After fumbling for a steadfast definition for “Australian values” yesterday when discussing the new changes to the country’s citizenship test, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has finally been able to pinpoint what makes someone quintessentially Australian.
Appearing on the ABC’s 7.30pm program last night, presenter Leigh Sales asked Turnbull to clarify: “What is the actual problem you are trying to fix here?”
To which the prime minister said: “What we are doing is reinforcing the citizenship which is at the foundation of our nation, ours the most successful multicultural society in the world.”
“If it’s so successful, what’s the problem?” replied Sales.
And then came a clearer response from the PM on what Australian values means.
“Leigh, we can never be complacent and we want to be more successful,” he said.
“Let’s be clear – we don’t define ourselves, like many other countries do, by race or religion or ethnicity. We are defined by a commitment to a common set of political values. They are, as you had me saying on the introduction – freedom, equality of men and women, mutual respect, the rule of law, democracy, a fair go. That’s our Australian values.
“And they are shared with many other democracies but they are in and of themselves unique. There is something uniquely Australian about them. We’re proud of them. We’re committed to them. We should celebrate them and we should put them at the core of becoming an Australian citizen.”
Yesterday the prime minister could really only put Australian values down to “mutual respect”.
“At the value heart of our success is mutual respect,” he said. “This is very important to Australian values.”
He highlighted that applicants needed to demonstrate a mutual respect of one another, of women and of children.
And that they need to work and send their children to school.
But other than that, many were left wondering what these apparent values are and how an applicant could demonstrate them in a multiple choice test. Read more on that here.
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