Values and Law

Many Cultures

The people of this nation value their success at building a tolerant and inclusive society that is rich in culture from many lands. We have come from many parts of the world yet we have many common values and principles uniting us. We live by the Rule of Law. Religions and cultural practices from all parts of the world exist side by side with the secular legal system we have in Australia.

We all should have a duty to our nation's interests and future. While we are all different, our shared future and duty to harmony unites us. Within this point of view, each of us, by ourself or as a group, is welcome to contribute to the common good. Our success as a society is largely due to all of us living together without letting the past affect duty to our nation and its future.

Rights

We can vote in or stand for an election. Voting gives us the right to choose a representative in Parliament, and to influence how they run our country. An Australian citizen who is qualified has the right to stand for an election. Our democracy gives us the right to change ruling parties on a regular and peaceful basis by the use of elections.

We are all entitled to equal rights and to equal respect. Our laws make sure that no one is subject to discrimination because of their race, their colour, their religion or gender. Each of us has a right to participate in our community and achieve our full potential, no matter what our background is. All Australians have the right of freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and freedom of movement.

Values and Principles

In return for the rights and freedoms, all of us should have an overriding duty to Australia. We are to accept the principles and civic values of our community. They are:

  • The rule of law
  • The democratic principles of government (and institutions such as the Constitution and parliamentary democracy)
  • Acceptance of cultural diversity (tolerance)
  • Equality of sexes and ethnic backgrounds
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Freedom of speech and religion
  • English as the national language

Tolerance

As a community, we agree that to express one's own culture and beliefs means that we accept the right of others to express their views and values. It is unlawful to insult, humiliate, offend or intimidate another person or group in public because of their race.

See: Racial vilification law in Australia

For more information on specific rights enjoyed by Australians

See: Five Fundamental Freedoms

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