I stumbled across this Australian Values Statement and quite like what it’s saying. It seems fair enough to make this an ‘initial communication’ for people considering emigrating to Australia.

It seems to me in part a fleshed-out version of the cry of the French Revolution (Liberty, equality, fraternity).

I wonder what the background is, how it came to be drafted, and whether it’s being used, sometimes, to send an ‘assimilation’ signal?

The message: Come to our country with the realisation that you may have do things differently to how you did them where you came from (e.g. treatment of women and children etc.) — oh, and the national language is English, right? — is really worth saying, in my view.

Australian Values Statement

You must sign this statement if you are aged 18 years or over.
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.

If I meet the legal qualifications for becoming an Australian citizen and my application is approved I understand that I would have to pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people.
Signature of Applicant

Apparently New Zealanders who seek to reside permanently in Australia don’t have to sign this — probably in recognition of our historical links (ANZACS etc) and shared cultural values. Which is kind of ironic considering number of non-NZ born residents of other cultures who (anecdotally) use NZ permanent residence as a ‘back door’ to Australia.