What are Australian Values?

Australian Values

Some background

The issue of “Australian Values” was first put on the public table by John Howard in his Australia Day Address to the National Press Club on 25 January 2006.    (For the full text see http://australianpolitics.com/2006/01/25/john-howard-australia-day-address.html .)

In his address, Mr Howard said:

“Within limits, all Australians have the right to express their culture and beliefs and to participate freely in our national life. And all Australians have a civic responsibility to support the basic structures and values of Australian society which guarantee us our freedom and equality.”

The left immediately criticized Mr Howard’s reference to Australian by claiming that there was no such thing.  Multiculturalism as an ideology fries brains.

Our muscular then Treasurer, Peter Costello, in an article in the Age of 24 February 2006,

lashed out at “mushy misguided multiculturalism,” warning that Australian values are “not optional” — and that migrants who do not share them should be stripped of their citizenship.” …

Mr Costello said the citizenship pledge should be “a big flashing warning sign” to Muslims wanting to live under sharia law.

“Before entering a mosque visitors are asked to take off their shoes,” Mr Costello said. “This is a sign of respect.  If you have a strong objection to walking in your socks don’t enter the mosque.  Before becoming an Australian you will be asked to subscribe to certain values.  If you have strong objection to those values don’t come to Australia.”

(Full article is at  https://www.theage.com.au/news/national/our-values-or-go-home-costello/2006/02/23/1140670207642.html  )

The Age’s cartoonist, Ron Tandberg, cartooned the article thus:

Jump forward to 2018 – a tiresome reprise

This issue has been revisited yet again by The Australian’s cartoonist Jon Kudelka in his cartoon of 21 July 2018:

This cartoon reflects nihilist relativism infesting many in Australian society, overwhelmingly on the left.  It is pure Cultural Marxism – pessimism and doubt about our own culture and nationhood.  It is disgraceful.

Freedom and Heritage Society of Australia believes that there ARE core values that define Australians.  We prepared the following LIST OF AUSTRALIAN VALUES about a decade ago:

  1. A pluralist democratic system with free and secret voting and regular elections
  1. Acceptance of the majority vote, and self-restraint by victors in the use of democratic power
  1. Peaceful and lawful settlement of disagreements without recourse to violence
  1. Support for law and order
  1. Freedom of political opinion
  1. Freedom to read, write and publish material except to the extent that such material may untruthfully defame or threaten the safety of others
  1. Freedom of political and other association in civil society
  1. Freedom of worship and freedom to proselytize, subject to respect for the similar rights of others
  1. Independence of the state from religious institutions and religious tests
  1. The English language as the basis for national dialogue, political activity, broader community interaction, and law
  1. Equal respect and equal treatment for men and women before the law and in society generally
  1. Respect for human rights and dignity, and non-discrimination against people on grounds of sex, sexuality, religion or ethnic origin to the extent that these are incompatible with the principle of individual merit
  1. The Rule of Law – with an independent judiciary, and application of the single system of national law equally to all people
  1. Acceptance of the multiethnic roots of the population and tolerance of cultural differences, subject to observance of Australian law; but refusal of the right of any religious or ethnic minority to reject or subvert the majority culture
  1. Belief in education, self-improvement and the pursuit of excellence
  1. Belief in the work ethic
  1. Belief in equality of opportunity
  1. Compassion for the disadvantaged and victims of misfortune
  1. Belief in and support for community
  1. Quiet pride in national identity and national achievements.

We encourage our readers to engage in the debate and reject the miserable cultural pessimism of the left.  Affirm and defend the values that have made Australia, and the values we must hold on to.



  1. I have never supported the values of any one place. When my parents came to Canada, their values were far more ethical (pro human rights) than the values of the society around them. For instance, they were for male-female equality; my mother was paid about half of what the man working beside her was paid.

    The society around them was also rampantly anti-Semitic. During World War II, the Canadian government’s stance on taking in Jews was “One is too many.” Apartment buildings posted signs: No Jews. My parents were utterly against this.

    So what values do I support? Pro human rights (the rights of humans, not of any culture or society). One can show what humans need to flourish (a word I got from Aristotle). One thing we need is Liberty Until Harm (the principle is from John Stuart Mills, who lived in a society which did not give this.)

    I support a universal ethical code, reality-based ethics.

    By the way, I’ve taught ethics and was horrified to find that my bright college students had been overwhelmingly indoctrinated to be closed to anything but relativism and subjectivism.

    I know my view goes against the current cry of “Australian values” and “Canadian values” and “British values.” These omit was is crucial for me: being for human rights not because these are Australian or Canadian or British, etc, but because we can show these are needed for our flourishing.


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