Here in Australia our Prime Minister has announced changes to the Citizenship test, that applicants must meet Australian Values. When asked what he meant he could not explain. I live in a council area that has 153 cultures residing in it, which of these meets Australian values?
There were six new requirements introduced.
- All applicants are required to pass a stand-alone English test, involving reading, writing, listening and speaking;
- Applicants are required to have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years (instead of one year at present);
- Citizenship test will be strengthened with new and more meaningful questions that assess an applicant’s understanding of – and commitment to – shared values and responsibilities;
- Applicants will be required to show the steps they have taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community. Examples would include evidence of employment, membership of community organisations and school enrolment for all eligible children.
- An applicant can fail the citizenship test only three (at present there is no limit to the number of times an applicant can fail the test);
- An automatic fail for applicants will be introduced who cheat during the citizenship test.
So how do we devalue others, One way I suggest is saying our values are more important than theirs. Lets go on a values journey:
1. These new rules seem to be saying that speaking one language places you higher on the pecking order than another.
2. Each person is of value, don’t debase them by saying they don’t fit in: How Could Anyone.
3. Surround yourself with kindred souls, those that decrease it need to go.
4. When you see that you being of value is what people remember about you when you pass, not your houses and cars. They also don’t remember your nationality: I lived.
5. What have you sacrificed in your life for others? Would you give your all?
6. How amazing would life be if we lived it like this: I’m Going to You.
7. Our PM is trying to revert our country back to the 1950’s when our country existed under the archaic White Australia policy when the indigenous people were not even recognised.
8. Arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history. Samuel Johnson points to the value of showing gratitude by praising others for their actions: Love Divine
9. I find it hard to believe that your values are based on the language you speak, and the job you do. Life is not that simple.
10. In that five minutes it takes to destroy your good name, were you following your values: Family Portrait.
11. Our government has definitely forgotten this with their new changes.
12. Have we forgotten the value of the other 152 cultures I share the land I live on with: Run and Hide.
13. All the beautiful , wonderful diverse ways we inhabit the planet can not be bombed away, destroyed by war because they are the planets heart and soul.
14. Why are education systems going down the road of producing clones when our world need more and more creatives with the every changing technologies? Maya Angelou puts it well: Express Yourself.
15. Our new citizenship test does obviously not follow this formulae.
I teach English to three Chinese mothers and work at the Darebin Intercultural Centre, our motto is Where Cultures Meet, Explore, Grow and Celebrate. So I ask our prime minister to take this on as Australian Values, not English tests and proof of employment.
Namaste until next time, my dear friends.