Oi, Oi, Oi

So this morning I popped into the city to sit the Australian Citizenship Test. It turns out there are some, um, interesting sections of the test material.

To prepare for the test, they give you this book to read — Our Common Bond — and can ask you questions on anything featured in the “testable section”.

While the non testable section does at least acknowledge some of the more questionable aspects of Australia’s recent history (such as the White Australia Policy and the stolen generations), the testable part includes frankly astonishing statements like this:

Australians are proud of the fact that their nation did not emerge through revolution or bloodshed

Um. Really? Are you sure about that?

I think I sort of understand what they were going for, but I can’t help thinking this might come as news to the people who were already living here when the white man arrived. Federation might have happened without bloodshed, but I don’t think you can just quietly forget about 1788 – 1901…

My first question on the test itself was this:

Where did the earliest free settlers to Australia come from:
• Europe
• Great Britain and Ireland
• Torres Strait Islands

Hmm. There’s something missing from that list, isn’t there…

Once again, I know what they mean — and what they wanted me to answer — but I can’t help thinking that the first people to settle in Australia freely might be the ones who were already here when the country was renamed around them…

Other sections of the testable content are just amusing. There’s a whole bit on the apparently uniquely Australian concept of mateship, although I’m not sure which roads the authors have been driving on judging by their example:


I don’t think I’ll be trying that in rush hour Melbourne…

Oh. And there’s this. The Union Jack? Really?


Anyway. I passed. It took me all of 2 1/2 minutes, out of my allotted 45, to answer all my twenty questions correctly…

Think I prefer this test instead, mind. And I still don’t know the answer to the bring your own meat barbie question…