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Australia and Multiculturalism

Mutual Respect is What Makes Multiculturalism So Great

The following is an example of Australia as a multicultural society: Not so long ago, national day in Australia was celebrated by millions of the country’s nationals, including many of the country’s newest citizens. 

It is estimated that around 13,000 people happily and enthusiastically pledged their commitment to the Australian nation. People dressed in the national or traditional dress of their home countries were seen grasping Australian flags as they pledged - some with tears in their eyes - to obey and uphold the laws and values of Australia. 

Scenes like these among Australia ethnic groups are a strong reminder of what multiculturalism means and why it thrives in Australia. 

At the present time, it is fashionable to say multiculturalism is dead or to hold it responsible for terrorism and/or other crimes. Recently Angela Merkel – Chancellor of Germany - said multiculturalism had ''utterly'' failed in Germany. 

So, what is the multiculturalism secret of Australia? The meaning of multiculturalism for some is a country that is home to diverse peoples and one that operates a non-discriminatory policy on immigration. Multiculturalism in Australia is founded on these principles but it includes a lot more.   

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First and foremost, multiculturalism in Australia is based on a respect for the traditional values of Australia. 

Just like the Australian people themselves, anyone who chooses to make Australia their home is encouraged to continue to practice and celebrate their own cultures under a wider culture that embraces freedom but, most importantly, they are invited to do so respectfully. If, however any inconsistencies become apparent between these cultural values, personal freedom and the law of the land, then the values of Australia must win. 

This can be related to the next or second strand of the genius nature of multiculturalism in Australia. The country’s fundamental law is citizenship-based i.e. to fully enjoy the many benefits that Australia’s amazing society has to offer, it is obligatory to pledge one’s commitment to the nation. 

The final or third strand of the immigration and multiculturalism in Australia is the political scenario, which is based on bipartisanship, in particular in its creation. Albert Jaime Grassby, a minister for immigration in the Whitlam administration, was the very first politician in Australia to refer publicly to multiculturalism and to make it an aspiration. However, the person who made it a policy of the nation was Malcolm Fraser. 

Moreover, the meaning of multiculturalism in Australia has another difference. The requirement in Germany for "guest" workers is the primary driver behind an economic policy on immigration. 

Immigration policies in Australia have been driven first by economic factors and subsequently by understanding the advantages of inviting immigrant groups to participate fully in communities in return for the embracing of and respecting the customs and cultures of their homelands.  

Many European countries are based on the nation-within-nation concept i.e. large communities living lives that are sort of ''parallel, which often segregates people by culture, ethnicity, and religion.  

This would appear to further underscore how the approach taken by Australia is especially beneficial.   

Australia embraces racial diversity and multiculturalism in order to be free and to be equal, but it must continue to be free and to be equal in order to be a multicultural society.  

Successive governments in Australia have not embraced cultural ideas and/or practices where these were not consistent with the country’s democratic values and its principles of equality, tolerance, and justice. And Australia should not.  

Australia tries to encourage participation on the part of every person and to instil in them a feeling that they belong in this country. If the country does not articulate its values or if it practices them in a way that makes people feel, they do not belong in Australia, this has the potential to cause feelings of alienation and, eventually, a lack of unity in society. 

Accepting the benefits of racial diversity in Australia would seem to open up choices, e.g., does one shun or make welcome those who have been invited to make Australia their home? 

Is it better to encourage complete participation or should immigrants be treated as guests in the hope they become integrated, but yet doubting this will not happen? 

True multiculturalism is rooted in encouraging every person to realize their full potential and helping new arrivals to overcome any obstacles they encounter adjusting to their new society and environment.   

It has a lot to do with liberalism. A society that is liberal is also the one that is multicultural. 

On the journey to multiculturalism, every set of migrants has experienced challenges. Each one has been anxious about the unfamiliar.   

Exactly as happened with previous migrant groups, most of the current migrants come to Australia because of its values and not with a view to changing them.  

With this in mind, Australians are right to have concerns about extremism, whether it is Islamic-related or from elsewhere. Religious intolerance or interpretations of it are not compatible with the laws, principles or values of Australia.  

For the purpose of this multiculturalism in Australia essay, it is counter-productive to make sure that most migrants have the aim of changing Australia. Accusations or suspicions that migrants come to convert the existing population and make it akin to their countries of origin overlooks the reality: people choose Australia because they see it as better.

They do not want changes in Australia, for the country not to be so democratic, equal, and free. 

To achieve freedom and equality, Australia will embrace multiculturalism, which means remaining free, equal, and liberal.  

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