Australian citizenship

Australian Values Statement

I confirm that I have read, or had explained to me, information provided by the Australian Government on Australian society and values.

I understand:
• Australian society values respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual, freedom of religion, commitment to the rule of law, Parliamentary democracy, equality of men and women and a spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play and compassion for those in need and pursuit of the public good
• Australian society values equality of opportunity for individuals, regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background
• the English language, as the national language, is an important unifying element of Australian society.
I undertake to respect these values of Australian society during my stay in Australia and to obey the laws of Australia.
I understand that, if I should seek to become an Australian citizen:
• Australian citizenship is a shared identity, a common bond which unites all Australians while respecting their diversity
• Australian citizenship involves reciprocal rights and responsibilities. The responsibilities of Australian Citizenship include obeying Australian laws, including those relating to voting at elections and serving on a jury.

Making Multicultural Australia for the 21st Century website has plenty of student activities that will be of use to you to understand multicultural Australia.

These two audios are worth listening to:
History of multicultural Australia
The challenge to multiculturalism by Prime Minister Howard in 1988

Some Youtubes to watch:

Changing face of Australia

Australia’s new face

Australia’s Multicultural Policy

Why Multiculturalism is a failure:

What is the Australian culture forum

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