During the initial proposal for a formal test to be added to the application of Australian citizenships, there were some anxieties and much discussion about what constitutes being an Australian.
More details have emerged regarding this test which will be implemented later this year.
The government today released a 40-page draft guide detailing what it regards as the 10 essential Australian values every aspiring citizen must embrace.
The pamphlet, which will be handed to all new citizenship applicants, also summarises the nation’s history, its political institutions, economic, cultural and indigenous history.
The sample questions in the article above give a good idea of what you need to know, such as how Australia’s democratic process works, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, cultural aspects and historical facts such as Australia’s foundation.
A study guide would be made available in multiple formats and the test will be in English and computer-based, with applicants needing to correctly answer 12 out of 20 multiple-choice questions randomly selected from a pool of 200. You can sit the free test as many times as needed though the application fee will be doubled from $120 to $240.
Every applicant have to take the test with exceptions only for those under the age of 18, and those over 60, and for those with mental and physical disabilities. There will be special assistance for those with low English literacy.
All this is in stark contrast to the current method of processing citizenship applications, which my mother, brother and I experienced. All we had to do was familiarise ourselves with the rights (6) and responsibilities (4) of Australian citizenship. During the interview, we were even given a cheat sheet to look at while our papers were being processed. The cheat sheet was taken away just before the immigration officer quizzed us. It is admittedly very simple.
Having said that, I don’t think the new tests would be that hard to pass if you study for it. Even better if you’ve lived here for a few years and have read and watched enough local TV and newspapers, and have interacted with the general community beyond your own ethic group.
If the test encourages potential citizens to immerse themselves in the Australian way of life, and to embrace being a part of Australian society before becoming citizens, then it can only be a good thing for the country.