Helpful Resources

What Australian Values Mean to International Students

Any international student applying for a visa will surely come across the Australian values statement (). 

When applying for a student visa, the applicant should understand and accept:

  • Australian society values respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual, freedom of religion, commitment to the rule of law, Parliamentary democracy, equality of men and women and a spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play and compassion for those in need and pursuit of the public good
  • Australian society values equality of opportunity for individuals, regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background
  • The English language, as the national language, is an important unifying element of Australian society.

Values are principles or standards of behavior or judgment of what is important in life to oneself or to the community.  The Australian values statement reflects the common desire of Australians to build a level playing field and fair society for all in an open environment that is free from oppression.  Visitors on a temporary or permanent visa are expected to subscribe to those values and behave and act accordingly. 

At a personal level, international students are assured of respect, gender equality, tolerance of differences and fairness by peers and the faculty.  Equality means that international students receive the same standard of education quality, facilities, and services as domestic students. 

Service providers ranging from landlords to employers offering part-time work have to abide by the rule of law, without racial, ethnic and religious discrimination.  Everyone’s voice and inputs can be given and heard in an atmosphere of representative democracy.  What the individual achieves in life is thus a product of their talents, work, and effort rather than their birth or favouritism.  An open and fair society promotes innovation and progress.

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