Exam preparation 2010
VCE Sociology
Unit 3 Outcome 2
Australian Cultural Communities
What to do
• Pay attention to requirements of each
• Define and/or explain key concepts
• Support discussion with evidence
• Use a logical essay structure
What to know
• Definitions and examples of Australian culture
• Definitions, policies and examples of:
– Multiculturalism
– Immigration
– Refugees
• Indigenous Australians
– Examples of inequality and disadvantage
– Past and present government policies
What to expect
• Topics on previous exams
– 2009: Invasion Day and multiculturalism
– 2008: The Apology and Indigenous “problems”
– 2007: Indigenous inequality and multiculturalism
– 2006: Australian values and multiculturalism
What to expect
• Types of questions on previous exams
– Literal meaning of representation (2 marks)
– Underlying meaning of representation (4 marks)
– Context of representation requiring external
information to support response (4 marks)
– Greater understanding of topic requiring external
knowledge of government policy (10 marks)
What to expect
• Representations
– Newspaper article, cartoon, advertisement, etc
– Contemporary issue
– Refer to the representations directly
– Use external information to elaborate/explain
What to study
• 2008 Face the Facts
– Chapter 1: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
– Chapter 2: Migrants and Multiculturalism
– Chapter 3: Asylum Seekers and Refugees
• Produced by the Australian Human Rights Commission
– Draws on primary research information from a variety of
sources, including laws made by the Australian Parliament,
government policies, academic research and statistics gathered
by the Australian Bureau of Statistics including the 2006 Census
• www.hreoc.gov.au/racial_discrimination/face_facts/index.ht
• Culture includes the learned practices and beliefs that
become associated with a group and leads to its
distinctive identity
• Australian national culture includes shared behaviours,
values, symbols and other abstract creations
– Norms/values: individualism, equality, democracy,
egalitarianism, mateship, fair go, etc
– Symbols: flag, beach, thong, g’day
– Institutions: government (overarching), ANZAC Day (social)
• Australian identity refers to how Australians see
themselves being perceived by others
National culture: Australia Day
Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au
National culture: Australia Day
• The representation shows 2009 Australian of the Year Professor Mick
Dodson being interviewed about “Invasion Day” while a non-Indigenous
Australian spends “Australia Day” at the beach complaining about the
nuisance Indigenous Australians make, ruining his day.
• Australia Day is on January 26 every year.
• January 26 1788 was the day the British Empire began its colonisation of
Australia. To the British this was a celebratory occasion.
• Having Australia’s national culture celebrated on January 26 emphasises
British cultural ties.
• For Indigenous Australians this was the day their country was “invaded” by
the British. E.g. Day of Mourning, Invasion Day, Survival Day, etc.
• Some Indigenous Australians are suggesting Australia Day should be
changed to a more inclusive date that does not have negative
National culture: Australian flag
Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au
National culture: Australian flag
• The representation replaces the Union Jack (UK flag) with
images of Indigenous Australians.
– The Union Jack symbolises Australia's history as a collection of six
British colonies
– The representation suggests that Australia’s history should
acknowledge the original inhabitants before colonisation
• The Australian flag was designed through a competition
following Federation on 1 January 1901 and was judged
according to: loyalty to the Empire, Federation, history,
heraldry, distinctiveness, utility and cost of manufacture.
• As a gesture of reconciliation, in 1995 the Aboriginal Flag and
the Torres Strait Islander Flag were also appointed flags of
• Multiculturalism describes a cultural heritage consisting
of a number of cultures in parallel
• It is often used to describe the diverse cultural make-up
of a society and the set of norms that uphold the right to
retain and enjoy one’s culture
• It is also the name of a government policy to recognise,
manage and maximise the benefits of diversity
– In the early 1970s, “White Australia” ended and Australia
began experimenting with an official commitment to
– There is currently no federal government policy on
Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au
• The representation implies the Victorian police
are deliberately ignoring the racial violence
towards Indian students
• Racial discrimination goes against the concept of
• Multiculturalism has not adapted to meet the
needs of transient international students
– Some international students feel exploited by tertiary
institutions (e.g. considered “cash cows”)
– Treatment of some international students suggests
they are not valued members of Australian culture
• Benefits:
– Reduced racial discrimination
– Promotes integration through the blending of
cultures (e.g. heterogeneous culture)
– Enhanced self-esteem of minority groups through
acceptance of difference
• Limitations:
– No assimilation of minority group into dominant
group leading to loss of social cohesion (e.g. no
homogeneous monoculture)
• Know your policies:
– Immigration Restriction Act 1901
– Assimilation (1947-1965)
– Integration (1965-1972)
– Multiculturalism (1973-2006)
– Australian Citizenship Act (2007-)
• Requires basic understanding of English and adequate
knowledge of Australia and Australian values before
applying for citizenship
Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au
Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au
• Benefits:
– Economy: fills skills shortages, creates demand for goods and
services, invests in economy
– Employment: creates jobs through demand for goods and
– Population: reverses negative impact of declining fertility and
aging population
• Limitations:
– Environment: puts natural resources under strain (e.g. water)
– Infrastructure: existing infrastructure has not kept up with
population growth in cities so has caused contentious highdensity suburban dwellings in surrounding suburbs
– Culture: “ethnic” clashes, racism and xenophobia
• Recent times:
– Beginning in 1991 the Howard Coalition
government introduced punitive measures to deal
with “unauthorised” asylum seekers to deter them
from seeking asylum in Australia
Mandatory detention until refugee visa granted
Detention debt for time spent in mandatory detention
Temporary Protection Visas reviewed every 3-years
Pacific Solution to change Australia’s migration zone
– The Rudd Labor government reversed these
Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au
Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au
• Benefits:
– Raising Australia’s status in the international
community as humanitarian
– Directly helping victims of persecution
– Promoting human rights
– Fulfilling global responsibilities
• Limitations:
– Reports of ethnic-based youth gangs
– Expensive process
– Possible welfare dependency
Indigenous Australian Inequality
Health: Lower standards of health, lower life expectancy and higher infant
mortality rates.
Education: Lower standard of education (29% rural and 13% remote area Year 10
Employment: Lower standards of employment, half of all jobs are CDEP and adult
unemployment three times higher than non-ATSI.
Housing: Lower standards of housing and less home ownership. Homelessness is
three times higher than non-ATSI.
Justice: Over-represented in criminal justice system. 13 times higher
imprisonment rate than non-ATSI.
Welfare: Over-represented in care and protection systems nationally. Children
nearly four times more likely to be abused or neglected. 18.3% of women
experienced physical or threatened abuse in past 12 months (compared with 7%
Income: Average weekly income is $460 (compared to $740 for non-ATSI).
Government policies: ATSI
1788 Terra nullius
End of 1800’s: Protection policies
1937: Assimilation policies (and Stolen Generations)
1967: Referendum (census / federal laws)
– then equal pay, self-determination policy, self-management policy
• 1976: Land Rights Law
• 1992: Native Title (e.g. Mabo)
• 2007: Northern Territory Emergency Response (Intervention)
– 73 remote Northern Territory communities
• 2008: The Apology
Government policies: ATSI
• Close the gap campaign (cluster of initiatives)
– Reduce inequality
• Self-determination (National Congress of
Australia’s First Peoples to replace ATSIC)
– Follow UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
– Advocacy and advisory role on national level
– Monitor and evaluate government performance
– Develop and influence policy and legal reform
– Conduct research
Government policies: ATSI
Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au
Government policies: ATSI
Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au
Impact of globalisation
Indigenous Australians
– The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples required a redesign of the
Northern Territory Emergency Response to lift the suspension of the Racial
Discrimination Act
– The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination claimed the Victorian
government and police were failing to address the problem of racial discrimination of
Indian students
– The Australian Human Rights Commission claim the English-language citizenship test
discriminates against applicants from developing countries and non-English speaking
backgrounds (based on International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Racial Discrimination and Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
– The UN told the government that suspending the processing of asylum seekers from Sri
Lanka and Afghanistan went against the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

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