So another Australia Day has rolled around and as I watched the groups of people frolicking and enjoying themselves down at New Farm park it got me thinking about the citizenship test that all wannabe citizens must take.
As full disclosure, Rebecca and I became citizens about five years ago. It was pretty simple, we had an informal interview with a nice woman at the Post Office (of all places), answered a few rather banal questions then a few weeks later turned up for a ceremony where Paul Pisasale made a moving but ultimately forgettable speech about what it means to be Australian. We said our oath, received a certificate, a dying plant and a handshake in return and went on our way. All very easy and very pleasant.
Nowadays you have to take a formal test and to make matters worse it’s multiple choice. This would be terrible for me, when I look at the answers for a multiple choice question I generally think they all look like possible winners and I become confused when I realise I can only pick one.
Here’s an example of what the current test contains:
Which of these is an example of freedom of speech?
A) Australians are free to not follow a religion.
B) People can peacefully protest against government decisions.
C) Men and women are treated equally in a court of law.
Know the answer? No me neither, they all look reasonable to my simple mind but it’s a sensible question and a pertinent one for living in any democracy but I’m not convinced that it gets to the heart of what it is to truly be Australian.
So I decided to come up with my own citizenship test, here are the questions that I would ask if I worked for the Department of Immigration.
How often do you eat Vegemite?
A) Every hour on the hour mate, I take a jar out with me so I can enjoy the black gold all day.
B) On toast in the mornings.
C) Uh, it looks like liquid cancer and smells worse.
How often do you drink Milo?
A) Every meal, it’s made me the Iron Man I am today mate.
B) Now and again in the mornings with my vegemite toast.
C) It looks like pureed poo and smells like feet.
Where should Thongs be worn?
A) On yer feet mate, I never take mine off neither does the missus.
B) Around your privates, but only when I’m feeling naughty, oh you mean those things you put on your feet!
C) I don’t talk about my sex life.
What do you normally do on Anzac Day?
A) Cry for hours about long dead relatives that even your grandfather had never met. Next year you plan to walk the Kokoda Trail in your bare feet to prove to everyone that you remember those brave men who died in that famous battle in Turkey in WW2.
B) Visit a war memorial and respectfully remember the sacrifice and suffering of all the men and women who have given their lives to defend our liberty and way of life.
C) I like biscuits!
What do you normally do on Australia Day?
A) Get up at 5am, paint “Aussie” down your arms and legs in red, white and blue paint, pack up a 90L Esky full of animal body parts, fill another with bottles of XXXX and head down to the nearest park with a BBQ, set up camp then eat and drink yourself into a stupor all the while blasting out John Farnham and Troy Cassar-Daley songs at full volume through your iPod speakers.
B) Have a few mates around for a back yard BBQ, have some fun and a couple of beers whilst remembering what it means to be Australian.
C) Go shopping because Super Cheap Auto has a sale on.
When you see yet another boat of asylum seekers on the news, what do you think?
A) Australia is for Australians mate, we don’t need no more bleeding immigrants. Stop the boats!
B) Those poor people, I think the government should be more compassionate, after all Australia is built on immigration and they must be desperate to travel here in that way.
C) Who cares, I’ve got my working visa and I ain’t leaving when it expires.
How many times a day do you say “mate”?
A) All the time mate, you see mate, mate is just what you say, you know mate.
B) Now and again but only to my friends.
C) I’m not mating with you.
How often do you watch Today Tonight or A Current Affair?
A) Never miss it mate, I usually watch one and video the other. Top notch journalism mate, they tell those bloody bogans what’s what, although I did see my mate Stevo on there the other night for benefit fraud.
B) You shame me by asking that question.
C) There isn’t a TV in the YMCA.
XXXX or Fosters?
A) That’s my kind of party mate.
B) You shame me by asking that question.
C) Fosters all the way, it’s the amber nectar, Crocodile Dundee said so.
So to the results, if you answered mostly A’s then you already have true Aussie blood running through your veins, your certificate will be in the post. If you answered mostly B’s then you are probably a kiwi and we have enough of you over here trying to steal our sheep. If you answered mostly C’s then you’re obviously either American, or English, called Garry and need a kick in the janglies.