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Australians have high levels of national pride and belonging – much higher than for many comparable countries. EPA/Barbara Walton

Australia, a place of belonging and pride – and some telltale fractures

Every year, come January 26, Australia Day revives the annual dialogue around notions of national identity, our values and what it means to be Australian. It’s an opportune time to reflect on the findings…
Which team did you support in the first 2015 Asian Cup game between Australia and Kuwait, in Melbourne? Flickr/Tourism Victoria

Australians taking sides in the Asian Cup, but for which team?

The passions of some Australians attending games in the 2015 Asian Cup that don’t involve the Socceroos has generated more comment than the crowd at the Australian games. Most notably, in their first game…
Howard-era Human Rights Commissioner Sev Ozdowski is the new chairman of the revamped Australian Multicultural Council. AAP/Matthias Engesser

New Multicultural Council signals a broader shift to the right

Late in December, I took a phone call from a young woman working for the Department of Social Services. She had called, she said, because the department was checking its database of contacts, so that the…
As Australia becomes increasingly multicultural it’s important our schools are aware of the diversity of social and cultural norms children bring to school. Shutterstock

Diversity in the classroom means children develop differently

The first few years of school are tough for any child. Moving from the relatively unstructured activities of preschool to the formal requirements of school is a big step. Children require high levels of…
Religious leaders have come together to promote community harmony, but some political and media agendas have encouraged Islamophobia. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Politicians and media let us down in fight to curb rising Islamophobia

Many incidents of violence and harassment directed at Australian Muslims have been reported recently. These are visible confirmation of fears expressed by their community, that support for the government’s…
Has testing prospective citizens on Australian values increased social cohesion? Glenn Hunt/AAP

Is the Australian citizenship test failing ‘Team Australia’?

Today, October 1, the Australian citizenship test turns seven. This is the official test that determines if a migrant can become an Australian citizen. It is a good time to evaluate its performance. The…
Robinvale footballers have been recruited into an active campaign to heal community divisions, which includes playing an annual Harmony Match. Facebook/Robinvale Football Netball Club

A world away from the MCG, every round is multicultural round

Standing in the social rooms of Robinvale Football Netball Club on presentation night is perhaps like standing in any sports club in regional Australia when their vote count is on. There are the usual…
In Indonesia, ranting online holds the risk of offending thousands of people and even jail time. EPA/Adi Weda

‘Social media capital’ brews with hatred between us and them

“Unity in diversity” is how Indonesia likes to describe its multicultural country. But cyber-bullying cases in Indonesia’s active social media project a different view of how Indonesia’s diverse groups…
Today’s young Australians are the smiling symbols of the embrace of multicultural identity, the nation’s defining moment. Flickr/DIBP Images, Faces of Australia

Modern Australia’s defining moment came long after First Fleet

The culture wars that dominated the narrative during John Howard’s prime ministership have returned with the ascension of his self-described “political love child”, Tony Abbott. While Abbott is sometimes…
The response to SBS documentary series Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl is indicative of the series' backstory and the ongoing debate it has entered. SBS/Author

Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl reveals diversity of views on Lebanese-Australians

The final week of SBS' four-part documentary series Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl brings us to the last decade’s crises for Lebanese Muslim communities in Sydney’s west, and the path to redemption they…
David Cameron visits Commonwealth soldiers' graves in Tourgeville Military Cemetery, France. Stefan Rousseau/PA

Britain’s imperial armies come to the rescue of its modern forces

Speaking as part of a commemorative celebration of the importance of the Commonwealth in WW1, David Cameron had this to say about the participation of colonial troops from all over the empire: They fought…
Muslim and Christian Lebanese join with other communities to rally against racism. The Lebanese in Australia story is the subject of a new SBS documentary series, Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl. Andrew Jakubowicz

Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl rescues Lebanese honour from shame

Mediterranean societies have been described as communities of honour and shame. The fundamental currency of their social order is respect. When the Lebanese civil war drove thousands of its citizens to…
SBS has become riskier and more investigative in recent years, commissioning shows like Go Back To Where You Came From. AAP/SBS

What’s on for SBS in the fight for public broadcasting’s future?

Due to Australia’s small population and high concentration of few media voices, public broadcasters play a pivotal role in shaping the media ecosystem and cultural landscape. With the ABC and SBS under…
We’re seeing shifts in federal policy – and in the way multiculturalism is framed in civil society. betta design

Who gets to write the script for our multicultural future?

Anthropological images of alien peoples have long been a staple in the collections of Australia’s institutions of cultural memory. From the invention of photography – and indeed before, through the hands…
Maybe the Left should take a leaf out of farage’s book on immigration. Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Immigration should get the same treatment as laissez-faire economics

The theoretical underpinning of the modern global economy has broken loose. The so-called Washington consensus based on neoclassical, laissez-faire economics has encountered a sustained challenge from…
Thousands will take part in citizenship ceremonies this Australia Day, but to what set of values are they pledging loyalty? Wikimedia Commons

A day to celebrate the nation, its people and our multicultural values

This Australia Day, thousands of migrants and refugees will stand proudly and pledge their loyalty to Australia and its people at citizenship ceremonies around the nation. The citizenship pledge is considered…

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