Rant: Digging multiculturalism

I feel very fortunate to have been born and live in the ‘lucky country’ with a stable system of government, education and medical services with basic human rights and freedom for most people. Care will be needed to maintain and develop these valuable assets which makes our community safe.

I also realise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people have suffered in many ways since 1788 and still do, although I don’t have any strong ideas on how to change this. The Government, along with our community will need to continue to work on the healing process and this may still take some time.

I wonder, do my friends who post Invasion Day statements of Facebook feel guilty? To be honest, I’m proud to be an Australian and I dig the multicultural society which continues to develop around me.

The great cities of the world all benefit from the different knowledges and flavours immigration has brought over many decades, along with First Nation cultures. So how do we all integrate into one broader community while maintaining different cultural traditions within families and smaller communities? And what role does religion play in this?

Religious faith plays a significant role in many people’s lives for guidance and reassurance and I think this should be respected when not pressed onto others.

Exclusive religious views threaten our multicultural society.

I wonder if religious-based schools help multiculturalism or hinder it? Do we need Catholic Schools, Islamic Schools, Jewish Schools? Can these schools help foster compassionate values, even whilst separating children from people who partake in other belief systems?

Australia is an island and part of me is protective of this land from people who have vastly different ethical ideas to my own. Asylum seekers deserve a chance at a new life in a safe country and I don’t believe offshore processing helps people integrate in a positive way.

There is no rational reason why we can’t have a peaceful multicultural society if it is something we all work towards. Enjoy the holiday with friends and family and respect Aboriginal ownership and cultures too.

Words: Ben Cregan