Sunday, August 26, 2007

Australia turns its back on its recent past and raises the bar on people wishing to move to Australia

Some elements will almost certainly be beyond the knowledge of many ordinary Australians, says the BBC's Nick Bryant in Sydney.

I remember a Canadian friend and I sharing a moment of bemused horror when realising that we probably wouldn't pass these citizenship tests about our own countries for no reason other than it's not information we've ever needed to know to live at home.

God help the intending immigrants.

I wonder if Johny will try to get the Aboriginal people, that would be the original inhabitants of Australia, to pass these citizenship tests and deport them if they don't pass.

Australia has unveiled details of a new citizenship test for immigrants.

They will be asked questions about history, institutions and culture - as well as committing to Australian social values focusing on "mateship".

The aim of the test was to get "that balance between diversity and integration correct in future", said Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews.

Critics believe the requirement of an English language exam discriminates against non-English speakers.

The new citizenship test is expected to be introduced later this year.

The details were unveiled in a 40-page draft guide that is to be given to all applicants.

For a moment I forgot the serious implications of failing this test and giggled my way through it, thinking about things like the fact that Australia is a country where a woman is still called a 'sheila. They write ... For the first time, the draft guide lists 10 essential Australian values every citizen must embrace - focusing on "mateship and a fair go" and including tolerance, compassion, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and secular government, equality of men and women and peacefulness.

I imagine some groups in Australia don't know whether to laugh or cry about this governmental perception of self ... much as I love my Aussie friends and family who live there, even they, if my post isn't too offensive, must be bemused by this turn of events.

Maybe we should all sit these 'citizenship'tests about our own countries ... including those who deem them necessary. Perhaps those who fail can all be sent someplace else ...


Peter said...

Yves Leterme, the Belgian politician in charge of the (yet to be finished) new Belgian government coalition talks, started singing the (French) national anthem when asked on national TV if he knew the words of Belgium's national anthem.... (he wasn't joking)

Most Belgians, Dutch, Australians (whatever nationality) would fail these "citizenship tests" who are only intended to keep people out of a given country.

Di Mackey said...

Silly old Yves ...

Those citizenship tests drive me crazy ... it's all so false when the majority couldn't even get a pass mark. I didn't want to blog anything negative but the joke of Australia wanting to keep immigrants out was just too much for me.

Anonymous said...

Did it. Passed it. All answered correctly. No problems. (and I'm no mensa candidate) So did my children, 13 and 10. Basic in the extreme so it begs the question of why even bother. But if you want the certificate then this basic subject shouldn't pose anything more than compulsory reading. Or do you prefer the Belgium model.

Just bloody redneck getting back on his soapbox, just in case it wasn't obvious.

Di Mackey said...

But my point was that it's not stuff that interests me. I'm not into ownership of land masses that were borrowed stolen or come by honestly. All people are the same and surely the world is a place for everyone to live on.

Knowing the quiz info just to join the exclusive club of a country seems a serious waste of life time.

Oh that soapbox. Nice to find you here anyway, Mr Redneck.