Australia as a Good Global Citizen Free Essay
In an era where countries are becoming more accommodative to the idea of the free movement of ideas, products, services, and people, global citizenship is a dominating topic in many conversations. Understanding the socio-political, economic, and cultural dynamics is vital in determining the suitability of a country regarding global citizenship. Integrating these key elements informs the extent to which a country can be declared a “global citizen.” For the case of Australia, my understanding of its global citizenship is drawn from an in-depth analysis of its identity in the international community regarding its role in contentious issues facing the world, its position, and what the future holds for the majority of its citizens and those yearning to move there as well. Most importantly, it is drawn from my experience in political, cultural, social, and economic variables. In essence, my conceptualization of global citizenship is a complex set of elements within and outside Australia which deeply inform the understanding of its cultural identity.
Australia’s Cultural Identity
Global citizenship presents everybody with an opportunity to connect with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. In essence, it broadens an individual’s worldview about increasing their knowledge on a variety of aspects. I feel that Australia’s cultural diversity is an important element in the broader sense of understanding people by evaluating what unites them as well as explaining how to overcome divisiveness. My conceptualization of global citizenship in light of the Australian example is the approach people use to fit into a different society with a different set of beliefs. In other words, it implies understanding the elusive concept of culture. Fitting into a particular culture does not necessarily imply tossing aside one’s beliefs, values, and notions in preference for their latest assemblage, rather it implies exploring the connection between the two different cultures.
Australia’s accommodative cultural orientation is drawn from their expectation that everybody, whether Australian or not, can reciprocate the concept of fair go. Essentially, Australians according to everybody's utmost respect, thus setting the stage for a similar gesture. While people are not compelled to act in a specific way, societal expectations almost drive them to observe it in this ancient Australian culture. It connotes a lack of boundaries and individuals laying claims to a particular code of conduct: Terra nullius. Unlike in most countries where foreigners have to prove their allegiance to settle there, the concept of Terra Nullius eliminates the pressure that foreigners are put in to fit into Australian society.
Communication is the ultimate tool in the quest to establish rapport either abroad or in one’s home country. Australia is a country that values proper communication irrespective of one’s nationality. You would feel at home in Australia because “nothing beats the Aussie pride” no matter the circumstances. In my wide relationship with Australians, both personal and professional, “small talk” and other conversation on trivial issues is vital in establishing a strong rapport. Communication carries a premium value. Perhaps, this is the reason why people will always feel at home whenever they visit Australia. Australia is an accommodative country with minimal conditions for foreigners and locals settling in because Terra Nullius recognizes the contribution each individual makes in the country irrespective of their religion, nationality, gender, and other variables. I am in awe of their small talk, particularly based on how it connects people who are total strangers. One will easily declare that you can tell someone is Australian if they speak first when you meet them. How powerful the culture of small talk and overall communication is perhaps showcased by early morning greetings.
While it is rather easy to define Australia as a global citizen based on its global image, I believe that its domestic image matters more than the outer persona. Often, I am appalled at how disconnected some countries are on contentious issues that define a country’s global status. The issues of race, religion, wealth, poverty, gender equality, sexuality, personal growth, and ethnicity are crucial in understanding the vital aspect of global citizenry. Being a country experiencing immense growth economically implies that individual economic rights are protected as well. Therefore, Australia’s position on the globe is particularly solidified by its views on sensitive aspects such as religion. As it is a country with undefined religion, people here are not bound to follow or subscribe to particular teachings while disregarding others with opposing opinions. As a staunch catholic, I am not expected to condemn other religious organizations. More so, discussions on religion are not publicly acceptable due to their divisiveness.
A unified society values the contribution of each irrespective of their socio-political backgrounds. In my country, evidence of apathy is visible in the wealthy versus the poor and the role each group plays in the development or lack of it. The widening gap between the rich and the poor is perhaps a case for concern given the negative impact it has on service delivery. There is a clear case of entitlement so that a certain group of citizens feels that they deserve more privileged treatment from the government, much to the distaste of the majority. Shockingly, Australia is not affected by such cancer in society. Certainly, I will not say that the country is perfect regarding wealth and poverty but still, it is much better than my own country where wealthy individuals almost live in a “different country.” Global citizens pay attention to issues that create divisiveness or rather lead to entitlement in service delivery. Australia’s strong emphasis on understanding its culture and what it gives the world is a crucial aspect that can be referenced.
In my nation, the issue of gender equality and equity is controversial and mostly driven by conservative beliefs of male dominance. Primarily, there is limited attention given to affirmative action as an alternative solution to gender-based societal biases. Such tendencies are clear grounds for social unrest, thus undermining both individual and societal growth. My Australian experience and perhaps what I believe is the course of action is founded on personal growth as a crucial element to realizing a better society. Societies that do not put conditions on individual growth easily integrate others, hence, making them members. Conditioning an individual within the societal views limits their growth as a result, they are viewed as temporary members. In other words, there is a balance in the extent of an individual growth vis-à-vis societal expectations. My home country makes zero effort towards achieving this important aspect of culture. Australia’s acceptance-based approach suits everybody.
While individual ideals are respected in Australia, societal understanding is given a similar view. Perhaps, this indicates Australia’s position as a good global citizen. The fact that strong opposition to gender-based biases is evident in society connotes embracing togetherness and unity. These elements define Australia’s position within the confines of global citizenship. Respect is an important aspect of a nation because it underlines its position within the international spectrum as well as attractiveness to foreign investors. Of course, the fact that it is a global citizen implies that people view it as a crucial investment destination with uncommon economic shocks. Most importantly, this is drawn from Australia’s respect for human rights, laws, and personal privileges among others. Such respect is founded on the moral fabric of society. Personal space is given a strong emphasis even though society is unified to observe progress for everybody. In other words, the cultural structure in the country is accommodative to individual ideals within the societal framework, hence leading to peaceful coexistence.
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Culture as an instrument of global citizenship feeds on peace and tranquility. Countries with relative peace and stability are often preferable to travel and live in. Peace in the broader sense of the word extends to a minimum to zero cases of violence. It is quite difficult to compare my country with Australia along similar parameters. For instance, the lack of constant violence in
Australia explains why it is a preferred tourist destination in the region. It is a vital element to build on a cultural heritage that can only serve as admiration and envy for many people. The integration of foreigners into the local culture through communication, respect, understanding, and interdependence means that it is a good global citizen.
Australians are generally peaceful people who value personal space for each and everyone because of the fundamental understanding that intruding into another person’s personal space creates disagreements, which can as well frustrate the peace enjoyed. In the course of my stay, I have witnessed nothing but respect, which I am naturally obligated to reciprocate as well. This is the most basic functional unit of Australian society. People have a close understanding of each other to an extent that quarrels and disagreements are amicably solved so that they almost end up unnoticed that they even existed. As previously illustrated, my country deeply observes individualism while disregarding the importance of society at large. In other words, it implies a lack of social cohesiveness. Australia’s culture of interdependence within the society means that its citizens form a crucial aspect of social identity.
Culture is the ultimate determinant of Australia’s status as a good global citizen. The uniqueness of its practices from social, economic, political, and cultural viewpoints establishes it as one of the most preferable destinations on the planet. In my experience, Australians emphasize togetherness by inviting people into their ways of life, having a preference for small talk, consistent communication, and most importantly, building a strong rapport with foreigners. There is a huge difference with my home country regarding Australia’s accommodative approach to foreigners, appreciating the contribution they bring and how they can further be integrated into the society. Her standpoint on issues such as human rights, gender equality, diversity, and service provision is nothing short of unique. Certainly, Australia’s strong preference for cultural identity within the international spectrum makes it a good global citizen by all standards.
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