The Australian Values Statement was introduced in 2007 and has just been updated also making it a requirement for anyone applying for permanent, provisional or temporary visa to now have to it before being allowed into Australia.
A lot of noise is being made by the spin doctors as if it was some sort of “socio-psychological conditioning” of the minds of those planning to come to Australia that the Australian government was stealthily indulging in.
If at all – it will only help Australia to welcome the new Australians arriving down under in a better way. When the incoming person knows better what is expected of him or her, it becomes easier on both sides to acclimatize quicker and better to make social life in the new country all the more wholesome.
At its worst, it will be futile and ineffective and consigned to the “dead memories” of their lives soon after people come in. In that case – the settling in process will be slightly different but not violently against any Australian values.
Thus, when the Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge says the new statement has ‘a greater focus on values like freedom, respect, equality and the rule of law’, reading a statement highlighting those values will be nothing but helpful if anything.
It will be available in 41 languages.
Permanent visa applicants will sign the same statement with two additional pledges. First, to make reasonable efforts to learn English if it is not their native language and second they will need to pledge their loyalty to Australia if they become an Australian citizen in the future.
Mr Tudge said: “The updated statement better reflects the importance we place on these values.
“There will now be one statement for both temporary and permanent visa applicants that confirms they understand and will conduct themselves in line with our values and our laws.”
A new Australian Citizenship Test with a stronger focus on Australian values also comes into effect on November 15.
Australian Values Statement – Full text
The Australian Values Statement is as follows:
For all relevant visa applicants (including temporary visa applicants)
I confirm that I have read, or had explained to me, information provided by the Australian Government on Australian society and values.
I understand that Australian society values:
- respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual;
- freedom of religion (including the freedom not to follow a particular religion), freedom of speech, and freedom of association;
- commitment to the rule of law, which means that all people are subject to the law and should obey it;
- parliamentary democracy whereby our laws are determined by parliaments elected by the people, those laws being paramount and overriding any other inconsistent religious or secular “laws”;
- equality of opportunity for all people, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, race, or national or ethnic origin;
- a ‘fair go’ for all that embraces:
- mutual respect;
- equality of opportunity for all;
- compassion for those in need;
- the English language as the national language, and as an important unifying element of Australian society.
I undertake to conduct myself in accordance with these values of Australian society during my stay in Australia and to obey the laws of Australia.
For permanent visa applicants, the above, plus:
- I undertake to make reasonable efforts to learn the English language, if it is not my native language.
- I understand that, if in the future I meet the legal qualifications for becoming an Australian citizen and my application is approved, I will need to pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people.